Twenty-five of NYC'??s most savvy bloggers joined us at the Upper East Side'??s swank condominium, the Azure, for an evening of everything travel. Featuring the hippest destinations, hottest gear, essential organizing tips, fashionable photography, fabulous services, portable food and fine wine.
Kicking off the evening was Alison Lowenstein, author of City Weekends: The Greatest Escapes and Weekend Getaways in and Around NYC ($18.00 Amazon). Enjoy one of Alison's top destinations like,Royal Atlantic in Montauk Manor or Royal Landing, Rhinebeck at the Roosevelt Inn or Beekman Arms or Madison, CT. I love Alison'??s humorous, yet sensible advice for traveling with kids.
- Use the breakfast buffet as a bargaining tool.
- Inquire about reciprocal membership programs at museums and cultural centers.
- Don'??t take vacation seriously, skip the schedules.
- Fly Jet Blue for the entertainment.
- Pack Snacks. Check out Go Picnic (Amazon $22.00 pack of 6) for healthy, portable meals.
Next, guests previewed and tested the latest gear for getting around in style. Stokke shared their newest, brilliantly engineered stroller carrier, the PramPack, a universal design with enough space to even add that extra pair of shoes. A room full of seasoned product testers were in awe. The PramPack is so cleverly constructed that it rolls up to the size of a small sleeping bag, has a long shoulder strap for easy carrying, and has wheels for transporting straight to the gate. Best of all, it guarantees full coverage of damages on any STOKKE stroller transported in the Pack. Our lovely guests were all treated to this travel wonder, compliments of STOKKE (Retails 199.99). (kinda made us feel like Oprah!)
Britaxfeatured their deluxe baby carrier, suitable from 8 to 32 lbs. The simple on and off design and the one-handed buckles makes use quick and effortless for both parent and baby. Several of our guests went home with one of these fabulous carriers ($129.99).See details below to win your own carrier.
Aprica introduced, Presto Flat, a sleek and ultra-lightweight (15.8lbs) stroller ($199.99) that sports all the essentials we moms look for in a stroller '?? substantial sun-shade, simple folding, slim storage, and flat recline. One very lucky guest strolled away in style.
For those of you who don't want to carry all that gear, you'??ll love knowing about Hamptons Baby Gear, an independent baby equipment rental company (owned and operated by a mom- Lisa) in the Hamptons whose secret to successful travel with children is, '??not to stress, just carry less!'? Rental products include the best quality brands for strolling, sleeping, eating and traveling. Service covers Suffolk and Nassau counties with a minimum 2-day rental. The website lists other baby equipment rentals around the US. One happy winner received a $100.00 certificate.
Other nifty travel items, likeMy Carry Potty, Skooba carry cases andInsect Shield bandanas, added to the wealth of giveaways. And everyone went home with a bit of travel cash from FamilyGetaway.com and LuxuryLink.com travel.
The travel fun continued with Genius Organizers, Julia and Nicole, whose travel motto is, '??work smart, not hard.'? Check out these essential organizing tips for each segment of your getaway.
- Set up a travel box a week or so before you go. Throw things in the box as you think of them.
- Keep your toiletries packed all of the time and refill when necessary.
- Pack Tide To Go for stains.
- Don'??t forget your First Aid Kit.
- Use one of your hand-bag bags lying around as a laundry or shoe bag.
- Take an extra roll-up bag for souveniers.
- MUST HAVE- the Zen Class organizer that attaches to the tray table and neatly holds all your needs for airplane traveling.
- Send one parent onto the plane first to set up the seats and gear.
- Separate the kids with each parent - if it keeps everyone sane.
- Unpack immediately, giving each family member a draw for clothes.
- Download and edit photos frequently.
- Use smaller memory cards so you don'??t lose everything if it gets lost.
Upon arrival at your destination, the first thing most of us do is take a photo. Erin, owner and photographer at Bellamy Blue Studio, shared ways to capture memories like a pro.
- Embrace the elements- pay attention to environment, bright colors, bright lights, a moment and a gesture.
- Perspective '?? get low and get high, place your camera where you can'??t go.
- Stay out of the center '?? experiment with sides, top and bottom of the frame.
- Key compositional elements '?? rule of thirds, texture, pattern, light and color.
- Take pictures when you aren'??t at a tourist stop. Remember it is more about the moment than the place.
- Shoot panorama. Lomography 360 spinner is great.
- Give kids a camera. V-tech makes a dual eye camera, vinoculars, for little ones.
- Never take just one picture, consider different angles and crops.
- Turn off your flash in low light situation- hold very still and/or embrace the blur.
- Shoot into the sun and get some flare.
Don't forget to organize those photos with these tips from Genius Organizing:
- Download immediately upon return.
- Start big and go small. Create electronic folders by year, then by month, then by event. Whatever the organization, be consistent.
- No need to describe each photo, group photos for naming, ie. Sherri'??s Bday.
- Use clear plastic folders with at clasp to contain memorabilia from the trip.
Our guests are never without yummy snacks and flavorful wine. Go Picnic, all-natural ready-to-eat meals, cased in a picnic style box with Sudoku and fun facts splashed our guests palettes. A huge hit amongst the crowd!
Quenching our thirst was flipflop wines, just rated a "Best Buy" from Wine Enthusiast magazine ($7.00). The flipflop collection includes Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Moscato, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir. We love the wine as much as their partnership with Soles4Souls Inc, the international shoe charity dedicated to providing free footwear to those in need.
The party ended with a gracious farewell and "Bon Voyage" to our guests who traveled home heavy with a bag of goodies including PSI Bands (see below to win one for yourself), Knudsen Sparking Juice, Luxury Link (look for our luxury link contest soon!) and SIGG.
Hamptons Baby Gear
My Carry Potty
Knudsen Sparking Juice
Win it! Three lucky moms (or moms-to-be) are going to get a shot at some awesome travel swag. We know you all want to come to our swank events, but don't live in NYC. So we're shipping the swag to you. We've got an amazing Britax Baby Carrier, just like the one shown above to give away.
To enter to win, leave a comment below telling me where you are planning your next vacation.
For extra entries (3 extra entries for a total of 4):
1. Like Momtrends on Facebook
2. Follow @Momtrends on Twitter
3. Tweet this message '??Travel Swag #Giveaway Alert from @Momtrendshttp://bit.ly/kmfyni'?
Contest ends 6/30/11 at midnight EST. Contest open to US residents 18 and over. No purchase necessary. DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored post.
This was a sponsored event put on by the Momtrends event team. Many thanks to all of our sponsors who made this night possible! To find out how to get involved or invited, email Sherri (at) momtrends (dot) com.