Trendy Travel Time with Momtrends: Traveling certainly changes when you have children, but it doesn't have to mean you stop exploring, discovering and showing your children different experiences outside of your home. To celebrate everything travel Momtrends held an intimate gathering at Citibabes, a unique NYC family club offering indoor playground, kids education, sports and fun.
Some of our guests rolled up to the Mercer street location in vehicles provided by GM and mingled as they enjoyed a glass of wine while looking at clothing from Coolibar, suncreen from Sunologyand gear from Baby Bjorn.
To kick-off the event, Kim-Marie aka Luxury Travel Mom spoke about the realities of family with a mantra that we could all relate to: "Family Travel is No Vacation." Through her presentation, she mentioned how although she travels to incredible destinations with her family that is not all sunshine and roses. As a travel writer, she showed us her "glamour shots" from her articles as well as candid pictures that showed the moments in-between getting those perfect shots that included looking at naked women in London (they are in the photo booths) to a family contract that listed "no arguing" as a rule.
She illustrated that while family vacations aren't perfect, they are all about the memories. I loved when she said "go make some memories and let go of 'perfect.' She also shared some invaluable tips about travel and even included her top family-friendly destinations.
Secrets for (almost) enjoying family travel:
- It's not a vacation --it's a relocation.
- Plan, plan and then plan some more.
- Spend the money for the airplane seat and the extra hotel room
- Have the hotel put snacks in your room on arrival.
- Quit while you're ahead.
How to get VIP treatment:
- Dress nice and act nice.
- Join every loyalty club there is.
- Book through a Virtuoso Agent, Platinum Amex, Preferred Family, or directly through the hotel.
- Ask and you shall receive. Know how to use (and tip) the concierge.
Top Family Destinations:
Turks & Caicos
- 3 ½ hour flight
- They use US Dollar
- World'??s Best Beach
- Stay: The Somerset or Parrot Cay
- Go during low season or book a VIP tour guide
- Stay: Disney Yacht Club or Ritz Carlton Orlando
- 30 minutes from Charleston
- 'Happiest Seaside Town'
- 10 miles of beach for biking
- Stay: The Sanctuary or Kiawah Island Resort
Up next was Katie McBride of General Motors (GM), who shared more information with us about their family-friendly cars and suggested some one-tank adventures for families. I love this concept since travel doesn't always have to be about getting in a plane. Today, cars offers families more comfort, amenities and features to get to your destination smoothly.
First up, she suggested a trip to the Finger Lakes in New York (about 263 miles from New York City). To get there, she suggested the Chevy Traverse, a car that has 24 mpg on the Highway, six standard airbags, rearview back-up camera & rear parking assist and offers the most storage capacity of any vehicle in its segment. It also includes a full size third row and folding seats in second & third row, a DVD system in rear and rear air vents and 10 '?? 12 cup holders.
The next destination was Cold Springs (59 miles from NYC) that would be ideal in the Chevrolet Volt. This car offers an EPA-estimated 38 miles of tailpipe- and emissions-free driving every time its charged. It also has an electric engine with gas back-up system, 8 standard airbags, and OnStar. Next up was a trip to St. Regis Wilderness (258 miles from NYC) in the Chevy Equinox.
This car is loaded with safety including lane departure warning system and forward collision alert available and great family-friendly features with several storage bins and eight-cup/bottle holders. Finally, GM suggested a trip to gorgeous Montauk (118 miles from NYC). To get there she suggested traveling in the Malibu Eco - a car that was actually designed and tested by a team of moms! This car is also known as the quietest Chevrolet in the history of the company and it has fuel saving technology and a large trunk for storage when traveling.
Next up, we learned some tips on how to make traveling easier with babies from Baby Bjorn. Started in 1961, this company has been renowned for their high quality products that also focus on form, style and functionality. For travel, everyone was amazed by the lightweight Travel Crib Light. Assembling in seconds, this portable crib only weights 11 pounds and folds neatly into a suitcase - making it super compact for travel. Another innovative product for baby is the Baby Bouncer Babysitter Seat.
I have this at home and have used it since my older daughter was a baby. I love how it creates a calm, rocking motion that moves with your baby's body and can recline into three positions for play, rest and sleep. It also folds up so easily so you can lay it flat in any car. When you reach your destination, travel lightly by using the Miracle Carrier. This carrier allows for a variety of carrying positions from birth to 15 months - making it easier to get around while on-the-go.
Before you travel to your next destination, you will need to pack and with kids that means packing wisely. To help us pack in style, Katrina of A Dress the Issue shared some smart packing tips with our guests.
- Make sure everything you pack works well together and has multiple purposes.
- Dresses are great to pack, because they are complete outfits in one garment.
- Wear your heaviest item on the plane.
- Dress according to your agenda.
- Plan clothes around your shoes, instead of the other way around.
- Make sure to bring fun accessories.
- Lay your clothing out and photograph them with your phone in complete outfits before you pack.
- Treat everyday like a dress rehearsal. Just because you are on vacation, doesn't mean that you need to have limited choices while getting dressed.
- When you arrive, unpack immediately. Do not live out of a suitcase.
No Momtrends event would be complete without a fashion segment and at this event Coolibar shared some of the top trends for summer from their line of sun protective clothing. Featuring clothing with UPF 50+, the items from Coolibar offer Embedded Protection from mineral sunscreen ingredients that are embedded into the fibers of several of their SUNTECT® line of fabrics.
The fabrics block 98% UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays and the protection won't wash out or fade. The stylish sunhats were a hit (all of our guests received one as well) as well as the gorgeous belted sun wrap and the airy and fashionable wide leg pant. As a form of protection against melanoma, Coolibar features an incredible collection of clothing that can work for the entire family as well as through a wide variety of outdoor activities and sports' travel, golf, leisure, walking, swimming and gardening.
Finally, we heard fromSunology, an all natural suncreen company. I recently tested out the line, so I excited to hear more from co-founder Richard Doermer. We were all given a harsh reality check as we heard about chemicals suncreens (most commercial suncreens on the market) and how they are merely preventing redness, but can still cause damage to the skin. After Richard was diagnosed with basil cell carcinoma - after avidly wearing sunscreen for 26 years - he realized there was something in the suncreeen and not just the sun. He formed Sunology, along with Victor Palinczar, to create a "suncreen that prefers no chemicals."
So what makes Sunology different? Richard spoke of how the line contains a complex (zinc and titanim) that acts as an oil and reduces free Radical Formation, degradation of both DNA and collagen and premature aging of the skin. The beauty of this no-water and concentrated formula is that you only need a dime-sized amount. Additionally, all of their products are free of oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, and homosalate and all other man-made chemicals, so they are safe for everyone!
An evening devoted to travel and learning how to make traveling easier was an inspiring way to kick-off the summer season. Now we can travel confidently and in style! Here's to making fun memories with our kids this summer.