Tips & Gifts
Tips & Gifts f o r t h e w h o l e f a m i ly
Tips & Gifts
Gifts that Travel Well
raveling at the holidays often means figuring out a way to travel with gifts. Here are four gift ideas that are easy to pack and take along.
It’s NEVER too early to get your kids interested in investing. Buy them a share or two of stock in a company they recognize, such as Walmart, Toys R Us, or Google. It’s a fun, easy and cost-effective way to teach your kids about investing in the markets.
A Weekend Getaway
Who couldn’t use a night away, especially during the holidays – which can bring so much stress? Give someone the gift of travel with a gift certificate for a weekend of pampering at a nearby hotel or resort.
What could be a better gift for someone who has everything than making a donation in his or her name to an organization that works at solving a problem? Choose a charity that serves an area your friend or family member cares about. Is she worried about world hunger? Donate to a local food pantry. Does he love animals? Choose the local animal shelter.
Need something to take to the neighbor’s get together? Or give to Aunt Sarah who put up with you and the kids for three days? Wine and chocolates are always good choices, but so is an assortment of highquality or flavored coffee or tea, depending on your host’s preferences. n
Tips & Gifts
Give Your Road Trip a Holiday Feel
raveling with kids over the holidays doesn’t have to feel like just another family obligation. Instead, make the road trip to Grandma’s house an adventure with a holiday flair. These five tips can transform the annual ritual into a family memory.
Name your holiday trip.
a holiday feel by playing “Guess My Favorite Present,” “Name That Christmas Tune,” “The Chanukah Memory Game” or “Quote that Holiday Movie.”
Weave in something relating to the holiday for which you are traveling, such as “Turkey in Detroit.” Or consider including the family name, such as “The Douglas Family’s December to Remember!”
Be your own DJ.
Have fun with holiday food.
Ask each family member to put together a playlist of their top 10 holiday tunes. During the road trip, each member of the family gets a turn presenting their own countdown. If the relatives like music too, consider burning the songs onto a CD for a personalized “Jones Family Holiday Collection” that makes a great gift.
See the journey with new eyes.
Sure, you do the same road trip every holiday, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Challenge kids to look for new landmarks along the way, take the time to stop at that “roadside marker” you’ve passed every year and always wondered about, or stop to eat at the little roadside restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.
While you are on the road, take a detour to a farm or market to gather ingredients for the meal. Once you arrive, plan a food-themed activity such as visiting a turkey farm to “Pardon a Bird” or a local orchard for a sleigh ride and hot apple cider. n
Get creative with games.
There’s nothing like a rousing chorus of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” or the license plate game to help pass the hours in the car. Give the road trip games 3
Tips & Gifts
Planning the Perfect Family Ski Trip
hether you’re a veteran ski mom or fresh-faced bunny sloper, planning the family ski vacation takes some effort. Where to go? How to get there? What to pack? Ski school, no ski school? Mittens or gloves? Luxury TravelingMom Kim-Marie Evans has the scoop on what you need to know.
Location, Location, Location
box of hand warmers from Costco for what a pair will set you back in the mountain gift shop.
Mara Gorman, founder of Mother of All Trips, says to think about the Three A’s: Access, activities, and atmosphere. Resorts with slope side accommodations mean less schlepping of your own and your kids’ gear and more fun skiing. Family activities other than skiing (like snow tubing, ice skating, face painting, or even giant indoor play areas full of inflatable slides) will keep children entertained when they get tired of the slopes. In addition, you want an atmosphere that’s fun, but appropriate for kids who aren’t yet in college. Two of Mara’s favorite ski areas that meet all of these criteria are Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont and Keystone Resort in Colorado.
Just Say Yes to Ski School
Most kids learn better from someone else, so put them in ski school. Amie O’Shaunessy from CiaoBambino reminds you to do your research. Every resort has different rules around kids’ ski school. Make sure you understand all the rules before you book, including minimum age requirements, if there are weekend only and/or half-day lesson options, and if the childcare program accepts only potty-trained kids. Amy Whitely, founder of Pit Stops for Kids, agrees lessons are important, but says that sometimes a private family lesson can actually save money and time. That’s because most resorts will allow up to five people in one private lesson, allowing kids to ski together, get individual attention, and enjoy private lesson perks such as front-of-the-line access.
Make a List and Check It Twice
Paying premium prices for missing mittens isn’t very nice. TravelingMom Elizabeth Rodgers, veteran skier who has tackled Grand Targhee and Sun Valley, says to “get it together.” Print out a packing list and use it. Get your must-have items locally – , you can buy a entire
Opt for Safety and Convenience
Are the beginner runs sufficiently set apart from the advanced terrain? Nothing is scarier than worrying
Tips & Gifts
that an out-of-control skier will run into your child. Choose accommodations that have easy transportation to the slopes or better yet, are ski-in/ski-out. And don’t forget to tip your child’s ski instructor. This person is working for meager wages and has just spent the day helping your snow bunny to the bathroom, to lunch, out of the pile of snow they fell into (probably while crying), and has likely wiped a nose or a bottom and cleaned ketchup off their face. Your child has been returned to you safe and happy. That’s worth a thank you, with a $5-, $10- or $20-bill slipped in there.
Plan for Altitude Sickness
If you’ve not skied at altitude before, you may experience altitude sickness symptoms, such as headaches and nausea. Award winning travel writer and Colorado resident mom Kara Williams says to start early to combat the effects of high altitudes. Drinks lots of water in the week prior to your trip. If possible, take your time reaching higher elevations by staying in Denver for a night (at 5,280 feet, Denver is high, but not as high as some mountain towns). Also pack pain relievers, eat light meals and take it easy your first day in the mountains. n
PHOTO: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Tips & Gifts
A Time for Family AND Travel
hanksgiving is about family and eating, so family vacations can fit right in. The kids have a couple of days off school – some colleges even give students the entire week off – so you can squeeze in a multi-generational trip, and not have to do the dishes.
Travel Back in Time
America’s Thanksgiving exists because there once were pilgrims. And those pilgrims arrived by boat. You can
see a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower at Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, MA. Climb onto the Mayflower II and learn about the 1620 voyage to the New World. Costumed interpreters bring a 17thcentury English Village to life and Native Americans at the Wampanoag Homesite offer a look inside the history and culture of the Wampanoag. You can eat at the Thanksgiving Day Buffet or “America’s Thanksgiving 6
Dinner,” with Pilgrim role players and Native interpreters; both feature turkey with all the trimmings, homemade pies and wood pressed apple cider. At Colonial Williamsburg, in Williamsburg, VA, eat Thanksgiving dinner in an 18th-century tavern. You can also start a new family tradition at the Play Booth Theater, where area religious leaders conduct a community interfaith service with Thanksgiving proclamations past and present.
Theme Park Fun
Thanksgiving is a surprisingly crowded time at Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in California, where all the parks are open and operating at close to maximum capacity. You can find a Thanksgiving meal at many on-site restaurants. There is turkey with all the trimmings and a dessert with pumpkin, apple and cranberry. The Wolfgang Puck Grand Café in Downtown Disney offers a twist on traditional ingredients like sweet potatoes, pumpkin and Brussels sprouts for its Thanksgiving menu.
Take a Cruise
Cruises are great for family
vacations, especially the extended multigenerational kind of travel you might want for Thanksgiving. You unpack once and stop at one or more different destinations. While you’re on the ship, there are so many entertainment options that it’s impossible to do everything in a day. Whether you’re traveling with little ones, grandparents or any age in between, choose a mega-ship like the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas that offers everything from kids’ programming to a FlowRider surf simulator to a fullservice spa. And, of course, cruises are known for the food options, an important consideration when it comes time for Thanksgiving dinner. n
PHOTO: royal carribbean
Tips & Gifts
Tips & Gifts
Gift Guide 2
The Original Kid Kit
The Original Kid Kit is a parent-created bit of genius packaged up in a super cute retro, trip-ready box. Give the gift of creativity and learning on the go. Who needs color-on menus when you’ve got your own field journal to create? This kit is for the serious traveling kiddos. Age specific options available too! $37.99 | Teryona Holmes
Cute Passport Holders for Kids
Your kiddos are cool, right? Then they should have a passport holder befitting their level of awesome. Plus, when you’ve got it covered with one of these, you might be less likely too lose it in your bag. Mom for the win! $20 | Anuja De Silva
Big Grips Frame for iPad
ZÜCA Mini is one part luggage, one part clown car! With tons of zippered pouches and hidden pockets, you can fit just about everything in this seemingly small bag. Just when you think that is all, the frame turns into a seat that allows your tired little one to perch on top. Did I mention the wheels light up too? Yeah, that’s a total kid-win! $139 | Lara DiPaola
The Big Grips Frame for iPad is both fun and functional, making it a great gift for the traveling family. It protects the investment Mom and Dad made in that iPad — while letting CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW the kids have a great time on the go. $34.95 | Caroline Theye Murphy
Tips & Gifts
When you can’t get to the spa, take the spa with you! Any good spa starts with products that nourish. Stuff the stocking of your favorite traveler with (seed) Bodycare’s all natural, eco friendly, travel-ready, Invigorating Citrus Handcream, Nourishing Shaving Bar, or Relaxing Body Oil and give the gift of spaaaahh. $5-$12 | Lara DiPaola
Clarisonic Pink Aria
My Little Steamer
Taking care of herself when she travels is a gift that no traveling mom should be without. Aria by Clarisonic allows her to care for her skin, no matter where the journey takes her. This beauty power-tool can even be charged with the same charger as her Apple devices (or a regular outlet), making it truly portable.
Time is a gift. Give some with this smart, nifty, time-saving gadget that will have them looking great whether they’re traveling or at home. It heats quickly, so you don’t have to wait, zaps wrinkles while the clothes are on the hanger, and is small enough to fit in your carry-on. Gift it or get it for yourself!
$199 | Stefanie Kring-Van Aken
$27.95 | Kim Orlando
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Four in One Adapter from Flight 001
Power up the season of giving by giving the gift of power. This cute little cube fits in a backpack, purse or bag and ensures fully charged travel. Plus it comes in cool colors and, at just $25, this terrific techy gift won’t break the bank. $25 | Lisa Frame
Have a sea-faring explorer on your list? The Watershot® PRO for iPhone® 5/5S underwater camera housing will have them shooting like Cousteau! It’s easy to install and use, and helps get those shots you never thought possible. $99.99-$199.99 | Kymri Wilt
Go-Pro Camera HERO3+ Silver Edition
The GoPro camera is an extremely versatile gift and an incredibly fun way to capture life’s adventures — from the unique vantage point of being attached to anything from the end of a golf club to the helmet of a biker or skydiver. It’s a great gift for the adventurer or simply someone who loves taking video and needs a new perspective ... like from INSIDE the rollercoaster! $299 | Sarah Peppel
Over the river and through the woods (on the cruise or in the plane), might make some of us feel a little bit queasy ... even if we love to travel. Based on the ancient healing art of acupressure, and supported by scientific studies, Psi Bands relieve nausea often associated with motion sickness. Plus, they are pretty darn cute! $16 | Julie Cohn
Watershot® PRO for iPhone® 5/5S
Fitbit Flex Activity + Sleep tracking bracelet
Fitness is the greatest gift of them all. FitBit Flex is the ultimate gift for your loved ones by being with them day and night, helping them in their journey to fitness. This slim, stylish device tracks steps, distance, and calories burned during the day. At night, it tracks sleep quality and wakes them silently in the morning. This could be the gift that helps them live life to the very fullest. $99.95 — Katrina Carefoot
Magellan’s Bottle Armor
Heading over the river and through the woods with some fruits of the vine? Bottle Armor from Magellan’s protects bottles in your checked luggage, cushioning them from the bumps and bruises of travel. Extra-strength zip-top seals and a Velcro fold-over flap prevents leaks should breakage occur. There is even a corkscrew conveniently stored in a pocket on the back. This is the gift that gives all year long! $25 — Mary Heston
Today’s teens just don’t travel without their tunes. Rock their season with the UE MINI BOOM. This powerful and compact personal speaker delivers jaw-dropping sound that will make you the holiday hero. $99.99 | Kim Orlando
SUN, SAND, &
SMALL-TOWN ALOHA Kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, golfing, and biking are just a few of the many activities . waiting for you in the enchanting paradise known as sunny Poipu WWW.POIPUBEACH.ORG
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Club Glove - Burst Proof bag
Need a gift for your golfer? Club Glove’s Burst Proof bag scores big points for durability, ease of use and style. So resist the urge to get those headcovers that look like sock monkeys and get the golfer in your life something they’ll love instead. Trust us, they’ll thank you for it! $219 | Romano Orlando (honorary TDAD) via Kim Orlando
eBags Packing Cubes
Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Expandable Travel Bag
eBags Packing Cubes are a great gift for the travelers on your list who simply hate to pack. (Wait, don’t most of us hate packing?) These magic cubes make packing a breeze! Corded double zipper pulls make opening/closing fast, mesh top panels let you see your stuff, and the cubes are made of super sturdy mesh that won’t mess with your fancy fabrics. PLUS you just pack them and toss them in your bag. You just packed — like a boss! $20 | Loraine Robertson
Ricardo Luggage Crystal City 20 Expandable Spinner
Is luggage is on their list this year? Look no further than the Ricardo Luggage Crystal City 20 Expandable Spinner Carry-On for the perfect piece. Several Traveling Moms own this own one and love it. It’s light weight, expandable, has zippered compartments and rolls like a Rolls Royce. Makes sense, after all this is Ricardo of Beverly Hills, folks. $300 | Cindy Richards
Biaggi ZipSak 31 MicroFold Upright
Love how easy it is to stuff a stocking and wish you could find a bag that was as easy to fill? The Biaggi ZipSak 31 MicroFold Upright fits that bill. Made from durable krinkle oxford nylon, this bag is designed for extreme activity, PLUS when it’s not in use it stores as easy as...well...a stocking. It folds up compact enough to fit on nearly any shelf, under beds or even in larger drawers. $99.99 | Kim Orlando
Personalized Luggage strap
Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Expandable Travel Bag is lightweight, easily expandable, stylish, and roomy. Every traveler will appreciate the shoulder strap, substantial handles and large size. They’ll also look rather stylish on the runway — both airline and fashion. $255 | Mar-
Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for the traveler on your list? A personalized luggage strap is a great gift for that person who travels with the same bag as everyone else on the plane. At under $10 it’s also a great way to keep the whole traveling family organized. $7.95 |
galit Sturm Francus
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Hornytoad Women’s Revery Top
I love that top! Where did you get it?! That is the best compliment any gift can get. The Revery Top from Hornytoad gets it, time and again. The melding of three distinct fibers: Modal® for luscious, eco-friendly softness; polyester for durability; and spandex for resilience. The top is quietly elegant, pajamas-cozy and begs to be pulled close. Its charm is multiplied with an asymmetric, cowl neckline and raw-edge trim at the cuffs and hem. $68 | Andrea Kaiser Guthmann
Hornytoad Men’s Two Lane Crew shirt
The Two Lane Crew, made from soft, organic cotton, is the perfect weight to be your warm-weather sweatshirt or cool-weather T-shirt. Wife, get this for me. $68 | Marc DiPaola (honorary TDAD) via Lara DiPaola
Show them you’ve only got eyes for them this holiday by protecting their peepers with chic eyewear from GUNNAR that combines form, function and cool. GUNNAR computer eyewear is CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW engineered to reduce digital eye strain while increasing contrast, comfort, and focus. They’re great for artificial light on planes, trains and in automobiles — not to mention everyday life. $99 | Mary Heston
Traveling dads love their gear, but let’s be honest...that fanny pack doesn’t flatter any father. The SeV Fleece Jacket 7.0 from Scottevest is the James Bond of travelwear for dads. With 23 hidden pockets — one even big enough for an iPad — Dad can ditch the fanny pack and still pack every thing he needs while scoring big style points. $160 | Greg Stump (honorary TDAD) via Nasreen Stump
Gunnar Advanced Computer Eyewear
Yummie Tummie Ginette Shawl Collar
Make her feel and look great in a timeless piece that travels like a dream. This Yummie Tummie Ginnet Shawl Collar long-sleeve lovely features a flattering shawl collar and slimming design, PLUS it has a removable cami that slims and shapes comfortably. It can be paired with other tops, so it’s really two pieces in one, allowing her to pack light! $49.99 | Kim Orlando