Traveling Mamas

Inspiring you to explore our world

  • Airlines sure knew how to increase their revenue when they added those horrid checked luggage fees. What they didn’t count on was how frugal we really are in the United States. I personally downsized my own packing procedures by choosing shoes and clothes to coordinate a bit better with other items of clothing being packed.

    Lands’ End saw a need to help consumers with their compact packing needs and developed an entire line of luggage that is not only sturdy, but will fit in the overhead compartments of an airplane. I recently tested out each piece of luggage on various types of travel and I was impressed by just how much I could fit into the new FlightWise Carry-On Luggage by Lands’ End.

    These items make great gifts for yourself or that special someone who travels. Plus, with Lands’ End, you can even get these items monogrammed and gift wrapped. Also, each bag comes with a TSA approved travel kit. I did take one of these through security and it passed the test. Here’s a break down of each item so that you can find the best piece of luggage to add to your own travel collection.

    FlightWise Carry-on Duffel Bag: I brought this carry-on bag with me to BlogWorld and New Media Expo in Las Vegas. This was actually used as my backup bag that I folded and packed inside one of my other bags. I used it to bring back all the un-needed items I purchased for the family. This item comes in five colors and weighs 1lb 11oz. The outer pockets aren’t very deep, but the interior holds more than you would think.

    FlightWise 22 inch Upright Cary-on LuggageFlightWise 22″ Carry-on Upright: This wheeled carry-on bag went with me on a number of trips, from a road trip to a flight to St. Louis. There is a padded outer pocket to place your laptop, making the trip through security a breeze. Be careful when packing because if you overstuff the bag, as I did on one trip, it is harder to place the telescoping handle back in its place. The bag itself is much lighter than I expected when first picking it up. There are two interior pockets and I was even able to place a few of those bulky press kits inside one of the outer pockets. It is available in five colors. I have the Chile Pepper to match my car, RedBugg. The size is just right for a 3-5 day trip.

    FlightWise Carry-on Wheeled Duffel: This wheeled carry-on bag rivals the 22″ upright for space, but is still a duffel bag and not as fashionable for this mama. My husband really liked it, as did my son, making this a great choice for the man traveler. This bag comes in four colors and has a velcro closure on the handles. Once packed the ends snap down to secure and there is a telescoping handle for rolling. I wouldn’t advise carrying as a normal duffel, but to take advantage of the rollers.

    FlightWise Carry-on Trip Tote: This carry-on luggage tote is the perfect size to fit under the seat or in the overhead of a smaller, regional jet. It has two outer pockets and offers space for a small purse, laptop, reading materials, and a change of clothing. It comes with a shoulder strap and is offered in four colors. It is lightweight at 1lb 11oz.

    FlightWise Carry-on Softsided Bag: Call me a gear geek, but I think the softsided bag is my favorite carry-on luggage of the entire line. I took this bag on an overnight flight to a media event near New York. I was able to pack a cocktail dress, heels, pjs, toiletries, and return outfit. Plus, this bag can be carried one of three ways, with hand strap, shoulder strap, or as a backpack. There is a padded compartment for a laptop and I even had space in the corners for my charging plugs and small electronics. The only downside is that it comes in just three manly colors – no red. No problem though, as I can have it monogrammed in a variety of bold colors.

    FlightWise Carry-on Backpack: This bag has been added to my personal list of no-head bopping backpacks. The width isn’t so wide that you would hit other passengers in the head as you walk down the aisle of the aircraft. It offers a padded interior pocket for a laptop and has other space to fit a few changes of clothing. The backpack has two outer pockets and has padded straps for comfort. It fits nicely in either the overhead bin or under your seat. It is available in three colors.

    Lands’ End sent me the entire line of luggage for review purposes and I’m giving you a chance to win a Lands’ End FlightWise BackPack in Canyon Orange. Just leave a comment on this post stating where you’d take this backpack. One reader will be randomly chosen. Entries are limited to US residents, ages 18 or older. Contest closes at 11:59 pm CST on December 3, 2010. Former and current contributors of TravelingMamas.com not eligible to enter.

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  • Today is the biggest online deals day of the year – Cyber Monday. We’ve got a few travel related gadgets that you may have on your holiday wish list, either for yourself or someone special. Here are some of the top items that are being searched for this holiday season, but they all have a travel twist.

    E-Readers

    Amazon started the trend with the Kindle and other companies have followed with their own portable e-readers. They come in handy for the traveler who is an avid reader yet doesn’t want to lug around an entire library. The Kindle is available on Amazon.com all year round, but is on special right now.


    Handheld Digital Video Cameras

    The Flip – I’ve been a big fan of The Flip cameras since they arrived on the scene and have the Flip Ultra and Flip Mino HD. The only downside to the camera has been a lack of an external mic jack. The sound quality on The Flip is horrible if doing interviews with people, unless you get right in their face. Fortunately, The Flip is now offering an expanded line of accessories, including Mikey for Flip, an external microphone (will be released early 2011) and s Scosche wireless microphone.


    Kodak Zi8 – ThemeParkMom turned me on to this style of camera, which offers external mic jack and remote. The price is comparable to current Flip offerings and records in HD. The sound quality on interviews with an external microphone is pretty darn good! Add this with the remote capabilities and you’re on your way to producing some amazing online travel videos.


    Solar Power
    The Scosche SolBat II Solar Powered Backup and Charger provides battery charging capabilities via a USB port. This product comes in handy if you find yourself at a destination where electric power is hard to come by. Plus, the size and price are just right for the pocket.


    The links to these products are affiliate links.

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  • Carnival Fantasy Cruise PoolWhen I first stood out the doors of Circle “C” I was timid and reluctant to enter. I felt as if I was a new girl standing out of the doors of a school – until, my brother told me it would be fun. I thought if my brother told me that, then I can do it. I told my mom and dad bye, I could tell that they were nervous, especially my mom. I entered this room full of 12-14 year olds playing video games, talking, laughing and dancing. I stood against the wall watching the waves roll by for like 2 seconds until a girl named Destiny asked me if I wanted to be in her group for the scavenger hunt. I said yes, and joined the group of crazy, loud kids. During the scavenger hunt Destiny and I were having a ball, talking about ourselves while doing crazy things, like finding someone named Bob. Then 10 o’clock came and we had to go back to the Circle “C” room.

    We also met Taylor and Abby the first night, along with a lot of other super nice kids. We hung out the whole night, at the shows, pool, mini golf, and pizza place. The show was absolutely amazing and welcoming to all ages. The pizza was 24/7 and GREAT! The mini golf was a challenge but we made it through, and the pool was just right.  Even though it was late at night there was still movement, and excitement. Everywhere you turned there was something fun going on.  Also, there were free photo shoots going on, and of course my friends and I hit of every single one of them.

    Fun and Dancing at Dinner on Carnival CruiseThe next morning I woke up and got dressed as fast as I could and looked for my friends. OF course I find them at our spot, right next the sodas and picture shoots. We went on the waterslide at Carnival Waterworks because Circle “C” doesn’t open till 11 am.  There is one long water slide, and two mini drops. Also, for younger kids there is a kiddy area. Then came lunch, which there is a variety of a couple of places to eat.  My friends and I always went to the buffet because the other restaurants were sit-down fancy food.  So we got that American food. With Circle “C” we watched shows, sang karaoke, had another scavenger hunt, we ate ice cream, went to the pool, and Waterworks – Until my mom just had to make me come to dinner. At the restaurant each night I saw my favorite waiters of all time, Koko and Samsump. They would make crazy objects with the napkins and include the kids. I didn’t even wait for dessert before getting back to my new friends because every night Circle “C” had a dance party for kids only.  After the dance parties there were dance off competitions and all kinds of fun and games going on around the cruise ship, so my friends and I had to be a part of that!

    Carnival Cruise Lines is great for kids of all ages. Even the kids who don’t like to do anything ( like my brother) . There are a lot of options to do at once. You can send your child to Camp Carnival or Circle “C” – depending on their age. But no matter what, they WILL make friends. I still text my friends till this day. We keep in good contact. After you leave the cruise you feel like you have known the kids forever, in a good way. I highly recommend Carnival Cruise Lines for a family cruise. You will not regret it. In fact I’m itching to go back now.

    This post was written by my daughter, who accompanied me on a hosted press cruise (she sometimes travels with me on press trips and media visits.) She always brings along a travel journal to keep a personal record of her adventures. These are her opinions and description of Carnival Cruise Lines Circle “C” Club for ages 12-14. I can attest that we did have to force her to dinner with the family each night. On our final night of our family cruise, we searched the picture gallery for our family photo. My husband, son, and I busted out laughing at all the photos that included three particular 12 year old girls with various poses and backdrops. We weren’t laughing, though, when she purchased a few of these photos for herself….and charged them to our cabin. ~ CajunMama

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  • Where would you travel if you had an extra $1,000? Rayovac helps Moms rock the holidays and power the gifts under the tree – AND, they want to celebrate you!  Rayovac is making sure that you have opportunities to win Holiday prizes!  After all, Rayovac batteries make ideal stocking stuffers and Rayovac is the Official Battery of Paper Jamz.

    This Holiday Season, Rayovac has launched the Mom Rocks The Holidays Online Sweepstakes to give you an opportunity to win one of many prizes available. The sweepstakes officially runs through Monday, December 5th.

    I’m pleased to share this fun contest information with you great readers and friends. Entering is easy, just two simple steps:

    • Contestants must “Like” Rayovac on Facebook: Facebook.com/Rayovac.
    • Log on to Rayovac.com, complete the entry form and at their option, tellRayovac in 120 words or less how they (or their mom) rocks the holidays

    Three (3) Lucky winners will win $1,000 cash from Rayovac.
    Twenty (20) First Place Prize winners will receive a RayovacJam kit including a Paper Jamz guitar, drum, amp and guitar strap as well as 2 packs of Rayovac Alkaline AAA 24 packs (prize package valued at $90).Twenty (20) First Place Prize winners will receive a RayovacJam kit including a Paper Jamz guitar, drum, amp and guitar strap as well as 2 packs of Rayovac Alkaline AAA 24 packs (prize package valued at $90).

    This post is sponsored by Rayovac.

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  • Market at Petaling Street Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

    Petaling Street Market in Kuala Lumpur is also known as Jalan Petaling. It’s the Chinatown market located in Kuala Lumpur that is known for pirated products such as purses, DVDs and CDs. It also offers basic good such as groceries and hot foods. I found Petaling Street Market to be a fantastic stop to sample the food stands, such as curry noodles, asam laksa, ikan bakar, and Hokkien Mee. After 6pm the Pasar Malam (night market) comes alive. It gets very crowded, so be sure to keep an eye on your pockets and purses.

    Entrance to Petaling Street Market in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

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