Oh the life of a journalist/editor/socialite/mom. It’s hard living the lives we do (literally I am writing this before I jump in the car to drive seven hours to Pittsburgh!) but it’s all about the journey not the destination, right? I may live in NYC, but I travel for work (and pleasure) at least twice a month if not more sometimes, and life on the road can be tiresome, but exciting! It also doesn’t hurt to have a little help. So, of course I stopped by the annual Momtrends Travel Event to see what cool new items and places I might incorporate to my 2016 journeys, and here are a couple things you might want to as well:
Ironically a few years before I moved to NYC, I got stranded in NYC – three days before Christmas. It was not my finest moment. Before I go into details and dig up traumatic memories of planes trains and automobiles (and basically draining my 401K to get home), let’s just say – traveling can always throw you a wrench. So, it’s best to prepare for the worst. Especially since it was Christmas Eve and my luggage still wasn’t back in Pittsburgh – or so they claimed. I drove all the way out to the airport to rain the wrath of Stephanie, and there I found myself among a sea of suitcases. The attendant just said – if you see it, grab it. I could have grabbed them all and ran.
Don’t let this happen to you. Hence – why my latest love interest is etags, the luggage tag you can track. Nothing could be better than knowing the airline lost your luggage but seeing it beep on your phone from Thailand. Sometimes you need to embrace technology and when you can find your luggage, or your keys (hello! in the door again!), or your purse – whatever you seem to lose or don’t WANT to lose. Smart technology – now can they also just make sure the plane doesn’t get delayed?
**e-tags are so hot they haven’t even dropped on the market yet. Check their website soon to purchase and follow along on social @missstephanie (IG, Twitter and Snap) to see if they actually help my luggage make it to places like Miami, Pittsburgh, Mexico and Dublin this year!
One thing I’ll fill you in on – if you’re traveling (or not) with kids, you want them to have a comfortable shoe. And one that can take on mud puddles in the park, city sidewalks, and countryside dirt roads. This can be tricky, but shoe makers are catching on. We’ve been huge fans of Native shoes forever, and now Stride Rite has joined the club – making a croc-like shoe that straps on, offering stability but can be worn though god knows what and still come out in one piece and shall I say, wipeable clean? Where were these shoes when I was a kid tromping through cow pastures? Okay, maybe I take that back – no cow patties in the shoes- …but you’ll want them for everyday play. Trust. Plus, they come in Blue/Orange NY colors. (Where’s the Black and Gold Stride Rite?) #kiddingnotkidding
Another trend I am slightly jealous of? Super cool yoga and athletic wear for girls. F. When I was growing up I wore mesh shorts and oversized tees to dance camp. Of course, we also didn’t have Instagram or Snap Chat to have to show off on either. Luckily for the new generation, companies like Ivviva and Athleta are now offering some seriously savvy threads – trust me, you’ll wish you would fit into some of these. Even better – Athleta has matching mom and daughter sized leggings and sports bras. It almost makes me wish I had a daughter just so we could be cool at yoga together…almost. Ok, maybe I’ll just borrow Gia. PS – do you even see the mini zipper on the back like our full-sized yoga pants? *Swoon.*
PS – Athleta also just dropped their mom-size spring line. Just saying, you might see me in a few pieces running around.
4. Guardian to avoid the Zika
Everyone is a little freaked out by the Zika, but as any New Yorker knows, you can’t live in fear. You just have to have a plan and hope for the best right? But with all the controversy surround DEET as well, what is one to do? Well, for one – do your research and decide what you think is the best way to keep yourself “zika-free.” But then, it doesn’t hurt to pack some bug spray. Practically every place on Earth has mosquitos – they even extracted DNA from them in Jurassic Park so we know they’ve been around for years and won’t be going anywhere soon. So besides wearing a full net suit or bubble ball, try some Guardian. It’s plant-based and DEET-free to ease your mind. And it actually works. And it comes in 8- and 4-hour replellant depending on how far into the Amazon you plan to hike. However, if you’re hiking into the Amazon, you might need more than just some spray… #justsaying.
5. Travel Apps
Okay, shameless plug to Mommy Nearest, but let’s be real – how many times do you travel and then don’t know where to go? Why are you trusting random strangers opinions on Yelp when you can be listening to real experts and moms who have already tested that they places you want to go are kid-friendly? We’ve all walked into a restaurant and heard the record needle screech across to dead silence as everyone stares directly at your toddler when you walk in. Let’s avoid that. Mommy Nearest isn’t just in NYC you know (even though I handle ALL of that content if you do happen to be traveling to the big apple this year!), and can be a great pocket companion on family trips. Plus, it doesn’t take up any space like those maps and brochures you’re trying to stuff in your bag next to the check-in desk.
Maybe I am a little weird on dental hygiene but one of my best friends is a dentist. I’ve been taking Max to see him since he had his first tooth – and am proud to say that he actually looks forward to brushing his teeth every night. I’ll take the little victories that I can (trust me, Max is NOT a perfect child). Dentists recommend that as soon as a child has two teeth touching you should start a daily brush and floss routine. Little behind? Not to fear – these little Plackers are great for throwing in diaper bags, suitcases, or just having at home. And they are designed for children, but that doesn’t mean mom can’t sneak one when she gets some popcorn stuck. Plus, Max honestly loves feeding the monster these little flossers. Like I said, #littlevictories.