I love our latest giveaway, the SnoozeShade. And the main reason why I love it, is because its a product designed by a mum who decided to follow her dreams and launch her product to the world! Cara Sayer, the creator of SnoozeShade, has tested her own product out on a few trips overseas, and as she is a mother of a little 'hip', we are honoured to hear a few of her own travel tips...
Just a reminder, details of the giveaway are at the bottom. Its SO easy to enter....
Oh, and for those readers in Australia and New Zealand, check out this very special link for more product details.
So over to you Cara...
So, tell us a bit about you and your family?I am 39 (gulp) and live in Surrey, just outside London. I live with my husband and we have one 'hip' - our 3 year old daughter Holly.And where have you been of late with your little ‘hips’?We've not done much long distance travelling with Holly recently but she's quite well-travelled and has been to Crete, Portugal, and Spain a couple of times already. In a few months we plan to go to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. We have, however, travelled quite a bit in the UK, and I am getting braver about doing more with her as she understands now what's going on, so it's more of an adventure for her. My father just retired to Spain so we'll be popping over to see him a fair bit from now on.How did you get there?When we flew to Portugal and Crete we used Monarch and Easyjet - no frills airlines - which can be challenging when you have a child under 2 as it can be a bit of a bunfight to get a seat at the best of times. When we flew to Crete we were quite lucky as there were quite a few spare seats and the person who was supposed to be sitting next to us looked at Holly who was a bit wired and tired and then moved to another seat so we got more room.
I used some air miles when we flew to Spain on British Airways and upgraded to Business Class which I've never done before - that was great we had lots of room and it was a small plane and Holly wandered around with me a bit and we each had a seat. I now have no more miles ;-)Where did you stay?
We've generally stayed in rented villas with other friends or we've been lucky enough to be able to stay at friend's places. I don't find hotels with a small child very easy when we have done them in the UK, it's much better to have space where we can sit outside while she naps or we can go out for dinner early and then sit and chill when we get back and she's in bed. The great thing about the SnoozeShade is you can use it day or night when it's naptime. On holiday your routine can go out the window and we've sometimes overstayed in one place and the SnoozeShade has meant Holly can sleep and we can relax rather than panicking about getting back for sleep or worrying about how grumpy she'll be later.
Your biggest challenge?Keeping a small child in her seat on a plane and entertaining her whilst not annoying other passengers, especially when it's an early morning flight and we've all been up since 4am and she hasn't slept .Any big recommendations?I think I am going to buy a CARES harness for our next airplane trip as they make the airplane's seat into a 5 point harness which makes children feel secure as if they were in their car seat. I also like the Snack and Play tray for long car journeys so Holly can have all her things together and draw and eat on her tray. Of course I have to recommend SnoozeShade as it is the ideal travelling companion - I took my prototype to Crete and it was excellent, Holly napped in the pram during which time we had a relaxed lunch and then she was a happy bunny and we could play with her. We then used it in restaurants too when she nodded off - all in all it was great.What are your main tips for travelling with kids?Be prepared for everything, food, crayons, paper, tissues, wipes, nappy bags (so useful for wet clothes, accidents and other occasions).What would you not have left home without?My husband - without him I'd not be able to enjoy a break. We take it in turns to look after Holly so we each get some real down time, otherwise we'd both be working all holiday.And finally, anything else you want to add?
I'm looking forward to our next holiday as we're going away with family and Holly will have her cousins to play with.
Fortunately for us, Cara has given me one to giveaway, so here's how to win one for yourself (or to giveaway to a friend!)
Just make sure you are followers / friends of both The Little Hip Traveller and SnoozeShade on either Facebook and/or Twitter, (and spread the word to your hip friends) and then answer this very simple question:
What is brand new in 2011 for SnoozeShade? (you'll need to head to the bottom of the SnoozeShade homepage for the answer but this image is a very large clue!)
Email your answer to email@example.com with 'Snooze' in the title.
Easy. Good luck, and happy snoozing x
Entries must 'like' BOTH 'The Little Hip Traveller' and 'SnoozeShade' on Facebook or Twitter
If they already like, they must suggest both The Little Hip Traveller' and 'SnoozeShade' to friends
The question 'What is brand new for Snooze Shade in 2011?' must be answered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with SNOOZE in the subject line.
Open to both Australian and NZl readers
The winner will be drawn at random and announced on the little hip traveller blog. If they do not contact me within 7 days, the prize will be redrawn
Competition closes Friday 26th March AEST 5pm.