5 Must Have Baby Travel Products

5 Must Have Baby Travel Products

The advice I have in this blog post is meant for those that are traveling abroad. You can use some of these tips if you’re flying domestically in the United States, but here just a few facts about my trip, so you can get an idea of what we used these things for.

We traveled for a total of about 24 days. That included two days total of travel time. We had two 12 hour flights, two 4 hour flights, and two 1 hour flights. We also rode boats and we were passengers in the car a lot. We had over seven different hotel stays. Our destination was the Philippines (and multiple islands within). It is a lot more modern now compared to when I visited in 2008, but sadly, they still don’t have Amazon Prime Now delivery. (They did have a Starbucks on every corner in Manila, or so it seemed.) We had to bring all of Nikko‘s diapers, formula, and other necessities with us (which took a lot of careful planning).

Here are my five product recommendations for making travel with a baby easier.

Boppy pillow

I really didn’t use this anywhere other than on the airplane. We were in the air for approximately 34 hours total, so this was vital even though we didn’t use it during the rest of the trip. He slept on the Boppy so comfortably! Plus, it was comfortable for us too. I purchased a body pillow cover to put over it because I knew it would get dirty. Using a body pillow cover was a cheap alternative to buying another specific Boppy cover. Side note, I never even registered for one of these, but now I adore this thing and find it so useful for him to just relax on. Thanks to my coworker Maria!

5 Must Have Baby Travel Products

Infant carrier

Most of the places we traveled, besides the mall, were not stroller-friendly. Plus, Nikko hates being in the stroller anyway, and it was so much easier just to carry him on us. Plus, he also napped a lot better and faster this way. I have the SIX-Position, 360° Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier by LILLEbaby – The COMPLETE All Seasons and I love it so much! It really has good lower back support and I appreciate that since Nikko is getting so heavy! I also clipped teethers to the carrier so that they would be on hand for Nikko to grab.

5 Must Have Baby Travel Products

 

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Our Experience on Disney’s Wild Afrika Trek Tour

There are a ton of tours available by Disney. I chose the Wild Afrika Trek tour because of a video that I saw on the Disney World Facebook page that highlighted the tour experience. It looked so amazing. And in all honesty, my tour was just as amazing, if not more, than that video.

Please note: I spelled Africa with a K in this entire post to make it look cooler. I know how to spell, I promise.

You have to schedule it in advance, we went in the winter and scheduled it just a few weeks before our trip. Even then, we still did not get the exact date and time that we wanted. Everything worked out in regards to planning since I had a few weeks to move things around. In the summer, I’m going to assume, that you will have to book way in advance.
Now, on to the fun stuff!

This is us getting suited up in our gear. These harnesses are legit. They even gave us a little hook for our cell phones so that we could bring them while trekking. We also got badges and water bottles.

harness1

badges and bottles

These were our tour guides. They were awesome and so knowledgeable. I fell in love with them already even before the tour got started.

tourguides

We first walked through a trail and then through part of the “forest”.

panganitrail

walkthruforest

We crossed the two bridges with ease. It was a little bit scary, to be honest, but they do make it very safe. They took some great photos of us while walking the bridge.

bridge-nikki

bridge-nikki2

bridge-prentyce1

bridge-prentyce2

We were able to encounter quite a few animals, including hippos, alligators, giraffes, just to name a few. They say that the animals are more active in the morning, our tour was at 12:30 PM, and the animals were still pretty active at that time. But, we did go in early December and the average high at that time when we went was about 70 to 75°.

We got in the little Safari jeep and got a personal safari tour. We were able to stop, unlike the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, which we ended up not riding because we got the real tour instead.

animals

We got to eat a very lovely meal. I put the flower in my hair after the meal, and Andy, the tour guide, teased me about having food in my hair. That was funny. I regret not eating that flower now.

meal
The best part about this trip was that we got to experience something new together. The second best thing was that the weather was perfect. It wasn’t too hot and there was a light breeze.

Not that they will ever read this, but special thanks to the photographers and tour guides for this tour! I’m a picture fanatic and I was satisfied with the quality and style of the photos.

If I find the time to update this post with more pics, I will! I have so many! 🙂

How to get a discount on tour?

We paid approximately $400 for the both of us for this tour. You could’ve gotten a discount if you had used your Disney Visa card and if you booked in the late afternoon. For my next trip to Disney World, I’m definitely going to have a Disney Visa card!

 

5ive List: Universal Studios Orlando Planning

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There are not very many websites dedicated to planning your Universal Studios Orlando trip. The ratio of Disney World to Universal Orlando planning websites is at least 100 to 1, if not more.

I know that I’m only a first timer for both WDW and Universal, but I felt like I need to write this article because Universal Orlando doesn’t get the love that it so very much deserves! My husband and I had an amazing time there!

1. Find Pinterest boards

There are a ton of pins on Pinterest about Universal planning! Search ‘Universal Orlando’ or ‘Harry Potter Wizarding World’.

2. Podcasts

There aren’t very many good podcasts dedicated to Universal Studios Orlando planning, but you will find some episodes dedicated to Universal on Disney World podcasts! When you find a Disney World podcast, look at their episode list to see if they mention Harry Potter World or Universal Studios Orlando. They can can give you some decent tips in regards to getting there and back if you’re also going to Disney World and comparisons between the two parks.

3. Use Undercover Tourist.

The best things from Undercover Tourist that I used for Universal Orlando were the following:

a) Map – it is easy to read and understand; I wish I could make graphics this nice!
b) Touring plan – the 2-day plan was the one we used as a template
c) Crowd calendar – this helped me decide which park to go to on which days; very useful

P.S. I have heard that Undercover Tourist is a reliable seller for tickets, but I purchased my tickets from TicketsAtWork.com through my job’s affiliation.

4. Download apps before you go! 

Use an app to track wait times! The app made by Universal Orlando is not the best, I would recommend Magic Guide for Universal Orlando. I only used the free version. I used the app to track wait times mostly in the afternoon and early evening, the wait times were very minimal for us early birds!

I also used an app for weather called AccuWeather. They have a MinuteCast feature that will let you know rain is coming, e.g. “Rain in 60 minutes.” This will help you plan accordingly! Luckily for us, we went in the beginning of December and didn’t encounter much rain.

Undercover Tourist also has a nice app! The layout is decent and very modern.

P.S. Don’t forget to have adequate memory on your phone for pics! I backed up to Google Photos while on the trip nightly.

5. Create your own touring plan and use it as your screensaver!

We had a four-day park hopper at Universal Studios Orlando. Since our flight got in late on arrival day, we were not able to go to the park, so we only did a total of 2 1/2 days. This was enough time for us to get to see and do most of everything we wanted. We could’ve stayed more, but I only would have used that extra time to guzzle down some more butterbeer.

Here are photos of my touring plan. (These are sized for an iPhone 6 wallpaper. To size it to your phone’s dimensions, you will need to adjust the size of your Microsoft Word document.)

Some things to note about our touring plan:

  • We are two adults that can move fairly quickly, so we were able to get a ton done in a short period of time (e.g. less potty breaks too)
  • We woke up early for the first two days for Universal Orlando and were there for rope drop (which was about 20-30 minutes before the scheduled opening time); the last day we took our time
  • We didn’t stay at a Universal Orlando resort, it was too pricey! We stayed at a La Quinta that was literally 5 minutes away! We were able to get up later and go home sooner because it was so close!
  • I knew I wanted to meet characters
  • We paid extra for the Photo Connect plan, which is why it is referenced on our touring cards
  • We did all the water rides at once (with ponchos that didn’t really help)
  • We were flexible, so if we rode or did something the day before or needed to ride it the next day, I just edited my touring plan on the Microsoft Word app on my phone and saved a new screenshot of the plan
  • We did a ton the first day, we had so much energy since it was day 1 of our 10-day honeymoon. Instead of doing more, I wish we would have slowed down because I ended up getting horrible and painful blisters!
  • We didn’t wait for any ride for longer than 20 minutes
    • A few of our longer waits were: Grinchmas (45-60 minutes wait – it was opening day), meeting the Grinch, Raptor Encounter, and Poseidon’s Fury show
  • The numbers in the parentheses after each attraction (on my touring cards) is how long the attraction is, i.e. (7m).  I got these values from TouringPlans.com
  • The colors mean something: black for rides/shows; orange for Harry Potter stuff; and purple for meet & greets. Lastly, pink is for snacks, which is the most important part! 😉
  • Remember, not everything will go according to plan! But, you’re an adult and you already knew that!

NRT-UnivTourCards101

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NRT-UnivTourCards102

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I hope you guys find this useful. Good luck with your planning! I’ll be posting more planning posts soon!

 

Estimate the cost of a gas for a trip

I can almost TASTE Spring Break… just this week and TADA! The week off should be nice. Prentyce and I are planning to go to Salt Lake City, Utah to visit his cousin Joe and Joe’s fiancé Erika.

Joe and Erika Johnson
Joe and Erika

Since he was so late in telling of these plans… I could not get any of the airfare specials that Southwest was offering. Bummer!

So, I’m guessing we are gonna drive, unless something better comes along.

AAA Trip Gas Price

I found this neat website that calculates the cost of gas for your trip. You need to input the following:

To and from locations
Make and model of the car that will be used
Year of the car that will be used

Then hit ‘Calculate.’ The data generated that gas will cost me $100 round trip, which doesn’t sound right. It sounds way under than what I expected. My guess is around $150, plus the six and a half hour drive! Ugh.

Knotts Berry Farm… the coolest rides ever!

Knotts Family Photo 2007

So after about a week and half back from Hawaii, a family trip was due to California and you know we had to go to at least one theme park. Knotts Berry Farm was really cool. I’m so mad I didn’t get to ride all the rides, but the ones I did ride were so fun! They had some really unique ones, especially Rip Tide (watch clip). The Perilous Plunge was a really short ride, but so worth the wait! You get so soaked! The best ride though was the Super Scream! It is like 200+ feet up and it drops you down at like 50 mph. The best rush of my life…. It was even funner with family there! They even invited Princess (Prentyce)! We got really great pictures from the trip from the park photographers.

As for the theme park, you definitely need two days to enjoy it all and I haven’t heard of this park closing down so I’m definitely planning a trip for next year. A lot of people say that Six Flags is better, and although it is really fun there because of the big adult rides, it is always so busy and most of the rides are roller coasters… everytime I go, I only get to ride like 4 rides the entire day! Anyways, what a fun trip. I’m actually still in California blogging this and probably won’t be coming back ever… hehe, just kidding.