Archive for June, 2012

New Ways to Save on Family Travel Trends this Summer

June 17, 2012
Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

American household budgets are stretched and families are looking for new ways to save on the classic American tradition – a summer vacation.  From airfares to hotel stays to baggage fees, vacation costs can add up and rising fuel prices make road trips and air travel more expensive this year, but a fun summer vacation is not impossible if you know a few tricks to stretch your travel dollars and pack extra value into your trip. 

The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has ways to get more for your summer vacation dollar and how to have fun with kids on the road.

Find Family Friendly Hotels that Include More Extras. In the summer, families are always trying to squeeze in more family fun and one more weekend getaway into just three short months.   In fact, a survey from Embassy Suites Hotels and Parents magazine revealed that more than one-half of families only “dabble” with vacation and take short one- to two-night getaways here and there.  Embassy Suites Hotels is known for giving families MORE with every stay including two-room suites and a free cooked-to-order breakfast each morning.  Along with helping families get more out of their vacation days, you can enter the “Get More Vacation” Facebook contest to win one of five week-long trips and $10,000 to spend on your vacation.  Just upload a photo of your family’s “vacation face” and explain how you’ll get the most out of summer travel. You know what we’re talking about – that excited, happy look you get when you’ve finally booked your vacation. Enter now for a chance to win at Facebook.com/EmbassySuitesHotels before the contest ends on July 20th.  You can also book your family getaway at EmbassySuites.com.

Keep the Kids Entertained and Conquer the “Are We There Yet” Syndrome.  The key to conquering the “Are We There Yet” syndrome is to keep the kids entertained when you’re traveling which is why Emily always recommends a boredom buster bag.  Here’s something new that combines two favorite toys for boys: dinosaurs and cars.  VTech® Switch & Go Dinos™ are dinosaurs that uniquely morph into vehicles to provide an interactive 2-in-1 play experience.  Kids can personalize them with cool electronic features on the LCD screen and choose animated dinosaur eyes for the dinosaurs, driver faces for the cars and then add sound effects that really bring them to life.  They start at just $15.99.   The four Starter Switch & Go Dinos are available now at Amazon.com and VTechKids.com and all seven unique dinosaur-vehicle toys will be at major retailers this Fall.

Little Ones Get Stylish When They Go Hawaiian  If you’re traveling with little ones this summer, you’ll want to pack Huggies Hawaiian Diapers and Wipes. Their new tropical-inspired design has a tiki-twist on regular diapers plus an improved Leak Lock® protection.  For every pack of Huggies Hawaiian Diapers and Wipes purchased, the Huggies Every Little Bottom program will diaper a baby in need for one day.  You can also help the fight against diaper need and upload a photo of your summer-ready little one to Huggies Facebook page to create an animated dancing Hula Baby video. For each animation created, liked or shared Huggies Every Little Bottom will diaper a baby in need for one day.  Like all Huggies Little Movers diapers, Huggies Hawaiian Diapers are shaped to fit with proven leakage protection that moms have come to know and trust from the Huggies® Brand.   You can find out more at Huggies.com.

Ways to Organize and Save When You Travel . Nowadays, there’s an app for almost everything when it comes to travel and mobile devices. You should always make sure your phone has all the important numbers you’re going to need for your trip including the number for the airlines, car rental, and hotels where you’re staying.  For pre-planning your trip, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned check list and paper itinerary for when batteries go down and you can’t access your PDA.

Best Way to Get Discounts at Your Destination.   Check out the local tourism office website where you’re visiting since they usually have lots of local deals and great tips on what to do when you’re there, but check it out before you go so you can make plans.  During the crowded summer months, you don’t want to miss out on fun things to do because they’re sold out.   Also, if you’re on Twitter or Facebook, ask for tips from followers and friends at your destination.  It’s a great resource for insider tips.

Busy Moms Survival Guide 2012: Must Have Tips & Tools for Moms On-the-Go

June 11, 2012

Carolyn Barnes, CleanMomma.com

Did you know that 72% of moms with children over one-year-old work and moms with a full-time job spend 13 hours each day working at the office or at home completing family chores?  Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or a working mom, you probably feel overwhelmed and as though you are always running out of time. Between managing jobs, the kids schedules, and meal planning, today’s mom does it all. So if you’re a busy mom who needs help with balancing the budget, balancing your schedule or just balancing “your act,”  Carolyn Barnes from CleanMomma.com has some helpful ideas for overwhelmed moms on the run.

Latest way to conquer those mountains of laundry clutter.   For most busy moms, laundry is a constant challenge and ARM & HAMMER® Plus OxiClean® Crystal Burst Power Paks is a new solution to conquer the mountains of laundry in your home.   They are great for moms who need to save time since they’re pre-measured you just throw one in the washer and go.  The Power Paks have over 99% active ingredients, provide cleaning power that neutralizes odors and they tackle the toughest stains that busy moms see every day like dirt, grass, blood and oil.  Since there are no heavy detergent bottles, there are no messes or spills and the best part is you’ll save 30% over premium competitor prices.  You can find out more at ArmAndHammer.com.

The best kept secret for carpet cleaning that can save you money.  Here’s a great way to save time and money on a dreaded chore of carpet cleaning. Vacuuming is not enough to keep your carpets clean.  In fact, you should deep clean your carpets every three to six months since a pound of dirt can hide in every square yard of carpet.   The best-kept secret in home carpet cleaning is Rug Doctor.  Their machines are easy to use, clean most rooms in about 20 minutes and can save up to 80 percent over the cost of professional carpet cleaning services. They’re the only hot-water extraction cleaner with a platinum rating by the Carpet Rug Institute that’s available to consumers and have many professional level cleaning products to solve almost any carpet cleaning  problem you may have in your house. These include Anti-Allergen Carpet Cleaner, Oxy-Steam Carpet Cleaner and Pet Formula Carpet Cleaner. You can rent machines in major grocery stores and home centers or just go to RugDoctor.com to find a location near to you.

A big money saving tip for your grocery budget.  The biggest way you can save money is to stop wasting money and that starts at the grocery store.  Carolyn says she didn’t used to have a plan when she went grocery shopping and she’d end up buying a lot of food that her family wouldn’t be able to eat before it went bad and literally waste $40 to $50 in groceries each week.  She found that planning meals in advance and knowing exactly what groceries to buy saved her a couple hundred dollars a month. She now keeps a list on the fridge until she goes to the store and then Carolyn sticks to the list.  She recommends that if your kids are with you when you shop that you teach them the list is “sacred.”  Another important grocery tip is make sure you get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to have on hand as snacks for the kids.  This is great for busy moms, since fruits and veggies are easy to prepare and healthy.  Keep a bowl of fruit out on the kitchen table so that good choices are the temptation instead of cookies or potato chips..

How busy moms can get a little time for themselves.  Busy moms can be a little a less busy with proper planning so time management and organization is key.  Technology is great but Carolyn is also a little old school about making a list and keeping it on the fridge so she can keep adding items to it as I remember them.  I also like that it gets it out of my brain and onto paper so my to do list is not cluttering my brain.  If you take just five minutes to get organized, you’ll get time back for you at the end of the day or when you need it for exercising, relaxing or taking five minutes to look through a magazine.

You can watch a video of Carolyn Barnes’s Busy Moms Survival Tips courtesy of WKYC-TV in Cleveland.

Carolyn Barnes is one busy mom.  A momtrepreneur with her own website, cLEANMomma.com, where she has great tips to help busy moms to conquer clutter and get fit in the process – both physically and financially.  Her family has faced the same challenges many Americans have faced in the down economy and has great survival tips.  Carolyn was recently featured on Good Morning America and has made numerous local television appearances Carolyn’s program has been featured on The Doctors, Style TV, KTLA News, CBS News, plus the L.A. Times, Washington Post,  Shape Magazine, Fitness Magazine, and L.A. Parent.