Is it really that time of year again….really?? Spoiler alert- yes it really is.
The holidays are just about cleared for takeoff, so as we put together our lists, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite things currently, and from the past year. This time around, we’re combining ideas for any Baby Flyers in your life, both at home and on the go.
If you’re looking for ideas for baby’s first year, or your frequent flyers, check out last year’s gift guides:
Sites and Services
As well as getting the baby, flyer, or friend in your life ‘things,’ sometimes it’s fun to think out of the box and get them (or yourself) services or memberships that they’ll appreciate.
Expert Flyer is a subscription site that allows you to crack open the airlines’ booking and award systems, and use them to your advantage. It allows you to find real time flight and seat availability, compare flights and schedules, and make informed choices about your flights. In addition, it allows you to quickly search many of the world’s major airlines for award and upgrade availability. You can specify dates, and types of awards. Also includes a fun feature that sends you automatic alerts when the flight or space you’re searching for becomes available, or when your upgrade clears! The best feeling is to get a text saying your seat back in coach has just gone vacant….meaning your new one is now up front!
Since it’s a detailed program that uses the airlines’ own codes, some learning is required to get the full benefits of a membership, but it’s time well spent. We’ll be doing a tutorial series on Cruising Altitude in the new year.
Basic features are available for free, but the real useful tools come with a premium subscription, which is billed annually or monthly. I don’t book flights without checking with Expert Flyer, and use it almost daily.
CLEAR lines are popping up in airports around the country, including LAX, SEA, DFW, and many more that we frequent. This service is a re-vamp of an earlier venture from several years ago. CLEAR members fill out an application, and then do a quick bio-metric data session (fingerprints and iris scans) at an enrollment center, located at their local airport. After that you not only are done pulling out your ID to go through TSA, but you will be escorted to the front of either the PreCheck or regular priority line, depending on what’s printed on your ticket, by a friendly CLEAR employee. This can save LOTS of time and hassle. We’ve given the program a detailed review HERE on Cruising Altitude. To get a discount, sign up with a Delta frequent flyer number (make one if you don’t have one, you don’t have to actually be flying Delta), and if you want to add family it’s only $50, and all minors traveling with you are always included free!
For the Baby Flyer on the go:
If you’re going to be traveling enough, getting a pair of these can make long haul flights and drives much quieter. They’re sized for little ears, and decibel-limited, so they stay in the safe range.
This is a great product for keeping little ones occupied without the mess. The pens only color on the special paper, but the colors are bright and do the trick.
Baby Flyer loves this cup. It comes with both the sippy cup top, and a straw. She’s never really liked most sippy cups or bottles, so the straw is perfect. It keeps water cold for a long time, and minimizes spills. Pro tip- take it on to the plane empty, and fill it from a regular water bottle, or ask the flight attendant to fill it once you’re at cruise. The spill-proof top seals well enough that the pressurization affects it.
The less plastic in the trash, the better! These bags are simple and useful, and can go in the dishwasher when needed. Great for travel, or just packing something for lunch.
We have both the regular and travel size of this place mat, and it’s a great idea. It sticks to most table surfaces, and keeps food (as much as possible) where it’s supposed to be. Easily goes in the dishwasher, or wipes down. The travel size comes with a carry bag.
We’ve recommended this product as part of other posts before, but in going over the items that we couldn’t travel without, this travel bed comes up every time. It’s light and easy, and extremely pack-able. We’ve taken it on quite a few trips, and it’s survived well being checked with our luggage in it’s included carry bag.
Once again, this is an item we’ve mentioned before, but it remains one of our most used favorites. We’ve even started using it at home when we need to quickly take the baby in the ‘other car’ or in an Uber. It’s light, installs easily, and meets all safety standards for planes and regular installation. Plus, it’s extremely reasonable in price, so it makes it affordable to have a dedicated travel car seat.
Baby Flyer’s Other Favorites:
This was our answer to the 5pm cranky toddler. The learning tower lets the little ones get up to counter height to hang out and “help” around the house. Baby Flyer loves it, and has mastered washing her hands….and making a pretty darn good kale salad.
Baby Flyer LOVES shoes, or as she says- ‘Shuuus!!’ She loves hers, ours, everyone’s. She can walk in heels as well as we can, even if it’s just shuffling around the house. These shoes, though, really are a favorite. They’re a good rubber material that is easy on/easy off, but stays secure. Even better, you can just rinse them off in the sink if they get dirty, and have been holding up well. She was so tickled with them when we got them, she refused to wear her old shoes anymore, and wore these out of the store even though they were a size too big.
Okay, yes, we’ll be the first to admit this was a bit of an impulse purchase. However, these sunglasses are up to the same UV protection as adult sunglasses, which is good to have in LA. Plus, they’re completely adorable, and Baby Flyer seems to understand. Even though these are probably on the big side for her now, she’ll grow into them.
From all of us, we wish you a very happy holiday season, and an adventurous new year!
~CET, CAR, and Baby Flyer