18 August 2009

Zero baggage - even better than traveling light?

There's a new way of travelling afoot. The idea is ZERO baggage. That is, renting your clothes when you get to your destination instead of taking them with you.

Interesting idea...

This could probably work really well for people who have "normal" body shapes and "normal" clothes tastes. But for those who don't...

But its an idea worth thinking about. I don't know that its something I would do, but I'm sure there'd be a market for it somewhere.

06 August 2009

Tom Bihn Synapse coming soon - we hope...

Hello! Yes, we're still here!

I have been following the progress of Tom Bihn's backpack design (the Synapse) for quite some while now. It seems to be their longest design-time project ever, and one hopes that means it will be an absolute stunner which reinvents the backpack and challenges normal backpack design.

That's the thing I really appreciate about Tom Bihn - he's an original thinker. A real designer.

Looking forward to seeing the release of the Synapse!

08 June 2009

before you go away...

Here's a little story for you.
Imagine that its the Friday of a long-weekend and you're about to head off on a lovely extended weekend away. You load everything up in the car, hop in, and drive away. Off for a weekend of fun and frivolity with your spouse and kids.

Saturday morning, 5am: Your neighbours wake at 5am, woken by hearing a strange, piercing beeping. Every 45 seconds there's a beep. Count them... all... The neighbours think "We must buy a replacement battery today to put in the smoke alarm." However, when the neighbours get up later in the morning, they realise that its your smoke alarm's battery that is running low and needs replacing. The noise is coming from inside your house, yet they can still hear it loud and clear inside their house, with all the windows and doors shut. And its not a fibro house either - its double brick.

Throughout the day the smoke alarm battery continues to beep. The neighbours visualise sling shots and have very nasty, destructive thoughts. They try all sorts of things to block out the sound - using the cake mixer on high, putting the radio on, putting the dishwasher on, putting the washing machine on, and going OUT.

Saturday night, the neighbours move out to their back room and sleep on the fold out sofa bed - its quieter and they *nearly* can't hear the beeping.

Sunday morning, throughout the day etc, the beeping continues. Sunday night, the neighbours sleep on their lounge again.

The neighbours assume that you'll come home lateish in the day on Monday, at which time you'll replace the battery and peace will reign once again. The neighbours are wrong. You don't come home...
The thing about this story is that WE are the neighbours. And its now 8:30pm and our neighbours still haven't come home. I worked out last night that if they came home late today, we will have heard about 5000 beeps by the time they change the battery. Well, we've heard those 5000 beeps and they're still not home.

So, the moral of the story is: if you have a battery powered smoke alarm, please change your battery once a year. Pick a day and do it on that day every year. Maybe your birthday? Maybe on a specific public holiday? And if you don't change it once a year, PLEASE change it before you go away on holidays.

The thing is, this isn't even the first time its happened. Once before they went away and it did the same thing. We'll be sleeping on the lounge again tonight...

22 May 2009

Murray, the Red Wiggle, and Choice

At the time of writing I just saw Murray, the Red Wiggle, out the front of our neighbour's house. In normal suburban Sydney. Well, I guess he has to live a normal life too... What does this have to do with travelling with kids? Nothing actually, but I was so surprised to see him there that I thought I'd tack it on the front of this post!

My topic for this post actually about the latest issue of Choice magazine - May 2009.

There's an article about international airlines, rating them for criteria like value for money, seat comfort, in flight service, ability to get a convenient flight etc. According to their survey, Singapore Airlines provided the highest overall levels of satisfaction for their survey respondents.

Then there's also an article on travel money, exploring the good and bad points of different ways to pay for things in foreign countries. They look at the pros and cons of credit cards, cash, travellers cheques, ATM and debit cards, prepaid travel money cards, and dynamic currency conversion. They even list one credit card that has NO foreign currency conversion fee!

So, if you enjoy Choice articles, grab a copy of the latest issue of the magazine.

20 May 2009

Topping and tailing

One of the things that we have found helpful when travelling with our kids is to top and tail our kids in their bed: one with their head up one end, the other with their head up the other. It does require a little bit of rearrangement of the bedclothes, but it does mean that they sleep better.

Of course, we'd prefer for them to have their own separate single beds, because sleep comes much more easily that way, but sometimes there's only a double bed for them.

We find that separating their heads and legs means that they are less likely to bump into each other in the night. Because neither of them is particularly tall, it means that much less of them "overlap" in the same section of bed.

And of course if they sleep better, they're much less grumpy the next day. Great when you're wanting to enjoy travelling with kids, rather than just tolerating it!