Travelling with under-12's and planning on hiring a car?

>> Wednesday, 31 August 2011

This is a sponsored post

If you read 'The Potty Diaries' regularly, you may have noticed that we move around a fair bit. Living in Moscow as we do, a trip to see family or friends back home always - but always - entails a flight, sometimes even two. Consequently, I've had a fair amount of experience in packing suitcases over the last couple of years, and the holy grail when I'm faced with an empty suitcase has become Travelling Light.

All very well, but the places that Husband and I call 'back home' - The Netherlands and the UK respectively - are not what you might call reliable on the weather front. This means that unless we want to spend time and money buying what we need on the spot for any unseasonably cold / hot / wet weather, we have to cater in advance for most eventualities.

So our clothes quota alone often fills our suitcases to overflowing, leaving no space for travelling essentials such as booster seats for the boys. And believe me, these are essentials. The traffic and the high incidence of accidents on the roads here mean that you do not want your children travelling in a taxi to the airport without one - but the chances of your taxi driver having one in his cab are about 1%. And the chances of his having two, non-existent. So we take our own as a rule, and stow them in a bag once we get to the airport before putting them into the hold with the rest of our luggage. On the plus side, this means that we also have them available for us to use when we reach the hire car at the other end of our flight and saves us the £6 - £8 per seat a day most rental car companies charge for the pleasure of using theirs. On the minus side, it means we have one less bag available for filling with life's little essentials (like Weetabix, golden syrup and, of course, Green & Black's chocolate) on the way home.

All of which is a rather long preamble to lead into the fact that when I saw the BubbleBum inflatable car seat reviewed on another blog (here), I didn't hesitate to throw myself on producer's mercy and ask to be one of their reviewers. I promised that if it performed as well for us as the promotional blurb promised I would write them a glowing review. It did, and so here it is:

The BubbleBum Booster Seat is ace. It saved us a whole car seat's worth of space in our suitcase (which was helpful after a summer spent stocking up on those essentials I mentioned earlier in the UK and the Netherlands), and despite my concerns that it would require a superhuman amount of puff, was incredibly easy to inflate and took less than a minute to be ready to use. The valve on the side that you twist open and closed worked perfectly, and when the seat is deflated can be shut to minimise the amount of space it takes up in your luggage.

Obviously it's not suitable for every-day use as a replacement for your normal car seat, but it's comfortable and sturdy enough for the kids to use on your holidays, or as an emergency seat to keep in the car for visiting children (it fits in the middle of the back seat of our car between our two normal booster seats, for example). So as a space and cost saving alternative to taking your own booster seats on holiday, or hiring them along with your rental car, the BubbleBum is a fantastic solution.

This was a sponsored post...


9 comments:

Expat mum 31 August 2011 at 15:01  

Wow that would have come in useful all thsoe years ago for me. It's worth noting however, that many airlines let you carry the booster seats on and some don't even include them in your carry-on allowance, as long as you don't actually use them on the plane seats.

Potty Mummy 31 August 2011 at 17:06  

True, EPM - but by the time you factor in lap-top bags, 2 trunkies, a rucksack for supplies etc etc, I prefer not to have to add a couple of booster seats to the mix!

About Last Weekend 31 August 2011 at 17:44  

Thankfully we don't need the boosters anymore. I was a happy day when I put them in the recycling. They were so filthy after four kids and nine years that I didn't feel I could even give them away

Working Mum 1 September 2011 at 13:56  

That would have been helpful when I went to Mennorca, the US and to France. The hire costs are ridiculous when you can buy a booster for £30 so we always used up valuable luggage space taking our own. Why did no one think of it before?

Potty Mummy 1 September 2011 at 19:37  

ALW, I can just imagine - and I only have the 2!

WM, good question, and exactly the same one I asked when I first came across BubbleBum!

Get Well Soon Flowers Delivered 1 September 2011 at 21:46  

When I have been away with my children ever airline have let us take car seats ( children were too small for boosters) they didn't charge extra either. have you seen that they now do a booster seat that is in a back pack? It is made by the people who make trunkies and looks really good...could be worth a look.

Sarah@Mum's gone 2 Aus 2 September 2011 at 03:38  

Thanks for the review, BubbleBum looks great. We could have done with this when we relocated from the UK to Australia, we spent 6 weeks in Thailand where car seats are extremely scarce. I'll be getting one of these before our next big trip!

Potty Mummy 2 September 2011 at 10:01  

Get well soon - I love trunkies. Definitely worth looking into!

Sarah'sMum, not sure if they're on sale down under yet but best of luck looking for them. Alternatively, I hear Trunkies are worth looking at... ;)

Being Mum and Dad 2 September 2011 at 21:49  

I wish they had this kind of thing suitable for a 2 year old.

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