Here is another post based on some FAQ’s we get at Go-Go Babyz. A common questions is “does the Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap have wheels?” I will answers this and work in some other common questions in to this post. The answer to the question is no. The Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap is simply, well, a strap. The strap is used to attach your toddler car seat to your carryon luggage which provides the wheels to transport your child in their car seat through the airport. Basically, you use the strap to convert your car seat and carryon into an airport stroller. In that answer I answered another common question; “does the Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap come with a seat?” Again the answer is no. You provide the car seat and carryon and we provide the strap to connect the three together.
“Oh. So it’s just a strap”, you say. Well, yes. That is why it is only $19.99. It’s an easy, economical solution to get your kids and their car seats through the airport. It’s a great product for someone who usually travels with a carryon bag and those who do not travel often enough to want to spring for one of the other Travemate products.
Whenever you create a product that requires other items to function you invite the possibility for operational issues. One common issue we hear about is the stability and or balance. The most common cause of this is the carryon and how it is packed. There are so many different type and size carryons that it is hard to create the perfect formula for optimal performance. It is not an exact science but there is a great rule of thumb: the more balanced your carryon is by itself the more stability and balance you will have with the Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap. For example, if your bag is only half full it may not be able to provide the stability you need optimal performance and stability. At the same time, if the bag is fully packed but the items are not packed well, say the heavy items are on the top, you will have stability issues because the bag itself is top heavy.
The best strategy to ensure proper performance is to make sure the bag is 75-100% full and the items are packed with the heaviest items on the bottom. You need to remember that the carryon must be able to support the extra weight of a car seat and a child so if there isn’t enough in the bag the bag will begin to squish when you tighten the strap resulting in an unstable stroller. So, if your carryon is sturdy and balanced you should not have an issue once you attached your car seat to the bag with the strap.
VP & Dad
Anyone see the 80’s movie “vacation”? You think that is simply the product of a few creative, comedic minds? Sure, the writers are creative and funny but why do we think it’s so funny? Because we can relate. Why can we relate? Because we have experienced events similar to the movie on some level, either as kids or now as adults with our own kids. Yes, a lot of the situations and events are exaggerated, but they are real and resonate with us.
In all seriousness, though, family vacations are great, disasters and all. I write this shortly after my return from our annual entire family vacation. When I say entire family I don’t just mean the wife and kids. I mean wife, kids, siblings, parents and in-laws. Yes, the entire family. Sounds like another movie waiting happen right? That much family in the woods for 10 days, choose any genre of movie you like; comedy, horror, drama and I bet it will be a box office hit.
Ok, all kidding aside, I mean it this time. This family trip is one of the highlights of everyone’s year. It is a great vacation full of fun and adventure and, of course, some family drama here and there but worth every moment. It is vacations like these that memories and traditions are made of. The National Lampoon events just make the memories stronger and make for good story material. Like the time a bear crawled through the window of the cabin my parents and sisters were in the night both kids were there for a sleepover and my oldest sister yelled and threw pillows at the bear to scare it off. What do you say to a hungry bear that just crawled through your window? “Go away bear?”, “shoo bear”? I’m not sure but I think my sister actually growled and roared and she threw pillows at it. True story. Funny right? After the fact when everyone is safe.
We have so much fun every year we are already looking forward to the next year on the drive home. I have a strong sense that my kids will carry on this tradition with their children and grandchildren for years to come.
How about you? Anyone travel with the whole family or have any National Lampoon type stories to share? I would love to hear them.
Happy Bear Chasing!
VP & Dad
If you read my back to school post you know that our family didn’t do too much this summer in terms of vacations or excursions. We did, however, get to do a few day trips. It’s amazing what you can find to do in a day all within a few hours’ drive; depending on where you live of course. With the age of the internet all the resources are at the tip of your fingers or in the palm of your hand with all the mobile devices. It’s amazing what you can find if you just spend an hour doing a little research. If you live in the West, Sunset Magazine is a great resource for day trips. Every issue has some great features. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so there is tons to do within three hours in any direction. Living here my whole life I sometimes take things for granted and forget all the exciting places to visit around me.
A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning Kerry and I were sitting having our morning coffee and thinking of what we should do. We didn’t have anything going on and didn’t want to just hang around the house all day. We knew the kids would get restless and one, if not both of us, would just end up working. Kerry thought of the Pinnacles; a great park with great hiking and caves. What kid doesn’t like caves. As a matter of fact, President Obama recently made it a national monument. So we got ready and grabbed a friend each for the kids and off we went.
What a great day. It was on a weekend so there was a bit of traffic and a lot of people at the park but everyone had a great time.
It made me think of few things to pass along for anyone thinking of going for a day trip. These tips are for hiking but can apply to most day trips.
5 tips for a day of hiking
- Make sure to pack good energy providing snacks and plenty of water
- Bring sunscreen
- Wear comfortable shoes that provide good traction for hiking
- Let someone know where you are going just in case
- If you are going somewhere with caves, bring a flashlight – they cost a pretty penny at the ranger station
Ok all you experienced day trippers and hikers, I would love to hear about your day trips and tips for them as well as for hiking.
VP & Dad
With the release of the Mini Travelmate we get a lot of questions about the Mini Travelmate compared to the original
Original Travelmate (QRKIDZ)
Travelmate model QRKIDZ. The Mini Travelmate is designed to serve the same purpose as the original; turn your toddler car seat into an airport stroller. Therefore the function of both products are the same. The differences are in the design and how they function.
The idea behind the Mini Travelmate is to provide a more compact and economical version of the original Travelmate. To accomplish this the large plastic plate has been eliminated from the Mini and replaced with two smaller cross plates. This reduces the weight of the product and minimizes the amount of raw materials needed for production resulting in a lighter and more eco-friendly product. The two cross plates provide a mounting place or the quick-release ratchet strap that is used to secure the car seat to the Mini Travelmate. In addition, the cross plates provide strength and stability. The other major difference is the Mini Travelmate has a metal support bar that folds down to provide support for the car seat. Car seats today are getting bigger and bigger and the support bar is designed to address that.
The design modifications’ net result is a lighter more compact and less expensive version of the Travelmate that delivers the same convenience and maneuverability.
See our QRKIDZ vs Mini Travelmate comparison chart for more details.
Check out our Travelmate Product Comparison Chart to see the differences between all the Travelmate products.
VP & Dad
Choices, choices, choices. No matter what you are shopping for these days you are hit with so many options that it can become overwhelming. I think choosing a baby product makes the process even harder for the simple fact that your baby is involved and everyone wants to make sure their baby is happy and safe. When Kerry and I were researching baby strollers for our first child we were overwhelmed with the different strollers. Not only were there so many different types of strollers but there were so many different brands with what seemed like a million different features, colors, etc. To make it easier we came up with three factors we thought were the most important for us to consider; budget, safety and function. We thought about these and came up with criteria for each category and continued our research. This allowed us to quickly eliminate many of the options out there. These three categories are, of course, not the only ones to consider but they served as a good starting point for us and think they will for you as well.
The particular order of each category is defined by your own personal needs and situation. Obviously, safety is an extremely important factor but may not be the first category to filter your search. For example, if you are working with an extremely tight budget then that might be the first step in narrowing your search. There might be a stroller you love and is one of the safest on the market but if you can’t afford it then it’s off the list. So to start, simply prioritize your categories then define your criteria for each. Below are some ideas for the criteria.
Budget – this should be pretty easy, just figure out the max you can spend on a stroller.
Safety – consider the following
- Safety Ratings
- Safety harness. Is it 5-point, adjustable, padded, have a safety release feature?
- Is it prone to tipping? Some strollers, especially 3-wheeled strollers can tip easily. Put some pressure on the exterior points of the stroller with your foot. Does it feel stable or like it might tip over?
- Is the canopy sufficient enough to protect your baby from the sun?
- Can the front wheels be locked or do they always swivel?
This is definitely not an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea.
Function – consider what you will be using the stroller for most of the time so you can choose one that will serve you well. Consider the following questions:
- Will you be jogging with it? If so, make sure you buy one designed specifically for jogging.
- Will you need to transport it in your car often? If so, you will want one that folds up nice and compact and is easy to put in your car.
- Will you be taking it on most of your errands? Make sure it handles and maneuvers well and has storage.
- What style will best serve your needs? An umbrella, 3-wheeled, a double, etc.?
As I mentioned this is not an exhaustive list but should help as a starting point. The most important thing to consider is what your needs are in a stroller; What purpose you need it to serve most, what can you afford, what features are must-haves. Just starting with a few categories and some criteria for each you should be able to easily cross many stroller choices off your search list. Once you do a first pass, review and adjust as necessary. In the end we actually ended up with a few different strollers. We just couldn’t find the one stroller that did it all for us. We bought specific strollers to serve specific functions for us whether it was for our everyday stroller, our travel stroller or what we used on our local dirt trails. That is actually one of the reasons we at Go-Go Babyz designed the Travelmate Deluxe & Cruizer and the Wagon Stroller. These products were not designed to be the only stroller a family ever bought. They could be but we designed them to serve specific functions we wanted in a stroller when our kids were younger.
Good luck and I hope this helps. And as always, if you have any comments or suggestions we I would love to hear them.
VP & Dad
Original Travelmate (QRKIDZ)
The original car seat stroller, the gogo kidzTravelmate, used to be a lonely product in its own category. Now we have the Travelmate Product Family which has five products that conveniently turn your car seat in to an airport stroller, and more. The Travelmate Family now consists of the original Travelmate (QRKIDZ), Mini Travelmate (NMTM), Travelmate Deluxe (TMDX), Travelmate Deluxe Cruizer (TMDC) and the Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap (CSLS).
In order to decide which Travelmate is best for you the first question you need to ask is will you be using it with an infant car seat or a toddler car seat? If you will be using it with a toddler car seat any of the five Travelmate products will work as long as your car seat is compatible. If you are going to use the Travelmate with an infant car seat you will have to use the Travelmate Deluxe or Deluxe Cruizer. These are the only two Travelmates that work with both infant and toddler car seats.
Another factor to consider is what you will be using the Travelmate for? If you will only be using it to transport your child and car seat through the airport then any will work but the Travelmate, Mini Travelmate and Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap are designed specifically for that purpose. The Travelmate Deluxe and Deluxe Cruizer, on the other hand, are a bit larger with front and rear wheels and a foot brake so both can also be used as a travel stroller. So, if you do not want to bring your bulky stroller on your trip but will need a stroller then the Travelmate Deluxe or Deluxe Cruizer will be your best choice. In addition, because it can be used as a compact stroller, The Travelmate Deluxe and Deluxe Cruizer are great for quick errands when you don’t want to load up your cumbersome stroller.
A note on the Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap: This product is a large strap with a quick-release ratchet buckle system that is used to attach your car seat to your carryon luggage allowing you to transport your child in their car seat while utilizing your luggage as the wheels and handle. So, before you make your purchase please make sure that you will be traveling with a roller carryon, otherwise the Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap will be of much use to you.
For more information on compatibility and Travelmate product comparisons please visit the links below.
Travelmate QRKIDZ compatibility
Mini Travelmate compatibility
Travelmate product comparison chart
Travelmate QRKIDZ vs Mini Travelmate comparion chart
VP & Dad
Written by Amanda Williams from Trekaroo
As a parent it seems the modes of travel for the youngsters are endless and you really just have to find what works for you by trial and error. We have been diverse in our needs, using frame packs, soft carriers, strollers of all kinds and wagons for our endless excursions. When I heard about Go-Go Babyz Wagon Stroller I was intrigued. The Wagon Stroller is just that – a two-in-one option that even folds down to fit into most vehicles. I knew this was something our family had to try!….
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