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FreshCruiser blog features tips, news and insight to make the most out of a family vacation without sacrificing luxury & a healthy lifestyle. Focus on fun, active, & healthy travel. Enjoy!

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Welcome to FreshCruiser.com

Enjoy all the tips, news, insight, and advice on luxury family travel that highlights fun, active, and healthy vacations. Explore how to make the most out of your family vacation without sacrificing luxury.

FreshCruiser.com opens readers’ eyes to new adventures and calms any fears of traveling with children. With a special focus on family cruising, the website includes tips to staying active, eating well, and taking advantage of all the opportunities while on a family vacation.


Trending: Free Strollers to use at airports

Wondering if you should carry your baby or bring your stroller through airport security?

When traveling with young children, the amount of luggage really adds up. My family often travels to a destination where we either won't need a stroller, there is one for us to borrow, or we prefer to check it in. Occasionally, we take a stroller with us solely for use in the airport, especially during a long layover. Without a stroller, it can make traveling a little challenging when your child gets fed up of being in a carrier or your arms feel like they are about to fall off from holding your baby. If you have a layover or tend to get to the airport with a lot of time to spare, bringing a stroller with you is a good option.

The negatives of bringing a stroller include: having to fold it down for security, putting it in a stroller bag to protect it (if you decide to) can be a frustrating task and then carrying to the end of the jetway.  In addition, you have to wait for it after the flight in the crowded jetway.

Recently, there is a growing trend of airports and airlines providing free strollers to use while in the terminal. These "loaner strollers" seek to ease the stress of traveling with small children.

Frankfurt AirportThe Frankfurt Airport in Germany introduced free strollers last Fall as part of its “Great to have you here!” program which was launched to adopt a wide variety of improvements that would make it easier and more pleasant to depart from and transfer in Frankfurt, Germany’s largest airport.

Emirates Baby Strollers in the Dubai AirportAdditional airports that provide free strollers include: Changi Airport (Singapore), Dubai International Airport, Charles de Gaulle (Paris), Shanghai Airport, and Copenhagen Airport. There are reports that Maclaren strollers will become available in a major United States airline hub by the end of this year.

What do you think of the "borrow" stroller idea?  Would it help you out if you saw them in an airport in the US or abroad?

FreshCruiser Tip:  If you’re traveling with a new stroller, make sure to practice folding and unfolding it before leaving for the airport. You’ll have to unfold and refold many times throughout the journey and being able to do it quickly reduces any chance of a stressful moment.


Flying Solo with my baby...again.

Everyone survived the flight: my baby, myself and all the passengers. We made it to the destination safely and the rest is already a distant memory. I realized that traveling with my 14-month old by myself cross-country isn't easy no matter how much you prepare but my preparations definitely made things go more smoothly.

I depended on the kindness of strangers who helped me entertain my son with peak-a-boo and turning the lights on and off. We sat across from a professional drummer who gave my son drumsticks (at the end of the flight).  I watched as my son learned how to do something new from our last flight.  He can now open and close the shade, over and over and over again.

My biggest discovery: just because you're taking a flight during nap or bedtime doesn't mean that your baby will agree.  After a 5 hour flight with only a 20 minute nap, in the future I will plan the flight times for what works best for everyone and assume that he won't nap.  If he naps, then it will be a nice surprise.  He's at a stage where he's curious and very alert so walking him up and down the aisles to get him to fall asleep actually had the other affect and made him more awake.

Overall, my son is growing and changing every day and it's important to adapt to these changes.  He loves looking out the window, for the time-being a window seat is a must for us. In the end, we made it to our destination and it was 100% worth it.

My husband flew back with us, and it turned out there was a mother traveling by herself with her son who was born only a few days after mine.  We did what we could to help her. My son and I made new friends. Mommy world opens you up to meeting so many interesting people and instantly we were sharing tips, stories, and baby food!

Up next?  Road trip to San Diego this weekend.

FreshCruiser Tip: When ordering something to drink on the plane, ask the flight attendant to put a lid on everyone's cup.


Getting ready for a last minute cross-country flight...flying solo with my toddler

It's the call no one wants to receive in the middle of the night, the news that a loved one unexpectedly passed away.  I live on the opposite coast as my family and with the funeral planned within the next few days, it's time to get on a flight.  I decided to bring my son with me as I know it would cheer up my parents to see their grandchild.  Unfortunately my husband is not able to get time off of work.

Usually when I travel, I have time to not only physically prepare with packing and trips to the store for provisions, but also mentally prepare for the demands of flying with a toddler. This time I'm thrown into it. We're off tonight.

I'm glad I have had a lot of practice flying and packing for him as I know what to pack and learn from each time. I have to admit, part of it is nice, as I don't have time to think about different scenarios. We're going to get ourselves there and the in between will work itself out.

I decided to do a red eye in hope that he'll sleep.  I know I won't get much sleep but as long as he's happy, then I'm happy.  Since he's flown a lot, I know that his ears don't bother him, which can be a worry on a red eye that he'll be screaming the entire flight.

What's in my diaper bag? Check out my flying packing list

I'm off to pack my carry-on diaper bag. I recommend using a backpack as your diaper bag and carry-on. I would get one that has different compartments to organize items in order to be able to quickly grab what you need. The backpack keeps my hands free, which I love. I have The North Face Surge ll.

Of course I have the obvious things in my travel diaper bag:

  • Diapers (I put a bunch in a ziplock bag)
  • Wipes (always wipe down the arm rests, etc on the plane)
  • Changing pad (I use disposable for flying)
  • Changes of clothes (I bring at least 3, trust me, I've needed all 3 before)
  • Blankets
  • Variety of snacks for him
  • Passport for my son (or some type of identification)

Other things I bring:

  • Ergo baby carrier or carrier of choice
  • Comfort item (lovie, blankie, teddy bear, etc.)
  • New small toys (keep rotating the toys, exciting for them to have new ones)
  • Teething toys or natural medicine
  • Books to read to him (especially the "touch & feel" ones)
  • Bottle of water (it's fine to bring it through the TSA if you say it's for the baby)
  • Nursing cover or formula
  • Sippy Cup (I like Zo.li BOT cups)
  • Snacks for me (I bring Justin's Almond Butter packets)
  • Burp cloths (good for so many things)

What's in your diaper bag when you fly?


Press Release: FreshCruiser.com expands to include luxury family travel

May 28, 2014 (Los Angeles, CA) - FreshCruiser.com, which focuses on cruising with tips, news, and advice highlighting fun, active, and healthy cruising, announced today that it will expand to include luxury family travel.  The website will include advice about traveling with children, top places to visit, and how to make the most out of a family vacation without having to sacrifice luxury.

"With the birth of my son last spring, this is a natural extension of the website. He's already clocked in 28,000 miles in his first 12 months and I've enjoyed exploring new places with him as well as seeing some of my favorites through his eyes," says Abby Aisley, founder of www.freshcruiser.com. "Traveling with an infant brings on a new level of excitement and challenges. Speaking with many new parents, I found myself giving advice on traveling with their children and calming many stresses and fears."

The website will continue to open people's eyes to new adventures while staying active, eating well, and taking advantage of all the opportunities on vacation with family. Cruise ship travel will remain a key feature with special emphasis on luxury family and healthy cruising.

"Cruising as a family is an exceptional way to see the world and experience new cultures with no risk of boredom," concludes Aisley, “For those who love to travel, starting a family should never end this passion.  Instead, travel becomes enhanced with new experiences, adventures, and perspectives.”


Contact FreshCruiser

Abby Aisley, FreshCruiser.com Founder
E-mail: abby(at)freshcruiser.com

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Adventures of dealing with a Crawler in a Hotel Room

I recently spent 4 days at The Nines in Portland, Oregon with my husband and son.
My son is an official crawler and it would be our first time staying in a hotel room with him on the move. When he was smaller, we would put him on the bed while we were getting ready in the room, but then he started rolling. We moved him to the floor on a blanket, next came crawling and cruising. Now, he's on 24-7 "watch" as he crawls around the room.

Crawl around & check it out

When we got to the room, my husband and I did a quick check of the room for any hazards. We got down to his level, crawling around. I'd definitely recommend always doing this for hotel rooms and your cruise ship staterooms.
We looked for:
- sharp objects on the floor
- Potential dangers, including open wires
- Magazines, books, and other items within his grasp
- Anything breakable within his reach

It took only a few minutes and was well worth it.  Overall, there isn't much clutter in a hotel room.  At The Nines, we didn't find anything that needed to be moved.

Hotel Room Tips

Here's helpful tips for what you need to know when traveling with a crawling baby.

The crib was already in the room, which was great. We moved it into the hallway of the room.  We did this so he didn't see us when trying to go to bed as well as to have a space for himself.  We made sure there wasn't anything for him to grab close by when he was in the crib.

Move it up high
Bags, purses, souvenirs, and anything we didn't want him playing with, all went up high onto the desk in the room.
While spending time in the hotel room, my son learned how to open and close cabinet doors. I watched him open and close, open and close, open and close. He was opening the drawers and taking out all of his clothes. It was harmless although he did get his fingers crunched in a few times. After a few tries he taught himself to be careful.
There were a few open outlets in main areas.  It's easy if you remember to throw some safety plug protectors in your suitcase or you can even ask the front desk to see if they have any.
In the end, the peace of mind that comes with using the safety plugs is worth traveling with them. 

If he can get access, my son loves banging on the lid of the toilet.  We needed to make sure the bathroom door stayed closed.
In addition, the hotel towels and hairdryer were kept in an open cabinet. We moved those up high and out of reach.

During the day, we enjoyed exploring the city and we made sure to take a break to the hotel at some point to regroup but also let him crawl around and get some energy out.
Especially in the first year, your baby changes so much, bringing new challenges but also new excitement.  Seeing my son look out the window of the plane with such an intent look, was magical.
The adventures of a hotel room crawler were entertaining to see as it's interesting to watch him explore a new space.

FreshCruiser Tip: It's important to always keep your eye on your child no matter how safe you feel a space may be.


Heading to Hawaii on vacation with your baby? Rent a cabana. 

My family recently spent 10 nights at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Traveling with an infant can be challenging. However, if you make a few key decisions, traveling can be a breeze. One of those decisions was renting a cabana at the resort; I’d say that this is a must for traveling with a family as it provides many key benefits. Read about the benefits as well as insider cabana tips for Sheraton Maui at Black Rock.

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In pursuit of your dream of travel, even with a family

If you recently entered into parenthood, chances are you feel your days of jet-setting to an exotic location for a quick weekend trip are over. Not only do I encourage you to bring baby along, but there is a new world of traveling open to you. Consider a cruise. Cruises are a great way for families to travel as there is such a variety of activities to do. Cruises include your food, which helps with budgeting as well and dreaded wonder of where can I find something that my kids will eat? Cruises are known for their buffets, which in the parenting world is a dream food destination as it makes even the pickiest eaters happy.

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Headed to Rome on a cruise? Get off the beaten path and follow these tips from experienced tour guide & scholar, Theresa Potenza

The port of Civitavecchia outside of Rome is a popular stop for cruise ships visiting the region. Depending on the type of transportation you use to enter into the city, the ride is about an hour each way, which leaves visitors rushing around to see Rome before heading back to the ship. Many travelers have previously been to Rome, and are ready to see something new. But where to begin?

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