By Heather Cabot, The Well Mom
You’ve been looking forward to that spring getaway for months. But all of the planning, packing and schlepping heavy bags can really be a downer, especially with increased airline fees on bags and long security lines. But as I recently explained to host Natalie Morales on the Today Show there are some really cool online resources that can help families shed some of the bulk this season. Whether you are gearing up for Easter/Passover break or looking ahead to summer vacation, here are 5 websites and apps to help streamline your suit case.
1. Don’t Pack Bulky Toiletries or Sunscreen or Diet Staples
Buy small sizes in advance to either stow in your purse or ship ahead to your destination. Check out Minimus.biz, an online shopping hub for all things travel sized from specialty foods to pharmacy needs. The company stocks more than 2,000 drugstore and grocery products in tiny sizes that you can pack or ship to your destination. Top selling items this time of the year include diet salad dressing packets and aloe lotion to treat sunburn. This is also a great resource for first aid staples.
2. Don’t Pack Diapers, Toys, and Baby Bath Supplies
Founded by a couple of new parents who learned the hard way that traveling with a 7 week old can be an extremely stressful, BabiesTravelLite.com specializes in disposable and reusable necessities for families. From gentle baby sunscreen to inflatable infant tubs to swim diapers, this company will ship whatever you need to your hotel or resort (anywhere in the world!).
3. Leave the Beach Reads Home
A big trip might be the just incentive you need to invest in an e-reader or tablet. Instead of lugging heavy books and magazines, bring one device and get all of your favorites in one place. Check out LiveStand, an iPad app that delivers a virtual magazine stand directly to you.
4. Ditch the Travel Guides & Maps
There are lots of ways to use your mobile device to get real time, GPS enriched advice on where to go and what to do when you are on the road. Here are few new ones that you might want to try: ItHappenedHere app tells you what interesting things happened near a user’s location. Want to see the restaurant Joe DiMaggio first met Marilyn Monroe on a blind date or the Boston bar where Mark Zuckerberg was dumped in the movie The Social Network? This app gives you the details based where exactly where you are. So far, the guide covers 41 cities (Chicago is the latest) and it costs $2.99 per city. Fun!
On a more exotic adventure? Check out the high end city guides, Hg2 app. It’s the Hedonist’s Guide to the most interesting and insider places to sleep, eat, drink and shop for 50 cities around the world.
5. Don’t Pack Your Gown or Date Night Dress
Here’s a novel idea that will save you space and stress if you are traveling to a wedding or other big event on vacation. Try RenttheRunway.com to find a designer dress and have it shipped to your hotel. Wear a $1000 number for $200. Ship it back from the hotel the next day. They include an extra size in case the dress you want doesn’t fit and easy pre-paid shipping. You can also order jewelry and purses to match your outfit plus purchase Spanx or a strapless bra to go with your ensemble. Shipping via UPS is $9.95 and the return postage is pre-paid. Just put the dress back in the envelope and drop it in any blue mailbox or leave it with the concierge to mail.
Now get packing!!