Are you among the throngs of travelers planning to fly out for the Thanksgiving holiday?  Maybe you’re not looking forward to the ‘getting-there by plane’ part.  As a mom to four and traveling businesswoman (I am co-founder of BottlestoBritches, a baby planning business that helps connect new parents to the products and people they need for a less-stressful life), I know that sometimes it’s the simple little things that make all the difference in trouble-free travel.  Well, Traveling Mom knows of several new gadgets to make traveling easier and much more comfortable.  And you have the chance to win all of them so that your future flights are much more fun!

22OptimaPlumTHE PACKING PART

Are you the kind of traveler that always ends up bringing home more than you brought?  The Atlantic® Optima® Collection’s expandable luggage may be just what you need! The 2-bags-in-1 Dual Expansion System offers a spacious main compartment that expands an additional 4”, allowing you to carry-on their 22” bag on the first leg of your trip.  Then, when you buy souvenirs and gifts on the visit, you can expand the bag by up to 44%, and check it in for your return trip. And check this out: it comes with a TSA regulation safe 3-1-1 kit of carry-on tips to make sure you meet the requirements for liquids and gels to move easily through security.  You can find out more on these cool cases at www.atlanticluggage.com or buy one at www.travelpro.com.

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LOCK IT UP WORD WONDER!

Want to lock up your luggage but don’t want to worry about keeping up with a key?  Wordlock® (www.wordlock.com) lets you use letters and words as combinations that can be set and re-set to lock up your luggage.  No more trying to remember numerical combinations that have no real meaning to you!  It sounds complicated, but Wordlock uses patented algorithms that create the best mix of vowels and consonants, maximizing the number of four-letter words that can be created on Wordlock letter dials – up to 10,000 different letter combinations. They are TSA-accepted and Travel Sentry approved, allowing airport security to inspect luggage without the use of bolt cutters – kind of key these days, huh?  Wordlock luggage locks are available at several stores (Target, Kmart, Container Store, Menards, Fred Meyer, Megellan’s, select ACE Hardware, select True Value Hardware, select Do It Best, and select Orgill Co-Op Hardware or Online at Wordlock.com, Amazon.com, Target.com and Kmart.com).  They are available in black, silver, red, pink and green to make it easy to help pick your suitcase out of the crowd!

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TEENY TAGS

If the Wordlock doesn’t help your luggage stand out, Teeny Tags will help.  They are recycled wood gift tags that are stylish and affordable.  Bluedogz Design Teeny Tags are available in more than 30 colors and styles. You can write your information directly onto the tag (the backside has 4 lines to fill in whatever info you would like) with any brand of personal marker. Affordable, pretty and useful. Nice!  You can get yours at www.bluedogzdesign.com ($2.99).

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ISABELT HOLDS YOU UP

Don’t you just hate when you go through security and have to take off your shoes and belt to keep the metal detector from blaring? Well, the folks at ISABELT have a solution for the belt part.  isABeltWIDE is a UNISEX fashion accessory used to keep your pants in place without all the hardware. It’s made from a strong TPU with a plastic closure and doesn’t have to be taken off when you go through security.  It comes in clear or black and can be found at http://www.isABelt.com (about $20).


COMFORT ON THE PLANE

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SHOUL:  If you’re like me, you get pretty darn cold on the plane sometimes. The little blankets they provide (when they provide them) are not exactly sufficient, so how cool (or warm) is this?  The Sh?ul is a soft knit fashion wrap that stays on the shoulders without clasps, buttons or ties. Compact enough to carry in a bag, the innovative design of these one-size-fits-all wrap stays on the shoulders.  And you can get it in a variety of elegant colors and fabrics, including cashmere, so you can be warm AND stylish! You can find out more at http://www.theshoul.com/index.html (prices vary depending on fabric).

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SINUS MASK

We all know it’s not really fun to fly when you have a cold, allergies or sinus issues.  Well, the Butterfly Hug Mask is ready to step in and on the problem, soothing the area around your face where you hurt the most.  Why use just an eye mask when you can use a pretty Butterfly Hug Mask to help with all the pressure from a plane?  So sit back, close your eyes and relax!  Available on www.Planetbutterflyusa.com.

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TUNING OUT THE OTHERS

Ok, you know what it’s like when you end up on the flight sitting next to a talk-aholic (someone who just cannot stop talking, not at all the entire flight). Well, slip on a headset and send a clear signal that you really don’t feel like befriending Chatty-Cathy.  Problem solved with V-MODA’s Vibe II headset.  The earbuds fit securely and help drown out outside noise so you can sleep on the plane and the call control button allows you to easily move between phone call and listening to music once you’re back on the ground.  You can find yours at Apple stores or online ($119).


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ONCE YOU ARRIVE

Maybe once you get overseas on your dream trip there’s someone back home you just have to share your wacky adventures with, or someone who really needs to hear how wonderful a time you’re having in sunny Rio while they’re freezing their toes off in the Great White North.  No worries.  The JumperPhone 100 USB phone will let you call anywhere in the world.  Plug the phone into your lapt
op and the software self installs.  Dial the number of another JumperTel user and talk as much as you want, as long as you want, for just $1 per month (the phone is $21.99). The phone is sleek, portable and I’m told it’s dummy proof even for computer novices (now that I need!).


WANT TO WIN?

Want to own all these great products in time for Christmas?  Just tell us your MUST PACK gadget in the comment box below for your chance to win.  This bundle prize will be given away on November 25th, so tell all your traveling friends!  In the meantime, enjoy your flight!