International Travel with 11 and 9yo WWYD

lanwenyi

New member
We had bubblebums, but they need replaced (both have popped and no longer hold air; one is now expired anyway).

Here is the data:

Upcoming trip to Asia (3 weeks total)
-Flying Japan Airlines - not planning to use seats on the plane
-Will need to take 3-4 taxi rides: airport to hotel in Hong Kong, hotel to cruise ship, cruise ship to hotel in Singapore (possibly not here as the hotel is less than 1 mile away and we will probably walk), and hotel to airport
-incidental travel: excursions during the cruise (some will be walkable or by tour bus, but some will be by van/taxi, however the countries we are visiting, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand, may not even have seatbelts in the vans/taxis) and wherever we go in Singapore, although we will probably take public transit there

Children involved:
11yo DD - 65lbs 56" tall - 5 steps in the 3rd row of most SUVs and the center seat of 60ish% of cars.
Currently rides in a Clek Olli and Recaro Performance Booster in our cars and a Safety First Incognito in Grandma's van

9yo DS - 60lbs 51" tall, has GHD and a bone age delay -
Currently rides in Britax Frontier (harnessed) and a Recaro Vivo in our cars and a Graco TurboBooster with Safety Surround in Grandma's van

I see some options:
A) buy 2 new bubble bums
B) take the incognito for DD and the Olli for DS
C) take nothing for DD (she's close, so just put her in the best fitting belt in whatever vehicles we ride in and hope she 5 steps) and take the Olli for DS
D) something else I'm not thinking of

Travel Options? WWYD?
 
Last edited:
ADS

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I would bring the Incognito for eldest and a Bubblebum for 9 year old, or 2 Bubblebums if you think they'd be easier to carry and the 11 year old fits. I wouldn't want to carry anything heavy, and the 11 year old isn't close enough I'd risk not fitting quite yet- a center seat with a shoulder belt and head restraint might not always be available and a 40% chance of not fitting is too high for my comfort.
 

lanwenyi

New member
Thanks, Ketchupqueen!

Some further questions/comments:

Yes, DD will ride in the bubblebum, but it is not her favorite. She says her legs fall asleep. We shouldn't have any long car rides on this trip, so it shouldn't matter too much, but that is a concern.

My favorite option is to take the incognito and the Olli because then I don't have to buy anything. This trip is already quite expensive. While in the big picture an additional booster isn't that much, since we won't be using it often, it's an expense I'd rather not have.

That said, here are my questions/concerns:
Incognito - That thing is BIG! I've never traveled with it. How do you do it? I can't imagine it fitting in DD's backpack. I could take it as her personal item and make sure that we have no more than 3 carryon bags for the 4 of us (we always each have a backpack with entertainment and snacks for the flight. This is a 20 hour connecting flight; we will definitely ALL need entertainment and snacks), but that means it would be in the overhead compartment. It's so thin that I worry about someone jamming their huge carry-on into it and damaging it. Am I over-thinking this? How do you travel with an incognito?

Olli vs Bubblebum - I'm assuming that you rec'd a bubblebum over the Olli due to weight. We don't find the Olli heavy and with the strap-thingy, find it easy to carry. Our first bubblebum lasted until just before its expiration and then it popped on its last trip about 1 month before it would have expired anyway. However, the second bubblebum was only 1.5 years old when it popped. I'm not super-excited about getting a third since the quality appears to have gone down and my children are only getting bigger (maybe they only work well for small, lightweight kids??) However, I realize that others have more experience than me. I've never traveled with the Olli and only carried it for short distances. Is the Olli hard to travel with? Do newer Bubblebums last?

My booster travel experiences have been:
-bubblebum - takes up half of my kids' backpacks, but they can carry it themselves, even while asleep because we put their backpacks on them
-Harmony literider (think it's called something else now) - lightweight, but we got tired of carrying the thing about halfway through the trip and ditched it in the airport trash can (we'd already tried rigging some sort of strap but couldn't make it stay on) Our kids were 3 and 5 (it was for the 5 yo) at the time and we were connecting in the middle of the night. Trying to carry 2 sleeping kids, all our stuff, and a booster that neither had a strap nor the ability to fit in a carry-on was too much for us. DH took the rental car to the store at our destination and bought a new booster. You do what you have to do :whistle:

Our kids are much older now, our connection is not in the middle of the night (and we couldn't carry the kids even if it was), and the Olli has a strap to carry it, so this situation is different than our literider one, plus there's no store for DH to run to :D.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Yeah the Incognito is big. The only thing I found it fits in is an oversized tote.

If you don't mind carrying the Olli go for it, but I would get tired myself carrying it all day.

I have had 7 Bubblebums over the years. Only one ever had the bladder go bad and that was after 3 years and they sent me a new bladder and replacement instructions for free. (I store them inside when not in use; keeping in a hot car all the time could weaken them.)

Another option, given the bone delay, could be a Ride Safer Travel Vest if it fits, but that's WAY more than a $30 Bubblebum.
 

lanwenyi

New member
Our Bubblebums are stored in the house except while traveling. During trips, they do live in the rental car (except on cruises where they live in the stateroom), but that is maybe 1-2 weeks during the year if we rent a car. If we travel with our own car, the bubblebums stay home, and if we travel to a place with good public transit, we use it when we can't walk so the bubblebums are only for the taxi to/from the airport.

We have a small RSTV, but it is too much of a pain to use now that boosters are an option for travel (and I don't even know if DS would still fit in it).

I'll have to debate with DH over the Olli vs buying a new bubblebum. The Olli doesn't seem heavy with the strap to carry it, but having never done it, it's an unknown quantity. The bubblebum not lasting is a known quantity and we'd have to purchase it.

I'm still not sure how we'll get the incognito on the plane. None of us carries a large tote. We use european size rolling carry-ons and backpacks for our personal items (keeps our hands free). I'll have to see if I can get it into a backpack somehow. Is it okay to bend it or does it have to be flat?
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I wouldn't bend it (other than the guides.) They can crack.

You can carry it on and stick it under a seat loose if you don't want to carry a tote. I don't know how you'd haul it around the city conveniently without one though.

Maybe a foldable large tote in case you want it later to carry it with? You could stick both boosters in there which could make the Olli more convenient too.

Oh! I think it did JUST BARELY fit in our Land's End extra large backpack, diagonally with nothing else in? How big are your backpacks?
 

lanwenyi

New member
We won't be hauling it around the city. It will go in a taxi from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the cruise ship. Then on the end, it will ride in a taxi from the cruise ship to a hotel and from the hotel to the airport.

If we need it for any excursions, it will stay in the van while we are on the excursions. Most excursions are walking distance, on a boat, or on tour buses, so we won't need a booster.

Size of backpacks:
My kids use LLBean Explorer backpacks (16.5"x12.5"x8").
My husband and I have 2 discontinued LLBean backpacks. They are taller and wider than the kids' but I don't know by how much. My guess is about 18"x13"x8.5"
 

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