My 7 links – Highlights from 4 years of blogging "Travels with Baby"

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Today I’m participating in the My 7 Links project organized by Tripbase, which I was nominated to join by Ciao Bambino (grazie!). The project aims to unite bloggers while creating a bank of useful (and sometimes overlooked) blog posts.

As I mentioned earlier this week, TravelswithBaby.com turns 7 years old this month, and as I close in on the 4 year anniversary of starting the Travels with Baby Tips blog, it’s fun to look back at how this has evolved. You might be surprised to know I’d only intended to write the “tips” blog for one year to help promote my new book Travels with Baby, primarily through the Amazon Daily blog.

Ready for a laugh? In the beginning, my goal was a one travel tip, one-paragraph post each week. I hadn’t figured on including photographs, or much if anything about specific destinations. How things changed! Well, here’s a quick look back at seven significant posts from the past 4 years:

Most beautiful post:

This was a tough decision for me. My knee-jerk reaction is the Picnic at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco,  though some might disagree. Having just taken the crew there for another picnic and marveling at the continued existence of this magical place just minutes from downtown San Francisco, my thoughts fly there first. 😉 (Nasrid Palaces? Jumping frogs of Birch Lake? Sunset Playa Hermosa?)

Most popular post:
You’ll love this. According to the stats, my all-time most popular post continues to be Win a “Go Hybrid” portable travel car seat from Safety 1st! Considering how much I love my own Go Hybrid and that I was recently showing it off by adjusting it between a 2-, 5-, 7-, and 8-year-old in seconds flat while carpooling and shuttling guests, I have to say that seems oddly appropriate. Also, I clearly need to kick off my next giveaway soon! (Stay tuned!)

Most controversial post:
Okay, the responses to “Would you give your child Benadryl to help him sleep in flight?” post was interesting, but I’m going with Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) and Child Passengers for this one. Frankly, I am surprised it didn’t get more attention. I think it raises two very specific points we should all keep in mind that seemed to get lost in the myriad rantings about AIT—and the alternative of a physical pat-down. Do you let your child talk on your cell phone? Do you let your child fly in airplanes for more than 2 minutes at a time? Read this post. Still, I think it has been a ridiculous expense and imposition on travelers, and I think that money would be better spent on air marshals and crotch-sniffing dogs!

Most helpful post:
After blogging strictly family travel tips for nearly 4 years, this is a tough call for me to make. I think for the majority of readers planning “big” travel with infants in their first few months, “Beware the bulkhead bassinet” can be unexpectedly helpful. (And I wrote it nearly 4  years ago!)

Post whose success surprised me:
This would have to be the Ask Shelly: Advice for Flying to India with a 2-year-old.  It continues to be a top read two years later. Apparently, there are a lot more parents preparing to fly to India with toddlers than you might expect. Airlines take note. Hopefully they’ll all be boarding with copies of Take-Along Travels with Baby! 😉

A post that didn’t get the attention it deserved:
Five ways airlines can help make happier travelers of us all. I confess I hoped this would go viral, if only for the sake of our own future travels (hahahah). I would like all US-based airlines in particular to read and take to heart the suggestions found here. Wouldn’t you agree?

Post I am most proud of:

Vacation Nanny 411  One of the biggest questions about booking a family vacation at a resort (or on a cruise ship) with childcare is… who will actually be caring for my child? The answers are usually somewhat vague, and the staff can change daily – even hourly in some cases. For reasons explained in the post, I think the Vacation Nanny arrangement at FDR Resort & Spa is ideal for families with babies and young children, and I was very proud to not only help publicize this little-known and highly valuable vacation perk for families, but to put real names and faces to the wonderful caregivers I found working there. And I had such fun making the video!

Now it’s my turn to nominate 5 more blogs. I thought it would be fun to reach far and wide, so here are 5 bloggers blogging from places I wish I could be today:
Kids in Rio – Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Blog-a-bye-Baby – Sydney, Australia
Costa Rican Vacation  – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Baby ‘Tems  – Paris, France
Safe journeys,
Shelly Rivoli
Author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks

All content of this blog (c) Shelly Rivoli 2007 – 2011

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