Of the many unexpected tips I included in Travels with Baby, some of my favorite reactions have been in response to my suggestion to pack garden training wire. If you’re scratching your head, I’ll explain: It’s a fine, flexible wire that’s coated with plastic (usually green). Sure, training wire is great for supporting tender vines in the garden, but it also comes in very handy when you can’t be sure of the furniture at your destination. While there are adjustable and temporary childproofing cabinet locks, you can’t always be sure they’ll work on Grandma’s china cabinet, Uncle Bo’s liquor cabinet, Cousin Fred’s filing cabinet–or any other cabinet, drawer, or cupboard your child might become obsessed with during your vacation. Garden training wire, however, can help with just about any configuration of cabinet latches, drawer pulls, and closet knobs, if need be. The plastic coating keeps it from scratching surfaces, and you can cut it to the desired length with baby toenail clippers (in case you don’t have scissors along). It’s inexpensive and takes up very little space in the suitcase, so you can loop the loop for maximum protection. Here’s a link to a picture of the stuff and a 50 foot roll of garden training wire to get you started.
Shelly Rivoli, author of Travels with Baby
The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children