Do You Have A Bubble Bum? Would You Like One? Giveaway!

I’ve got another giveaway this week (essentially two giveaways in one), geared more towards families. Read on:

Parents who decide to travel with young kids take on a task that involves hauling a LOT of stuff onto airplanes. It can be quite the daunting task and most likely contributes to a good number of families deciding to drive to a vacation rather than fly. There’s this natural progression as your children grow.

In the beginning, the kids stay fairly still on long airplane rides and most likely don’t require parents to carry bulky things like car seats on board. Once you transition into hauling a car seat on board, things get considerably more complicated. However, it seemed to us that once our oldest child graduated from an infant car seat we really didn’t need to bring too much on the airplane for her.

At 3 and 4 years old we used the CARES harness for our daughter and finally graduated to just plonking her down in an airplane seat without any seat gadgets to worry about. This seemed like a great solution until recently when my daughter couldn’t see over the seat in front of her to watch an in-flight movie. We ended up putting our daughter on top of a small suitcase which worked okay, though she ended up breaking a small makeup kit my wife had.

Shortly after that flight my wife stumbled on a possible solution for this, and it appeared to solve other problems as well. It’s called Bubble Bum, and it functions essentially as an inflatable booster seat. Their website lists it for sale in a few places around the country, but why mess around when you can just order it from Amazon and have it 24 hours later with Amazon Prime?

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There was obviously a bit of skepticism on our part at first. Could an inflatable booster seat really be safe? Their website proclaimed as such, showing it had passed the same tests other booster seats are required to do so in order to be certified as a booster seat. It’s intended for kids over 40 pounds, so definitely a “next step” after car seats. It is not FAA certified, so it’s not permitted to be used for takeoffs and landings on airplanes. But, as Bubble Bum touts, it’s easy to pack it and use it for a car seat wherever you’re traveling to instead of lugging a full booster seat.

The product is reasonably priced for affording the ability to stuff your child’s car seat into a carry-on. At roughly $40 it’s a bit more than a conventional “no-back” booster seat, but a heck of a lot easier to carry. The package itself is about 5 inches wide and 10 inches high and can be squeezed down to an even tinier footprint if necessary. We found it very easy to inflate, it took no more than 3 big breaths.

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It was surprisingly firm when inflated. I was a bit concerned it wouldn’t provide a good base. In some ways, after seeing how it was constructed, I liked it a bit better than a regular booster seat if used correctly. The two clips on the side secure the lap belt in place so the booster seat can’t slip around. And, there’s a positioning clip that holds the shoulder and lap belt in a better position for safety. It was pretty simple to install in our rental car and was very stable for our daughter to sit on (she weighs just shy of 50 lbs). The clips on the side function the same as running the lap belt across the bottom of the booster seat and allayed our fears that our daughter might slip off the seat while we were driving.

The potential downsides for some is that it doesn’t come with armrests or cupholders (we have a booster for our daughter which does). And, we generally prefer to keep our daughter in a full back car seat for more protection, which this obviously is not.

But, overall, it serves it’s purpose well. It’s very stable, inflates to a very firm but comfortable feel and the straps make it simple to anchor in place. I’m lucky enough to get car seats for free with my Hertz Platinum status, but this product could easily pay for itself with most families traveling for vacation. A quick check of the Hertz website shows they charge $11.99 a day for booster seats. So, a $40 price tag essentially recoups your investment in one trip.

If you want more detailed info on the product itself, check out the Bubble Bum website.

The folks at Bubble Bum were nice enough to provide a free Bubble Bum for me to give away to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post about a future trip you’d like to take where Bubble Bum would come in handy. I’ll select one winner randomly on Friday, April 19th.

Since we all have funny (and frustrating) stories to share about travel with our kids, I’m also up 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points transferred to the travel partner of your choosing for the funniest story someone shares of past family travel. No other rules, I’m the sole arbiter of what’s the funniest. 🙂

Good luck!

 

64 Comments

  1. Durling an extremely turbulent flight, after one chaotic bump and dip, my young son grappled his crotch and, in a laughing voice, yelled, “Mommy, that made my Pepe tickle.” That was enough to break the tension of all the anxious passengers in the cabin! Now that son is a parent with a son of his own… Would love to try the BubbleBum on his next flight!

  2. Would love the BubbleBum for our trip to Whisler to burn thorugh Hilton Honors points. Seems like a great alternative to a bigger booster…

  3. I’ve got twins – so this Bubble Bum would go halfway toward resolving the “double-trouble” of flying with them.

    We just flew to Cabo with them, and are quickly realizing how challenging it is to entertain two en route.

  4. What a nifty idea. Wish we’d known about those when we flew one of our granddaughters to Southern California a few months ago. We’re fortunate enough to have eight grandchildren, five of whom are five years old or younger (twins in household add to the count).

  5. We like to fly to the big island of Hawaii to visit the volcanoes and this would make it so much easier to bring the booster seat.

  6. I have 1 Bubble Bum and it is amazing for travel. The only issue is that I now have two kids that need one!
    I love that it deflates and fits in luggage while we are at our travel destination, but that we can use it on the plane and in a rental car without having to lug around a big, bulky carseat.

  7. That is a very handy contraption! I frequently travel alone with my 3 boys under 8 and it is quite the juggling act to handle all the gear. On one trip where my husband was with us, he got upgraded to first class and took my oldest son since he could bring a companion. I was stuck in the very last row with a lap child and my 3 year old next to me while my husband was enjoying ice cream with my 5 year old up front. A very compassionate flight attendant came up to me and said” I learned your hubby is up in 1st class-hope this makes your trip better”- and handed me 5 complementary vodka nippers. Didn’t imbibe on the flight (with a lap child???) but all the pax around me got a laugh!

  8. We have a third child due any day now, and we are planning a 10+ hour roadtrip to St. Louis this July with all three of our kids. Trying out the Bubble Bum for our 4 year old would really come in handy with trying to squeeze three kids next to each other in the backseat.

  9. I have a big trip to Greece planned for July, and I will be taking my son. This booster sounds like it would cut down on the weight of all the things we are going to have to take with us.

  10. Our next trip with our 2 and 4 year old will be to Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Austrian in business class using US Airways miles. I’ve been debating how to handle the booster and car seat issue in a business class seat and I think you’ve helped me find the right answer, at least for my son’s booster seat! We’re schlepping pros, but anything to lighten the load would be welcome!

  11. Sounds like an interesting invention–especially for my family with four small kids. Hope I win the random drawing!

  12. The Bubble Bum would be great for our upcoming trip to Europe in June. It would be much easier than bringing a bulky booster.

  13. Would be great to our trip to Florida our little one loves to sit on soft bouncy things and this easy easy to carry

  14. My wife is pretty short and hates looking like my kid on flights so I brought a phone book on the plane as a joke. She actually sat on it for half the flight! I was cracking up every time I glanced her way.

  15. Thank you for this opportunity.

    Would love to have it in time for our trip to Milwaukee next week, but will definitely come in handy for our trip to San Jose in June.

  16. This sounds like a really cool idea. I already travel with a bunch of other inflatable items. My funniest travel story is when I was taking Amtrak across the country with the 5 year old (daughter) and the 2 year old (son). My son was potty training and the trip is 48 hours long. Needless to say, he was so excited to be on a train like Thomas that he promptly lost bladder control – for the whole ride. There is nearly no room for baggage on Amtrak, even with a bedroom, so my memories of the trip include washing out pants and underwear in the sink and hanging them around the cabin. I have no idea what the attendant thought of us.

  17. Would love to use this for our upcoming Philly trip from LAX.

    My 3 year old son loves to mimic everything that he sees. As we’re standing in line to pass through security at LAX, I’m busy making sure our bags and boarding passes are ready to go. As I start putting everything in the plastic bins to walk through the metal detector, I spot the TSA workers start laughing hysterically towards my way. I look back and, lo and behold, my son is standing there in his polka-dot underwear. He apparently saw everyone taking off their shoes, jackets, sweaters, and anything else that needed to be put into the bins and thought it was time for a bath!!

  18. I actually have no kids so no need to fly with this — but would love to keep it in the trunk of my car for when the nephews come to visit!

  19. Our two sons have been traveling for a few years now. My little guy, on a lonnnnnnng trip to Italy drank all of the ‘in flight milk’, after he all of his formula. Unlike my eldest, who would drink his “baba” and fall asleep, my little guy drank, and drank, and drank… Coffee was served BLACK for the rest of the way !! Scuzi 🙂

  20. I am on a trip right now and we really could have used this! We brought along our small booster seat from our second car, but it is such a pain. A Bubble Bum would have been so much better!

    We have another trip to Disney World coming up in June and we really need a Bubble bum for that one.

  21. My sons are 6 and 8, and both need booster seats. We’re flying to the LA area Labor day weekend to visit a couple amusement parks. I would love to try a couple Bubble Bums to avoid paying $72 to rent booster seats. I hated gate checking booster seats on our last plane trip!

  22. My funny travel tidbit involves my “grown-up” kids who thought it would be hysterical to embarrass Mom at the TSA check point! wallowed hard, hoping I had recently had my knee replaced after a fall, and a long recovery. Determined to get back fully to life and traveling I booked our family on a get away not long after surgery. Not long before our trip I started getting a little anxious about what affect all this metal in my knee would have at security. I had made the smart *** comment, going through security now is going to mean the perpetual pat down, if not strip down, as our airport didn’t have the full body scanners at the time. Looking a little anxious, I proceeded through the scanner to suddenly here the tunes of the Full Monty strip down music playing full blast from my son’s backpack as it went through the ssecurity scanner! I swallowed hard hoping the TSA agents had a sense of humor that morning! Thankfully the agent doing the pat down decided to play along and broke out into a little dance as the tension broke and everyone laughed! I can’t say we’ve gone through security since without thinking of that song and that time!

    1. My funny travel tidbit involves my “grown-up” kids who thought it would be hysterical to embarrass Mom at the TSA check point! I had recently had my knee replaced after a fall, and a long recovery. Determined to get back fully to life and traveling I booked our family on a get away not long after surgery. Not long before our trip I started getting a little anxious about what affect all this metal in my knee would have at security. I had made the smart *** comment, going through security now is going to mean the perpetual pat down, if not strip down, as our airport didn’t have the full body scanners at the time. Looking a little anxious, I proceeded through the scanner to suddenly here the tunes of the Full Monty strip down music playing full blast from my son’s backpack as it went through the security scanner! I swallowed hard hoping the TSA agents had a sense of humor that morning! Thankfully the agent doing the pat down decided to play along and broke out into a little dance as the tension broke and everyone laughed! I can’t say we’ve gone through security since without thinking of that song and that time!

  23. We have a flight planned to Hawaii that this would be handy on. My funny story is just when flying with my 8 month old daughter that I was nursing, I was told to nurse her during take-off and landing to help with her ears popping. I was using a nursing cover and by that point she was getting big and fidgety enough to try to pull the cover off. So I’m in a tiny airplane seat with people all around me trying to wrestle my infant to nurse while she keeps trying to pull my cover off and expose me! :0

    Another quick one is the time that the same daughter while still an infant got ahold of a woman’s hair as we were standing up to exit and the woman screamed bloody murder. That was more embarrassing that anything else I guess.

  24. I’m taking my 3 year old cross country to visit his cousins and it would make the flights so much smoother if he could watch the inflight movie!

  25. Bubble Bum would be very handy on our trip across the country to Disney World and aboard our Disney Cruise with a 3 and 5 year old.

  26. I have a 4-year old son named Josh. Last month, we were traveling to Florida to visit the grandparents. While going through airport security, Josh saw the nude-o-scopes and had a look of terror in his eyes. As we got closer and closer to the front of the line, that look of terror grow into panicked cries and screams. I told him that we don’t have to go through one of those, but he didn’t seem to believe me. He continued to cry and scream. While I taking off my shoes and putting my bag on the belt, Josh darted off. I looked all around, but couldn’t see him in the crowd of people. I began to get very worried. I asked a TSA officer if they could help me look for my son. A bunch of TSA officers began looking around, and then one guy yelled out from the other side, “Is this your son?” I quickly went through the scanner, and sure enough, there was Josh sitting there on a bench post-security. I felt relieved knowing my son hadn’t been kidnapped in a Taken sort of fashion, but I was also confused. “How did you get to the other side of security?” I asked Josh. He said that he just ran through. Apparently he had crawled through a closed lane while some TSA officers weren’t looking. The TSA didn’t seem to know or care that he had run through without being scanned. At first, I was very angry at him for running out of my sight, but then I was kind of amazed that my son was able to undermine the evil nude-o-scopes. Hopefully after reading this, they won’t put us on the no-fly list.

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