TIBTIL: Zo&Co TravelTote

In a continuing effort to drive myself crazy I am once again traveling with a toddler. This time without a second set of hands! Luckily they are two short flights with reasonable layovers in between at an airport with a great kids' play area. But still.

This is stuffed a LOT fuller when we're actually on the plane.
I bought something to try to make things a little easier on the plane. On the Minneapolis trip I struggled with having everything handy -- books, small toys, snacks, water, etc. So when I saw a Plum District deal for this Zo&Co TravelTote at half off, I bit. And it's a Thing That I Bought That I Love.

After using it for one half of a trip so far, I really like it. I also know it will be useful when we fly and Jane gets her own seat (we're only a few months away from that reality ... although who knows when we'll fly once we need three tickets) and when she's in the car seat facing forward (not sure when I want to do that since backward facing is so much safer for neck and shoulders). 
The tote itself is made of durable quilted material with lots of pockets and carabiners, and it has Velcro to keep it together when it's not in the airplane pocket (it kind of rolls up to get shoved in a bag). The pockets are big enough for a sippy cup to slide in, which was great because those are always too bulky for the seat back pocket itself. The clips that hold the tote to the seat are like what you'd see in a car sun visor clip on -- say one of those flat CD carriers or additional mirror. So they're very strong and don't seem like they'd give out or go loose even with repeat use. I don't know about cleaning it, although I'm sure surface cleaning would be fine. If it got really dirty I might chance throwing it in the washer and letting it air dry.

I picked the blue and green kid version because it had more carabiners. On the plane I liked the blue because it blended in more with the blue seats, so it wasn't screaming out for the flight attendant to tell me I had to put it away (I'm assuming it's OK anyway, but that thought crossed my mind while I was wrangling a giant toddler on my lap). 
It basically doubles the amount of stuff you can have out of your bag -- because you can still have books or magazines or what-have-you in the seat pocket plus the smaller things easily accessible in the tote (and less likely to be lost in the depths of the main pocket).

They have versions that hold an iPad or bigger reader and they have jazzier colors and different options. I think this product is really cool, and I know I couldn't make it for the $15 I paid (let's face it, I couldn't make it period). If you're a frequent traveler or just looking for a way to make juggling travel with a kid (or without) easier this product might be worth looking into. If you get it let me know what you think!

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