Airline Launches Teddy Bear Check-Ins For Children

teddy bear Fact: Each month, London Gatwick Airport receives up to 30 forgotten stuffed animals. That’s one airport alone. The loss of a furry friend can be devastating for a child, and unfortunately, the chaos of travel leads it to happen way too often.

To help combat the problem, Thomson Airways has created the “teddy bear check-in.” The program allows kids to check in their stuffed animals at the airport’s front desk. Each furry friend will receive a special boarding pass, which can be exchanged for a “Very Important Buddy” (VIB) tag at the gate. The idea behind the unique check-in is for children to pay closer attention to their toys when flying.

“As a family-friendly tour operator, we like to make a fuss of children travelling on our holidays, both in resort and on their flight,” says Carl Gissing of Thomson Airways. “We know that kids will love checking their toys in and taking home the VIB tag as a souvenir.”

While we’re not so sure this will really help cut back on the amount of lost teddy bears, it is a fun idea.

Do you think this service will help kids keep track of their toys when flying?

Eco-Friendly Hotel Amenity: Pedal-To-Power LCD Television

bikingFor those interested in keeping vacation weight off while also doing something good for the planet, the Cottage Lodge in Brockenhurst, United Kingdom, is offering a unique amenity. Instead of allowing guests to turn on the television the old-fashioned way, the bed and breakfast features a pedal-to-power LCD television in their Standing Hat room.

The purpose of the unusually active method of television powering is purely environmental. While you’d think some travelers may not be happy about having to work to turn on their TV, the accommodation has actually received positive feedback, especially from cyclists.

“I focused on three things when constructing the room: reducing waste, minimizing pollution and using resources with the lowest impact possible,” the hotel’s owner, Christina Simons, explained to the Telegraph. “I also wanted to show that being green can also be exciting and fun, and guests love cycling on the bike.”

And for those with low stamina, don’t worry, you also have the option to make use of the electric supply generated by photovoltaic cells on the roof, so you’ll still be going green while you travel. In fact, the hotel utilizes many sustainable features, like solar panel heating in the summer, heating via a wood burning stove in the winter, low-impact building materials and furniture created by a local tree surgeon from a single fallen beech tree.

Eco-tourism gets edible with the Ritz Carlton, Charlotte’s, giant green gingerbread house

giant gingerbread house The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, in North Carolina, is taking their eco-friendly hospitality to a whole new level. From Thanksgiving Day through December 28, 2011, the hotel will showcase a life-sized “edible eco-manor”, designed by architects and made by pastry chefs using all-natural and organic ingredients. The structure will be 12 feet high by 14 feet wide by 10 feet deep and will also feature LED lights and a green “moss” eco-roof.

So what goes into making a giant eco-friendly gingerbread house?

  • 350 pounds of organic white, brown and confectioner’s sugar
  • 70 pounds of organic egg whites
  • 300 pounds of organic bread flour
  • 100 organic eggs
  • 24 pounds of molasses
  • Four pounds of salt
  • Four pounds of baking soda
  • 120 pounds of shortening
  • 24 ounces of cinnamon
  • Two gallons of organic milk
  • Eight ounces each of nutmeg, allspice and cloves
  • Nine ounces of ginger

This unique exhibit complements The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte’s, already eco-friendly programming. The property is LEED-certified, meaning that the hotel’s construction and design follows the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design guidelines. Some sustainable practices of the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, include building materials that use 30% less energy than most hotels, reduced water usage by 35%, a green, vegetated rooftop, recycling more than 80% of construction waste, and having bicycles as available transportation for guests, among other initiatives.

For more information on the hotel’s green programming, click here.

Quirky hotel amenity: Pirate tuck-ins for children at Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

ritz-carlton, amelia islandWhat better way for a child to end a day full of swimming and sea than to be tucked-in by a pirate? At the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, in Florida not only does Pirate Luis Aury provide a bedtime story, but Princess Amelia and a blue and gold macaw make an appearance, as well. Children will also be given cookies and milk as well as a treasure chest full of loot. The tuck-ins can be scheduled in between 7PM and 10PM and cost $45 per child.

Going to be staying at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, during the holiday season? Parents can opt for a complimentary Santa tuck-in instead. Not only will children get to be read a bedtime story by good old Saint Nick himself, they will also be given a holiday gift.