12 Cool Tech Gadgets For Family Travel
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Technology can make your life easier when you travel, or it can just be more stuff to carry and keep track of. And the last thing you need when traveling with kids is more stuff to carry and keep track of. Whether you’re going to Cape Cod or other places, here are 12 tech gadgets that are worth schlepping—and might even help you schlep less.
1. We love the Karma wifi hotspot because it’s small enough to pop in your purse; just wish their receptions as a little stronger! Still, you pay as you go (by data) so you don’t incur a monthly bill for something you only use when traveling. The $14 per GB rate, which you can do quite a bit with, is better than the steep hourly or daily usage fees at hotels and cafes and the data fees you’ll rack up using your phone as a hot spot.
2. You’ll want the Griffin Tech Skyview Table Mount if you’ve ever handed your child your table to let them watch a video only to get it back kind of smudgy. You’ll also want it if you’ve ever gotten a kink in your neck from looking down at your table for a 2-hour movie? It attaches to your folded airplane tray to turn your tablet into a screen.
3. The Floating Book app: For kids who would read during long car seat–if they didn’t get car sick– this seems genuinely cool. It’s an iPad e-reader where the book floats up and donw to compensate for the bumps in the road that can bring on nausea.
4. A reader recommended the Jackery line of chargers and we like how powerful they are relative to other chargers of similar size. The sleek pocketsize Mini recharges a range of devices with 2,600 mAh of power. The Giant and Giant Plus recharge 2 devices at a time. The Leaf case protects your phone while extending its battery life.
5. The SnowLizard Xtreme phone case is designed in a way only gadget-loving guys would find cool. But if you’re heading outdoors and need to protect your phone from during very rugged family vacations, this watertight, battery-extending case is for you. They even have a solar-powered version!
6. The Soundpockets case is for your tween and teen for sure, but you might want to borrow it. This case comes with a built in space on the back to store your earbuds tangle-free.
7. Nyne portable blue tooth speaker: These speakers, which come in a range of sizes with water resistant tote bags, are so easy to carry, it’s easy to bring them to beach, the park and vacation home stays. Bring them anywhere you want to listen to your mp3 files without that tinny smart phone sound.
8. The newest Nikon Coolpix AW120 and S810c cameras are not in everyone’s budget, but man do they do it all. Both shoot photos and video and are wifi enabled. The AW120 is waterproof, shoots in slowmotion, and has a wide-angle lens and technology to stabilize your shots in bumpy conditions. The S810c is like a camera glued onto an android device. Download apps and games, check your email, find your way with the GPS…oh and take photos.
9. The Oregon Scientific ATC Gecko HD video recorder is pocketsize and splash-proof and comes in fiery colors. But what’s really cool is the strap that lets you attach the camera to your body to say, record your ride on the scariest roller coaster ever from your point of view.
10. Wow, could we use this Really Tiny Book Light from If! It’s perfect for those times when you want to stay up and read but your kids are sleeping in the hotel bed or crib 2 feet from yours. There’s even a model that clips to e-readers.
11. There was that night we spent at an inexpensive hotel with outdoor corridors where the room’s door lock was pretty mediocre. I would have slept more soundly if I’d had this How Sar Portable Door Lock with me. It’s light, compact and versatile. While it’s not for sale in the US yet, the company will ship.
12. Travel is a great way to introduce new languages or reinforce a second (or third!) language. Little Pim has DVDs and apps as well as low-tech flash cards to introduce kids to 11 languages at home and on the road.