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12 High-Tech Gadgets for the Traveling Family


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My mission as a traveling mom is to pack as little as I can get away with (which sometimes isn’t little at all). But I will always make room in my suitcase or my car for clever gadgets and devices that really do make getting there and getting around easier. With a few shopping days left til Christmas, here are some things to put under the tree for your favorite travelers. Not all of these gifts are electronic; sometimes cool technology comes in the form of innovative materials or clever design.

sleepphones are handy travel gifts • More comfy headphones

A little funny looking maybe, but these Acoustic Sheep Sleepphones are handy for for planes and hotel rooms. They offer noise cancellation and more comfort than your average headphones. Try the wired or blue tooth versions.

• Music for the Extreme Outdoors

The active teen in your life will love the new Sticky Sounds speaker (above). Waterproof, shockproof, Go-Pro compatible, it lets you take your music pretty much anywhere. It connects to your phone via blue tooth and has an mini-SD card slot for those places where you can’t bring your phone.

Automatics are great gifts for road trippers• Make Your Car Smarter

Serious road trippers who love their cars might consider putting Automatic under the tree. The matchbook-sized adapter plugs into your car’s diagnostic port from the driver’s seat, then syncs with apps that record a trip’s mileage, miles per gallon and gas expenditure. It will also help you locate your car when you forget where you parked it, among other things.

universal adapters are idea travel gifts• Recharge Anywhere

For world travelers, Parag Raja, the founder of the travel gear site
TravelMore.co recommends a universal travel plug adapter with usb input. One small chunky item works in up to 150 countries, it saves you from carrying that jangling bag of adapters to charge your devices.

 • A Charge-up For Everyone

Have more gadgets on your road trips than you have outlets in your car? Griffin’s PowerJolt 2 USB is a handy stocking stuffer that lets you charge 2 devices at once from your car’s lighter.

desktop USB chargerAt your destination, the Anker 25W Desktop USB Charger can simultaneously power-up 5 phones, tablets and other devices with USB cords. I love that it provides a central charging station at your vacation rental or hotel room, so nothing gets left behind.

• Improve your Mobile Memory

Leef has two gadgets to give you more memory on the go. The Mobile Memory iOS is a thumb drive that gives your iPhone 16 to 256 additional GBs of space. The iAccess MicroSD Card Reader extends the memory for phones, tablets, cameras and more. 

 • Extend Memory and Battery Life!

Blogger Dawn Lopez recommends the Mophie Space Pack because it’ does three things at once. It’s a protective phone case that extends your phone’s battery life and provides 16 to 64 additional GBs of memory. And it’s thinner and sleeker than other similar battery cases I’ve seen.

KnowRoaming is a handy gift for international travelers• Keeping In Touch For Less

Barry Choi a personal finance and
budget travel consultant recommends the KnowRoaming sim sticker to tap into local phone networks and avoid roaming charges while traveling. You need to be a tech savvy enough to put the sticker on your sim card. And you need to watch the pay as you go rates, which vary from country to country and can be steep. But for frequent travelers and people who really need their phone overseas it seems like it could be handy.

• Keep an eye on your Home

Jim Odorczyk at Sensored Life recommends the MarCell Cellular Connected Home Monitoring System. It plugs into an outlet uses cellular signals instead of wifi, to tell you what’s going on in your home, so you can shut your modem off when you travel.

Glove.ly gloves and perfect presents for smart phone addicts Not All High-Tech Gifts Are Electronic.

• Stay Connected…and Warm!

Glove.ly makes gloves for men and women that let you use your smartphone outside in the cold. They look nice, too. Go for cozy or stylish.

 hydrapaks are handy gifts for travelers Grayl water bottles are valuable gifts for adventure travelers• Pack a Better Water Bottle

The HydraPak Stash collapses so you can pack it in your suitcase to have at your destination, And make it smaller when you’ve drank your last drop while sightseeing.

Grayl Travel water bottles have a French-press-like filter that rids your water of heavy metals, bacteria and chemicals for safe drinking almost anywhere,

matador blankets are great gifts for moms• High-Tech Blanket

Thalia Kalozoes from Genie Gadgets in the UK recommends the clever Matador blanket for it’s compact size and light, durable material. Never know where your kids will want to plop down to play or picnic? Not a problem when a blanket for 4 (sitting) is tucked into your day tote.

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12 gadgets for the high-tech traveling family

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8 Comments

  1. December 6, 2015 at 1:49 am — Reply

    I like that multi USB charger, too. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. I bought the Sleep Phones for my daughter so she’d stop stealing my fancy Bose headphones whenever a thunderstorm rolled in. My eldest son “borrowed” the Sleep Phones from her and never gave them back. They truly are comfortable. I also have a Grayl water filtration device. It was so nice to have in countries where boiling the water is still advisable. I could ignore the electric kettle in my room and have safe drinking water in just a few seconds. I took it on a Girl Scout camping trip, and the girls couldn’t stop pressing the water through.

    • December 6, 2015 at 9:53 am — Reply

      well, i guess I know what your son is getting for Christmas! Glad to hear good reports for these products. The multi- USB really is handy for families.

  2. December 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    I need them all. Will you call my mom for me, Eileen?

  3. December 4, 2015 at 9:21 pm — Reply

    Really cool gift ideas. I like the idea of Recharge Anywhere as my current charger works for only a few countries. Thanks!

  4. December 4, 2015 at 8:49 pm — Reply

    I really like the multi USB charger.
    At the moment I pack a power board and all the charger leads and adapters, this would really save on space.

  5. December 4, 2015 at 3:54 pm — Reply

    I can’t believe that matador blanket is a blanket for four! that’s amazing. probably my favourite item on the list. any number of times, you need an extra blanket handy.

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