Taking off for a family vacation and leaving all the conveniences of home can be a bit of a challenge. Having some good travel gadgets and accessories for the family can ease the trip for you and your kids. Here is a list of family travel gadgets and accessories that we recommend to make that next family vacation go a little smoother.
Travel Gadgets for the Family
Joby GorillaPod Magnetic
How many family vacation pictures do you have that is missing the one person who took the photo? How many times have you asked a stranger if they could take a picture of you and the family? Well, with the GorillaPod Magnetic from Joby, the whole family can be in every picture and no strangers will be needed. The GorillaPod Magnetic allows you to attach your point and shoot camera on something like a tree branch, a bench armrest and metal street poles, using its flexible leg joints and magnetic feet. Just set it up with your family in the frame, set up the automatic timer on your camera and voila! One of our favorite travel gadgets on our family trips. Joby GorillaPod Magnetic
Anker Astro3 12800mAh External Battery
With all of the electronics that families tote around with them when they travel, this portable battery charger is a must. No more running out of juice towards the end of the day and missing that great photo of your kids. This lightweight and compact power supply boasts three USB outputs, 1 mini USB outlet and can charge your iPhone, Android device or any other 5V USB powered smart phone or tablet via the connective adapters. This battery charger comes with visual LED status lights so you know how much energy is left. Just don’t forget to charge this before you head out for the day. Anker Astro3 12800mAh External Battery.
iHM59 Rechargeable Color Changing Mini Speaker
We like taking a small portable external speaker with our family while we travel. Our favorite use is to watch Netflix streaming on our iPad with this external speaker plugged in. Now we can all hear it without having to huddle around the iPad. It is also great to plug in and listen to all your music and it is loud enough to hear throughout your hotel room. The iHM59 Rechargeable Mini Speaker is collapsible for compact portability, comes in a variety of colors (for the iHM60 models), recharges the internal lithium ion battery via USB cable and most importantly, it sounds real good for a small inexpensive speaker. iHM59 Rechargeable Mini Speaker
Tablets – iPad, Google Nexus, Kindle Fire…
The powerhouse of our travel gadgets on any of our family vacations is our tablets. The variety of things these tablets do will keep the kids busy for hours. If they get bored with one thing, they can just move on to the next thing that tickles their fancy. Playing games, reading books, watching movies, listening to music, drawing or coloring, learning something in entertaining ways, taking pictures or videos and so much more. Our daughter likes the iPad Mini as it is easier to hold, but has no issues using the full-size one either. It also helps keeping the kids from hogging and draining your Smartphone.
EatSmart™ Precision Voyager Luggage Scale
This cool travel gadget will help relieve some of the stress of traveling by plane with the family. We have been in the situation of deciding whether or not we should buy some souvenir, based on its weight, so we don’t go over the luggage weight limit. My wife had to open up all her bags at the airport and move items from one bag to another because one bag was 2 pounds overweight. With this portable digital luggage scale, you won’t have to worry about showing up at the airport with overweight bags and incurring extra luggage fees. The EatSmart Precision Voyager Luggage Scale is compact, lightweight, measures in either pounds or kilograms and measures up to 110 lbs. My favorite, for ease of use, is that you can measure your luggage by using two hands to lift up your bag and it displays the reading on top of the device. EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale
How many times have you thrown your earbuds, charger cables, point & shoot camera, flash drive, mp3 player and many other small items into a backpack, carry on or purse? Then, when you want one of the items, you have to fish around for the item or pull half of your items out to get the one thing you or your kid needs. My favorite is trying to untangle my earbuds and charging cables which always get entangled after 10 minutes in my backpack. The GRID-IT!® Organizer will help you organize, pack and easily access all of your small loose items. This versatile organizer, made of rubberized woven elastic, allows you to neatly pack your items and keep them firmly in place. The GRID-IT!® comes in a variety of sizes so you can choose one that suits your family’s needs and space requirements. GRID-IT!® Organizer
Travel Gadgets and Accessories for the Kids
A benefit for both parent and kid is a set of their own personal headphones. You don’t have to listen to their 50th replay of their favorite movie and they won’t complain when you turn on your favorite tunes. Win-win! The Crayola MyPhones are volume limiting to keep sound levels at a safe volume for your child’s ears. Each set of over-the-ear headphones comes with Crayola fine line markers and over 30 stickers, so that your child can personalize it and make it their own. They come in colors of blue for boys and pink for girls. Crayola MyPhones
Wally Inflatable Bed Rail
If you have an active sleeper who tosses and turns all night long, you need something to keep them from rolling off the bed and risking injury. This portable inflatable bed rail, for kids over 2 years old, provides a soft rail on the sides of the bed to keep them safely in their beds at night. Set up is pretty easy, just use the included foot pump to inflate your bed rail and it should be fully inflated in under a minute. Now just slip it under the sheet of the bed and you are all set for a safe night’s sleep. For more information, visit the Wally Inflatable Bed Rail product page.
Nikon COOLPIX S31 Digital Camera
As our daughter got a bit older, she started to ask to take pictures with our SLR camera while we were on vacation. She said that she wanted to take pictures of the things she liked as we toured these new places. We were happy to let her take her own photos, but were a bit nervous handing our large, heavy, expensive and hard to use SLR to her to do with as she pleased. We decided to get her an inexpensive digital camera that could take a beating. The Nikon COOLPIX S31 solves a lot of the worry about giving your child their own camera. This family-friendly camera is waterproof (16.4 ft), shockproof (3.9 ft), dustproof and comes in five lively colors of yellow, pink, blue, brown and white. The camera shoots 10-megapixel photos, records 720p HD videos, has a 3x zoom, and a 2.7-inch LCD screen. Set the camera to Easy Auto Mode which will allow the kids the ease of point-and-shoot. Your kids will also get a kick out of taking pictures in the pool which Mom and Dad’s SLR camera can’t do. Get more information on the COOLPIX S31 from Nikon’s website.
BubbleBum Inflatable Car Booster Seat
One of the many extra things some of us parents need to haul around during a vacation is a booster seat for the kids. If you are taking a shuttle, taxi or any other transportation to your family activity where you cannot leave the booster seat, you have to make the decision of whether or not to take it along for the ride and then lug it around with you for the rest of the day. The BubbleBum Inflatable Booster Seat helps solve this by giving you the option of deflating it, folding it flat and stowing it in a backpack, glove compartment or purse when it is not needed. This colorful, lightweight and portable booster seat makes it easy to always have one wherever you go. Visit the BubbleBum Website for product details, safety information and store locations near you that sell them.