Every family has their favorite travel gadgets, but when you’re planning for a trip, the last thing you want to bring along is more gear. In our family we try to limit electronics on vacation because one, they add more bulk to our luggage, and two, they increase the likelihood of something getting lost. We like these travel gadgets because they are lightweight and easy to bring along when we hit the road.
Favorite Travel Gadgets
The Kindle is our family device of choice for many reasons. Not only does it offer 33 million books, apps, movies, games, and music, it offers parental controls with its FreeTime app, which allows screen limits to be set for each child using the device. Amazon also allows for you to link devices so content can be shared and you don’t have to buy the same product twice. Durable (yes, we’ve dropped it and it survived, but now it has a cover), lightweight, and entertaining, the Kindle is perfect for traveling families.
In our family we use the Fit Bit not only as a motivational tool for mom, but a step tracking tool for each day of travel. Each day we try to surpass the number of steps taken the previous day. Last summer in Helsinki we walked 14 miles in one day and the kids didn’t even complain. They celebrated that we broke our record from the day before! Fit Bit will also track your sleep, calories burned, and active minutes, and their app has a food log to keep your daily calories. This little wristband keeps our family moving when we travel!
I know people love to hate the selfie stick, but you have to admit they’re everywhere these days. The selfie stick weighs less than a pound, securely attaches to your phone, and runs on a Bluetooth connection. This one stretches from 9 to 44″ allowing children of all ages to snag pictures of their latest adventures. Some of our favorite vacation photos happen when we hand the phones to the kids, so I can only imagine what fun we would have with a selfie stick.
When you absolutely can’t listen to Sponge Bob another time, give your kids a pair of headphones. Unfortunately not all headphones are created equal and we have found that the over the head “old school” ones work better than ear buds. We will bring these on road trips and airplanes because honestly no one wants to listen to our kids’ music or video games. Look for headphones that feature a volume limit capability to protect those little ears like these ones from Kidz Gear.
Adventure travel is gaining in popularity and when we went on our ziplining tour in Puerto Rico I really regreted not having a GoPro camera to film all the action. When you mount it on a helmet, this camera allows you to videotape all of your fast action, high flying vacation stunts, and it can even go underwater. We will definitely have one of these along for our next adventure.
Each of our children had one of these Leap Readers when they were younger and they loved them. Not only can kids listen and read, they can practice writing skills as well. There’s a volume controlled headphone jack so if you don’t want to listen (or if your on a plane), just plug in some headphones and the kids are good to go. Leap Frog does a phenomenal job of keeping classic and popular titles in their library making this a great choice for budding readers.
With all of these electronics, it’s necessary to have somewhere to charge them. Every night you can charge them while you’re sleeping, but if the battery drains while you’re on the road, you want to have a portable battery charger with you. This charger has dual outlets, is compatible with Android and Apple devices, and doubles as a flashlight. Make sure you have one of these on your next vacation.
I hate to admit it, but technology is everywhere these days and it’s difficult to escape, even when we’re on vacation. These are some of our favorites and hopefully you’ve found some new gadgets for your next trip.