On our recent trip abroad, we somehow managed to take more gadgets than usual. But all for the best as each device came in handy. Our trips have certainly gotten easier over the years. Of course, the kids are older, but if we had some of these tools when they were younger, I am sure that our trips would have been easier. Here are some of the gadgets that I highly recommend you consider taking on your next family trip:
1. The iGo charger is absolutely amazing. You can charge your phone virtually anywhere, either plugged into the wall or on the go. When you plug it into the wall to charge, it fills itself with enough energy to charge your phone four or five times. It comes with two USB outputs for simultaneous device charging, a USBN charging cable and foldable wall blades for easy storage. And the best part about it? It works everywhere, all over the world, so you don’t even have to worry about bringing a converter. It’s light, as well as easy to carry and store. While I didn’t use my phone abroad, I did use the Internet feature on my phone, picking up WIFI every chance possible and was able to charge my phone anywhere, anytime.
2. The next tool is not an actual gadget, but an application for your phone. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Skype. You must use it at home, if not, you have to start using it. Skype allows you to make cheap phone calls over the Internet, as well as have video chats. We’ve been using it for years and it enables us to speak to everyone in our family who lives abroad. For some reason, I didn’t realize that not only can you download it to your iPhone, but you can use it on your phone. While we were recently in Israel, my phone was turned off to avoid roaming charges. My husband had to leave us for a few days and we were worried about not being able to contact each other for that period of time. But with the use of WIFI in my flat, I was able to make all my local and international calls. With all of the calls that I made on it, I still managed to have credit left at the end of the trip. It’s simple to use. All you need to do is download the application onto your phone, make sure you have credit and dial your number on the keypad. It also sounds as clear as day.
3. On the plane, my husband kept declaring that he loves the Jabra Bluetooth Headset. It’s a Bluetooth speaker and headphone combo. He plugged it into his phone and was able to wirelessly hear the music downloaded into his phone. It’s comfortable to wear and contains up to 32 hours of streaming music.
4. I am sure that if you are a parent who travels frequently, you always take the portable DVD player with you when traveling with kids. Many planes don’t still don’t provide TVs with every seat and if you are on a long ride, I guarantee you’ll need it. My kids watched “High School Musical” on our recent flight from Israel back to England. It kept them occupied for two of the long five hour-long flight. It’s been a life saver since my kids were wee small. I remember taking one on a flight to Italy when my daughter was 1-1/2 years old. We borrowed it for at the time they were very expensive. Somehow we left it on the plane and had to buy them another one, as well as buy ourselves one. Since then, they have certainly gotten cheaper and are worth every penny. I used to call them the greatest invention since the invention of electricity. You want the kids to be quiet, to get some time alone? You take this out, plug in the DVD and your child will be happy as a clam.
5. The last few items are obvious. We loaded up our iPhones before our departure, ready to entertain the kids when they needed entertainment in the car on a road trip or distraction in a restaurant. The iPhone is a tremendous tool that makes our trips abroad so, so, so much easier. When the kids get restless, start to annoy each other, etc., we take out our iPhones and hand them on over. The other item that helps on the plane is the DS-Nintendo. It’s funny, my kids don’t really play these at home, however, on a plane and away from the home, it totally absorbs them for good lengths of time.
It’s important to be tech-savvy when traveling with kids.