We do a fair amount of travelling, last year alone I made three transatlantic trips, 2 with kids, 1 european trip and numerous UK trips, some of which took ALL day! So I know a little about what technology and gadgets ease the load and make travelling and being on holiday with kids a lot easier.
Before we even talk about gadgets and tech, we need to discuss charging them. There is nothing worse then getting somewhere or being mid travel and pow you are out of charge.
These two small but perfectly formed devices are pretty much permanently on my person. The Charge Card
(with a micro USB attachment) lives in my purse and the Charge Key (lightening connection) on my keyring. They have become indispensable and have been used a lot, not just by us, but by friends and colleagues too. You always need a charger when you are out and never seem to have one. This is the perfect solution to that. Even better they are under £20 each.
I seriously heart the PortaPow Crystal 4.2A USB Universal Charger (under £15), it can charge up to 4 tablets, smartphones, satnavs, ebook readers etc at high speed anywhere in the world using universal USB charging sockets. It has four individually coloured and shaped status LEDs let you know when a device has finished charging and returned to trickle charge mode. Even better it comes with interchangeable UK, US, European and Australian shaped plugs clip securely into place for use in almost any country worldwide. We have two of these and they are totally amazing.
Belkin 4 Port Travel Hub (£6.00)
We use this a lot in the car, it is perfect for connecting to a USB Car Charger (£3.00), which means we can use four things at the same time one of which is my trusty satnav. Plus is you are travelling with a laptop or device with a usb connection you can use it to charge quadruple your charing ability from that device.
Always take with you camera battery charger or a space battery (sods law means that it will lose charge just when you least want it too!)
Both my boys love to relax and go to sleep to an audiobook or to listen to music the QDos allowed us to do this with great quality sound for as little as £20. It was really simple to use and set up and didn’t require constant charging. It has a really clever suction cup too, so you can stick it pretty much anywhere, even to the back of you decise and use it as a stand.
I love my Ipad, it has revolutionised technology for me and I have to say that travelling with the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Case, Keyboard and Stand for iPad Family just takes it to the next level. I find that I don’t need to take a laptop with me when I travel. Yes it is a little heavier that our Pong Ipad case (which we are still using a year after first getting it), but for travel it works really well. MadDad has the Kensington hardshell case for his Ipad Mini and he uses that when we are travelling too.
For both you and the kids. I think that good quality children headphones with a decibel limiter in are a must when travelling with kids. However, I have jet to find a pair I feel confident recommending. We have had different ones and unfortunately the boys have killed them within less than six months. So perhaps you can suggest a great pair for me!
Safesports ID Bracelets
Both the boys have Safesports Kids ID Bracelets and I think they are ace. We got them before travelling to Florida and neither of them took them off the whole time we were there. They are like those on trend plastic bands that people were and for the kids version the information is discreetly imprinted. They are made from 100% silicone and the data is engraved directly into the wristband. These survived water parks, roller coasters, fights, sports and children who have eczema! I still use them when we go anywhere as a family where we might be split up.
But what about the Tech?
As for actually tech to take with you, my boys have an Ipod each, which is great and we also travel with the family Ipad (great for movies and TV whilst travelling). They also tend to take their Nintendo 3DS’ with them too. For younger children I recommend Leapfrog products and my Best Friend will be taking a Leap Pad with her to Malta in a couple of weeks for her younger children along with the Leap Reader.
Once we get to our destination technology takes a back seat and will often remain unused, but it is great for travelling with and I love that the boys can store audiobooks and music on their Ipods.
Digital cameras are one of our most used pieces of technology when travelling and the boys both have point and shoots and we are currently lusting after a Go Pro after Who’s the Mummy showed us hers.
What is your must take?
My boys are nine and nearly eight at the moment and I am aware that this will be a different list for children of other ages and I would love to know what would be on your list?