Family Holiday A to Z: Gadgets
Welcome to my A to Z series on surviving, enjoying and making the most of family holidays. As you read this I am on my own 24 day odyssey to the USA with my husband and three little bears – so I am truly living what I am preaching right now! Each post in this series is designed to cover a specific aspect of family travel and provide 5 tips for making your next family holiday more special, fun and memorable. I would love to hear your stories and suggestions too, so feel free to hit me with them in the comments. I look forward to conversing with you on my return!
One of the challenges of going on holidays is deciding exactly what to take with you. You have limited space in your bag but you will be far away from home and don’t want to leave anything vital behind. Perhaps an even more important consideration for a family holiday is deciding what gadgets to bring along that will entertain the kids and make your holiday life a little more comfortable.
My definition of a gadget in this post is anything that is a handy tool. You can have tech gadgets to keep yourselves and the kids entertained or household gadgets that make living away from home for a while more tolerable and manageable.
Here are some ideas for gadgets you might like to consider taking on your next family holiday.
5 tips for the best gadgets to take on your next family holiday
The iPod is so many wonderful gadgets in one and it’s perfect for kids to carry, use and look after, everywhere you want to go. iPods can act as a music machine, game station, communication device through FaceTime, camera, video recorder, orientation device and mini e-reader – it’s the complete boredom buster for every family holiday. You can find hard cases to keep them safe and in one piece and you can also hook them up to a lanyard to wear around your child’s neck if you are worried about losing or damaging them. Their versatility and portability while travelling can’t be beaten, even by the ever-popular iPads and other tablet devices (which are also VERY useful gadgets while on holidays).
If you are looking to consume numerous books on your holiday you should consider taking along an e-Reader. There are so many advantages to e-Readers like Kindles. Apart from minimising the bulk in your suitcase (many titles can be loaded onto the one e-Reader device instead of taking separate hard copies along) it also saves you having to find bookmarks to save your place, lets you increase font size to help your vision and allows you to read at night as well. If reading is your idea of holiday bliss, an e-Reader would be the perfect family holiday gadget for you!
3. Peg less clothesline
This gadget is a must buy if you are travelling for more than a few days. I’ve picked up a peg less clothesline for our trip to the US where we will have to wash our clothes along the way. Held to the wall by suction caps, the line has elasticised knots you can use to attach your washing. This saves space in your luggage (it folds up into nothing) and also saves you packing lots of unnecessary clothes as you’ll be able to wash as you go. It might seem like a basic idea of a gadget but a peg less clothesline is such a great idea for longer trips and a handy tool to manage your laundry while travelling.
4. Noise cancelling headphones
We invested in a few more pairs of these for the US so that each of our kids had their own pair. These are a god-send. They take out all the ambient noise of the flight and allow you to concentrate on listening to music or watching a movie or playing a game on the in flight entertainment system. On our trip to NZ our kids didn’t even know that we had taken off, they were so absorbed in what they were listening to with the help of their headphones. They are definitely well worth the investment and can be used throughout the holiday, not just in flight.
5. USB charger hub
A charging unit with multiple USB ports is such a great gadget while travelling. It allows you to charge more than one device on the single unit, saving valuable powerpoint space for other uses. If you are bringing along iPads, iPods, e-Readers, smart phones, etc for the entire family, a USB charger hub is a must-take gadget. Seriously, there is no point bringing the gadgets with you if you have to take turns in charging them separately. The very thought of that reality makes me feel all jittery as I type this…can you imagine having to decide which child’s device could be charged and which wouldn’t? Take my advice – take a USB charger hub along to prevent that nightmare becoming a reality!
Bonus tip – 6. Don’t forget your smart phone!
If you are like me this will never happen – my phone is attached to me pretty much constantly. However a smart phone is a must take gadget for any family holiday. It boasts all of the advantages of the iPod with the added benefit of being able to make and receive calls and texts which can come in handy when trying keep in touch with friends and family while on holiday. There are thousands of apps that can also be accessed to help you choose activities, restaurants and sightseeing options while travelling plus you have access too to reviews and opinions. Probably the single most useful gadget you can take along on a family holiday!
Do you have any suggestions for gadgets to take along on your next family holiday?
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