Thursday, January 15, 2015

My 5 favourite travel gadgets

The world is overrun with travel gadgets. Some of them are rather amazing, some seem more interesting than useful, and some seem fantastic but are way out of my league price-wise. I do have some favourite gadgets that I always bring along my trips, and that really help make my life and traveling with my kids easier.

Here are my top 5 travel gadgets.


1. An e-reader with a good cover
Books are a must on any trip, anywhere, whether I'm going solo or with the kids. Reading a book is a great way to put the kids to bed at the end of the day, to pass the time at the airport, or to just relax my own brain when I get a moment to myself. My Kindle is loaded with books: fiction and non-fiction, books for me and books for the kids. Being able to bring a whole stack of books without it taking up hardly any space is a blessing.

A sturdy, zip-up cover for the Kindle makes it even easier to travel with. There are lots of e-readers out there (plus the apps you can use on other devices for the same purpose) - and I highly recommend this gadget to anyone and everyone.



2. USB/regular charger & adapter
Chargers and travel adapters are a must for international travel. I LOVE my new charger/adapter from SKROSS: it has two USB ports to charge various electronics, and can also be used as a regular adapter. One thing to look out for: not all adapters allow for the use of three-pronged plugs, and some devices require that feature (my laptop, for example).


3. Suitcases with wheels
After many years of international air-travel with my kids, I've come to the conclusion that every suitcase should have wheels. Small, big, soft-side, hard-side, duffel-bags or otherwise... everything is more convenient to handle when it has wheels. Sure, most airports have luggage carts, but sometimes they can be hard to find, and you also have to move around your luggage at other times: at hotels, at home, to and from a car, etc. Wheels just make things easier. My son loves tugging along wheeled suitcases, and that's another bonus of course.


4. Good tablet-covers
My kids were lucky enough to get a Samsung tablet each a while back, and they have been in use on all our trips since then. As anyone who has used a tablet knows, though, you need a good cover for a tablet in order to use it comfortably. We use silicone covers for regular, everyday use and a fold-up, leather cover when we travel in order to protect the screens.


5. Pen and paper
Yes, old-school gadgets are sometimes the best. No batteries, no chargers, no cables and totally wireless. Pen and paper works great for taking notes, doodling with the kids, writing down crazy ideas, playing tic-tac-toe and other "offline" games. If you pair the paper with a pen AND some crayons, you have an even better way to pass the time.

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