Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts

Family Road Trip : Books, Tech and Gadgets for Kids

Monday, July 16, 2012

I have a confession to make: we've never taken a roadtrip. Sure, we've taken to the freeways to visit family, but we've never loaded up the car with the specific intent of driving up the California coast or heading to Yellowstone (both are items on our family bucket list). So, I've never really had to worry about keeping our son occupied for more than a few hours. That said, we do have several items we always bring with us for car trips.

Headphones: They are a must. Our son has to use them for the DVD player, the Nintendo DS, the iPod Touch, the iPad and anything else that will make enough noise to bother everyone else in the car. We have a pair of Skullcandy headphones and they're great. When he's wearing them we can't hear any of the blips and beeps from his games.

Tech toys: As I mentioned, we're a gadget loving family. Before we head out on the road, I make sure all our apps are up to date on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and we look for new games to download. I make sure all my magazine subscriptions have the current issue downloaded. Even though I charge everything before we leave, I make sure we have our car kit, too.

Camera: Our son is picking up my photography habit. He's really starting to enjoy taking pictures. Even though he can take them with his iPod, I like to give him our point and shoot as well. If your kids have iPods too, there are a ton of free and easy to use photography and video apps they can use for the vacation photos.

Books: This is a no brainer. Since our son loves to read just as much as we do, a trip to the library is a must. Right now, our son is really into a few series. He's reading The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Secret Series and The Heroes of Olympus series.

It's no accident that I try to steer our son towards books with a high page count! He reads too fast to buy many short books. And yes, we know we're blessed.

Family games:  In addition to the things we played as kids like the license plate alphabet and license plate states game, I found a cute road sign bingo on Pinterest. You can download the bingo template from Oopsey Daisy.

Video camera: Right now my son is on vacation without us. I wish I'd had the foresight to order a waterproof video camera for him. He'll be riding a SeeDo, going fishing, kayaking and inner tubing for the first time. I'd love to have video of those moments captured from his perspective. This DB Power Waterproof Action camera is perfect for water activities.

Hopefully we'll be able to tackle some of the items on our family bucket list soon. There are so many cities, national parks and attractions we want to see. To quote Amy Foster from our trip to Disney this past spring, we only have 18 summers to spend with our kids. Make sure they are all memorable!

What ideas, tips or resources do you have to make road trips easy for everyone? What has been your 
favorite road trip destination?

This is post three in a series of sponsored posts and sweepstakes for the San Diego Honda Dealers Association. Visit and comment weekly for a chance to win Amazon gift cards! Affiliate links used. 

My Favorite $15 Tech Investment - Belkin USB Swivel Surge Protector | Things iLove Thursday

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This is only iProduct related in a round about way, but I just love this little thing so much I wanted to share.

Belkin Surge Protector USB Charger

Not long before we went on our trip to Disney Social Media Moms, I opened an email from*, one of the gazillion daily deals emails I get, because the offer caught me eye. It was for something similar to an item I pinned to my tech Pinterest board and the price was definitely right.

I ordered the Belkin adapter on a Thursday and I believe it was here by the following Friday. So far, it's been one of my best tech investments. I Tweeted a picture of it in use the night before our trip. I think most bloggers can identify with it.

Belkin USB Surge Protector

Not including the batteries, I'm charging four different things at once. I worried I was bringing too many gadgets with me, but we used them all. The mini adapter was great in the hotel because we could keep everything on the desk rather than on the floor and risk something getting kicked under a bed.

I was a hero in the airports. People were huddled around the outlets not willing to give up the space no matter how uncomfortable they were forced to sit. Everyone was totally aware of others stalking the outlets and looking to move in and they were so protective of their space it was feral. When I asked someone if I could share and showed them I had enough space for both of us, they visibly relaxed. It was kind of amusing. Note to airports: give us more outlets!

The adapter has space for three, three-pronged items and two USB cords. There's a button on the back so you can twist the prongs depending on the way your outlet is aligned. This little guy is going with me on every future vacation and especially blogging conferences.

What's the best low dollar, high impact investment 
you've made on a gadget?

*Edited 7/10/14 - This was originally an affiliate post for daily deal site but that site has shut down. The retail price in the photo is from the Belkin site. 

*Yes, the product photo above contains an affiliate link. Affiliate sales keep me properly caffeinated. I would not have written about this if I didn't truly think it was the shiz.
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