If you’re heading off for some well-deserved rest and relaxation this coming spring break, but are dreading the actual getting there with kids part, then worry no more mama! We’ve spoken to the tech gurus from Tekkie Help to put together the Ultimate Techie Travel Survival Kit… and with these ideas and gadgets under your belt, those long haul flights, arduous car journeys, and busy airports (not to mention the time away from your child’s creature comforts!) will be a breeze.
So what does the Ultimate Tech Travel Survival Kit actually include?
1. Tablet and/or smartphone
Top of the list of course are tablets and smart phones! They are a saving grace for modern day travel, with the potential to provide hours of entertainment for your little ones — entertainment that can be both fun and educational at the same time (guilt-free, we love it!). Preload your device with new content that you know your wee ones will love. Think new music, movies, e-books, puzzles, games and activities, as well as a bunch of new apps.
Popular apps that are guaranteed to keep any young child amused (for more than 30 seconds!) are those from the Toca Boca and Dr. Panda range, as well as apps like Pat the Bunny, Endless Alphabet, Timmy Tickle and 52 Fun Things to Do in the Car. Gube also provides a catalogue of pre-screened, moderated and fun YouTube videos that can be watched on or offline.
An app guaranteed to keep you sane is TripIt – a fab free travel organiser, which keeps all your travel details in one place, including flight schedule, maps, directions, hotel confirmations, weather, sight seeing plans, and more.
Headphones are an essential tech kit must-have for parents, as none of us (or our fellow passengers) want to hear SpongeBob for more than 10 minutes or be subjected to annoying beeps and other noises when travelling. It’s best to choose ones that are specifically designed for children, to ensure a better fit and to protect their ears (most come with inbuilt volume control). We love the Griffin Crayola MyPhones (AED139 incl. shipping from Souq.com) which not only look the part but also come with stickers and felt-tip pens, so kiddos can design their own earcaps – how cool is that?
If you have a couple of kids wanting to watch the same movie, a great gadget that prevents fighting and keeps the peace (pun intended!) is a headphone splitter. It enables you to plug multiple headphones into the same device. Belkin do a great one for AED129.95 (incl. delivery) which can be bought from the AE Apple Store.
3. Power supply
Don’t be caught with a loss of power, make sure you pack a portable power bank to charge your devices on the move instead (all without the need for a power socket!). We love the range from ProBox, which packs a powerful punch in a sleek and compact form and can easily slip into your handbag or pocket without weighing you down. Universally compatible output ports deliver full speed charging to all your latest generation devices… you can even charge two devices at the same time mama – just plug in and juice up! Whichever power bank you choose, look out for one that features a 2A input to give you quicker charge and to also work with your iPad. Pick up yours from Souq.com for AED280 (incl. shipping).
Alternatively, if you’re travelling on a plane, many larger aircrafts now have a facility to charge your devices en route. You just need to remember to bring a UBS cable with you!
4. HDMI cable
If you plan on spending some downtime in your villa or hotel room, come prepared with a HDMI cable so you can connect your phone or tablet to your hotel room TV. This will not only project your favourite movies and TV shows onto the big screen, but it also enables you to have a giant family Skype session (if that’s your thing!).
5. Child locator
Have peace of mind knowing where your children are in busy airports, amusement parks, shopping malls or anywhere else your child might become distracted, with an alarm child locator.
We love the “Mommy I’m Here Child Locator” which can be purchased at eBay for AED220 (incl. shipping). The cute-as-a-button teddy bear is fitted to your child’s wrist, footwear or clothing and emits a high pitched alarm when your child wanders more than 20 metres from you. Love!
So that’s it mamas! Our must have techie products to help make travelling with the kids that little bit more enjoyable (and peaceful!).
Sarah Pinel is a mama to 2 very active little boys, aged 4 and 20 months. Originally from the UK, Sarah moved to Singapore in 2011 with her husband, Bo and set up Tekkie Help. Designed to get people’s technology working the way they want it to, Tekkie Help provides solutions to common problems like backing-up data, wireless networking, data organisation, syncronising devices, setting up parental controls, and fixing faults, as well as common software problems and removing viruses (and they even provide helpful advice on anything techie!).