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

Nov 26, 2015

Top Travel Tech Gadgets Posts This Month

Top Travel Tech Gadgets Posts This Month

Must Have for Travel - Travel Insurance

Aruba Vacation - Kids Gadgets and Accessories

How to Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling

New Cool Up-and-Coming Travel Gadgets - November

Best Holiday Tech Gifts Ideas for Travel

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Nov 9, 2015

Aruba Vacation - Kids Gadgets and Accessories

Aruba Vacation - Kids Gadgets and Accessories

This was our kid's first long trip as mentioned in the first post of the series (Aruba - First Family Trip South - Summer Continued). Overall, the trip was a success. So much so that we just booked our next one that will be in the start of the new year.
In packing for the trip, her luggage space outweighed both of ours. Besides clothes and shoes, she also was bringing toys, food, drinks, carriage, and multitude of gadgets to keep her entertained.

Backpack with a leash
Not only did this little pack contain all of the goodies that would be easily accessible to her during the flight, it came in very handy at the airport as well. It also helped that she liked wearing it. Quite a difference from the animal version we originally got. This one had very stiff straps and they were rubbing and hurting her. Brica By-my-side Safety Harness Backpack has soft padded straps, comfy and breathable design and is light.

Inside the backpack there was
- light up ball with unique shape that prevents it from rolling away
- small travel books
- kids camera that shows different image upon click
- stuffed animal
- and washable crayons

Refresh-a-Baby Water Bottle Adapter
Easily replaceable tops for bottles. Genius. Instead of bringing with us multiple baby bottles from which our kiddo still drinks milk, that take up a lot of space within the bags, we brought these small packable tops. They can fit on just about any plastic bottle that we might buy anyhow to drink water. And we would be able to recycle it instead of tossing out by pouring milk in there and for kid to able to sip at their own pace from it.

Drawing Travel Board

After seeing reviews on multiple kid travel blogs and reading through reviews on, we got her the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones. These are very light, and comfortable on the head. As you can see I tried them on too. They are easily adjustable to quite a few head sizes. They also come with a chord that can limit the maximum value to safeguard toddlers ears. They had great sound. Much better than the cheap earbuds or the ones offered (sold) on the plane.


Water bottle
Stephen Joseph Owl Stainless Steel Water Bottle - This water bottle is made for toddler. Gives them independence to drink by themselves. They can imitate adults when drinking from a bottle. And it has a top that closes completely to prevent spills in addition to the cap that keeps it clean.

Rash guard shirts
Kiddo was swimming in these almost the entire time. They kept her protected from the direct sunlight since they have 100% UV protection. The shirts also kept her warm on the beach since they dried quickly. It also meant putting on less sunscreen as not as much of her skin was exposed while we swam or played on the beach.

Water/beach shoes
While we wore ours only in the water to be able to walk on the ocean floor covered with rocks, she wore hers on the beach to keep her feet safe from various shells, rocks, and other things in the sand.

Phone preloaded with cartoons and games
Before leaving on vacation, we preloaded our phone with several gigabytes of cartoons and educational games and videos. It was a life and sanity saver during eating out and other times of toddler hysterics. During the stay we did not have WiFi and did not take the phone off of airplane mode as to not incur any roaming charges. We still were able to use it for entertainment as well as a notebook.

Phone holder
This little accessory was irreplaceable while using the phone at meals and we were very glad we took it with us. The phone stayed off the table in the right position for viewing and accessing controls. The holder folds up flat and is very light to just throw in our bag with all the rest of the stuff.

Sand Toys
Two buckets filled with sand toys were the unexpected, yet very helpful, babysitter on the beach. Once out of the water, the kiddo would play with them for at least half hour if not more. This gave us some time to arrange beach accessories, sit back, relax and sometimes even read our Kindles.

Sound-off: How do you travel with your kids? And what essentials do you bring along? Let us know below

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Oct 26, 2015

Aruba - Family Vacation - Gadgets and Accessories

Aruba - Family Vacation - Gadgets and Accessories

Charging Up Before The Trip

Getting There

The flight was the first one for our kid. It went well for the most part at the airport and during flight. To keep her occupied and get some of the energy out we got her a new small ball. She played with it while waiting to board. The ball is the non-rolling kind with bumps that prevent it from rolling away but at the same time has plenty of bounce. And it also lights up, making easy to find if it does end up under a bag or seat.
While getting ready and before packing, I looked through some of my favorite kid travel blogs to get some ideas and advice. Based on those suggestions we brought a lot of entertainment with us on the plane in her little backpack. There was a Fisher-Price Travel Doodler, small travel books, kids camera that shows different image upon click, stuffed animal, and washable crayons. And with all of that we almost exhausted all in first half hour. Though after see settled in a bit, it was better and the Jetblue in-flight entertainment helped a bit. We had the Mickey Mouse cartoon on all monitors.
On the plane we were in the first row (thanks to planing and booking by While we were first out on arrival, what we did not expect was that we had to wait for the stroller to catch up to us. Though by the time we were at the baggage carousel our bags were there as well.
In Aruba at customs, they had new machines for folks with the new e-passports. One person steps through at a time. Places there passport on scanner, looks up for camera and once all set, goes through. The line moved very quickly with this new technology.

When we stepped outside, lucky for us they were having the hottest day yet. It didn't let up for next few days

Gadgets and Accessories


- Olympus Stylus Tough - our blue all around camera. Since this camera is waterproof, shockproof, crushproof, and dustproof, it goes with us into the water, to dine, and on walks and  evening events. I just put it in my pocket and good to go. In the water, we also attach the orange camera float strap that keeps the camera dangling on our wrists and floating above water.

- DSLR - While Olympus camera is great and versatile, it does not take as good of a shots as DSLR. Our Canon Rebel XSi comes with us on every vacation to capture some of the more detailed, high definition, and artistic photos, some of which you saw on this site in previous posts.

GoPro - This was the newest camera on our trip. We have been looking to get a video camera since our kid was born, but it has been a tough choice. Most of the dedicated video cameras had very low features with very high prices that didn't make sense since we had similar video quality on the digital camera and phone. GoPro HERO4
on the other hand stood out for its lightness, small size, and superior video quality. Moreover, with the new cases it is also waterproof, has high-definition video and photography and very easy to operate. It became a no brainer for us to get GoPro for our trips.

- Phone - a necessity these days when traveling with child. Before leaving on vacation, we preloaded one of the iPhones with several gigabytes of kids cartoons and education videos. It was a life and sanity saver during the meal outings and other times of toddler hysterics. During the stay we did not have wifi and did not take the phone off of airplane mode as to not incur any roaming charges. Though we still were able to use for entertainment as well as notebook and memos.

- Phone Holder - to use the phone during meal times this little accessory was irreplaceable and we were very great we took one. The phone stayed off the table in right position for viewing and accessing controls. It folded up flat and was very light to just throw in our daypack with all the rest of the stuff.

- Mophie Powerstation - while we did charge our phone in the room overnight, it was definitely a piece of mind to have this juice pack with us as a backup as well as to give us a bit more up time at the airport.

- Kindle - we took both of our Kindles on this trip, though I was not too optimistic if we get to use them. As it turns out, I was not completely right. We had some time to read on the beach, since as it turns out the sand and sand toys were a great babysitter for our daughter for half-hour to almost an hour.

- Sports Watch - in most resorts there are activities and or shows that are at certain time. And meals are also at designated time. So a watch comes very handy. While at home, these days I mostly use the phone to tell time, that is not as easy convenient or safe to do while traveling. It is especially helpful when traveling with toddlers that need to be on their schedule or else (parents know what mean). The Casio watch I got is also great since it shows day of week which is helpful to know. And it is water proof up to certain depth. So could go swimming in the ocean or pool and be able to tell how long we been there and if it is time to reapply sunscreen or go eat.

- Water Shoes. A necessity these days in Aruba as the entrance and ocean floor can be rough and littered with rocks. We got some right before we left after we found recommendations for these on Tripadvisor ( I had the Starbay Water Shoesshoes. These were easy to put on and take off which turns out to be a very good feature for water shoes.

- Belkin surge protector with multiple plugs. Hotel had several plugs but all accept one were behind furniture

- Travelon perfume holder - I wrote about it before and I take most of it back. I can still see how it could be useful when traveling, however it does not work. I loaded it up for this trip and when we got there there was nothing left in the container. All leaked out. I checked that it was closed tightly and it was. Thankfully, it was in its own ziplock that was inside another Ziploc, so nothing around it ended up all of the contents.

All these gadgets withstanding, this trip was a detox from computers and online access to the phone

Coming up next:
Aruba Vacation - Kids Gadgets and Accessories

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Sep 3, 2015

Summer Family Trip to Norwalk CT

Trip to Norwalk CT

Originally, our weekend trip was going to be to Mystic, CT. After looking into lodging and accommodation for just one night, it was way too expensive in this well known town. Broadening our search for a fun and light family weekend getaway, we came across Norwalk. At it turned out to be much better than expected.

We started out driving up to CT on Saturday morning. Even though it was a weekend and early, traffic was horrendous. We finally arrived in Norwalk around noon. Which actually worked out fine as our kiddo got a nice nap in and was up just in time.
Our first stop and the major attraction for the trip was The Children's Museum.
This place is built specifically for toddlers. We had no idea such places existed. Usually most places are 3 years and up. This one actually says that it is 3 and below. Older kids would find it boring. However, our 1.5 year old loved it.

There are a lot of hands on activities. And since most of the parts are built for the age group, they have a bit more freedom to run around and do what they want without getting into too much trouble. They could fish from a small boat, play dress up and make believe, run up small stair to play in the fully stocked kitchen, or have dinning room or reading room experience with a large table and their size chairs. And that is only one small part of the place. Just in that area we spent probably an hour. Than it was time to slow down a bit and have lunch.
After refueling we went to check out the next area of the museum, the Energy lab, aka water fun. There are a couple of tanks with moving water and plastic balls all around. The ball swirl, swim, and get pushed into tubes and up with the water for whirlwind effects and other fun science type of constructions. It seemed to be the most liked area by the kids as there was always quite a few and even parents got in on the fun of throwing the balls, pumping the water, and making the water rush through pipes.

With all the water and splashing, we all got a bit wet. Next up, was to get outdoors to warm up and dry up. The outdoor section is covered up and has foam everything. The ground is rubber and all the activities are foam or soft plastic.
With so many activities for our little one and her running around, we had a chance to try out our new GoPro HERO4 SILVER camera. It took some time to get used to it as the controls are bit different and the camera itself is tiny. And with the case closed, the amount of control over the type of shot is limited and cannot be adjusted easily on the fly.
Also with all the activities, kiddo passed out on the way to the restaurant we were going to for dinner. We went to Harbor Lights, an Mediterranean restaurant on the waterfront with great seafood selection. And she actually slept through our entire meal. It was great to spend some time enjoying a great dinner, with no interruption, for almost an hour. Towards the end of our dinner, kiddo woke up, and got a meal of her own.
After the meal and some hanging out by the docs at sunset, we made our way to the hotel. Overnight we stayed at Hampton Inn. It was very nice, with plenty of parking, great layout inside, and a pool. After checking in, we walked by to check out the pool. And after settling in the room, we changed, and headed to the pool. All of us had a blast in the water with almost no one being in the pool.

Getting back and getting ready for bed, kiddo laid out all of the content of her own backpack. The backpack that she brought is a mini version of full size book bag that has side pockets for bottle, front pockets for favorite animal, and also a leash attached to keep them close in crowded areas. Also she brought her favorite toy of the moment, a clapper, and a travel doodle board.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel. It was not free or included, but it was pretty good for the price ($12.95 per person) and also very convenient. After eating and packing up, we were onto the next adventure, Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. On the way there, once we were a few blocks from the place, we ran into more traffic issues, as it turns out there was a large street fair happening with several blocks closed off. It was not much fun circling around for some time as GPS was not very helpful. Though our munchkin didn't mind. She was getting her early afternoon nap in. Since she was sleeping once we got there and parked, we decided to stroll down to the river and enjoy the views. This was made even better by a couple of ice cream trucks nearby. One of them turned out to be a promo for Wall Street Journal app and they were giving out waffle cones of ice cream for FREE. Win win.

Inside the aquarium one of the first exhibits are the seals. We saw them swimming around back and forth between inside and outside areas. We just missed the show, so we were going to come back later in the day. The next portion in hallway was a large tank with rays and small sharks that you can lean over and pet. I did that. Though neither my wife or kiddo wanted to touch the creatures. The rays’ stinging barbs have been removed and sharks are very friendly. Some of the rays purposely swam up to get patted. Some other fun exhibits included jelly fish (also could touch), lizards and meerkats, sharks, and huge turtles. The seal show was short though fun and educational. Our kiddo clapped when the seals jumped on rocks and two of them kissed.

We also stepped into the butterfly exhibit tent they had set up outside. There were many different types and size butterflies. One of them landed on our Canon camera to get a close up:

Before heading back home, we stopped for lunch at restaurant a few blocks from Aquarium called the Washington Prime. It was a walking distance, so no need to get the car of parking garage, and they had a pretty good selection.

Related links:
Kids Travel Gadgets

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