If you’re excitedly packing for your great getaway, take some extra time with your family’s devices before packing them. These days each member of the family has a myriad of devices, not only for entertainment but also productivity. From smartphones, iPods, tablets, laptops, eReaders, to portable gaming systems and beyond, we count on our devices to keeps us connected and entertained whether in the air or on the road. Nothing is worse than leaving the house and finding the gadget you were counting on using to listen to music, watch a movie, or entertain your children on a cross-country flight. Here are some ways that you can work together as a family to ensure that everything will be working properly during your trip and you’re well prepared for any travel delays you encounter along the way.
Test your devices to make sure they work before you leave. Nothing is more frustrating than getting in the car or being captive on an airplane with a device that doesn’t work. Kids can take charge of pressing the power button to ensure that their devices are in good, working order before leaving the house.
Bring along an extra set of batteries. Or two. That device that you turned on while at home may work for a little while but may not have enough juice to last the duration of your trip. Pack a set of batteries in your carry on. It’s usually not a problem to stop and buy replacement batteries during a road trip but you’ll save yourself some money and the trouble at stopping at every airport newsstand to find the right ones for your device.
Make kids responsible for their devices. At a certain age, kids can be in charge of the technology they want to play with. If they have dedicated devices such as LeapPads, Leapster Explorers, iPods, iPads, Nooks, Kindles, Nintendo DS, Sony PSPs, or Vitas, they can easily take responsibility for them during your trip. Even toddlers can demonstrate a sense of responsibility when it comes to a favorite electronic toy so empower them with some added responsibility but be sure to check to make sure the device is where it really is supposed to be before you leave the hotel or deplane.
Pack chargers and cords in your carry on when flying. Since you never can anticipate delays during air travel, packing your chargers and power cords in your carry on bags allows you to charge them between flights and also use them during delays. If you happen to forget, chances are you can probably ask a kind stranger for a few minutes with their charging cable which is a cheaper alternative than purchasing a very overpriced one at the airport.
Keep your devices organized. If you’re worried about forgetting something, having a designated place for them makes it more difficult to leave them on the plane or in a hotel room. Give each child a Kangaroom’s Personal Media Pouch or Built’s Cargo Travel Organizer to keep everything nicely organized. Pockets in each are just the right size for your MP3 player, compact video camera, and all their associated chargers. If you have a hard time telling which cords are which or belong to which member of the family, label them. Mabel’s Labels Cord Control label pack are specifically designed to organize your devices.
Bring along a mini plugging strip. With all these devices for a family trip, the possibility of not having enough outlets is real! Solve the problem of too many devices and not enough outlets with the Belkin Mini Surge 3 Outlet Wall Mount with USB Charger that features 3 outlets and 2 USB ports which allows me to charge my laptop, phone, tablet, and camera battery simultaneously while leaving room for still more plugs. Traveling internationally? Bring along Travelon’s Universal 3-in-1 Adapter, Converter, and USB Charger.