Useful gear and gadgets you can buy for a family that loves to travel
Got any avid travellers in your family but completely out of new ideas about what to get them?
We’re sharing just a few snippets from our own Santa wish list this year, with an eye on lightweight, easy to pack and eco-conscious items that we absolutely know we will use every day when we’re travelling, not just gimmicky gadgets that look great on Christmas Day then never really get used.
This post is part of our product reviews and recommendations series – make sure you check out everything we have from kids action cameras through to those baby travel essentials you will need for 2019
1. Power Hub for Everyone!
I think you might know the scenario, big day of site seeing, everyone collapses back into the room. Photos need backing up, devices need charging…. You can be sure the hotel room only has one accessible power plug. What do you do first?
Two solutions we recommend for your power-hungry woes:
1. Recharge your phone while backing it up using a HooToo Wireless Travel Router
2. A good old fashion power board with international sockets to charge multiple devices simultaneously.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to buy the right USB cords to fit each device you have. We find AliExpress an excellent alternative to Amazon to stocking up on these sorts of supplies.
2. Spare Battery Pack
I can’t believe that this is our number one packing item these days (ok it’s the smartphone which doubles as the camera, but it NEVER lasts a full day of travel-hungry photos, GPS…!)
There’s a bit of compromise to be had here, a trade-off between weight and mAh (in layman’s terms, a batteries storage power) so do a bit of research. See how much it takes to fully recharge each of your devices, remembering leaving your camera on can be very power hungry so you may use more battery power than usual.
Despite its weight, we now carry with us a 20000mAh pack to serve the whole family – those cute little tube-style models do nothing!! Technology is improving, so there are some quite good 10000mAh packs that come reasonably light.
With a family all variously needing power fo varying devices, I wouldn’t go lower than a 10000mAh, it will simply run out too fast.
Constantly got battery issues when you travel?
Top Tip 1 – Don’t forget to turn off any background apps you have running on your phone and only switch wifi/data when you need it while travelling.
Top Tip 2 – When the battle commences for charging items back at your accommodation, remember to make the spare battery pack the first item to get it’s recharge!
Looking to Save on electronics? Try AliExpress for a huge range of electronic items, often at a fraction of the cost
3. Cable Tidy for Travel
Ok, all good and well we’ve got your sorted with those all-important electronics, now to deal with that biggest packing nightmare, the cords!
So many cords, so little devices seem to share the same cord! Other than getting your whole family on to the one brand of product (near impossible), get organised with your packing next time and take a cable tidy bag.
4. Neck Pillows for everyone!
If you’ve ever sat on the fence whether these really make a difference to comfort and flying experience, I can tell you after years of naysaying and battling it out, bleary-eyed in Economy, a neck pillow really DOES make a difference to comfort (when Business class is not an option, of course).
By far the best seller and largest response we had was to the BCozzy. It comes in adult and children’s sizes and with its soft fabric outer (available in a huge variety of patterns and colours), and its ability to snake around your neck with its siliconised microfibre filling, it’s an absolute winner for comfort, as well as space in your luggage. It weighs in about 6oz.
Unlike so many brands they DO come in children’s sizes (approx 3 to 8 years old) as well as adults.
6. Scrubba Washbag
Ok, this isn’t as glamorous as some of our suggestions, but seriously useful!!!!
Keep laundry on the go under control with this unique wash bag system – simply pop some water a little soap in your wash bag (yes, with your weeks worth of smelly socks and undies), seal it up, massage the bag and laundry all done in 3 minutes, sounds too good to be true?
Come and check out The Scrubba on Amazon and read some of the reviews:
5. Foldable Grocery Bag
Again, maybe not the most exciting, but an exceedingly practical thing you can buy for a traveller.
Whether it’s carrying that one of two extra purchases that you didn’t expect, having an extra bag for your wets after the beach – or doing the right thing for the environment and BYOing your own bag for grocery shopping on the move, it’s a must.
Get them multi-pack so you have several hidden away across your luggage. You will be amazed at how many times they come in useful! Ultra-small, ultra-light they really don’t add much to your packing but make a big difference.
7. Collapsible Water Bottle
How many times have you had to sacrifice a water bottle at security? Or ditched a bottle because it was taking up too much space?
These are ideal for not only getting through security at the airport but taking on your day trips too. They don’t add a huge amount of bulk to your carry on or day packs.
There are quite a few brands and manufacturers of this product now so we cannot vouch for them all, but with fairly similar pricing and a load of wonderful colours, they’re a great, practical stocking-stuffer idea.
8. Travelling cutlery set
Another must if you are taking a focus on being more environmentally conscious in 2020.
I’ve absolutely fallen for this portable cutlery set from Blulu (yeah I know I’ll end up carrying them for everyone), but how great are these?
We’ve travelled with just the metal straws up until now, and wow, even in one holiday I can tell you what a difference it made to how many unnecessary plastic straws we saved in 6 weeks. If we can do the same for unnecessary plastic cutlery too….
9. Hidden pocket scarf
Keep your valuables close to hand. After a nasty bag snatch incident, we are more conscious than ever of keeping our valuables close to us. This provides a stylish and attractive way to do it.
Do you have any more favourite travel gadgets you would add? What life-changing discoveries have you made this year?
Don’t forget to read our other handy gift guides this buying season including:
- Coolest new travel gear for a family trip – for travel with younger children, all our best recommendations on sleep products, strollers and car seats.
- Gifts that travel-loving parents-to-be will actually use – Get clued-in on what to buy new parents that they will get a lot of practical use from for their baby.
- Beach gifts for Mom – the perfect gifts for a beach-loving mama, practical and pretty items, drinkware and keepsakes to remind you of the beach
- Uncommon ideas for the boys and men in your life – Why are men always the hardest category to buy for? from your littlest guy through to teens and men, we’ve gotten creative with some unique ideas they’ll love.
- How to keep your vacation memories alive – The holiday doesn’t have to end once you’re home. Unique gift ideas to keep your travel memories alive in your home.
- Fun & Educational gifts for little travel lovers to use at home – All our favourite gifts for kids that can be ordered from anywhere in the world and delivered to your door to keep your junior geography-buffs happy all year.
- Action Cameras for Kids – all under $100USD – A really useful guide explaining what to look for in an action camera and the best value models on the market.
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