Traveling with kids is great – until the moment it isn’t. These 8 items solve many of the problems parents face when traveling with kids, from keeping what you need handy on the plane to making sure your phone-mad tweens and teens always have handy wi-fi.
- Travelmate: If you have $1000-plus dollars to spend on a suitcase, this is the one you need. The world’s first “robotic suitcase” actually follows along after its owner like a dog – no need to carry or roll it! The Travelmate can roll along beside you in vertical or horizontal mode (where it looks like it’s crawling behind you), can be automatically locked through a phone app, located wherever it is so you never lose a suitcase, and even has a camera so you can record your journey, or set up your case to watch your hotel room while you’re out.
- FaceCradle: If you have a child who falls forward when he sleeps, this ingenious little pillow will keep him snoozing a little while longer. This flexible memory foam device can function as a standard neck pillow as well as in four other modes – including strapping to the back of your seat to support your head and keep you from jerking awake.
- Soarigami Airplane Portable Armrest Extender/Divider: If you’ve ever sat in a middle seat between your kids to keep them from fighting, this little device may have been just what you needed. It clamps onto just about any plane armrest and divides it in two and gives both riders a little more real estate. No more fighting over who touched who or who’s protruding into whose space!
- spAIR Tray Travel Shelf: There’s just not enough room in that back-of-the-seat pocket to hold everything you need, and no parent loves scrambling through bags to look for a phone, a binkie, a toy, or a pen, especially when someone has a laptop on the seat-back tray. This shelf slides into the window-shade track and holds the little extra things that make flying less painful.
- Flight 001 Seat Pak: You’ll want to buy one of these for each kid you’re flying with. A little loop hooks it to the seat-back tray release turnkey, and the bag holds everything you need for entertainment or comfort: cords and plugs, smart phones, tablets, crayons and coloring books, etc. No more rummaging in the bag you can barely pull out from under the seat in front of you – give your kids their own stuff, and let them rummage instead!.
- Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle: Water bottles are heavy, crinkly-loud, awkward, and not allowed through airport security when full (but who wants to buy a bottle and then immediately empty it?). Get one of these light, collapsible reusable bottles instead. It weighs less than half a pound and comes in a rainbow of colors, so you can have easy-to-ID travel bottles for every member of the family.
- GlocalMe G3 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot: If you have tweens or teens, you know that the ascending hierarchy of needs goes something like: shelter, food, water, WIFI – and that a kid deprived of phone time is going to be cranky. Buy this device and you can access the internet on up to 5 devices without any roaming charges or hassle in more than 100 countries. You can buy data packages or pay as you go; the charges are very reasonable.
- HoodieBuddie: No need to drag along earbuds – this innovative hoodie has washable versions built right in, or a washable speaker if you want the world to hear what you’re hearing. Plug your phone into the pocket jack, and you’re all set. They don’t come in kid’s sizes, but the HoodieBuddie extra-small fits older tweens.