New Gear and Gadgets Ease Family Travel

Travel Tips and Trips

What do extreme adventure enthusiasts and parents have in common? They need the best gear and gadgets for successful outings, whether treks or family travel. With these new products, journeys are less hassle when taking along tots and teens.

GB Qbit Stroller

GB Qbit Stroller

GB Qbit Stroller

With the 14-pound GB Qbit stroller, you can hold onto your two-year-old with one hand while folding her stroller and placing it in your trunk or in an airport security checkpoint bin with your other hand. Collapsing the Qbit is impressively simple—just slide a button on the handle while squeezing another underneath the handle. Voilà, the nearly 40-inch tall stroller instantly compacts to 21-inches high and 13-inches wide, a size that fits some airline overhead compartments. (See a company-produced demonstration video here.)

The Qbit features a storage basket, a pull-out canopy for shade, a cup holder and a shoulder strap carrying bag that makes toting the stroller easy. The seatback, while not fully reclining as advertised, does tilt about 7-inches, enough for most kids to nap. What’s problematic for us is the quick release shoulder harness button’s location—in front near the child’s waist. A curious preschooler could learn to free herself.

Overall, the budget-friendly Qbit delivers a sturdy, folding stroller priced much less than similar products. $179.99. Available at Toys R Us/Babies R Us and specialty stores.

JBL Clip Wireless Speaker

JBL Clip Wireless Speaker

JBL Clip + and JBL Charge 2+ Wireless Speakers

Music has charms to soothe a sulking teenager and yours will perk up when gifted with JBL Bluetooth wireless speakers. Delivering good-quality sound, the Clip+ and the Charge 2+ speakerphones allow your teen to have his music and receive his cell phone calls too.

The built-in carabiner on the Clip+ (pictured, left) enables your music lover to attach the speaker to his backpack or belt so that he won’t miss a beat even while hiking or kayaking with the family. At about 3-inches in diameter, the Clip + won’t ruin his style. Estimated to run for five hours, we find the music can cut off sooner.

 

JBL Charge Wireless Speaker

JBL Charge Wireless Speaker

The JBL Charge 2+ (pictured, right) about as tall as a beer bottle, amps up the bass and blasts for an estimated 12 hours. So what if it’s raining at grandma’s lake house? Your teen can use the Charge 2 + to party outside, streaming his music and the playlists of two of his cousins. A very good addition to a teen’s (or adult’s) travel gear, the Charge 2+ lacks only one thing: a drawstring pouch that makes toting the device, adapter and cable simple so that even forgetful teens won’t leave an item behind. $50 JBL Clip +; $150 JBL Charge 2+; www.jbl.com.

 

 

Evenflo Tilty Cup

Evenflo Tilty Cup

Evenflo Tilty Cup

inside that eliminates the tot’s need to throw his head back to drink, especially when the cup is only partially full.

The sloping divider channels the juice or milk to the child’s mouth so he can drink without needing to stare at the ceiling. Some cups come with easy-to-grab handles.  By rotating the plastic valve, you can adjust the liquid’s flow or stop it entirely, an especially good thing for a traveling tot who wants to swing his cup as a plaything in the car or on a plane. From $3.50. www.evenflofeeding.com.

What gear do you consider “essential” when traveling with kids? Do you swear by any travel gadgets or techniques? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.

Photos courtesy MD Magazine

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