Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Essential Travel Gear for Family Vacation

As the tech dad, I'm responsible for making sure that the family has all the tech gear needed while on vacation.  In this post, I describe the essential items I bring to meet the demands of the family and minimize my work cause this is the blog of a lazy hacker...

Phone with Project Fi

I mentioned Google's Project Fi in an earlier post and it's absolutely essential for a traveling family.   Fi works in over a hundred countries seamlessly so wherever you are you can have phone and network services.  These days we rely on GPS for navigations, Google Maps and the internet as our travel guide rather then bringing about paper maps, translation books and travel guides.  All that can now fit a single phone that sits in your pocket.

For families where wifi is essential for member's individual electronic devices, Fi allows tethering for free.

It's hard to beat the pricing for Fi.   You pay just for what you use and price is capped at $60.  It's essentially $60 for unlimited data and if you use less then you get money back.  It use to be only the Google phones supported Fi but now there are options from Motorola at lower prices.

Hootoo Travelmate Elite

With each member of the family now having a tablet, phone, laptop, and gaming device that all need a wifi , it is a pain to set it up the connection for each device with every new wifi location.  The Hootoo Travelmate Elite is a huge time saver!  Simply do a one time setup with each device to connect with the Travelmate then whenever you arrive a new wifi location simply turn on the Hootoo and all your devices are connected!

Snorg Tees

The TravelMate also doubles as a portable power bank for your USB devices and can mount USB drives to use as a media streaming device.  I've not really used it as a streaming device since I bring along a Chromecast when I travel.

Anker Powerport 10

All the devices need to be charged and it's no fun fighting over who gets to use the power outlets.  Having the Powerport makes it easy to provide everyone with a charge while only using one outlet.  Make sure you have all the right cables for your devices and then it's a simple 1-step plug-in to the outlet and everyone can start charging their devices.

Power strip & Surge protection

It's super useful to bring along a power strip with a cord in case more then one outlet is needed and also when the outlet is in a hard-to-reach location.  I've been using the Cozoo Aluminum 2 Outlet Travel Strip which is compact enough to carry, but it doesn't offer surge protection.  The RAVPower 4--in-1 Mini Surge Protector or the CyberPower surge protector are travel friendly options.

Recently, I came across the Mogics Donut Travel Power strip that combines the power strip and surge protection in a single compact package.

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