Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Travel Part 2: Tech Necessities

Headphones are a necessity for travel, you need them for your iPod, iPad, computer, etc.  For a long time I used ear buds but then I discovered how wonderful noise canceling head phones can be. For a little more bulk, you can basically drown out much of the unpleasant sounds of travel.  You can also hear the audio on movies so much clearer, music is more crisp--they really make a huge difference. 

Able Planet's True Fidelity Foldable Active Noise Canceling Headphones allow you to escape into a movie or music with a full lush sound you would think comes only with very expensive headphones.  I was so grateful to have them on a recent crowded train ride where there was a ton of chaos and noise.  I just put them on and off I went into my own peaceful little world.

They fold up compactly and come with their own little bag.  They take up very little space and if space is an issue for you (and when is it not when you're traveling?), they are well worth it.

There is a volume control knob on the cord and the texture of the headphones themselves is very pleasing.  They come with different jacks to make them compatible with various devices and airplane outlets.  Many people find engine noise to be very draining and to cancel that out finds them with less fatigue at the end of the flight. 

Noise canceling headphones are not meant to put you in a black hole of silence, you will still be able to hear extraneous sound, but they do buffer out a ton of noise.  You'll still hear annoying passengers and sounds, but it will all be buffered out significantly.  I've used these when I had a migraine and was subjected to a lot of loud noise that I couldn't get away from.  They helped considerably and their value went way up after that.  These will forever be in my bag and I highly recommend you try them out too.  Find them HERE.
Kids like their entertainment every bit as much as we do, and as long as they are engaged, travel is infinitely easier for adults.  I find headphones work much better for children than ear buds and I particularly like these KIDZ GEAR HEADPHONES.  My son was using regular adult headphones but they didn't stay on so great.  These are a perfect fit, they're well made and comfortable.

I also don't have t o worry about him blasting out his ear drums because they are set for the volume to only go so high. But they also have their own external independent volume control so your child does have some leeway. These are awesome for use at home too.  We take them to the doctor's office or anywhere I know we will have a wait time.  Kidz Gear also makes a wireless headphone for wireless systems.  Total must have for kids, find them HERE.
If you have an iPad, you probably feel protective about it.  If you have and iPad and kids, even more so.  OtterBox has the solution to traveling with an iPad, or even just staying at home with it and feeling comfortable letting the kids use it.  I love letting my son use my iPad because there are so many educational "games" he can play.  Math Bingo, reading apps, vocabulary apps, there are plenty of wonderful ways to occupy his time without rotting his mind.  Balance that with some appropriate frivolous games and you're good.  The iPad has made it possible--even enjoyable to sit in waiting rooms, and any other time I need to focus my son's energy it's there like a pocket nanny (I suggest using it wisely and moderately to keep these magical powers intact).  

None of this would be possible without the protection of the OTTERBOX DEFENDER.  Even though we got a first generation refurbished iPad, it's still a very expensive toy.  I would be reluctant to let my son, an active six year old, use it without this heavy duty cover.  But with the OtterBox, I feel safe.  There are three layers of protection, this thing is hard core.  It's got a silicone skin, then a hard polycarbonate shell and a protective film for the screen.

The case does not interfere with any of the iPad's functions and it has a handy stand to prop up your screen for viewing movies.  The silicone keeps it steady in your hands (great for kids) and the shell makes it less vulnerable to drops and dings.  I had no problem at all installing the case, even the protective screen film was easy because OtterBox includes a cardboard tool to help you apply it evenly.  It comes with a microfiber cloth and the packaging is recyclable. The Defender does create a tiny amount of extra weight to carry, but it's well worth it.  Fabulous for travel, camping, and the rigors of daily life.  Find it HERE.