MATT — So whenever we take a trip, I am tapped as the family Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that we are digitally prepared for our journey. Here’s what we bring and some tips for packing lightly but providing maximum technology…
Navigation & Communication:
- Garmin Nüvi 1250 (aptly named and affectionately known by the family as “nüvi” – for directions & traffic)
- TIP: Make sure you have all the addresses for each of the locations pre-loaded, pre-printed or send an e-mail to yourself with that information and put it on your smartphone. The GPS is only as good as the address or coordinates, so know where you are going
(before you leave)
- . All of this makes for less bickering, trust me.
- Motorola Droid + charging cable (USB cable + AC Adapter/Charger)
Backup navigation via the Android phone:
- Pink Blackberry 8350 Curve (Traci affectionately refers to her as “Pinkberry”) + Car charging cable
- Red Dell Mini 9 (named “Ruby”, of course) + Laptop AC Adapter + matching Red Dell Bluetooth Travel mouse (for social media & blogging purposes)
- MyPlace Cozy personal workstation with built-in cushion (for working on the laptop on the road) + lightweight, thin, gel mouse pad
- 9″ Phillips DVD Player w/ built in iPod dock+ both Car & AC Adapters/Chargers
- TIP: Make sure you pack lots of DVDs (in fact get an old CD case and bring them all), you never know what the kids will be in the mood to watch.
- 80GB 6th Generation iPod (Classic)
- 8GB 5th Generation iPod Nano
- TIP: Load both the iPods with audiobooks, podcasts, games, music, videos, etc. the day before the trip, so it feels like they have enough “content” for the trip.
- Nintendo DSi (handheld game console) + AC Adapter/Charger
- TIP: Have your children periodically stop playing on the tiny screen(s) and look out the window to enjoy the view on your trip, otherwise they might get car sick)
- LeapFrog Leapster2 handheld learning console (because it has a volume control and headphone port)
- TIP: Turn the volume on low before you get in the car or offer the child the chance to wear headphones; you’ll thank me!)
- 6′ 3.5 mm stereo male-to-male extension for car stereo auxiliary audio input jack to device(s)
- Canon PowerShot SD960 ISdigital camera (for taking high quality photos and HD Video to preserve memories of your trip, or for posting to our “Go BIG” blog)
- TIP: Make sure you fully charge the camera battery(ies) and bring an extra memory card.
- 2 “over the head” earphones/headphones for the car (one for each child – of course)
- DC/AC Converter (inverter) for the car – gives the ability for regular AC devices to be plugged into the car’s DC power ports)
- 6 Foot extension cord w/ 3 grounded outlets (trust me on this one)
- small power strip with 6 outlets (in order to charge everything up overnight in the hotel room)
- 2 “mini” USB cables (also for charging and syncing devices)
- Western Digital My Passport 150 GB external hard drive (loaded with all the itunes music, movies and podcasts) for additional backup
- an iPod sync cable (also for aforementioned overnight syncing/charging)
- Backup batteries – 4 AAA and 4 AA (if you’ve ever been on a trip with a device or kids toy that won’t power, you feel my pain)
- LED flashlight (hey, you never know)
The “Go Big” Vehicle:
- A cup holder that fits my extra large Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (say it with me kids, french vanilla, milk and sugar)…
- Integrated Bluetooth hands-free wireless technology (just in case a call should come in or need to be made)
- Built in 3.5 mm audio jack (for streaming Pandora from the phone or listening to podcasts on the iPod)
- Heated seats (my back needs a little warmth to stay limber)
- A comforatble ride (so some people can sleep, like my wife – always)
- 3 power outlets (2 up front and one in the back-back – to keep all of these gadgets running!)
All this and we haven’t even left yet, I’m exausted! Let’s unpack!
As a former tow truck driver, I feel it necessary to provide this public service announcement and tips:
Check the car:
- Try to fill up the car with gas the night before you leave (one less thing to do before you hit the road).
- Always check the car’s vital fluids (oil, coolant, windshield washer, transmission, etc.)
- Check the tire pressure (buy yourself a good tire gauge – proper inflation saves lives, tire wear and gas)
- Check to make sure your license, registration, insurance and roadside assistance papers and information are current, present and in order.
Enjoy your trip!