The way people travel has changed a lot in the last couple of decades. With GPS devices, smart phones and a slew of other gadgets, traveling has become much easier. While it’s refreshing to switch off electronic devices at times, they can enhance our trips if used properly. This is especially true when traveling as a family, and particularly with children.
Family road trips undoubtedly require more organization than solo trips. Since there are more than several people to coordinate, making sure no one gets separated and everyone has fun can be a challenge. Here are some travel electronics that will hopefully make your trip a bit smoother and reduce the chance of mishaps.
But before we get into that, you’ll need a vehicle for your family road trip. Book yours today at Cars Iceland and lock in the car of your choosing.
The Best Travel Electronics
We’re going to assume that you have at least one smartphone between all family members, so we won’t include this device. But regardless, try to minimize your time on your phone while you’re in Iceland. You don’t want to find you’ve missed seeing a whale leap from the water because you were too busy checking Facebook.
In terms of price, just because a certain gadget is expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it is the one best suited for you, but neither is the cheapest. In theory, more pricey electronics will have a longer life span, but be sure to do your research before selecting one.
The great thing about e-readers is that they can be shared without fuss since they have the capacity to hold many books. Each member of the family can have their own book or two on the device, and the e-reader will save the last place each book was left on. Not to mention there’s even an option to add bookmarks.
Maybe the whole family is heading out on a hike or excursion and one member doesn’t feel up to the journey. Perhaps they choose to hang around the hotel or relax in the hot
Rather than your children spending time on mind-numbing games on a tablet during a road trip, encourage them to read. Although driving around Iceland means constant incredible views, this won’t always hold kids’ attention. Give them something to do which will bring real value. Even better: download Icelandic books translated into English.
These aren’t just so every family member always has enough power to stay connected on Instagram. Ensuring your smartphone stays charged might help you out of a sticky situation. These helpful gadgets can be used for directions, or to find local gas stations, restaurants or local points of interest. But phones can’t do any of this if they run out of battery.
Modern portable chargers are compact and light, fitting easily into your pocket. They generally carry enough power to fully charge your smartphone multiple times over. And as with e-readers, they can be easily shared among the family, provided you have the right cables. When it comes to charging the portable chargers themselves, often all it takes is a USB connection to get them juiced up.
Under this section, we’ll also mention plug adaptors. While the majority of modern cars have USB ports, you’ll still want to charge in the hotel. For Iceland, you’ll just need a standard world-to-Europe travel adaptor. If you forget your adaptor, which is a common occurrence with international travel, not to worry. They’re available to buy at the airport and most gift shops.
While this may come across as old school, walkie-talkies can be a great alternative to phones when abroad. Not only will you save data, but you’ll also be covered in areas where you can’t get a phone signal. And despite Iceland’s great cell coverage, there are places in the country where the bars will drop considerably.
Having walkie-talkies to communicate with the other members of your family will make it easier to coordinate with them. Modern versions often have a range of several miles and the battery power lasts for hours. They’re perfect if you all want to take different hiking routes and stay in regular contact. They’re also great if the family is all skiing together.
You won’t really be needing these in Icelandic summer, but in the other seasons, Iceland gets dark like anywhere else. In fact, leading up to the winter solstice, the sun barely rises for a few hours a day.
A head torch will come in handy when camping, especially when you’re away from artificial lights. You can keep your hands free while walking from your tent or rental car to the bathroom or kitchen. They’ll be useful on hikes, when it’s getting dark and you still need to get back to your car. Finally, they’re also useful for reading at night in your tent.
With adjustable straps and beam strengths, you can find a head torch that suits everyone in the family. Modern LED head torches project a beam that allows you to see very far ahead.
Extra Memory Cards/Flash Drives
With such good cameras and video recorders, the media we capture is a big part of holidays in modern times. These captures are a big aid in us reliving the experiences we had during our adventures abroad. They’re also easier than ever to share with those we care about, which may inspire them.
In order for all this to happen, though, you must have enough spare memory to last throughout your holiday. You don’t want to get half-way through and run out of space, so some files might need to be deleted. This is where spare memory cards and storage devices come into play, whether USB sticks or hard drives.
Get into the habit of backing up the day’s pictures and videos every evening, just in case. Additionally, if you’re off on a big adventure, try to start the day with a clear memory card. As mentioned, the lack of connectivity in some parts of Iceland may hinder you from uploading to an online drive. Keep your physical storage somewhere safe and dry.
As well as extra storage, certain camera accessories will be very handy. If you’re visiting in winter, you want a lens that is adapted to recording at night, primarily for the northern lights. A tripod also makes family photos much easier to take, and fortunately these days they come small and easy to carry.
While pictures and videos can be enriching souvenirs, don’t be so consumed with capturing the ideal photo that it takes away from your trip. If you’re snapping and recording at the expense of enjoying the moment, you’re looking through the wrong lens. After all, there’s never been a better substitute than taking in the beauty with your own eyes.
The benefits of travel technology
The best travel electronics may be costly, but if taken care of, they’ll last for many years. The initial investment is worth the benefit these items will have for your Iceland trip.
Although many electronics are now made waterproof (or at least water-resistant) store them somewhere dry when not in use. Iceland can experience a lot of rain and snow, and continuous water exposure won’t be good for your gadgets. Wear warm, waterproof clothing at all times of the year, and keep your items inside pockets.
The first step to the ultimate Icelandic adventure is booking your rental car. Check this off your list today and the journey will soon begin!