• September 20, 2014

Parents @ Play: Don’t leave home without these

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Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2014 4:30 am

So you’re taking a trip with the kids. Whether you’re going by car, plane, or some other way, you’ll need to keep them safe, occupied and relatively quiet. Here are some fun, new musts-have travel take-alongs.

Helium

If you’re like most parents, part of your job on family trips is to be a pack mule, dragging luggage, laptops and lovies all over creation. Bags in Delsey’s Helium line are durable (on one trip, ours were loaded onto multiple planes, boats, and trains and still look great) and lightweight (making them easy on the back and minimizing those evil airline baggage charges). Available in three sizes and your choice of standard or bright colors. All are equipped with a TSA-approved lock and retail for $160 and up. http://shop.delsey.us

Day Traveler

We’ve been big fans of Day Traveler bags for a long time. Our new favorite is the Site-Seeing Tablet Courier. Like the other bags in the line, this one is durable, lightweight and accommodates a surprising amount of stuff (the split-book design makes packing a breeze). It’s also water resistant (so no worries about spilled drinks or rainstorms), has a host of pockets in various sizes (perfect for phones, glasses, wallets, laptops/tablets, and more), and comes with RFID-blocking technology (which keeps your personal information safe), Retails for $45 at

http://shop.eaglecreek.com.

Adventure Weekender

If you’re going on a quick trip, this one is perfect. It’s got plenty of room for a computer, a change of clothes, those just-in-case-we-get-stranded-overnight necessities, and is still small enough that the flight attendants won’t try to make you gate check it. You can lock the zipper pockets, and the Adventure Weekender is easy to stack on larger bags. If you’re looking for durability and versatility, this one’s for you. $150 on http://shop.eaglecreek.com.

VINCI Tab III Learning Tablet

If you have a little one who’s not quite ready for a big tablet, the VINCI Tab III is made to entertain, engage, and educate. It comes with a great bumper (which incorporates a handle) to protect it from those inevitable childhood drops and “oopsies.” The company says the VINCI is aimed at kids 18 months to 9 years old, but we think it tops out at about 6 years — today’s tech-savvy kids will be on to far more sophisticated tablets by then. But the little guys will have a great time learning and playing without getting overstimulated. The fun, game-based apps teach math and reading skills in an enjoyable way that they’ll want to play over and over — and that will keep them quiet wherever they happen to be. What a great way to keep those young minds humming without having to resort to “Angry Birds” or “Fruit Ninja.” $129 at http://store.vincigenius.com.

Sea Squirts life jacket

Going for a swim with children who are less than 100 percent water safe? You can literally keep their heads above water with a number of swim aids from SwimWays. They’ve got a wide variety of vests, life jackets, baby floats, and other products, so you’ll have no trouble finding something for each child’s swim abilities. The Sea Squirts life jackets are adorable and even sport a stylish fin. The Power Swimr swim training system comes with nine flotation pads which you gradually remove as your child moves from floating to swimming. Please remember that when it comes to children, no swim aid can substitute for mom’s or dad’s watchful eye. Be safe. Sea Squirts run $47 and the Power Swimr is about $21. https://www.swimways.com/

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