Tag Archives: samsung

2016 Travel Accessories

When you’re taking a family vacation, you need to be ready for anything. At the same time, you don’t want to pack everything you own and the kitchen sink. Here are some of our travel must-haves.

Galaxy S7 (Samsung)

samsung galaxy s7A good cell phone is absolutely essential, and at the risk of starting World War III, we prefer Samsung’s over Apple’s. To start with, the camera takes vibrant, sharp photos, and the number of available apps is dizzying. The S7 and S7 Edge are also water resistant, which makes them much more durable. And in our experience, Samsung phones age well—they last longer than other brands we’ve tested, and are less likely to get “glitchy” or slow down or freeze. Sprint, the network that Samantha uses, also pairs really well with the new Galaxy line and has some really awesome offers right now for both new and existing customers, making it the perfect time to upgrade. Options and prices vary, visit your Sprint store for details.


HERO4 Session (GoPro)

GoPro HERO SessionWhile your phone will likely double as your main camera for basic photography, most of us don’t want to risk losing or destroying it by taking it jet skiing, skydiving, snow tubing, into the ocean, or on a ziplining marathon. The HERO4 Session is the smallest, lightest addition to the GoPro family. It has a free app that connects it to your phone so you can see your photos and videos right away. You can hold it, mount it, and wear it, and it’s waterproof, so it’s up for any and all adventures. The HERO4 takes sharp, high-resolution, professional-looking video and retails for a reasonable $200. Smart remote sold separately. https://gopro.com/

Sara (NAOT)

sara - naotWhen you’re on the road, a good pair of shoes is critical and the Sara by NAOT is a great option. These gladiator-inspired sandals are not only super cute, but also super comfortable, and you can dress them up or down. They have an anatomic cork and latex footbed which is wrapped in oh-so-soft suede. And yes, they can get wet and still look and function just fine. The heel and back panels have additional lining and padding that’s remarkably effective in eliminating blisters and those weird “ow” spots from rubbing. That said, we still recommend that you break them in before going on a long hike. About $150. http://naot.com

Nosilife Apparel (Craghoppers)

craghoppers nat geo chimaHere’s a great way to stay warm and to keep away those dreaded bugs (especially the ones who might transmit the Zika virus) at the same time. NosiLife Apparel has both sun protection and Insect Shield insect repellent woven right into the fabric. The jackets are cute, comfortable, and perfect for summer weather excursions and cooler nights. For the kids, check out the new Nat Geo NosiLife Chima jacket, which is soft and lightweight, has front pockets, a zip front, and a hood. It’s also nearly impossible to wrinkle. For mom, we like the NosiLife Astrid Cardigan, which has neither pockets nor hood, but it’s soft, lightweight, hard to wrinkle, and easy to dress up or down, making it perfect for trips where you can’t pack too much. Prices vary. http://www.us.craghoppers.com/


RFID-blocking vest (SCOTTeVEST)

cottevest_womens_26_pocket_vest2This vest is perfect for when you don’t want to or can’t carry a giant bag, but still need to pack lightweight things like your camera, binoculars, phone, granola bars, wallet, maps, and so on. With 18 pockets, this vest can handle it all. Plus, SCOTTeVEST has somehow designed it so you won’t look like a marshmallow when it’s fully loaded. The vest has a special RFID blocking pocket to keep your passport and credit cards hidden from identity thieves. Pockets are on the inside, so your stuff is also safer from wandering hands. Comes in several colors and in men’s and women’s styles and sizes. About $135. http://www.scottevest.com/

Snowed In?

This winter has been pretty brutal for most of the country, and the endless “snow days” and “no-school days” have made a lot of families claustrophobic and, frankly, bored. So even though the worst of the polar vortex is (hopefully) behind us, here are some great boredom busters that will bring a smile to even the most jaded kids’ faces.

Power Rangers Mega Force Giant 31″ Red Ranger Action Figure (Jakks Pacific Inc.)
giant power rangerThis Power Ranger figure is more than half the size of an average six-year-old and features seven points of articulation, meaning he can be twisted and bent into a ton of different poses. The Ranger’s giant size makes him an ideal companion for eating, playing games, snuggling up on the couch, reading, and jumping out from behind doors to scare mom and dad (that’ll get old for you rather quickly but will keep your child in giggles for a lot longer). The Ranger can stand on his own two feet, which makes him the perfect Godzilla-like destroyer of block cities and crusher of other action figures. And if you do manage to make it outside, he’s so big that there’s no chance of losing him in the snow. Available online, at WalMart, or Toy R Us for about $30.

Battroborg 3-In-1 Battle Arena (TOMY)
battroborgThink of Battroborg as a modern-day “Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robot” that, like the original, will keep everyone entertained for hours and hours. Once your kids (and/or you or your spouse) break it open, cancel your plans for the rest of the evening. The set comes two bots and an arena where they’ll duke it out. It doesn’t, however, come with the batteries you’ll need to make the bots work. Players control their robots using a small, handheld remote that captures and transmits their hand movements, which the bots mimic. Each Battroborg can battle in three different competitive game modes. What’s especially cool about Battroborg’s technology is that it allows up to 20 robots to pound each other in a full-on battle royal at the same time. Available on Amazon.com and at other retailer for $80

Galaxy Tab 3 Kids (Samsung)
samsung galaxyAlthough the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids is aimed at kids, what separates it from other tablets in the kids’ category is its speed and power. At the same time, the parental controls are simple and effective. Parents can pick the apps they want to allow their kids to be able to play from an extensive list, and then restrict access to anything and everything else. Adding new apps to the list requires a parent’s password, a 4-digit code you input when first setting up the tablet. The kids menu itself is brightly colored, easy to personalize and even easier to navigate. The tablet also sports a foam/rubber case which gives the impression that it can survive a freefall from outer space. Of course, we don’t recommend testing that out, but chances are, the tablet will survive basic tumbles. Ready for the coolest feature? Once the kiddies are in bed (or at school or on a play date, or even in the bathtub), all it takes is a few clicks and a password and you’ve got yourself a fully functional Galaxy Tab 7.0″ device that you won’t be embarrassed to be seen using. The biggest challenge is just waiting your turn. Retails everywhere for about $230