By Kristen Pope
During the summer, many mountain families pack their bags and hit the road. Whether heading to the coast to get your beach fix, back East to grandma’s house, or even to an international destination, the gadgets described below will help make your getaway fun, safe, and comfortable.
1. The Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Mat is perfect for workouts on the go. Coming in at a scant two pounds, this mat is foldable and packs tightly into any suitcase or travel space. The mat is made from biodegradable natural rubber that won’t fade or flake. Restore after a hectic day of travel, or bust out a downward dog or sun salutation anytime and anywhere with this little number. Check out Manduka’s products at Inversion in Jackson. (MSRP $40)
2. Keeping peace during long drives in the car is simple with the Nabi Tablet, available at Kmart in Jackson. Designed as an educational tool, with numerous parental control options, the Nabi Tablet has models for kids ages 3 to 6, 7 to 10, and 11 to 14. It features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, age-appropriate apps for homework, social media tools, educational games, and more. It also has a drop-safe bumper to protect the device from breakage. Kid-safe headphones, with an ear-protecting sound limit of 80 decibels, are also available. (MSRP $99.99-$289.99)
3. Traveling parents know the frustration of changing squirming babies in the backseat of a car, atop a campground picnic table, in a grimy bathroom, or on any other quasi-flat and almost-sanitary place they can find. Luckily, the NapSac by Lilly Gold, available at Backcountry Baby in Jackson, works as a diaper bag, changing pad, and Pack ’n’ Play. This foldout contraption converts to a sleeping area with four padded sides, a waterproof plastic bottom, and two sheets—one for changing and one for sleeping. (MSRP $124.99)
4. Spooky campfire stories are always better with eerie, flashlight-under-the-chin illumination. Just use the sun’s energy to charge the Verilux ReadyLight Solar Rechargeable Flashlight on a car dashboard or picnic table by day, so it’s ready for evening fun and late-night trips to the loo. This eco-friendly LED flashlight provides up to four hours of continuous light and features nightglow strips so you can locate it in the dark. (Verilux.com, $29.95)
5. Mom—keep your documents protected in style, when traveling domestically or abroad, with the Pacsafe Slingsafe 250 Handbag. With a slashproof strap, this organizer stores passports and credit cards in an RFID-safe (radio-frequency identification) sleeve, protecting you from any sketchy encounters. The turn-and-lock strap hook allows you to secure it to an airport or restaurant chair, and the wire-reinforced slash guards, inner key ring, and locking smart zipper add extra layers of security. Open it up to reveal a pretty printed inner liner. (Zappos.com, $85) -KP