We Wants One

Or actually more than one. We loves it.

Of course my first tactical mistake was to view the video showing it off in all it’s glory. Up till the point I saw it in action I had been quite convinced I didn’t really neeeeeeeeeed one. By the time they got to the calendar with the pages that flip over, I was gone. Interestingly, it was the calendar that started us down the whole slippery slope of Apple gizmos. I found I preferred to use iCal over paper and then it just became inconvenient not having that with me when I was out and about and forever having to get back to people. Which lead to getting an iPod Touch. Which lead to getting and iPhone. Which may lead into getting an iPad.

The second MAJOR tactical mistake was having a 10 year old son looking over my shoulder while I watched the iPad informercial. “Oh!” he says, “I could get that instead of a laptop”. Why, so you could my dear son. In fact in the whole “will it kick Kindle’s butt” debate (of course it will, don’t be ridiculous) and the “oh my goodness it’s not really a full tablet” debate have completely overlooked a whole market segment out there. Kids and Education. Our poor iMacs which are *gasp* ten years old sadly now have less capacity than the kid’s iPods, which is a slight technical problem when it comes to syncing. It’s much more realistic for us to consider replacing those computers with iPads than whole works-burger laptops and just having one mother ship to sync them with.

And of course, I can see the wonderful possibilities with the iPad for travel with kids – it’s a DVD player without the hassles of DVD’s, it has games, it has books and wonder of wonders it has ten hour battery life (at least initially). I can see the enormous potential too for a whole new level of interactive board games. For the adult traveller it will be absolutely brilliant for maps, guidebooks and having a full sized key board has to be better than the tiny iPhone one (sorry iPhone, great for notes but not so much for writing).

If you want the full run down, check out Mashable’s post here.

Apple – iPhone for Travel

Apple – iPhone in Business – Profiles – ArtusLabs.

Well it just reinforces the point I’ve been harping on about forever (stop yawning already!) that the iphone replaces a whole bunch of other gadgets, especially while travelling. For instance, we just sold our portable GPS unit on ebay. Although we don’t have a turn-by-turn voice navigation app installed yet, we’ve found Google maps a more than adequate replacement. Two examples of the mobile navigation apps available are:



TomTom is said to be working on one for release as well.

Is this the end for Sat Nav?

Just like Christmas… in miniature…


Today was box day in our house! Wooo hooo! Normally this means exciting things like new curriculum but today our friendly neighbourhood postie brought our parcel from Uncommon Scents. I have to say I am loooooooooving all things Badger. Mmmmm. Badger Balm. Mmmmm.

Then we went to the shops and stocked up on a few travel supplies. Can’t decide which glue stick to take. The pressure!




Carry on luggage – not so crazy

My parents are currently in Europe. I know, it was a coincidence that both families planned to go to Europe in the same year. As you can imagine, before they left we compared lots of notes. As ‘mature’ travellers (yeah, we’re the immature ones) they have quite a different itinerary and pace. Although they politely admired our Rick Steves carry on bags, they maintained they didn’t mind taking bigger suitcases and not having to cart their bags onto the plane.
Well, we are currently piecing the story together from SMS messages and emails but the gist of it is that my Mum has lost her bag. They flew from London to Paris. The airline didn’t loose the bag – another passenger picked up Mum’s bag by mistake. When he realized the mistake, he contacted my Parents (who were half way to Germany by that stage) and returned the bag to security at CDG Airport. My parents drove back to CDG to retrieve the bag but it couldn’t be located.
So my parents have resumed their trip minus all of Mum’s clothes. They will be able to buy replacement clothes and they will put in a claim of course but now they have the added hassle of trying to shop in an already busy
I don’t want to get too smug because all our travel disasters have yet to happen. We need to wait until we get back before we can truly say that carry-on is a better way to go. In the meantime, it’s certainly sounding less crazy.

Walkie Talkies: The Update

So several blue moons ago, I posted about buying walkie talkies. In fact, we didn’t end up getting new ones. We ordered from the online shop but then they didn’t have them in stock and were only offering a lower model as a replacement. The online store wasn’t that great to deal with and in the end we let the whole thing slide. Therefore, when we went to camp last term, we had to rely on our somewhat dodgy old orange and green pair of walkie talkies. We used them constantly but it was quite frustrating with the “calling” beep going off quite randomly and then not when it was needed etc.

However, now I am working my way through the list of what needs to be purchased before our big trip and we’re back to the decision about walkie talkies. Having done a bit more research, it turns out that you cannot use Australian walkie talkies in Europe. And you cannot use European walkie talkies in the USA. And you cannot use the ones from the USA in Europe or Australia and so it goes on. Therefore if you want to use walkie talkies on holiday, they need to be location specific. Here are the models we are currently considering on Amazon.co.uk


Both of these feature a larger range and a “baby monitor” option. Because there are only about 8 channels available in Europe, these models also have an additional 121 channel codes for privacy. There’s a great comparison chart for the Motorola models here:

So now the 64 million dollar question is – do we get 2 or 4? Or do we just get a couple of cheap mobile phones instead?

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Gizmo Indulgence

Digital Luggage ScalesOk, I couldn’t stand it any more. I HAD to get a gizmo. The gizmo of choice today was the balanzza digital travel travel scales. I found them for a good price at Office Works.
One of the things I get very nervous about when travelling is the weight of our bags. Keptwoman emailed me this and suggested it would be a really good thing to get. I’m afraid that kind of ruins her reputation as the anti-enabler, but here is my new toy.

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Disneyland Park iPhone app


For frazzled parents everywhere, Disneyland CA Planner is an iphone app with these great features:

  • Customizable color-coded, to-scale and zoomable map of Disneyland® Park with GPS*
  • Create your own check-offable list of attractions to visit
  • View available attraction wait times
  • Set and receive alerts when attraction wait times drop below your settings
  • View park hours, event schedules, attraction closures and passholder blockout dates
  • Calendar events, FASTPASS® return times and Disneyland® Park restaurant reservations to your calendar
  • Receive reminders for items on your personalized calendar
  • Browse attractions, dining, menus, snack carts and shopping information for more than 180 points of interest
  • Record where you parked
  • Create your own check-offable gift list
  • Record a personalized, emailable account of your Disneyland experience to share with friends and family
  • Now if only they would make one for Disneyland Paris too!

    Youj can read more about the features on the GotPlanS website.