A little post vacation post here – I’ve just returned from vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii to escape winter here in the Pacific Northwest (for the rest of the country, its really pretty moderate, but for a recent San Francisco transplant, oy, it’s been a bit rough).
Being a nerd on the go, I always travel with a fair bit of gear and adding an 18 month old to the mix changed out my gear bag substantially. I think folks are always a little shocked at the amount of crap I take on board the aircraft, but pleasantly surprised when they enjoy the fruits of my labor.
Here’s what I took, why and a letter grade for usefulness.
- iPod 60gig with video – A+ – This little guy saw lots of use from putting Olivia to sleep to supplying tunes for the crew for dinner or on long drives.
- Altec Lansing inMotion – A+ – Helped Olivia fall asleep and kept the vacationers in music.
- Monster iCarPlay FM Transmitter – A+ – Kept us occupied on two 3 hour drives. Worked great with little FM interference.
- Etymotic ER6i – C – These headphones are great for blocking out noise on a plane, however, demanding children shouldn’t be blocked out. I didn’t really use these much.
- Powerbook G4 – B – Had a few movies/tv shows downloaded but didn’t really watch much tv. Internet connections were few and far between, but did manage to pick up last week’s episode of Lost.
- iGo Juice – A+ – Kept everything powered up and saved us from taking 5 other power adapters. A must for gadget loving travelers.
- Palm Treo 650 – C – The Treo was kind of a mixed bag as Sprint’s network worked pretty badly on the Big Island. As a GPS front end, it worked fairly well (except for a major freeway not appearing on the map). It seems my friend’s Cingular phone worked great the entire time.
- Palm GPS – B – As mentioned above, worked great except when it failed to have a major freeway on the map.
- Tom Tom 300 – F- – Didn’t include Hawaii in its onboard maps. Was a complete dead weight. Apparently, you can download these maps from TomTom’s website. We brought this for our fellow vacationers, but thankfully my phone pulled double duty.
- Canon SD450
A – Just picked up this camera before we left and it was a gem. A lot smaller than my S100 (yep, the original Digital Elph) and the huge LCD was incredible.
- Panasonic LV-DVD75 portable DVD player – A+ – You might wonder why I didn’t just use my laptop as a DVD player and the answer is simple: would you give your laptop to a 18 month old? While Olivia doesn’t watch much tv, having a few episodes of Arthur and the Teletubbies onboard was a boon to keeping her from screaming her head off while bored on the flight and while were getting ready to go somewhere.
While it makes the carry on pretty heavy (I’m guessing at least 20 lbs), the trip gadgets definitely aided in our enjoyment.