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A Traveler’s Holiday Gift Guide for Families

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Ready for the holiday travel season?

Have no fear, is here with all the items you need to plan a perfect family getaway in our Holiday Gift Guide 2010.

Whether it’s a road trip to grandma’s house or a plane ride to the theme park, these are the toys, accessories, and gadgets to keep the whole family happy all vacation long.

Let’s pack.

Hello Kitty TravelOnce you’ve calmed the kids down from their initial vacation excitement, you’ll have to get them to pack up. What little girl could resist getting ready for a big trip when she’s got this FAB NY Hello Kitty rolling suitcase ($49.99, Toys R Us) to pack her princess outfits and autograph book?

Matching accessories that also feature the cute cat are a soft neck pillow ($12.99, Sears) and throw blanket ($19.98, Sears) to keep her cozy and comfortable during the car or plane ride.

There are two words that have a lot of effect on your little one: cute and soft. 

Lola the Lamb ($34,, a Zoobie Pet, is both of these and so much more. At first glance she is a cute, pink, plush lamb. Undo two Velcro straps underneath and she flattens out to a softpillow. Unzip a little zipper and out comes a large blanket, you guessed it: cute and soft.

Man, Lola has a lot of tricks up her wool! Kids cuddle up on the plane or in the car and feel like they’ve never left the comforts of home.

It’s a chilling thing, thinking about all the bulky coats you will have to pack when traveling during the winter months. Save space in your suitcase and in your car when you compress all your coats down with Coghlan’s Compression Sack ($15.98, This handy case has a “flip-top-lid” to prevent strap tangling and folds into a thin disk for easy storage when not in use.

Paul Frank Booster SeatThis Olli booster seat ($94, from Clek features fun, colorful designs by Paul Frank, letting your kid know that yeah, it’s cool to be safe in the car. The Olli boosts your child’s height, ensuring the seat belt fits properly. It’s light and easy to transfer from airplane to rental car or taxi.

Never fear that you’ll be the mom with the screaming child on the plane again. Entertain your 6-24 month year old with the Star Kids Air Play tray table cover ($24.99, This 100 percent cotton cover comes brimming with attached toys and slides over your tray table to be played with from the upright or down position, ensuring that all time is playtime and your child doesn’t have time to get fussy.

The Snack and Play travel tray ($19.95,, also from Star Kids makes time in the car fly right by. This soft tray attaches to a car seat or stroller, and has walled edges to prevent toys, crayons or a snack from falling off the tray. No kid will have time to whine with these trays in front of them on long journeys.

For more ideas on great holiday gifts, check out Gadget Guy Reviews: The Best Travel Gadgets of 2010.

Keeping Entertained.

You’re driving and your kids are bored. You’re waiting in line at the store and your kids are bored. You’re on a rollercoaster ride, and your kids are … bored? Probably not, but if this IS the case, you may have chosen the wrong amusement park (or there’s something wrong with your offspring).

Dexim SuperchargeKeep the whole family entertained with games on the iPhone (the Scrabble and Game of Life apps are great for making line time fly). Keep your iPhone 4 powered up for hours with the Dexim Super-Juice Power Case ($59.99, The case provides quicker charging and extends talk time up to six hours, video and games up to 10 hours, and music up to 40 hours. This case also has a stand for hands-free video viewing on a plane, in the car, or back at the room.

Another case to keep your cool iPhone 4 charged up and free from scratches is theDexim Supercharged Leather Power Case ($79.90, which extends battery life the same amount while cradling your phone in real leather.

The P-Flip Foldable Power Dock 3 in 1 Bundle Pack ($69.90, extends battery life the same amount of time and folds to make a stand for hands free viewing of your iPhone 4/3GS/3G. Basically, with the aid of these gadgets, you’ll get to avoid hearing the teen-angst-filled cry of: “My phone’s dead, my life is over!”

Find more helpful items in our Travel Gadgets & Gear section.

Go CaddyMom, you’re busy. We get it. You could join the likes of circus performers the way you juggle your cell phone, camera, money and credit cards, water bottle, park maps … don’t you get tired just thinking of it all?

Give it up for the Go Caddy ($19.99,, which holds it all neatly and separated, leaving you hands free.

And the water bottle portion of your Caddy would be lucky to contain the WaterGeeks Filtered Stainless Bottle ($26.99, which not only looks good on the outside, but has good happening on the inside.

Each bottle comes with a filter that attaches to the cap inside and removes chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria, lead, and other water contaminants.

And for Dad, who embodies all that is rugged and manly, your liquid-consuming device is all about utility and simplicity. An uscanteen canteen and Como carrying caseallow you to drink up in style, while oh-so-nonchalantly hiding whatever it is you need to consume to get you through those long theme park days and nights.

Eat 'n Go Fruit & Vegetable wipesOf course, every parent has ambitions of providing only healthy snacks. If you’ve grabbed a piece of fruit from the hotel buffet but forgot to wash it, it’s time to tackle the germs and grime with EAT CLEANER Grab N Go Fruit + Vegetable wipes ($10 for 30 individually wrapped wipes in a tray, These biodegradable wipes with recyclable wrappers are great for wiping down fruits and veggies to remove E.coli and salmonella bacteria as well as wax, and inhibits the browning effect.

They can also be used to clean hands before eating, all without water. The best part is that they don’t contain alcohol or change the taste of your food. (This product was recently awarded the Disney iParenting Award for best new product. If only Snow White had these wipes for her apple.)

In the hotel.

You’re not one to sleep in and miss any of what the day has to offer. Oh, you are? Well, any day is a great day for change!

Sleeptracker EliteThe SLEEPTRACKER Elite ($179, is a stylish watch that keeps track of your sleeping patterns and can act as an alarm that wakes you up for family fun with beeping, a vibration, or both. This watch for her is more than just a pretty face; it even has a built-in USB port so you can download your sleep patterns to your PC for viewing. It’s also water resistant so, sorry Mom, you’re out of excuses for not riding Splash Mountain.

If you’re headed somewhere exotic, it just so happens that Phosphor has released its World Time Watch ($150, that shows two timezones simultaneously. The E Ink electronic paper display technology makes it easy to read, but no back light creates problems at night.

The futuristic surface of the watch is rounded to fit the shape of your wrist allowing for a quick view of the time from any angle. Best of all, this sleek, ultra-thin piece requires no power to maintain an image so the battery lasts and lasts.

After a long day out on the town, there is no better reward than lounging around the fireplace or, well, the minibar. And Dad, this is where UNCL loungewear comes in. All of their T-shirts ($25), hoodies ($35-47), and sweat pants ($47, all come pre-washed and super soft.

It’s likely that you will have a hard time keeping these comfortable clothes to yourself once mom gets her hands on them, but that’s OK. You’re willing to share. Or buy more.

You’ve seen it on TV. Now see it on your whole family. The famous Snuggie( also makes mini-items for kids, pups and the new Snuggie-to-Go, which comes with a free sleep mask and travel pouch. Face it, you’ve tried to resist, but it’s futile.

Snuggies For Doggies and KidsThe cuteness is here to stay.

It’s nice that hotels often offer you tiny little shampoos so you don’t have to bring along your bottles from home. But let’s face it, these are often not the greatest products and they can leave your hair feeling lifeless and blah. Enter Blow to Go Hair Kit ($28, which includes a shampoo, conditioner, thickening mist and protective styling mist which come in a case that’s completely air travel compliant. This kit will provide you with a fabulous blow out while on the go, because traveling is no excuse to let your hair suffer.

Dad is not to be left out of the pampering while he travels, either. Luckily he can still feel masculine while cleaning up with the Jack Black First Class Travel Set from ($48). This kit compacts the essentials into a convenient Jack Black case. Inside you’ll find an all-over wash for face, hair and body; a 3-in-1 pre-shave oil, shave cream and skin conditioner; face moisturizer; eye balm to reduce puffiness and the appearance of dark circles; and lip balm. The site also features a variety of TSA-friendly toiletries with mix and match options—an ideal stocking stuffer.

Happy Holidays!

By Kelly Wilkes for

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