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For those of us who are addicted to coffee and its many variations, finding a decent cup of java while on the road can present a challenge. I love my hometown Community Coffee, but I’m not adverse to seeking out small coffee shops when I’m traveling. Here’s my take on the various products offered to help one enjoy coffee while traveling:
McDonald’s iced coffee drinks – Two words: Run Away.
Burger King’s iced mocha – It would do in a pinch and is a deal at $2.
Sonic’s frozen coffee blend – This was pretty tasty, but I could feel the fat contained in this concoction sliding down my throat and straight to my behind.
Starbuck’s – I don’t care for their regular brews, which taste over roasted and burned. However, when in an airport, I will line up for a Cafe Mocha or Frappucino. Beggars can’t be choosers when enroute to a destination. I did sample their new instant coffee, VIA, and was disappointed.
McDonald’s iced coffee was the most disgusting thing that has ever passed through my lips with VIA a close second.
I usually try to find something redeemable to say in my experiences and to make my opinion a bit more palatable, but there is no other way to word this opinion.
Another challenge for getting a great cup of coffee is brewing it while camping or experiencing a lack of electrical power. When my family goes camping, we bring along an old percolator and brew Community Coffee over a campfire. We even used this method during Hurricane Gustav when hubs and I were working nights through the emergency. No power anywhere, but we seriously wanted the comfort of our favorite coffee. I tried using a power inverted to hook up our electric coffee pot, but it was a no-go. After Gustav I found a neat gadget for brewing coffee from a vehicle:
Koolatron Travel Coffee Maker – This coffee maker is affordable, portable, and 12 volt. I wouldn’t recommend brewing the entire pot while the car is in motion (wouldn’t want to burn yourself). It would, however, be useful at a rest stop, camp site, or just in case of a power outage.
Here are some tips on finding coffee while traveling:
Text: Send a text message to Google (466453) with the subject coffee
Web browser: Find the nearest Starbucks at mobile.starbucks.com
Phone: If all else fails, call 800-235-2883 and the Starbucks operator will assist you in locating the nearest Starbucks.
Road trips with families can be lots of fun, but what if you are potty training your little one? Rest stops can be hard to find, not to mention scary for some potty trainers. On the Go Potty is a convenient option for traveling with a trainer. This item is only $10 and well worth its weight in gold! It is offered at Kalencom New Orleans and can be ordered online, along with accessories. A ten pack liner refills hold 5 oz of liquid each. This is great for number one, but I’m not sure about number 2. Here’s the company info:
The Potette brand On the Go Potty is great for travel or to take anywhere that you may not have access to a sanitary bathroom. It’s a clean potty for your child no matter where you go.
Disposable liner re-fills are sold separately.
Contoured seat for your child’s comfort.
Sturdy well-balanced base helps your child feel secure.
Legs lock into place when opened.
Folds flat so it can fit in a purse or diaper bag.
A great potty to keep in your car, boat, camper, or RV.
Uses self-absorbing, disposable liners that discard like a diaper.
Disposable liners hold up to 5 ounces of liquid.
Liners are lightly scented to absorb odors.
Liner handles secure to the potty and tie closed for disposal.
Drawstring carrying bag included.
Comes with 3 super absorbent, leak-proof and easy-to-use disposable liners
For ages 2 years and up to 50lbs
Dimensions: open with legs locked into place: 4 1/2″ H x 8 3/4″ W(extended legs wider than rim of potty) x 8 1/4″ D
folded closed: 1 7/8″ H X 8 3/8″ W X 8 1/4″ D
The first thing my son packs for any family vacation road trip is a game system. I’m always glad when he brings it, because as a family we love playing multi-player games in the evenings or if the weather prohibits an outdoor adventure.
When we aren’t traveling, the neighbors will stop by for a visit on the back patio. The kids break out the games and before we realize it, we have a neighborhood game-fest in progress.
The entire neighborhood was excited when a package arrived at the door late the other evening. It included copies of a brand new Wii game. We broke open the package and tried out Family Party: 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun.
I was Ninja Mom, while the kids raced boats at Summer Camp. My husband enjoyed the family football game. There are even board games and many other types of games to keep a family entertained. I wouldn’t suggest this for the smaller kids because there is a small bit of mild cartoon violence, but for the 10 and up crowd, we’re good to go!
Here’s what the company says:
Bring the outdoors in with the greatest value in family entertainment—Family Party: 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun has something to offer everyone exclusively on the Wii™ with a wide variety of engaging and addictive party games featuring martial arts, team sports, individual athletics, and challenging brain games. Players can choose from over a dozen cute characters, participate in up to four player competitive action, and unlock games and challenges to achieve the highest score and win medals! Offering hours of at-home entertainment, Family Party: 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun is a great value at $19.95 and a perfect follow-up to the 2008 smash-hit for families and friends to enjoy together.
Want to win a copy of Family Party: 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun? Just leave a comment stating if you think it is okay to allow kids to play video games while traveling. That’s all! One entry per email address. Contest ends September 29, 2009 at 11:59pm with winner being announce sometime the next day. US residents only. Must be 18 to enter.
Winner Update: Congrats to Jaclyn Reynolds!
I go everywhere with this item. Seriously. It fits neatly in the side pocket of my Tom Bihn Smart Alec backpack. I’ve pulled this sucker out at airports, in hotel rooms, and it has even come in super-handy at tech conferences like SxSw and BlogWorldExpo.
No longer does a traveler have to moan and groan while reaching to plug in the cell phone charger. No longer does a traveler have to switch out items for charging. This power strip from CableOrganizer.com has multiple outlets, including a USB charging port. Now all of your charging problems are eliminated.
Monster Cable’s mini power strips are a compact and convenient way to power your devices. The dual sided design includes wide spaced outlets so you can plug in large adapter plugs. You can safely charge up to four devices at a time as these mini power strips come equipped with a resettable circuit breaker to prevent overloads. The 24k gold plated plug is corrosion resistant to provide you the best possible power transfer and it illuminates to indicate you are receiving power. Monster’s power strips are ideal for travel as the flat wrap cord folds away neatly and will fit into a standard sized laptop or travel bag. These 4 outlet power strips are ideal for use on laptops, cell phones, PDA’s and charging stations.
I’m not too keen on hearing screaming kids when I’m on a flight. I really don’t want to listen to screaming kids, especially when they’re MY screaming kids. Now, moms all over the globe can block out the whining of their six year old with this nifty noise reduction headset. No longer will you have to miss out on the sultry whispers of your romance movie while in flight. The only downside that I could find was the bulkiness, but that far outweighs the noise aspect. I really wish I would’ve had these on-hand when I flew to Hawaii and was stuck between a four year old and a dad with a toddler. I was soooo looking forward to quiet flight while I traveled solo and left my noisy ones at home. Oh, the irony.
The Plane Quiet Platinum is a full around-ear active noise reducing headset. It’s combined high fidelity sound, active noise cancellation, and low price, make it an unbeatable value. The Plane Quiet Platinum is also one of the lightest,active noise canceling headsets available. Experience “The Sound of Silence”. Compatible with: iPod ®/ MP3, CD, DVD players/laptop computers/ desktop computers. This item can be purchased at ProTravelGear.com.
I’m so excited to add that for a limited time, these also come it pink. Plus, each purchase will also help silence breast cancer! Pink Plane Quiet headsets are $99.95