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6 Fun and Functional Family Travel Finds

by Debra Bokur

Nov 21, 2017

© Pojoslaw | Dreamstime


Love new travel gadgets? So do we, and our latest finds come just in time for holiday gifts and the stuffing of stockings.

Kids Spill-Proof Tumbler.

Kids Spill-Proof Tumbler. Photo: Contigo

Contigo Travel Mugs and No Spill Cups

Designing high-tech solutions for our on-the-go society is exactly what Contigo does, and when the company turned its attention to spill-proof beverage containers, the results were pretty close to perfect. Designs include sleek, sophisticated no-spill coffee containers, water bottles and — to the relief of family road-trippers everywhere — the leak- and spill-proof Kid’s Tumbler in fun patterns that include Nautical Fish, Sprinkles Adventure, Wink Rain and Granny Smith Superhero. Intended for kids ages 3 and up, the cups have skid-proof bottoms, fit most cup holders, are dishwasher safe and BPA-free. There’s even an attached straw with a spill-proof valve that twists open for easy cleaning. For adults (or bigger kids), the AUTOSEAL Chill stainless steel water bottle has a built-in spout shield and AUTOSEAL lid that automatically seals between sips, and is made with THERMOLOCK double-wall vacuum-insulated stainless steel that keeps beverages cold for 28 hours. Prefer hot drinks? The AUTOSEAL West Loop stainless steel travel mug features the same great technology as the water bottles, with wide lids for easy cleaning, the simplicity of push button, one-hand handling — and keeps your tea, coffee or cocoa hot for up to five hours. We’re just going to say it: Thank you!

ZizzyBee Bags

Whether you have kids or, like me, just obsess about organizing your own expeditions, ZizzyBee bags are your new best friend. These eco-friendly, reusable, washable zip bags come in multiple sizes, and are made of see-through mesh, so you can see right away where you stashed the snack bars or the first-aid supplies. Each bag has a corner hook for hanging, safe zippers that won’t pinch little fingers and are reinforced with cheerful stripes and colors. The company was founded by a mom-turned-entrepreneur, and can be purchased in combinations of large and small bags with a variety of colorful borders. There’s even a Dirty Laundry Bag you can stash in your suitcase, or in the trunk of your car for road trips.


Hydaway water bottles for kids

Photo: Hydaway & MyAir Comfort Mask

Hydaway Water Bottles

It was travel that prompted designer and developer Niki Singlaub to conceive his dazzling idea for the Hydaway, an eco-friendly water bottle that actually collapses and can be slipped into a purse, carry-on, briefcase or jacket pocket, and filled on demand. The bottle comes in multiple colors in two sizes, with the smaller Hydaway Kids Bottle in child-pleasing blue and green Cool Breeze, orange and red Hot Lava, and pink and purple Very Berry colors. The bottle packs down to just over an inch when empty, and has a super stable base to keep beverages upright. The rubbery, ringed shape is tapered from top to bottom for easy gripping, is topped with a finger-friendly carry handle and even has a space where kids can add their name for a personalized touch. The bottles are taste- and odor-free, dishwasher safe, watertight and made of food-grade silicone and plastic that are BPA-free and certified safe by a third-party process. The Hydaway even has a Travel Case where it can be zipped away when not in use.


Photo: Hydaway; MyAir Comfort Mask

MyAir Comfort Mask

If you’re taking the kids on a flight this flu season (yes, we mean winter), help them stay healthy and protect them from breathing in recycled cooties with MyAir. These reusable face masks come in funky patterns and colors with a cloth outer layer that can be washed and reused, and inner filter liners that can be tossed after use. Bonus: They stay in place, thanks to the stretchy fabric and clever design that allow the mask to be twisted and slipped over the ears.


Made in the United States, MyAir masks retain 88 percent of exhaled moisture vapor that help keep respiratory membranes moist and able to do their job, while at the same time blocking 99.997 percent of airborne pathogens.


MyAir Comfort Mask

MyAir Comfort Mask. Photo: Hydaway; MyAir Comfort Mask

Box Appetit

Road trips with multiple kids can be challenging — especially when everyone’s tummy seems to be on a different schedule. Instead of filling the cooler with messy snacks that require pulling over to eat, pack ready-to-eat hot or cold foods in highly functional containers from Box Appetit by black+plum, a system of food storage vessels that include bento boxes, lunch pots, thermo flasks and super nifty Food Flasks (that come with their own spoon in a bright, whimsical color attached by a vegan leather strap). Flasks are also perfect for work and school lunches. Made of high-quality vacuum insulated stainless steel, your food stays hot for up to six hours or cold for up to eight hours. Made of Tritan and silicone, the containers are BPA- and phthalate-free polypropylene.


Wander Wet Bags

Photo: Wander Wet Bags

Wander Wet Bags

Way cooler than a plastic bag, and ready to keep your family’s beach gear from sanding up or soaking the rest of the items in their suitcases, Wander Wet Bags are water resistant, machine washable, breathable and made of eco-friendly, 100-percent cotton fabrics with food-safe grade PUL interior linings. Made in the United States, the bags come in four design collections: Coastal, with patterns that include starfish, coral and seahorses; Resort, with anchors and Caribbean-themed colors; Luster, in shades and patterns of Champagne gold and platinum; and Minimalist, with solid, no-fuss hues of Noir, Palm, Marine Layer and Deep Sea Navy. Sizes include small (perfect for phones and keys), medium (swimsuits), large (yoga gear) and sport (swimsuit and towel).


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