Entries in ‘Travel Gear’ Journal

Traveler Products: Travel Toy – Travel Gear Review

Friday December 23, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 1 Comment

"Brainstring Advanced"

Travel Toy Brainstring Advanced is for all ages – a Travel Gear Review

Brainstring Travel Toy

Looking for unplugged entertainment for on-the-go travel? Tuck away the headphones, put down the Kindle or iPad, and engage in old-fashioned travel toys introduced before electronics entered the scene. On a recent road trip to Carmel, I put the Brainstring Advanced in the backseat with our two teenagers.  While the toy is geared for ages 8 and up, my 19 year old likes puzzles, Sudoku and Rubik’s cube, so I thought the Brainstring Advanced might capture her attention. In fact, both the 19 year old and our 16 year old son played with the toy for about a half hour each.

Figuring out this challenging brain teaser will stretch your puzzle-solving skills to the next level and keep travelers entertained while on the road. Touted as the “Rubik’s cube of the next generation,” the Brainstring Advanced makes a good travel toy whether on a bus, flying on a plane, or riding in the car. Personally, I am not a Rubik’s cube kind of gal. If I saw this toy on a coffee table, I’d ask how you play it, and then I would pass it to my game-playing, high IQ achieving daughter.  Neither of our teenagers solved the Brainstring Advanced, so I do wonder how an 8 year old would fair with this toy, but like travel, it’s about the journey, not necessarily the destination, right?

How to Select the Best Travel Toys

For car and airplane travel, I feel the best travel toys are ones that don’t make noise and don’t have small pieces that will fall under car and airplane seats. While my children are no longer in the tween and under age group, my teenage son and his carpool buddies still reach for the old-fashioned Etch A Sketch and Mad Libs when we travel to sports-related tournaments.

What are your favorite travel toys and best kids apps?

If You Go:

Brainstring Advanced

Suggested retail of Brainstring Advanced $16.95

Recent Toys USA supplied me with this product for review.

Travel Tips on raveable

Skanz QR Code – Travel Gear Review

Friday December 9, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 3 Comments

"QR Skanz Band"

Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown social networks with Skanz QR code wristband.

Scan This Travel Writer

The next time you are zip lining in Costa Rica or dancing the night away in New York and you want to exchange business cards – but you don’t have one on you – show your wrist band with your personalized QR code and voila! your contact information is transferred to their smart-phone.

"Nancy D. Brown Travel Writer"

Get out your QR Code Reader and Scan Nancy D. Brown – Travel Gear Review

Mobile Business Card

The standard business card serves its purpose when it comes to meetings, but today’s high tech, mobile connected era is always looking for the next best thing. Much the way Bump helps smart-phone users exchange contact information,  Skanz uses QR codes to capture and share users’ online presence.

The New York-based Skanz allows users to convey all their online details through a QR code. I went to the Skanz site and entered the contact and social networking information I wanted to share. A QR code was generated, allowing me to affix a decal to the back of my mobile phone or I could purchase a smartphone cover or wristband with my unique QR code on it. Either way, users may  scan each other’s QR codes with a free accompanying app for instant access to relevant information.

"skanz bands"

Skanz black bands – travel gear review

Don’t expect your QR code reader to perform well with dark lighting or moving wristbands. We needed to move inside for better lighting to successfully scan the QR code on my bracelet.  The wristband certainly served as an icebreaker for starting a conversation!

Social media fans may follow QR Skanz on Twitter or friend them on Facebook.  For all things travel related, follow travel expert Nancy D. Brown on Twitter.

Create your own QR code

Personal Skanzsite = free. Skanz bands $9.99 per band, available in a rainbow of colors.  iPhone cases with your personal Skanz code on the back $19.99. Skanz decals for your school ID card, computer, iPad case, anywhere it sticks – $5.00 per decal.

Related Post:

Urbandillo Hobo Bag – Travel Gear Review

Top photo courtesy of David Lytle. Skanz supplied me with this wristband for a travel gear review.

Travel Tips on raveable

Holiday Gifts for Travelers

Friday December 2, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 0 Comments

"travel underwear"

These travel underwear have secret pockets to hold your money and passport

Stocking Stuffers

Lights, Camera…Travel by Andrew McCarthy and Don George

On-the-road tales from screen storytellers, published by Lonely Planet. $14.99 suggested retail.

ShowOffs – reusable travel bags that pass airport security while looking fashionable. Each single order comes with one quart-sized bag, one gallon-sized bag, three refillable bottles and bonus bags. $14,99 suggested retail.

Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale is a portable, lightweight travel accessory with 110 lb. capacity . $19.95 suggested retail.

Travel underwear with secret pockets from The Clever Travel Companion. $29.90 suggested retail.


Take me out to the ball game with Gameday Expert

Travel Destination Gifts


Gameday Expert – Sports experience

Gameday Expert puts sports professionals such as former umpire Ed Montague or pitcher Bill Laskey together with you (and up to 20 guests) to watch a game.  Whether you are in field-level seats or a suite, your Gameday Expert will share what it’s like to be on the field, explaining players’ strengths and weaknesses and sharing behind-the-scenes stories.

My baseball loving cousin LOVED the experience. $1,500 for three, including seats/gifts/autographs

Contact: Gameday Expert (408) 832-1999 http://www.gamedayexpert.com

"King Pacific Lodge"

Have an eco-adventure at King Pacific Lodge in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest

King Pacific Lodge – Eco Adventure in Canadian Rainforest

For the traveler who has done it all – King Pacific Lodge is the big ticket item. It will take three planes to get to Princess Royal Island, located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the west coast of British Columbia – but this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You’ll stay at King Pacific Lodge, a floating luxury barge and experience Canada at its finest. $5,400 pp 3 nights, including air/activities/meals. (I like it because I was able to see the Kermode spirit bear – a pure white, black bear.)

Contact: King Pacific Lodge (888) 592-5464

"Triple Creek Ranch for the holidays"

Holidays at Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana

For the Horse Lover

Triple Creek Ranch

She likes horseback riding. He likes fishing. They both like Relais & Châteaux quality resorts. This is the ideal Montana hideaway. (I liked it because they offered four day Klicks for Chicks horseback riding adventure with gourmet food and a soft bed at night!)

Contact: Triple Creek Ranch (800) 654-2943 http://www.triplecreekranch.com

"Kigo Edge"

Kigo Edge footwear – travel gear gift idea










Travel Gear Gift Ideas

Kigo Footwear – Packs flat as a pancake

Designed for the barefoot lifestyle, Kigo footwear offers stylish minimalist shoes that are good for the body and for the Earth. (I like them because they pack flat as a pancake, yet offer footwear protection in and out of the water.) $69.99

Contact: Kigo Footwear http://www.kigofootwear.com

Sanuk Footwear – Funky travel shoes

Connect with your inner surfer with Sanuk beach and surf sandals. This Southern California-based company offers distinctively designed food wear for the global outdoor community. Taking its name from the Thai word for fun, Sanuk combines funk and function. (I like the shoes because they slide off easily going through airport security.) Donny Sanuk $60.

Contact: Sanuk (877) 412-7467 http://www.sanuk.com

Sanuk Sidewalk Surfer Donny

Gifts for the traveler – Sanuk Sidewalk Surfer Donny

Selk bag – Gumby meets sleeping bag

Making its debut in the U.S. market in August of 2008, the Selk’bag is marketed as an innovative sleepwear system. I call it Gumby meets sleeping bag, because it is a sleeping bag with arms, legs and feet. You can actually walk or dance in this bag! (My daughter dancing in the Selk bag http://youtu.be/j2dIIjKUHpg) Adult Selk bag $99.

Contact: Selk’bag Sleepwear System (888) 745-4774 http://www.selkbagusa.com

Are you shopping for a traveler this holiday season? What’s on your shopping list?

Related Post:

Travel Gift Guide – Gifts for the Traveler

Holiday Gift Ideas Passports with Purpose

Travel Tips on raveable