The bags are packed and you're ready to walk out the door for the vacation of a lifetime. You've got clothes, toiletries, a few books, toys and games for the kids, and several bags full of DVDs, portable video game systems, smartphones, digital cameras, tablets, computers, and MP3 players. The minute you walk out the door, you start to worry about the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars of technology you have with you. Is there a way to keep track of your family's gadgets when you're on vacation?
You pack it? You watch it.
If your child is old enough for their own mobile phone or smart phone, MP3 player, or portable video game system, they're old enough to be responsible for it.
Less is more.
Which gadgets are must-haves on vacation and which can you live without? Determining this before you walk out the door can reduce those extraneous items from your luggage and minimize your stress while you're gone. Do you need a small digital camera and the large camera with the zoom lens? What about the portable DVD player and the tablet equipped with digital streaming? Does everyone need their own portable gaming system? Make these hard decisions before you pack.
If you put all of your technology together in one bag, you might not know what you're missing. If you keep things in their own bags, you'll be laden down with carry-ons. You'll need to decide what works best for your family. Whichever option you choose, keep a detailed list that includes all technology your family brought on vacation. Check it on a daily basis.
Utilize the hotel room safe.
Don't take every gadget with you every day. Every time you take an item from your hotel room you increase the likelihood that you'll lose it. Don't toss those items on your bed and have faith that they'll be there when you return, either. Take advantage of the safe in your hotel room, if you have one. When you don't have one available, store your technology items together in the hotel room and take note of what you are leaving and what you're taking with you.
Keep everything in its place.
When you leave the hotel room, be sure you know which items you have with you and where you've got them. If you're storing the digital camera underneath the stroller and keeping the smartphones in your purse, be consistent all day long. This consistency will help you avoid that "Oh no!" moment when you put the phone under the stroller and your camera in your purse.
Don't come home from your family vacation one gadget short. Bring only what you need and monitor its location on a daily basis. With luck and planning, you won't come home empty-handed.