I don’t like to complain about holiday travel headaches because it’s such a happy time. I mean, who doesn’t want to suffer a little bit of time on the road in order to eat, drink, and be merry with the ones you love? (Wait, and there are presents, too?!)
But traveling during the holiday season does come with more stress than being on-the-go at other times of the year. First of all, everyone else is traveling, too, so you can basically plan to be spending time in frantic, crowded airports or stopped dead on the highway, trying to navigate your way around a traffic jam. And you’re so busy with other things—like shopping for gifts, wrapping, decorating, baking, and hosting—that the last thing you need is to be worried about whether or not you remembered to grab your keys when you left the house.
That’s why I recommend making a quick stop—at The Home Depot—before you head out of town.
The Home Depot is obviously the place to go for anything you need for home improvement and design, but the stores also carry products that can make your life easier after you walk out the door. And this season, these two stand-out gadgets are coming with me when I head to the east coast for the holidays.
Anker Roav Bolt Car Charger with Google Assistant
At this point, I’m so used to having a smart speaker in my home, it’s hard to remember not to just shout out questions about the weather or what’s coming up on my calendar every where I go! The car is really where you need that functionality most— when your eyes need to be on the road and your hands on the wheel.
The Roav Bolt is essentially a Google Assistant that plugs into your dashboard to make every drive easier. You can ask it for directions to your co-worker’s house for that holiday party, ask it for an ETA, and then tell it to text your co-worker to give her that ETA. Then, you can have it play your favorite road trip song or podcast to pass the time in traffic. If the whole family is in the car for a long trip to a relative’s, it can be a lifesaver for entertainment. You can even toss it in your carry-on if you’re flying somewhere, to plug into your rental car or Uber, later.
Tile Mate 4-Pack
Maybe every time your family hits the road, that stuffed dog your daughter can’t live without goes missing? Now, you can micro chip it just like you would a real pet. Okay, sort of.
A pack of four Tile Mates help you keep track of important stuff while you’re traveling (and at home too of course). Attach tiles to a few key items like a beloved plush llama, your keys, and one tile can stay in your purse linked to your phone so that if your phone is nowhere to be found, you can press the Tile to locate it. You can make Tiles ring to find lost items (like, when they’re under the seat) or locate them on a map on your phone (like, when they’re left in an airport bathroom).
Tile will make your phone ring even if it’s set to silent. Magic (er, smart tech), right?
The bottom line is: The less time you spend stressing about navigating around gridlock or finding your keys, the more time you’ll have to focus on soaking up that holiday spirit (and sipping on delicious ‘nog, once you’re settled at your destination).
This blog post was written in partnership with The Home Depot.