What are your summer plans like? Are you the big plan-a-weeklong-vacation kind of family? Do you rent a house at the beach or hop on a airplane? Or do you spend your summer at a leisurely pace doing day trips and weekend getaways?
We mainly spend summer at a relaxing pace but we’re getting back into the family travel swing of things. Just a short time ago, my family was invited to spend the weekend in Washington DC for what I called a staycation. It was the perfect way to start the summer. It eased us into the idea of packing everything up, arranging care for the pets, and getting on the road.
The coolest tech for summer travel
It’s not always so easy and I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to some pieces of tech that might ease or enhance your family travels this summer. I co-hosted an event (TNTDC: Tech and Travel Luncheon) this week at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel with major tech brands being showcased by the Consumer Technology Association. Take a look at everything I saw because your mind is about to be blown.
Wanna see some of my favorites?
Check out the ORBIT from HButler. ORBIT is an anodised aluminium Bluetooth device, with an easy-to-use app that finds everyday items in seconds. It helps you find your keys. It can help you find your phone. It can work as a selfie remote. I think it’s also focusing on solving the rest of the world’s problems too.
Then there’s the Waka Waka Power+ or the Waka Waka Base 10. Both are portable devices that collect and store solar energy to use for both light and power (think – phone charger when there are no outlets!). And when you purchase a Waka Waka device, you can also have one sent to a global recipient in need of power and light.
And finally, for the tech-loving fashionista in you (or the fashion-loving technophile), you’ll want to put your hand on the Knomo Elektronista bag. It’s a gorgeous leather bag with a million different compartments for all your tech. AND if has a built-in charger.
I’m just gonna let you think about that one for a bit.
Want more tech to make the most of your summer travel? Check it all out in my Tech Tips for Summer Travel video. No, seriously. Go do it.
And then come back and read about how traveling in style mean more than cool gadgets. It means letting the family in on some luxury accommodations.
The most luxurious digs for family travel
Our TNT event was held at one of my favorite hotels, the Willard Intercontinental Hotel. I first stayed there about 20 years ago when I was working in the travel business and helping a client in nearby Arlington, VA. These days, I usually head into Washington, DC for a little family fun like we did a few weekends ago.
Even though we’re within driving distance of DC, the traffic often deters us from exploring the Capitol City. I’m learning that there are great places to stay, like the Willard, that are really catering more to families.
On our tour of the property, we learned that the proximity to the White House makes it a favorite location for politicians, dignitaries, and even heads of state. As a result, you won’t find a lot of outdoor space and you can be assured that all of the windows are made of bulletproof glass. But as a family traveler, that’s usually not high up on our amenities list.
What you will find is a hotel rich with history dating from the 1800s taking part in many Presidential inaugurations.
If you want to bring history to life for your kids, this is a great place to start. The Willard actually offers a Family Package that includes:
- Delicious cookies offered for up to two kids upon arrival
- Complimentary valet parking
- Daily breakfast for up to two adults and two kids
- A complimentary Washington DC city guidebook to allow for optimal sightseeing.
But even better is the official Willard Children’s Program starting this July that will help keep your kids entertained while you enjoy a luxury stay (or time at the spa?).
Worried that a hotel room won’t be big enough for your family? My family of three never usually has to worry about that but there are rooms aplenty at the Willard with tons of configurations.
My personal favorites were the Jenny Lind Suite, which often rented out to bridal parties
and the Thomas Jefferson Suite, a massive 2600 square foot, multiple room suite that is often occupied by the same frequent traveler. Whatever business he’s in, I’m in.
And if you are heading to Washington, DC and thinking about a luxury stay, it’s not as expensive as you might think. The Willard gave us a pro tip of booking during July and August, their low season, to get rooms and suites for well below their normal rates.
So, you’ve got your tech advice and you’ve got your travel advice. All I need to know is where you’re going this summer (and can I come?).
As a co-host of this event, I was provided hotel accommodations at the Willard and have been compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.