A Waterproof Case for Your Smartphone

I have my smartphone with me all the time.  Partly because it’s my camera, partly because it’s my phone, partly because it’s my internet… I have my iPhone with me all the time.  When I take the kids to the beach or the pool, I don’t like risking damage.  So last November, when Hip2Save posted a great deal on a waterproof case, I got it… even though I wouldn’t be needing one for months.  Best random purchase ever.  The OtterBox Armor Series Waterproof Case has been an amazing Creative Solution.

If you don’t have an iPhone, OtterBox also makes a waterproof case for the Samsung Galaxy called the Preserver Series.

Don’t get me wrong: this case is bulky and more protection than I need most of the time.  But I don’t keep my iPhone in the OtterBox most of the time… I just keep the case with my sunscreen, towels, and pool stuff and put it on when I need it.  There are two little hinges that easily open and close the case.  And by close, I mean lock-it-down.  And because it’s waterproof, the microphone is blocked, so calls are a little muffled unless you open that little flap.

Still, this has been an awesome Creative Solution because I am able to take pictures and video while in the water, having fun with friends and family.

IMG_1972 IMG_1631

While enjoying a fun day on the river with friends, my iPhone was accidentally knocked into the water while in the Otterbox Armor case.  It sank about 4 feet to the muddy bottom before it was recovered.  Not only did the Otterbox prove to be waterproof, but because of my case, we were able to capture some amazing and fun memories!

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Traveling Tips: iPod Touch and Headphones for Kids

This Creative Solution explains which gadgets we use for our kids while traveling – and why.  We live a-ways from family: a minimum of a 3 1/2 hour car ride or a 3 1/2 plane ride.  When my boys (now 6 1/2 and 8) got to be of the age where we would consider a video gaming system or a portable DVD player (or both), we opted for iPod Touches.

Why?

  1. The adults in the house have iPhones that the boys love to play with, so this would give them their own version of the gadgets we use
  2. The iPod Touch is versatile: movies/shows, games, interactive aps
  3. The newer iPods allows them to FaceTime and iMessage their Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Grandparents (who have iGadgets)
  4. It also has a camera
  5. Rugged cases

The longevity of application and versatility won the cost analysis.

So, first is the iPod itself.  We originally got each kiddo an 8GB iPod 4th Generation (now available refurbished).  New, they are now only offering iPod 5th Generation 16GB.

Honestly, in cost analysis today, I can’t say I’d choose an iPod Touch over an iPad Mini…

Anyhow, when purchasing gadgets for kids, a rugged case is a must!  Given the choice, I’d usually choose (and recommend) an Otterbox because of their guarantee.  When purchasing cases for my own kids, however, I found that my older child’s neurotic preferences for color combinations was strong enough to sway me to a non-Otterbox brand that promised kid-safe ruggedness.  Two years in and no problems!

    Multi Color Hybrid Hard Plastic Silicone Case For Apple iPod Touch 4 4th,Rugged Hybrid Case for iPod 4G (Blue+Green)

OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPod touch 5G

Child friendly headphones are another must in my book.  You don’t want to have to listen to that-noise.  Please don’t subject your traveling neighbors to listening to that-noise.  While my older one has been satisfied with random ear buds, my younger one has a sensitivity.  He prefers over-the-head.  I have found that the kids version of the Uprock Skullcandy Headphones works really, really well.  They’re definitely rugged (in case your kid might be like mine and leave them in a walking path to be trampled upon).  Unfortunately, Amazon tells me that the Uprock headphones are discontinued by the manufacturer.  I’ll update this post if I hear any more, but we have been really pleased with the quality and durability and comfort of these.

Skullcandy Uprock Headphones Athletic Red (2012 Color), One Size

So an iPod, a rugged case, and headphones.  A must in our Creative Solution traveling tips!

Traveling Tips: Portable External Battery USB Charger

After traveling with my two boys, ages 8 and 6 1/2, over the course of four weeks, from Houston to the Adirondacks, to New England, to China, to Malaysia, and then finally home, I have a lot of Creative Solutions that I want to share.

My kids each have an iPod Touch and a Kindle (e-ink), my husband and I each have an iPhone, an iPad, and a Kindle.  When we fly, my husband and I tend to read, and the kids tend to play games or watch movies.  One of the gadgets that really helped is a Portable External Battery USB Charger.

You charge it at home, and it packs a ton of portable power.  There are little LEDs that tell you how much juice is left.  It has multiple USB ports to charge multiple gadgets at once.  The Portable External Battery USB Charger was especially handy during international travel or long days out when I planned to use my iPhone as a camera.