The Best Travel Toys for Hotel Room Fun

Every vacation must include quiet time in the hotel. Whether it is planned breaks or rainy days, you should be prepared. Follow these suggestions for the best travel toys that go beyond the coloring book and offer real fun in a small space.

Things with wheels: All kids like toys with wheels. Pack some small cars, trains, and airplanes to play with in the hotel room. Create obstacle courses for the cars using items found in the hotel or hold contests to see who can get them to go the farthest. These also work well when kids need some alone time.

Crafts: Easy origami, pipe cleaners, stickers and self contained craft kits can provide loads of fun in a room. Make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies for each craft (and avoid anything that requires baking or long drying periods).

Balloons: Burn off some extra energy by playing with balloons in the hotel room. Games like preventing the balloon from touching the floor or volleyball are great fun and will not harm the room.

Beach balls: The perfect travel accessory! They pack flat, are easy to inflate, and are soft enough to not make noise in a hotel room – plus you can play with them indoors or out. The 12 inch size works best for hotel rooms.

Novelty toys: You know these – the items in the bins near the register of every toy store. Pick up a few wind-up toys, or whatever might interest your kids. Think outside the box with these items.

Deck of cards: Always include a deck of cards – kid decks are optional. Play fun family games like Kings on the Corner, Crazy Eights, War, and Slap Jack. Build math skill with Twenty-One.

Include a collapsible cube in your suitcase to collect items. Even the best travel toys will clutter a hotel room (and seemingly lose themselves around the room). Stash them in a collapsible cube to keep the room neat and so you can easily find them

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Choosing the Best Travel Mug

Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are popular beverages. When you are on the go, each of these requires a means of transportation. What should you look for in a travel mug? How do you choose the best travel mug?

Here are four qualities to consider when looking for a travel mug:

Insulation Qualities

In general, metals retain consistent temperatures longer than plastic, and double-walled mugs will as well. Plastics can also retain odors and stains, which is less likely with metal mugs.

Size

Most travel mugs hold sixteen ounces and up, large enough for most needs. However, if you are planning to take the mug in the car, make sure the bottom is small enough to fit in your cup holder. Older cars tend to have smaller cup holders, and mugs with a chunky base will not fit.

The Lid

Does the lid close? Cheaper mugs have a hole for drinking and are not spill-proof. How spill-proof is it? The best travel mugs have some kind of locking device, complete with a seal, to intercept being knocked over and guard against car bumps. Does it require too much work to open? Some thermoses, for example, require that you unscrew the lid to drink, which is not safe when driving.

Style

Do you like the look of sleek stainless steel? Will a more utilitarian mug do? Other than looks, consider whether or not you would like a handle, but be aware that two mugs with handles may not fit side-by-side in a car’s cup holder.

Here are some recommended mugs:

Zak City Perk Belly Mug

This is a 14 ounce mug, and retails for $9. The wide base is stable, keeps drinks warm, and has a good lid, but is not useful for cold drinks.

Planetary Designs Tumbler Mug

This is a 16 ounce mug, and it retails for $18. It keeps hot and cold drinks at their particular temperature and is available in a variety of colors. The lid is looser than others.

Thermos Raya Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler

At 16 ounces, it will hold plenty, and retails for only $18. It contains useful rubber grips on the sides for good insulation. It is tall and the thin design can be tipped more easily.

Contigo AutoSeal Stainless Steel Travel Mug

This is another 16 ounce mug, which retails for $19.99. It has good insulation and a leak-proof lid. However, the lid is hard to clean.

So, which is the best travel mug?

The sleek Contigo AutoSeal Stainless Steel Travel Mug will keep hot drinks warm for hours and cold ones even longer. It has a no-spill lid and lives up to its AutoSeal name, resealing after you have taken a drink. The only drawback is that you must hold the release button while drinking, which is not much of an issue with today’s multitaskers.

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