Traveling with kids to new places is thrilling, but it can be a little intimidating to let them roam free at a campground, run ahead on a trail, or even let go of your hand in a crowd. We’ve put together some of our favorite gear to keep track of your kids while roaming about the country.
It’s hard to imagine the unimaginable, but if your child is lost and for whatever reason can’t speak for themselves, having contact information on them can reunite you quickly, or even save their life. Sure, you can write your info into every t-shirt they own, but a stylish and recognizable wearable is much more convenient. Originally designed with runners and bikers in mind, Road ID bands are sleek and stylish ways to wear emergency contact information. The text is fully customizable, so you can provide medical information as well. Road IDs come in several different variations – different sizes of bracelets, shoelace tabs, neck pendants, custom watch bands, even pet collars. You can get the optional ‘interactive’ version, which allows emergency responders to call a number or log in to a web portal for more info about your child. View Road ID’s full product line here.
Also designed for bikers and runners, the Nite Ize SlapLit Led Slap Wrap is a soft bracelet for any size ankle or arm that lights up with the press of a button. Great for identifying your kids running around the campground at night. The bracelet comes in three colors, and has two light modes — solid on or flashing — and has a reflective surface that adds more visibility for car headlights. The battery lasts 100 hours and is replaceable. A d-ring allows you to hang it from a backpack strap or belt loop.
There’s nothing more useful than a whistle to reunite parties that get separated. If kids run ahead on the trail and make a wrong turn, or the whole family needs assistance, a whistle can be a life-saver. We like the Heimdall Safety Whistle with Lanyard, sold in a 2-pack on Amazon for under $10. It’s extremely shrill and loud, and is designed to clip on a belt, or you can loop the lanyard onto a backpack or zipper pull.
When you kids are out and about, it’s great to have a way to directly communicate with them, without the cost (and need for a signal) of cell phones. 2-way radios, or “walkie-talkies” are great for sending your kids up to the park or over to play with neighbors while allowing you to check in on them and call them back for dinner. They can also double as a communication device for backing up the RV into your campsite. We like the Retevis RT628 for its kid-friendly size and weight, large push-to-talk button, and affordable price. It’s the #1 best-selling kids’ radio on Amazon with a 5-star rating.
A GPS tracker offers the ultimate in peace of mind, particularly for older kids that are allowed to go off on their own. The LESHP GPS Tracker allows you to see where your child is at anytime on a map, but there is so much more it can do. It has a built-in SOS button, which your child can press and you will automatically get a text and phone call on up to three different numbers. You can then speak to them with 2-way voice communication. You can quickly set up a “geofence” that will notify you if your child leaves a perimeter you define, and it can even notify you of how fast they are driving. It has the best battery life of any of the units we checked out, and an optional charging cradle. It does require you get a sim card from a cellular carrier, but many pay-as-you-go sims are perfect for this since it’s really only being used in emergencies. This GPS sim card is only $5 a month.