Snow is melting, student concentration levels are dropping, and Florida is more crowded than ever. Yep, it must be spring break.
Whether you’re in college and rushing out on break now, or a parent planning a vacation with the kids, it’s important to have the right equipment. Spring break, after all, is about more than guzzling beers and basking in the sun. It’s about making memories.
To make the most of the week off, you’ll want to create your own party atmosphere—and immortalize it. Here are the tools to help you do so.
GoPro HERO5 Black
Picture taking is a part of spring break, but it’s generally not a good idea to bring your cell phone near the water—even if it’s “water resistant.” GoPro’s latest action camera, priced at $399, is entirely waterproof and doesn’t require a case (like earlier GoPro models). It’s also the most user friendly of the HERO line, featuring a touch screen and more natural controls. Beyond shooting 4K video, like many of its predecessors, it also shoots RAW photos (an uncompressed digital image that gives you more control when editing) and three built-in microphones, letting you enjoy better sound as well as the sights of your trip. (Buy it here.)
Monster Superstar Backfloat Speaker
Music is almost essential for good times, but sometimes there’s no D.J. nearby. Your phone likely has plenty of good songs on it, but the speaker is lousy—and you can’t hear music from a portable Bluetooth speaker when you’re in the water unless you annoy everyone else around. The Backfloat, though, is designed to be put in the water and still produce undistorted sounds with booming bass. (It also acts as a speakerphone, if necessary.) Bring it into the water with you and enjoy your favorite tunes as you float and frolic. (Buy it here.)
APC Back-UPS 850VA UPS Battery Backup
Why would you need a backup battery on a beach? APC’s 850VA Uninteruptable Power Source (UPS), which costs $92, is usually for protecting your computer from power surges—bit’s actually a useful tool for people who want to make their time on the sand more memorable. Not only does it have two USB charging ports for phones, it also holds enough power to run a router and modem for nearly six hours. You may not need those while you vacation, but that power can just as easily be used to run a blender to make frozen drinks or smoothies. And there’s no quicker way to make new spring break friends than with a margarita or daiquiri machine. (Buy it here.)
It’s hard to have fun if your luggage doesn’t arrive with you. This $25 device can be attached to or slipped inside your suitcase(s) to help you (and the airline) find them should they go missing in transit. Bluetooth lets you find items in a short- to mid-range, but if your bag heads to South Dakota instead of South Beach, you’ll get an alert on your smart phone whenever any of the 500,000+ Tile users comes within range of the device in your luggage. (Buy it here.)
Hover Camera Passport Drone
Drones are popular these days, but they can be a hassle. Any drone weighing just over half a pound must be registered with the FAA, and there are strict guidelines on where you can fly them. The $599 Hover Camera Passport comes in below that weight threshold—and it’s designed to safely fly inside and out while taking 4K pictures or video. Consider it, in some ways, a selfie drone (You can even program it to track your face and follow you, though it sometimes fails to do so). It’s easy to control via your smart phone and folds into a neat rectangle that easily fits in a purse or backpack.
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