Thursday, July 22, 2010

Review: Travel Kits

Travel Kits by Donna Rees is an e-book sold by The Old Schoolhouse and is my second review product for The Homeschool Crew this year.  The basic idea as it is put in the first chapter, "A travel kit is a collection of items that will entertain and/or delight the passengers (especially the younger passengers), thus making the trip more pleasant for everyone."

The e-book is 93 pages, consisting of 14 chapters and some bonus materials.  You can download the table of contents and a sample to see it for yourself.  The chapters contain a lot of creative and ingenious ideas for creating kits for young kids, for older kids, for moms and dads, even for grandmas and grandpas.

It occurred to me as I read that with all of our traveling, this is an idea I really do need to think about implementing.  We have a roughly 15 hour drive to the grandparents' houses, which would be the logical time to attempt this.  Or I could create something for Trina for Scout nights, when her brothers will be busy, but she will have nothing to do.  And I'm thinking the kids might make one for their grandparents when they visit near Christmas.

One thing we do on our trips is to listen to a lot of audiobooks while we drive.  And at a bare minimum, I have been inspired to wrap up something for each of the titles (we rip the audiobooks to my iPod and leave the actual CDs at home) and make a game out of choosing the next title and unwrapping it.  It certainly sounds a lot more fun, doesn't it?  And I love the idea of not necessarily knowing what we'll listen to next.

Subtitled A Simple Way to Bless Others, I guess that was the aspect of this e-book that didn't do much for me.  Maybe I'm just too self-centered or something, but I just can't imagine making travel kits for people outside of my family.  A lot of the ideas I just can't imagine using for someone else's kids either... I'd be more than happy to pull together educational stuff about places we'll drive by, but I can't imagine imposing my ideas of fun and learning onto another family, to be quite honest.  Nor would I want to be choosing treats for any but the closest of friends.  Again, I wouldn't trust my ideas of appropriate travel food on anyone else (Reese's cereal is my favorite!  I don't feed it to my kids at home, but love it on those trips!)

What do I recommend as far as this product?  I don't know.  At $12.45, I'm not sure if I would feel happy with my purchase.  But if I purchased it with one of The Old Schoolhouse's coupons or special offers at 50% off, I'd be quite pleased.  I do know that the book is making me think differently about our travels, and maybe after I actually use a travel kit or two, I'll feel more positive about its value.

The Old Schoolhouse has a pretty wide selection of e-books available, on all kinds of topics.  I particularly appreciate the variety of topics, both directly homeschool related and not, so if this one doesn't appeal to you, maybe another one will.

Edited to add:  I wanted to add something I thought about today.  I'm wondering if my perception of value is drastically different from others' perceptions based on the fact that we've already settled into a pretty decent on the road routine.  We've been making 16 hour trips to see Grandma forever, and between audiobooks, rest-stop traditions, state-crossing traditions, special food (Reese's cereal!!), and other special activities... well, I'm not quite sure how we'd fit something else in, I guess.

I think families who aren't used to loads of car time, or who struggle with travel time (ours is actually a lot of fun), or who rely on portable DVD players (we've never owned one), would find a lot of bang for the buck.  I think I was probably too harsh in my value comments above. 

You can check out what my fellow crew-mates have to say about the Travel Kits e-book at:

Any questions? I'd love to know what you would want to know in deciding whether or not this is something you want to purchase.

Disclaimer:  As part of the TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I did receive a free e-book from The Old Schoolhouse.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.  It does guarantee a review. A fair review. But I am not going to praise something unless I think it deserves the praise.  If I don't like it, you'll hear that.  And hopefully with enough detail as to why so you can decide for yourself if what I hate about it makes it perfect for your family.  For more about my take on reviews, visit my blog post here.


Catherine said...

I'm stopping by from the TOS crew. I always enjoy honesty, and I think that if we all loved the same things, the world would be a very boring place.

Tess said...

Debra, I think with your Edit to Add section that you've nailed it for me. We have our traveling traditions and we've never had a DVD or even hand held games for in the van.

Christina said...

I am stopping by from the TOS crew and I am so happy to find a like minded person. I wouldn't spend the money on the product, but we travel quite a bit as well. We have travelled ever since my dd was 2 months old and you just learn to have a routine in place. Now, other families that are suddenly faced with a lot of travel time in front of them may benefit from this product. Thanks for your review.