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Road Trip Car-Packing Tips from the Experts at Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com (giveaway ends 8/22/16)

 

Summer Road Trip

How has your summer been going? Have you gone on your vacation/family vacation yet? Are you driving to your vacation destination, or taking other means of travel?

My family and I always drive to our vacation destination. We tend to stick close to home.

Packing for a road trip is easier said than done. It’s not always easy to squeeze everything you need into your automobile’s trunk.

Just recently our daughter, her (ex) boyfriend and his family went to South Carolina for a family vacation. They had way too much stuff that they had to pack stuff on their car’s roof. That wouldn’t have been so bad but what would have happened if it rained? All of their stuff would have been ruined.

Are you familiar with Kelley Blue Book? Kelley Blue Book (KBB) is the leading authority in helping consumers choose the best cars for their lifestyle.

KBB knows the struggle families go through when packing up a car, and actually vets hundreds of vehicles to create its official “Best Family Cars for 2016” list. Their criteria includes everything from testing child safety seats to checking the availability of Apple CarPlay and even conducting a real-world test with real-world families.

KBB has some tips to help you pack up your vehicle for your summer vacation or any road trip you might be going on this year (and beyond).

Safety First

Put heavier items on the bottom of the cargo area and toward the front, and avoid loading SUVs beyond the height of the rear seat backs.  Keeping heavier items up closer to the center of the vehicle can help preserve handling integrity in emergency avoidance situations, while imposing a height limit on your stack of stuff will help maintain rearward vision and prevent objects from becoming projectiles in a collision.  If you wouldn’t want somebody throwing it at your head, don’t keep it unsecured and at head level in your car. 

Bag It 

Consider large trash bags for smaller loose items and soft items like blankets and pillows.  It’ll be easier to transport these items to and from the car, and their flexibility makes them more space efficient than a large box, for instance. 

Think Short-Term

There’s often plenty of action in the time between packing the car and fully unpacking it at your destination, and planning ahead can save plenty of headache.  Obviously you’ll want to keep plenty of food and drink within reach, along with napkins, a trash bag and medicine, perhaps.  And any modern family road trip is sure to benefit from a full complement of electronics and related accessories, like power cords and headphones.  But if your journey will include a side trip that will take you away from the car, remember to pack any valuables within easy reach so that you can take them with you on your detour.  Alternately, pack those valuables deep within your stack.  If you plan to arrive at noon and check-in isn’t until 4pm, keep the swimsuits and sunscreen easily accessible so you don’t have to unpack and re-pack the whole car in the middle of the hotel parking lot.

My car’s trunk was a total mess. So much so that there was no way I could pack anything in it for a road trip.

Before

My trunk was filled with everything. The boxes were books I planned on donating – I just never got around to it. There are also outdoor games I used at work stuff in there, first aid kit, car products, reusable tote bags and so much more. I’m surprised our kitchen sink wasn’t stuffed in there. I literally could not stuff one more thing in my trunk – let alone luggage and supplies for a road trip.

KBB challenged me to organize my car and make it ready for a road trip. Challenge accepted!!!

Here is my updated trunk.

After

I donated the stuff I needed to get rid of, put the outdoor toys in my husband’s car (for now – I need to leave them at work when I return this September) and used and Automotive Trunk Organizer from Miu Color to organize the rest of my “stuff.”

Trunk 1

Audio Books, car cleaning products and emergency products.

Trunk 2

Car vacuum tucked neatly to the side. Handy wipes, tissues and more tucked in the outside pockets on the organizer.

Trunk 3

More supplies tucked in the outside pockets and reusable totes that are easy to find (unlike before when I couldn’t find any of them in my messy trunk).

Now that my trunk is cleaned out and organized it’s ready for any family road trip we might go on. I even have plenty of room for carry on luggage, snacks and other things we might need on our journey.

KBB Trunk

Next up – organize my husband’s trunk. We have every intention of doing so, but the weather here in New York has been unseasonably hot – feeling like TRIPLE digits on many days. We’ll have to wait until the weather gets a bit more bearable before tacking my husband’s trunk.

We did use KBB to check on the price of my car when we were buying it. It actually helped us to knock almost $2,000 off the price. In hinesight I should have looked up more information about my car. I LOVE my car (I love it A LOT) but I have very little trunk space. Thankfully my husband’s car has a bigger trunk.

My husband is in the market for a new (used) car. We plan on checking car values on KBB when we go car shopping this fall.

If you would like to learn more about Kelley Blue Book you can visit them online at KBB.com. In addition you can check them out on social media.

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KBB would love to give a lucky reader a great prize package to help with their next road trip. The prize package includes:

  • One Carry-On Luggage Set (this is REALLY nice!)
  • Kelley Blue Book Swag (sticky note book, tumbler and Bluetooth speaker) – My kids love the speaker.
  • $25 Visa Gift Card (great for gas or snacks on the road)

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on August 22, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package – OR – what road trip you have planned this summer (or at some point this year)?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t quality.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Kelley Blue Book to bring you these great times. I received a similar prize package for my participation. There was no additional compensation. Kelly Blue Book is providing the prize package. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Be prepared when you travel this summer with the RAVPower Portable Car Jump & more

 

Summer Road Trip

What are your summer plans? Are you planning a “staycation” and hanging out at home, or are you planning on a lot of traveling? My family and are planning another summer at home. It’s hard to go too far or be away from home too long because of our pets (two of which need medications). The furthest we’ll go this summer is the New Jersey shore (ocean/beach) and the Dutchess County Fair upstate.

If you are planning on driving this summer make sure you are prepared. The last thing you want to have happen is a dead car battery, or even worse, breaking down and unable to call for help because your phone battery died and you don’t have a way to charge it.

Many summers ago (decades ago!), my extended family went on a family trip to Massachusetts. We packed ourselves into two cars. On our way there one of the cars broke down (it’s been decades, I don’t remember exactly what was wrong). This was long before cellphones. We had to wait for a Police officer to call for a tow.

When the tow truck driver arrived we had to pile into one car. There were people sitting on other people’s laps and children sitting on the floor. There was no way we’d all fit.

My cousin, who was about 12 at the time, volunteered to ride with the tow truck driver.

For some odd reason no one thought to ask the tow truck driver where he was going with the car (and my cousin!). We had to drive from repair shop to repair shop looking for them. When we finally found them my poor cousin was traumatized. He thought he was never going to see us again.

It was that experience from my childhood that makes me think twice before going on a long car trip as an adult. I always make sure I’m well prepared in case of an emergency.

RAVPower

Sometimes all a car might need is a simple jump start. If you happen to be in an isolated area where few people travel, finding someone to give you a jump might not be that easy. Thank goodness for the RAVPower Portable Car Jump Starter. This 3-in-1 product is a combination of power bank, car jump starter, and LED flashlight. It has a huge capacity of 14000mAh (start the car up to 20 times.) making it ideal for car travelling and the outdoors.

The brand even took precautions to protect your safety with multiple advanced safety protections including the jump cable smart chip protect you and prevent short circuit, over charge, over current, over discharge, and reverse connection.

The RAVPower Portable Car Jump Starter will jump most 12v battery cars.

I was sent a set to review. Since owning the product I have not had a chance to test it out on a dead car battery. We have three cars in our family (mine, my husband and our daughter’s) and no one had a need for it.

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I wanted to see what others had to say about using the RAVPower Portable Car Jump Starter to jump start a car, so I checked out the product’s reviews on Amazon. The products has 4.7 out of a possible 5 stars. That is impressive.

I read what people had to say about using it to jump a vehicle and almost every review I read about that gave the product positive reviews. It will jump start a car and often you get multiple jump out of the unit before it needs to be recharged.

The RAVPower Portable Car Jump Starter holds it’s charge for a very long time too. You could easily keep this in your car for months without having to recharge it. That is great because you never know when you’ll need it. It’s not like you know ahead of time you’ll need it so you remember to charge it. It’s always unplanned for, therefore it’s good to know you can charge this and leave it in your car for months and not have to worry about it.

I would recommend making note on your calendar to check it and recharge it if needed every few months.

In addition to being able to jump start a vehicle, the  RAVPower Portable Car Jump Starter has USB ports that allows you to charge other devices such as a smartphone, tablet or even your GPS system.

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Now there no worries about your cellphone losing power in the event of an emergency. Simply plug it into the  RAVPower Portable Car Jump Starter and charge it up so you can call for help.

This would also be handy for people who love to camp. You can use this to charge your tablet so you can watch movies or play games (things that don’t require WiFi).

The charger is very well made, small in size and portable.

This product is a “must have” if you plan on travelling this summer, or any time of the year. It’s also great for people who commute to work, or even teenagers who go away to college. It would also make a great, practical gift.

RAVPower makes many other products that help you charge your devices and more.

Car Charger

RAVPower has a small, slim 24w mini car charger with iSmart technology. I was also sent this to review.

I have other car chargers, but this one has a really nice look and feel to it. Unlike my other chargers, this one has a dual port so you can charge more than one device at a time. This is a MUST when traveling with my teenagers. It’s the “end of the world” if we are driving some where and their cellphones lose power. They used to have to fight over who got to charge their phone first. With dual charging ports my kids can charge their phones at the same time. All we need are dual plugs (which I usually have in my car).

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I wouldn’t say this charger changes lightening fast, but I do get more of a charge using it on my way to work than I do with my other chargers. I have used it several times driving to my afternoon job and I get the same results (give or take). It charges much more than the other chargers do.

If you would like to learn more about these or other RAVPower devices visit RAVPower.com.

The brand sells their products on Amazon.com. Simply do a product search for “RAVPower.” Most of their products appear to be Prime eligible which means FREE 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members.

What do you think about these products? Do you think they are “must haves” when traveling?

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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April is Car Care Month (giveaway ends 4/30/16)

 

putzen-reinigen

Did you know that April is Car Care Month? I just learned about this recently. I guess it makes sense. After a long winter, and for most of us, rock salt, sand and other debris can really do a number on your cars exterior. I know when the first sunny day occurs many people are seen in their driveways washing their cars or sitting in mile long lines at the car wash.

I have owned many cars over the years. I’m on my 7th car in 30 years. All of my cars, except one, was purchased used. Some cars I loved, others I truly disliked for numerous reasons.

My current car is a PT Cruiser. I forget what year it is  (2005 or 2006).

I love my car. I love everything about it.

Car

My car the day I bought it.

Having children the inside of my cars tend to get dirty and I used to find toys, food and whatnots all over my car. It was never clean. Now that my kid are teenagers and I don’t have to worry about the being so messy, I pride myself on keeping my car in tip top shape – both inside and out. If I see so much as a spec of dirt in my car I make sure to clean it up right away.

Living in a condo means that we don’t have a way to clean our cars in the parking lot. We have no access to a hose and I’m not about to trek a bucket of water up and down six flights of steps. In order to keep the outside of my car clean I need to take it to the car wash or one of those self-serve car washes.

I keep a supply of car care products in the trunk of my car for spot cleaning or for when I have some free time to clean inside my car.

Recently I was sent some car care products from 303 Automotive Appearance Line. I was sent to review the following products.

Protectant

303® Protectant offers superior protection of your vehicle’s interior and exterior surfaces against the harmful effects of UV rays. It brightens all vinyl, rubber and plastic to keep it looking new, longer. It also helps prevents fading and cracking, repels dust, lint and staining and dries with a non-greasy finish.

Wipes

303® Protectant Wipes offer a convenient and portable version of 303 Protectant. Each container includes 40 individual wipes perfect for quickly brightening up vinyl, rubber and plastic surfaces.

Speed Detailer

303® Speed Detailer instantly shines and protects clear coat, fiberglass, plastic, chrome and glass. It blocks the sun’s harmful rays, helps protect against fading and keeps your vehicle looking clean between washes.

Quick Wax

303® Quick Wax is ideal for getting a glossy showroom shine. It gently cleans and protects paint for a longer lasting shine and contains superior UV protection that lasts up to 30 days, helping to prevent color fading. It contains Carnauba wax and is 100% silicone free.

Leather

303® Leather is a 3-in-1 complete care solution- it cleans, conditions and protects. It is safe to use on all finished leather and vinyl and helps prevent fading and cracking, reduces dust, lint and staining and is a rinse free formula – just spray on, and wipe off.

Wiper Tablets

303® Instant Windshield Washer Tablets – Eco-friendly and super concentrated tablets deliver three times the cleaning power of regular windshield wiper fluid.  Simply drop a tablet into your cars reservoir and add a gallon of water. No disposal of plastic containers required and the powerful solution removes bugs, dirt and grime to make your windshield sparkle.

To be honest, I haven’t tried the 303® Leather or 303® Quick Wax (yet). My car does not have leather seats (nor does my husband’s car). I also haven’t tired the wax yet because I am waiting for a day that I can fully wash my car then wax it. I don’t want to wax a dirty car.

I have used the 303® Protectant on the interior of my car. My seats are vinyl. I worry about them getting sun damage, especially because I have a sunroof and the sun beams down on my car’s interior. I was concerned it might make the seats slippery after use, but that was not an issue at all. I think it actually made my seats look cleaner too.

Car Dashboard

Dashboard

I LOVE the 303® Protectant Wipes! I use one every few days on my car’s dashboard. My dashboard is a magnet for dust. I don’t know why. Now that I drive with my windows opened it seems like my dashboard is getting even more dusty. I keep the wipes inside my car (not in the trunk) so I can give my dashboard a quick once over at any time.

I’m sorry that the pictures didn’t turn out so good. It looks much nicer in person.

We’ve tried the 303® Speed Detailer on the chrome (I think it’s chrome) accents on my car. The door for my gas tank, the head of my gear shift and a few other areas of my car have a metal appearance to them. I have used this spray on those areas. It seems to clean them off and make them super shiny.

Handle

Shift

I put one of the 303® Instant Windshield Washer Tablets in my car’s wiper fluid, but I haven’t really had a need yet to use it. Thankfully no birds have left their mark on my windshield (yet). I also haven’t had any bug splattering on my windshield as of yet either. Once I do I’ll have to update this post with my thoughts on how well it worked. A bird did leave a mess on my passenger’s side window, but not on the windshield.

Now that the weather is warmer and there are no worries about rock salt and dirt from snow covered roads, it’s time to keep your car clean both inside and out.

f you would like to learn more about 303 Products visit www.303Products.com. You can also find the products at Gold Eagle Co. Their social media links are found on their website. 303 also has products for indoor/outdoor living and boats.My Car 1

303 has generously offered to give a lucky reader ALL of the products that were sent to me to review AND a $50 Amazon gift code. Thank you 303! 

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on May 1, 2016. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will need to reply within three days or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review as well as an Amazon gift code. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month – How focused are YOU when you drive?

 

Teen Driver

I’m a mom to two teenagers. Our daughter has her driver’s license, but we are not confident about her driving abilities. We feel that she’s easily distracted and the littlest thing causes her to panic.

We also have a 16 year old son who also drives. Oddly enough he does better than his older sister. I guess all of those driving games he plays on the computer really helped him.

We try to educate our children that when you drive you are bombarded with things that can take away from your focus – other drivers, animals, debris blowing on to the road, passengers in your own car… the list goes on.

For the time being we tell our kids they need to keep the music off and conversation to a minimum until they develop better driving skills and more experience.

Cellphones are a huge “no-no” when it comes to driving. We tell our kids to not only put their phones in the backseat, but also to turn off the volume or turn them off completely, that way they are not distracted by an incoming phone call or text message.

I’m not sure about other states, but here in New York it’s against the law to drive while talking on the phone. I cannot tell yo how many drivers I have seen who totally ignore the LAW and continue to drive while talking on the phone. You can spot those driver’s easily enough because you can tell by their driving that they are distracted by something.

Some people think they are getting around that law by making “hands free” phone calls via a earpiece, their car’s built in phone system or using the hands free option and speaker on their cellphone.

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Personally I think any kind of a phone call can be distracting whether it’s on your phone or done “hands free.” You should be 100% focused on your driving and the world around you and not chatting with your spouse about dinner or what to watch on T.V. that night.

If what you need to talk about is THAT IMPORTANT you should find a parking lot or a safe place to pull over and chat. Don’t chat when you are speeding down the thruway or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

I never use my phone when driving. My phone is either in my purse in the backseat or side pocket on my car door (I have a small purse) or in my pocket. The only time you will visually see my phone when I am driving is if I need to charge it. Even then I place the phone in the cup holder in my car and forget it’s even there.

When you are not distracted you are better able to focus on what is going on around you so that you can deal with driving hazards. Take for example a recent incident with my husband. He went into the left lane to make a left hand turn. Someone coming from the opposite direction went into his lane thinking it was the turning lane to go into the diner. Had my husband not been 100% focuses on his driving he could have been involved in a head-on collision. Thankfully he was fully aware of his surroundings and was able to quickly get out of the turning lane before the other car hit him.

Another recent incident happened to me the other day. I was driving home from the store with my son when and elderly man with a cane stepped out into the road before me. I slammed on my breaks immediately. Turns out he suffers from dementia. Thankfully his daughter was with him to get him back on the sidewalk where they were walking.

road

If was even slightly distracted I could have hit him!

Driving is not a right – it’s a privileged. As such you should give it your un-divided attention all the time.

Don’t talk and drive. It’s that simple. If you feel you might be too tempted, put your phone in the backseat or trunk. Or simply turn off your phone so you are not tempted to check to see if you have text messages.

The National Safety Council has a wealth of information and resources to help you not to be a distracted driver. You can find all the materials here.

The NSC is also asking drivers to take the pledge to drive cell free. I hope you will take a moment to take the pledge. You can take the pledge here.

The NSC is also hosting a FREE 1 hour webinar on Wednesday April 6 at 12:00 PM (EST) / 9:00 AM (PST). The webinar is about how car manufacturers are in an arms race to make vehicles as connected as possible – but at what cost? Research is showing that voice-activated technologies may be distracting, which means they are not a good alternative to using a cell phone while driving. Please click here to register for the webinar.

To see what others are saying please check out the hashtag #TakeBackMyDrive and check out @NSCsafety on Twitter.

Do you use your phone (hands-free or in your hand) when driving? Why or why not? Feel free to share your thoughts on this matter.

National Safety Council Logo

Kimberly

*I have partnered with NSC to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Smart Portable Car Jump Starter Powerbank for Smartphones & Digital Devices

 

Technology

Let’s face it – we live in a digital world. Most people can’t function without their smartphone or tablet in their hands at all times. Personally, I don’t care. Half the time I don’t even know where my phone is. My kids on the other hand sleep with their phones right next to them at night. Even my husband will get up in the middle of the night when “nature calls,” and can’t go back to sleep until he checks Twitter. Seriously? Nothing is that important that it can’t wait until the morning.

When you have all these devices it’s imperative that you have the means to recharge them whenever possible.

I found out the hard way the importance of having the best power bank charger or back up power source for your smartphone. I came home from a trip on the West coast. It was late at night and car service was going to pick me up to take me home. My phone had died and I had no way of contacting them to let them know where I was waiting for them. I had to look for a payphone to make a collect call to my husband. He had to be the in-between person between me and car service. It was horrible! From that point on I won’t leave the house without a way of charging  my phone.

Most people have portable chargers of some sort. They come in all different shapes and sizes. Personally I keep a lipstick size one in my purse and one in my car that plugs into the cigarette lighter.

The company 1 by One has taken portable chargers two a whole new level. Their Smart Portable Car Jump Starter Powerbank for Smartphones & Digital Devices not only charges your smartphone, tablet and other devices, but it can also jump start your car.

charger

1 by One sent me one to review.

The set comes inside a portable carrying case. The entire “kit” is lightweight and easy to tote around. It’s also small enough that it will take up very little room in your car. You could keep this under your car’s seat or even in the magazine pocket found on the back of some car seats.

Inside the kit you’ll find the charging unit, the plug to charge the charging unit and jumper cables. The only thing it doesn’t have, which I wish it did, was a charging plug to allow you to charge this device on-the-go from in your car. In order to charge it you have to plug it into a wall outlet.

First and foremost let me talk about the charging unit and charging your phone, tablet or similar device.

Everything is housed nicely in a lightweight carrying case.

Everything is housed nicely in a lightweight carrying case.

Inside the case everything has it's own compartment. Instructions are also included.

Inside the case everything has it’s own compartment. Instructions are also included.

There is a USB opening on the charging unit that will allow you to plug in your smart phone, tablet or other device. You must already own the necessary cable. It does not come with one. You can use the one that came with your device or pick up a spare one. Most stores carry charging cables (Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, Radio Shack…).

As far as a charger goes, this unit works great. It does exactly what you would expect it to.

I will continue to charge my phone from the charger that plugs into my car’s cigarette lighter outlet. However if that is not possible I will certainly use the charger from the Smart Portable Car Jump Starter Powerbank.

This charger would be great for people who enjoy hiking and camping and other outdoor things were a wall outlet or car outlet is not readily available.

charger 2

This charger (powerbank) can jump start your car’s battery.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had to call for AAA because my car battery was dead. Usually it’s the overhead light in the car that was left on.

I don’t know the first thing about charging cars or where to plug things in. I leave that up to my husband or AAA person.

What if there was no one around to assist you with jump starting your car? What if AAA was unable to get to you in time? Sometimes they can take upwards of an hour to get to you. When you are running late for work that is not always doable.

I have seen units that you can buy to jump start cars but they are big, bulky and expensive. This littler charger can do the work of those very same devices.

The only way to test this was to have a dead car battery. That was a bit of a dilemma. I would have to intentionally let the battery die in my car. I was reluctant to do that because what if it didn’t work? I can’t wait a long time for AAA to come and jump start my car for me. I have to get to work.

car charger device

I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I even kept an eye out for neighbors in our condo complex that might have needed a jump but I never saw anyone.

To be honest to date I have not been able to test out the car jump feature. I cannot provide you with an honest opinion about that.

The unit also does not start cars with high power or diesel. My car is not diesel. I am not sure what power it uses (high? average?).

I did check out reviews from others on Amazon.com in regards to the ability for this device to jump start cars. You can find the device here on Amazon – 1byone 9000mAh 12V Multi-Function Smart Portable Car Jump Starter Powerbank for Smartphones & Digital Devices.

I read the reviews (it has 4.1 stars out of a possible 5 on Amazon). Many people commented in their reviews how well the device jump started their cars.  The products reviews are 80% four star (which is the highest) and only 7% one star, so that tells me its a pretty good device.

I like the idea of having a viable mean to jump start my car if/when I need it again. Often I park my car next to the wall (the front of the car facing a high wall) which makes it hard for a traditional car-to-car jump. I like the idea of knowing I have this device in my trunk to help me get my car started so I don’t have to wait an hour for AAA to show up.

I also like having portable charging power for all my other devices, especially when a car or wall outlet is not available.

flashlight

I neglected to mention that the device also has a built in flashlight, which is another very handy feature, especially if you find yourself broken down late at night.

Overall, for the feature and the price (currently $76.99 on Amazon) it’s a handy product to have on hand in case of emergencies. This would also make a great gift for a new car owner/driver.

For more information visit the product page on Amazon (the link is above). For more information about 1 by One visit 1byOne.com. The sell other really cool techie devices.

What do you think about the Multi-Function Smart Portable Car Jump Starter Powerbank? Does it look like a product you would want to own?

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Kimberly

*I received a free product to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Never “misplace” your car again with ZUS – the smart car charger

 

cars

Has this ever happened to you – you park your car in a crowded parking lot (for example a county fair, a packed mall during the holidays…) and you forget where you parked your car? It’s happened to me more times than I’d like to remember.

The photo (above) is from the last time my family and I went to the county fair. If you forget where you park you are in big trouble because it’s almost like trying to find a “needle in a haystack.”

You could set off your car’s alarm (if you have one), but that can be a bit embarrassing. What else can you do?

Introducing ZUS – the “smart” car charger that helps you to locate your car.

ZUS is first and foremost a charger for your car so that you can charge your smartphone or other devices. It features dual port so that you can charge two devices at the same time. With two teenagers I can appreciate that. That way there is no fighting over who can charge their phone first on long car rides.

ZUS Charger

You will need the plug to connect your phone into the charger. It does not come with one. You already have one since you need it to charge your device. You can pick up an extra one just about anywhere. I keep extras in my car’s glove compartment “just in case.”

ZUS is unassuming looking. It looks like a regular car charger – but “regular” this charger is NOT.

This German designed charger can charge your device 2 times faster than other chargers. For example, ZUS can charge two iPhone 6s phones in 2 hours where as other chargers take 3-4 hours. Or you can charge to iPad minis in just shy of 4 hours where as other chargers can take up to 8 hours.

ZUS is also lighted, so it’s easy to find in the dark. It comes with and ElegantShineTM Lighting System, which is a top of the line lighting for increased visibility in dark environments.

For me the BEST feature is ZUS’s ability to help you track down your car if you forget where you are parked. It uses GPS to track where are and where you parked your car.

ZUS 2

To use ZUS’s tracking option you will need to download the FREE ZUS app and set up your account (name, email address and password). Then you just need to pair/connect your ZUS and you are ready to enjoy the benefits of this awesome charger.

If you forget where your car is parked simply open up the app on your smartphone or device. ZUS will provide you with a map of where you are in relationship to your car. It will also tell you what direction to walk in and how many feet away your car is. When you are in a close proximity of your car, ZUS will alert you to it.

*The ZUS app utilizes your phone’s GPS to help you find your car. ZUS works best with cars parked where GPS signal is strong such as open lots.

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The blue “dot” is my location and the “P” is where my car is parked.

ZUS screen shot

When I took this screen shot my car was 375 feet away from where I was and the arrow points in which direction I should go to find my car.

Screen Shot

Another example that shows how far away my car was and which direction I should go.

ZUS

ZUS lets you know when your car is nearby.

I was concerned that I would have to keep ZUS plugged in for it to work. I didn’t want it to drain my battery. That is not the case at all. When not in use I keep ZUS in my glove compartment and I am still able to enjoy the GPS function.

ZUS can also keep track of how long you have been parked. You can set an alarm and ZUS will notify you 10 minutes before the alarm is up, giving you ample time to feed the parking meter or pick up your car from a paid parking spot.

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Here is some additional information about ZUS.

Features

ZUS is available for $35.99 at www.Nonda.co (notice it’s .co and NOT .com). The band can also be found on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom (left) of their website.

You can save 10% on ZUS when you order online at Nonda.co using the discount code SMM-AKZUSSUMMER16.

What do you think about ZUS?

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Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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