My new must-pack item is an MP3 with a built-in microphone, enormous memory and costs $99.99!

 

Family vacations are a mixed bag for me:  part relaxation and part work.  As a traveling mom, I always tour family-friendly places in my surrounding area and I look for interesting moms to interview.  This year I replaced my notebook and pen with an MP3 player.  No, not an iPod, and I have put no music on it (yet).  My newest must-pack item is a Sansa Fuze by SanDisk and it is the easiest voice recording device I have used. 

 

I started out my reporting career with an old-fashioned hand-held digital tape recorder which I ditched because I discovered that a microphone attachment was available for my son's iPod.  The uploading from the iPod was seamless but I learned the hard way that leaving the microphone attached to the iPod drained the battery.  This meant having 2 floating pieces in, as my husband calls it, the black hole (aka my purse). Plus my son wanted his iPod back and the mic did not work on any of the other iPods we had.

 
The 4 GB Sansa Fuze is the only piece of technology that I packed on my family vacation to Europe.  It is unobtrusive and has beautiful sound.  Had I been better acquainted with my Fuze, I could have loaded photos to share with family, listened to the radio, played videos and audio books, watched movies and if that weren't enough, I could have bought more memory with a Sandisk Mobile Ultra microSD card.  I could have also saved money – it is cheaper than the iPod.  My blue Sansa Fuze sells for around $99.99 and also comes in black, red, or pink. I am now a traveling mom who won't leave home without it.