We have all heard of the wonders of a road trip, there are even movies made about them, but none of them really add a couple of kids into the mix. Back in the old days, the long drive was great for the adults, but basic torture for the child, even when you have them sitting in the best car seats. “But look at the beautiful scenery” you say. Yes, to you it’s beautiful, but to the child it is endless boredom. In the past here were whole books of things to try and keep kids entertained on road trips, but there are only so many games you can play. These days it’s a lot easier to keep the kids entertained. The wonderful world of technology. The same things that would be keeping them entertained in their room, but now in the car, will wonders never cease. Here are some of the essentials.
Whether an iPad or an android, this is the key to happiness on a road trip. You can put movies on it, as well as many different games and apps. Putting google maps on it, if it has a GPS, can also help a lot as a child can look at where they are real time, and you don’t need to answer the ever-present question of “are we there yet?”
Silence is golden, at least from the back seat, so unless you want to sing along to barney the dinosaur or the Teletubbies, get a nice pair of headphones. Make sure they are extra comfortable and have your child get used to wearing them for extended periods long before the long road trip. We also suggest getting a backup pair of wired headphone or earbuds, just in case they break.
There is nothing worse than running out of juice on a trip, wherever it is, so a power bank helps this. We consider this an essential travel accessory, whether for a child in the back seat or an executive in first class.
Another essential for the car is the 12v charger. Running out of battery power on that tablet is no joke to peace of mind. So, make sure you have a way to keep it charged and happy, so you will stay charged and happy too.
Portable DVD player
You might also have a large collection of DVDs at home that the kids are addicted to. You can’t always download these to a tablet, so a portable DVD player fits the bill here. They can be had very inexpensively these days. You can buy one for the same price as a full tank of gas, and isn’t that worth the peace of mind?
This is a handy gadget, as it is basically a portable video game system. One of the advantages is that you can detach a controller and play head to head against another person (such as child number 2) in the car. Though as silence is golden, that might not be the best idea, but for keeping at least one child entertained with games, the switch is definitely a winner.
Last but not least is a portable hotspot. So no matter where you go (or at least most places) you will have internet to use. Your kids can download games, or watch YouTube (depending on where you are). It opens up a whole horizon of things to keep them occupied. Ask them where to eat in the next town, or where to go, and they will dig deep. Make them part of the trip, and not just a passenger and it will ease things tremendously.
Road trips can be a great deal of fun, and with kids, it can go either way, so make sure you bring along these gadgets so that no matter what, you are safe and secure in your trip. You can only sing so many songs and play so many word games before you can’t do it anymore, so make sure you have the technology there for the peace of mind of your children. Did we say, children? We meant you.