Traveling with kids can be tough. They get restless. They get hungry. They ask a lot of questions. And they have to stop and pee. Well ok, I’m guilty of that one too. 🙂 But traveling with your kids does not have to be an impossible feat. With the right planning it can be a pleasant experience. You may remember that last year I took my kids on what I considered their first real vacation. It was their first time on an airplane. They loved it.
Since the trip was a surprise I handled all packing myself…secretly… when the kids were not around. This meant that I had to be super organized and super diligent about getting things done and not forgetting anything. I shopped, planned, and packed for 5 people all on my own. YIKES! But it all worked out great. However, if I were doing it again they would help!
Depending on where you are going, you may want to plan some interesting family activities to make sure that everyone stays busy and has a great time. These activities can include playing cards, reading books, or magazines. But of course these days everyone wants to play with their gadgets. And truthfully? Gadgets and technology are useful in so many ways when traveling. They can keep the family from going mad.
Best Buy has created a Family Travel site loaded with a few great ideas for using tech to enhance your families vacation. Below are a couple of my favorite ideas.
Pack a Streaming Device for Video on Demand
There are many streaming device options out there. Some of them are perfect for home use and others are perfect for travel. When my kids and I had a weekend away I packed my Apple TV to use in our hotel room. It was perfect! It was a suite and they had their own room so while they were busy watching cartoons and kid’s movies I was free to watch whatever I wanted. While the Apple TV is a great streaming device there are more travel friendly options. Plus, the Apple TV does not connect to Amazon Prime which is a drawback for me.
However, the Roku stick is great for travel because it is small and easy to pack. If you have access to the HDMI port on the television in your hotel room you can plug it in, connect it to WiFi and stream all of your favorite shows and movies. The Roku Streaming Stick can connect to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and other services. Priced at only $49.99 on BestBuy.com it is an affordable option for family travel.
Arm Everyone with their Own Mobile Device and Headphones
Let’s face it… sometimes we get tired of watching kid’s movies or listening to Disney’s versions of all of the latest songs. This is extremely true on a roadtrip. I cannot tell you how many movies I can recite word for word… but haven’t actually seen in years! If you want to keep everyone individually happy let each person carry their own smartphone or tablet and wear headphones. This way everyone can watch what they want without disturbing each other. There are a ton of tablets available to choose from in all price ranges.
If need be arm yourself with a mobile hotspot. Or, if you are lucky enough to have one of the fancy newer cars with a built-in hotspot be sure to connect all devices before you start your journey.
Check out the Best By Family Travel website for more great ideas on using tech to make your trip a success.
Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.