Stop Kidding Around
Traveling can be rough, especially when you're a kid. As you get older, time seems to pass by at an ever-increasing rate, but for children, hours can feel like days. That said, keeping little ones happily entertained on the road is not only preferred, but downright essential, as stimulation of any kind can help the time pass by more quickly for them – and potentially buy you some peace, quiet, and downtime as well. Fortunately, there are several handy portable devices which are primed and ready to keep your kids entertained over the long haul, and help restore a little sanity to your travels. Just make sure you've remembered to pack all the batteries and wires you’ll need to keep them all running!
Tablet PCs and Smartphones
First and foremost, of course, are cutting-edge new smartphones and tablet PCs. These all-in-one devices offer numerous ways to keep kids entertained, from video games to music, movies, and eBooks. However, while these handy dandy gadgets can do it all, be sure to keep a variety of helpful companion accessories – e.g. WiFi hotspot adapters, battery rechargers, headphones, and more – available as well. All these can help you get more from your devices, help you keep children quietly entertained, and help save you the time and trouble of having to scurry to find a nearby power outlet.
Handheld Gaming Devices
One of the most time-tested and true ways of keeping a child occupied on the go is a handheld video game console. While smartphones and tablets do feature the ability to download and enjoy games, many of the titles available for them don’t offer the same graphical, online multiplayer, or connected capabilities you’ll get from a dedicated portable gaming unit. For all intents and purposes, handheld devices allow you to enjoy a similar high-end gaming experience such as that you’d get from a set-top gaming console.
Portable Media Players
Another great way to keep kids happily preoccupied for hours on end would be to provide access to a portable media player. Some run DVDs, some run digitally downloaded media options (i.e. songs, TV shows, and films), and some are compatible with both physical and digital formats. Either way, there’s no better way for children to catch up on some movies or television shows that may have been missed than with one of these devices. Just be sure to invest in some headphones to go with the device, so you don't have to listen to catchy cartoon jingles or top pop hits the entire way to your destination.
eReaders and eBooks
Does your kid love to read? If so, be sure to consider picking up an eBook reader that you can fill to the brim with all sorts of digitally-downloaded literature of the popular and classic varieties as well. Happily, many units are dropping in price, and several value-priced models can also double as full-fledged tablets that run movies, TV shows, songs, and video games as well. You’ll find a variety of options available for every budget and interest, and an endless array of reading material to access from timeless children’s classics to even interactive comic books.
MP3 and Digital Music Players
These classic and simple options shouldn’t be overlooked either. While some kids might use these devices while reading and playing games on other gadgets, others might want to simply give their eyes a rest from looking at a screen and kick back, relax, and enjoy the scenery around them while listening to their favourite tunes and podcasts. Cheerfully, many newer car models also feature docks or connectors for MP3 players so you can plug these gizmos in and blare songs over your vehicle’s speakers. That way, you can enjoy a little impromptu karaoke action, or savour your favourite family playlists, as you happily cruise down the motorway on your next road trip.