Helpful Tech for Traveling with Kids
With the recent arctic cold snap we’ve been experiencing in the Northeast, I’m counting the minutes until our upcoming trip to warmer weather. Paradise beckons with a stay at a Karisma Hotels property in Mexico, but as any parent knows, traveling with three kids requires a lot of prep and organization.
With three kids to wrangle and keep entertained on a long flight (one of whom is a very energetic toddler), it’s important to have the right mix of snacks, arts and crafts, games and tech. I’m going to need a bigger carry-on…
As much as I don’t like to plop the kids down in front of a screen for hours, sometimes the end justifies the means. And in this case, the end is having a quiet toddler for five hours. Tech can certainly come to the rescue, especially if it involves Peppa Pig or Bubble Guppies.
Here are my picks for helpful gadgets when traveling with kids:
Two kids, two pairs of headphones and one iPad. Not a good situation. To avert any mid-flight crises when it comes to watching their favorite movie, make sure you have a headphone splitter so that any and all parties can enjoy the entertainment. ($10.99)
What would be worse is two kids, one pair of headphones and one iPad. Make sure each kid is equipped with these LilGadgets wireless headphones. True, the headphone splitter would no longer be needed, but wireless is always nice when it comes to kids, seatbelts, coats on laps and snacks. ($49.95)
Long flights mean lots of battery power and the PowerStation XL prevents any low battery alert catastrophes mid-movie. This handy device can slip into any bag or carry-on and ensures you keep juiced for the duration of the flight. ($129.95)
If you’re a Prime member, hopefully you’ve discovered the wonder of the Amazon Video app. You have access to thousands of shows and movies that you can download to the app for free. Prime members can download up to 25 titles to up to two corresponding devices (iOS or Android) giving you and your kids hours of entertainment for the long haul.
Think of this like a GoPro for kids. This cool rugged camera is meant for kids to use in the trenches, i.e. underwater, at the beach, in the pool and general kids’ adventures. It’s waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and comes with many mounts to attach to a variety of surfaces. ($99.99)
For music by the pool or on the sandy beach, the UE Roll is a perfect complement to any outdoor adventure. It’s totally waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about splashes or even drops into the pool, and provides excellent sound quality. You can stream fun music while the kids are splashing about, or even get the lullabies going to get the baby to sleep beach-side. ($99.99)
Sure vacation is all fun without any mention of homework, but learning can be fun, too, especially when Leapfrog is involved. Geared towards ages 4-8, this digital reading pen encourages a love of reading by getting kids more involved in the process. The pen can read words aloud on LeapReader books and also play games to help build vocabulary and comprehension. ($34.99)
You’re stuck at the airport with a long delay or layover and have exhausted all games, trips to the newsstand and snack supplies. When it’s tech to the rescue again, but you don’t have Internet access, Karma Go provides instant Wi-Fi connectivity. The pay-as-you-go model is handy and you can choose from 1GB for $14, 5GB for $59, or 10GB for $99. (Just for reference, according to the company website, you can “send thousands of emails, upload about 3000 photos, stream about 15 hours of music, or watch about an hour of HD video” with 1 GB). It never expires either.