As a parent, family vacations are a bit of a double-edged sword. While you love the idea of building sand castles at the beach, riding roller coasters at a theme park and hanging out with dozens of cousins at a family reunion, the traveling part of the trip is challenging.
This is especially true if you are flying. Sitting in a seat for hours at a time can tax the patience of even the most laid-back kids. This is why so many parents return from their family trips feeling like they need a vacation.
Fortunately, thanks to some pretty amazing tech devices, traveling by air with your kids can be less stressful and even fun.
While you might not normally hand your smartphone to your kiddos, flying requires a whole new mindset. Your smartphone is an excellent tool to help you and your children make it through even the longest flight. Load up your phone with kid-friendly apps and videos to keep them entertained. Use a phone like the Galaxy S7 that has parental control features to make sure your children don’t wander onto some website you don’t want them to see. The phone features a great camera, so you can take dozens of silly selfies on the flight. And as a major bonus, the Galaxy S7 Edge is water-resistant, so if their sippy cups of apple juice spill on the phone, it will keep working without skipping a beat.
Another terrific way to pass the time at 35,000 feet is with a tablet. If you are not comfortable handing your kids your own tablet, spring for a refurbished older model at your local electronics store. Apple also offers a variety of refurbished iPad Airs, many of which come with guarantees. Like a smartphone, a tablet can be pre-loaded with tons of apps, books, videos and games that will keep your children happily occupied.
One thing to consider: While you might have strict rules about screen time at home, consider throwing them out the window and letting your children play to their heart’s content while you’re on the plane. It will make the flight go a lot quicker and smoother for everyone.
While your kiddos will happily watch “Thomas the Tank Engine” videos for hours on a tablet or smartphone, this doesn’t mean your fellow passengers want to hear about the antics of Thomas, James, Percy and Sir TophamHatt. Treat your child to a set of headphones that come with a maximum volume level, such as LilGadgets premium headphones. In addition to the max volume that is set at 93db with internal 40mm drivers and a range of 20Hz to 20kHz, the headphones feature a SharePort that enable you or another child to listen and watch the same video without using a splitter. Sized with kids’ ears in mind, the headphones are comfy and well-padded and most children wear them happily.