The holiday season is fast approaching, and most people will be planning trips to visit friends and relatives, or head off on a family adventure. As exciting as this sounds, long-distance traveling with young children is about as bad as it gets. Anyone who has spent 16 hours on a long-haul flight with an unhappy child will probably have some sort of post-traumatic stress, swearing to themselves not to travel again until their child is in their 20’s.
Thankfully we live in a day and age where technology can significantly improve our traveling experience. If you have young children and you are planning a trip, you may want to check out some of these great tech devices and ideas:
Before You Leave
As all parents know, preparation is the key to traveling. You have to think of every little detail from extra clothing to snacks, entertainment and everything in between. It may seem silly, but having a digital check list on your phone can make your life easier before you depart. There are now planning apps that you can install that will give you an idea of everything you need for a specific destination.
Before you leave, make sure you have done the online check-in and booked your seats on the plane. This will significantly reduce your waiting time at the airport and ensure you all sit together, and you can split the children if they are at a bickering stage, assigning them an adult each.
While You Travel
Flying is not a particularly enjoyable experience for those of us crammed into economy class seats for 10 hours or more. Considering children have an attention span of around 20 minutes, anything over 2 hours is a challenge. This is where technology can be your best friend. Essential tech items for any traveling family include a laptop or tablet loaded with your child’s favourite shows or gaming apps.
If you prefer your child do something more constructive with their time, there are loads of educational and brain-training apps specifically designed to improve their memory, reading skills and language while they are being entertained. A good addition to the tech list is a pair of sound insulating Bluetooth headphones. This will ensure that no wires get tangled and your fellow passengers don’t have to hear about Peppa Pig’s latest adventures. For moms and dads we recommend you take your own e-reader or tablet that you can enjoy playing at your favourite casino on, as it may be the only quiet time you get for awhile.
At Your Destination
When arriving at a new destination, the first thing you should do is orientate yourself with the city and its amenities. You can do this at home or on the plane by looking up child friendly restaurants, places to explore and things to do. If you are traveling with your smartphone, you can install an augmented reality app for the city that will display interesting places wherever you point your device.
Hopefully you have spent a good deal of time researching the hotel or accommodation before you left. Checking out the reviews of other travellers is always a good idea, instead of just going on star rating.
Most parents will know that getting your children to sleep in a new place is difficult. One tech gadget that could help you out is a sound machine. As the name suggests, this is a little portable audio device that creates highly effective white noise sounds to help your family sleep. The top models come with 48 unique sounds to choose from and are well worth investing in, because we all know how grouchy tired kids are…
During the day, spend your time exploring new places with your kids, making an adventure out of your trip. When you want some down-time it is a good idea to load child-travel apps on their tablet or phone. These unique apps give your child a greater understanding of their destination, the culture, the language and the different sites. All this while your child is being entertained and you get to enjoy your holiday too!