How to Keep Everyone Sane While Traveling with Kids
Okay, trust me, I get it. I understand to the fullest extent how unbearably crazy things can get when you are driving to the grocery store with your kids. A fifteen-minute journey turns into fifteen minutes of screaming, crying, kids unbuckling themselves, oh wait! You forgot to lock the window and your toddler just threw her sippy-cup out into traffic. Fortunately, these are quick trips that can be maintained under your control and you can quickly get home after your kids have decided to give you one of “those days.”
However, what happens if you are trapped in the vehicle with your kids for a long distance? Say, on your way to Grandma’s house who lives across the country? Or what if you have made the once in a lifetime decision to go see the Eifel Tower as a family vacation? If you have one child, consider yourself lucky. While it still gets hard at times, it’s nothing compared to the bigger families with children to occupy of all age groups.
I’m not one to condone sticking your children in front of an iPad the whole drive, or hand them my phone so they can take 4,598 pictures of their toes. Okay, yes I am. It makes things so much easier when they’ve got their TV show going in the back and they are all watching in peace and quiet and we get the benefit of that…silence.
What You can do in the Meantime
You’ll get to the point where you hand the kids their iPods, iPads, mini gaming systems, and laptops if they are possibly older. It shouldn’t be always considered a last resort, as many apps on these devices have kid-friendly games, and educational games for any age. Of course they can also take videos and pictures and drain the life out of the devices. But hey, whatever keeps them occupied at the time.
When you FIRST get in the car, there will be craziness. Everyone will be really excited, and most likely the kids won’t even want to automatically connect and shut out everyone else in the car (except teenagers, yeah we’re looking at you). The younger kids get excited about simple things such as small changes in scenery or new towns with weird restaurants and signs in the air that they’ve never seen before.
Take this short blissful time to play some fun games. Before the days of electronics, families would sing in the car the weirdest of songs, or play a game of “would you rather” and think of the most absolutely wild questions to ask each other. Other family games that were really popular was to find a weird license plate (the kind with funny sayings on them) and write them down. Hangman was a classic, even though it only involves two people. Pretending the car is a roller coaster when going up and down big hills was great, and spying on people in other vehicles and making up stories about their life was the absolute best.
However, there comes a time in which those games slow down, someone gets fussy, others become uninterested and bored, the baby might start screaming, and you may start making decisions all too quickly. “Hey! New game! Whoever counts the most roadkill gets vending machine candy at the next rest stop!” No. Take advantage of the era we live in after the kids have been exhausted by all other games and snacks. This is exceptionally great if evening is near, so it’ll be time to wind down, especially if you plan on driving overnight.
When You’ve Reached this Point
The kids have become a mixture of tired, restless, and uncomfortable from traveling all day. You’ve heard “are we there yet” so often that it’s permanently imprinted in your DNA, and if one more child starts complaining that they have to go to the bathroom right after you’ve left the rest stop you might lose it. You and your partner might be at their wits end. It’s flat out EXHAUSTING driving long distance with kids, for both you and them. Now it’s time to let the electronics in and do some work for you, don’t be ashamed. They get to have fun, and you get to finally relax. It’s a win/win situation.
You might be thinking at this point that you do have the kids iPods or iPads, or even your own. But, oh no, you’re in the middle of nowhere with no WiFi, and you look at your iPhone and you have no service. So what now? Your kids don’t get to watch a movie or show, and they don’t get to listen to music unless they have it downloaded. They are now only restricted to games that require no connection to play, which are very slim these days.
What happens now?
Way BEFORE your trip you need to think about this! What is a luxury of an iPad or iPhone if you can’t access anything? You’ll be back to square one with children screaming about Netflix not working and their favorite games not loading. If you plan a long distance drive with your kids, you need to have a portable Wi-Fi hotspot. You need it- I would emphasize need if I could. Lucky for you, you can get DAYS before you venture out, and satisfy the whole family.
For only a small amount of money, you can purchase a top rated product by Keepgo (and one of my fav’s) called the Lifetime Mobile WiFi Hotspot. What’s not to love about this product, and what’s not to love about a little peace and quiet on your drive? Keepgo’s Hotspot knows exactly what you need and was made for anyone and everyone who wants to keep in contact while traveling abroad, or simply keep your kids entertained during a long drive. What if you didn’t have it? Personally, I’ve headed out into Cevennes National Park in the South of France during our last family trip, my two kids in the back seat and we became deserted in the middle of nowhere. I needed to call my husband and luckily Keepgo’s WiFi Hotspot was there, or we might have been sleeping in the car overnight. I was able to Skype my husband and he drove out to find me. The same thing could happen to you in an even worse scenario so the hotspot was a lifesaver!
Keepgo’s Portable Lifetime WiFi Hotspot had me and my family completely covered, and had everything we needed to create the perfect drive to our destination. It gives you can access to your own WiFi and keep everyone happy. “How would this tiny device keep my family of six satisfied?” you may ask. Keepgo’s Hotspot connects up to ten devices, that how! All of the devices will share the same speed and there won’t be complications with it even if you are in the middle of a drive and all you see is forest around you. The Hotspot comes with a 1GB SIM card already loaded into the device, which is the equivalent of 50 hours of internet browsing, composing 10,000 emails, 100 hours of GPS navigation (when you get lost) and 30 hours of Skype or Viber phone calls. The hotspot lasts in full battery for about six hours, so if you’re not using it, turn it off. Bring the portable charger for it. If you are traveling out of the country, the hotspot can be used in 64 different countries.
I can continue bragging about how great this option is- it’s fast, there’s free shipping, and if you want to upgrade or renew you only have to go online to do it. It’s time to make your decision, because your trip is coming quick and you don’t want to be pulling your hair out for hours on end. This option will leave you and your family in comfort and entertained during those long trips! I will always use mine during every journey (which as a military family is a LOT) Even if you use the hotspot just for fun, remember that you may get lost like I did, and this device can be a lifesaver! Consider Keepgo’s Portable Lifetime WiFi Hotspot your new best friend.