travel

Long haul flights can be a nightmare with or without kids, but taking the little ones along is always sure to add an extra dimension to the challenges you face! Whether you’re forced to deal with impromptu tantrums, argumentative siblings or sudden cases of incurable insomnia, being the person on the flight with the screaming child is never ideal.

Fortunately, tablets have become a great way to keep kids quiet and entertained, no matter where you are. There are plenty of apps available on all platforms, but there are several essentials that are sure to keep the kids occupied during all stages of the journey.

Movies & TV Shows

Many parents avoid putting things to watch on tablets for flights, since they assume the airline will provide a range of movies. However, dealing with a child, in a cramped airplane, who had there heart set on watching their favorite movie—which isn’t available—is not a situation anyone wants to be in.

Stocking up with a few of their absolute favorites is essential to avoid this. However, if you do find yourself in this position unprepared, then it’s good to know that many planes now offer WiFi, usually for a small charge. Then, provided you have the means to access it, you can use Netflix or other streaming sites, or even download the coveted movie.

Games

All parents know that a child’s energy levels fluctuate dramatically for sometimes no apparent reason. While movies are a great way to pass the time while things are calmer, it’s always a wise idea to have a more interactive option on hand. Particularly if you have more than one kid with you, app games can allow them to play together and keep quiet in a way nothing else can.

Try the LEGO Movie Video Game, for example, which provides a whole world of adventure for kids to explore and play with. Similarly, newer models of classic arcade games, such as pong and Tetris, are guaranteed to go down well.

Bedtime Apps

During any long haul flight, it’s a dream come true if you can successfully get your children to sleep. Not only will it help pass the time quicker, it will avoid overtiredness once you get to your location and can go some of the way to bypass jetlag. While sleeping on planes is commonly a very difficult feat to achieve no matter how old you are, there are several great apps available for tablets that can help out when it comes to children.

With numerous different versions available, this type of app involves creating soothing sounds to help your child fall into a peaceful and natural sleep. Some provide lullabies, some allow you to record your own voice and some even recreate the sounds of the womb. These apps can be a lifesaver, particularly if you’re traveling with younger children.

Audiobooks

Many parents worry about the effect that staring at screens for a long period of time might have on their child. If this is the case, a great way to overcome the problem, while still keeping your kids occupied during the flight, is to download a few audiobooks. Stories are a fantastic way to enrich your children mentally and listening to them in this format can also be a great sleeping aid.

Fairy stories and folk tales, such as Aesop Fables, are enjoyable at any age, and provide entertainment as well as valid life lessons. If you can find something your kid loves, they might even stay quiet and contented for the rest of the journey.

Learning Made Fun

Finally, just because you’re on the road and starting at a tablet screen doesn’t mean you can’t still find educational elements. There are loads of tablet games for kids that are developed with a purposeful educational spin on them. This is fantastic if they’re missing school for a holiday, as you can chose games that cover the topics they’ll be absent for.

It’s also just a great way to add more depth to game playing time and keep the little ones engaged and occupied. The Disney Animated app is just one great example and is perfect for Disney lovers. It provides an in-depth history and even teaches kids the basic concepts of animation. Alongside this, there are endless educational apps, so it’s easy to pick the best for your children.

Making the decision to travel with kids is always a difficult one, but the benefits they’ll reap from visiting distant and unique places is unmatchable. By stocking up their tablet in just the right way, you can cheat the difficulties of long journeys and let them focus on the experience itself! If you know of any specific apps that have worked for your children or have any other ideas in general, be sure to leave a comment below and share your thoughts with fellow parents.