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How did people used to travel with kids?

Pretty much since the day our kids were born, we have travelled. I do not mean traveling to fancy exotic destinations but spending time in transport to reach a destination. For example, the kids’ grandparents live in North of Finland and as taking a car is the most flexible option, we drive up a couple of times a year. That is 1200 km one way. And even if counting out such extreme traveling, just driving the couple of hours journey to our summer house feels like six hours with kids’ attention span.

So how on earth did families travel before having iPads and other tablets? It’s challenging enough even when you have these miraculous devices. Every trip we are thankful for the streaming possibilities; we either download shows pre-travel so that no internet connection is needed or, if desperate, connect the pads to mobile network. We also download age-appropriate and often creative apps that the kids can play with. We think encouraging creativity is always a good idea but the creativity also increases the usability of the app.

These were popular at our back seat this summer:


Our 5-year old daughter went crazy with “True and the rainbow kingdom” on Netflix. Although overwhelmingly pink, it is a well-made show with a strong female main character. Our 3-year old son then followed the True-hype and also very much enjoyed watching the show. We played it in Finnish to boost our kids’ second language. There are several seasons available which helped during the long travels.


Our daughter has mainly been interested in watching shows lately but our son is still very much into playing with apps. His mother is happy that Nampa still entertains, unsurprisingly we have all the Nampa apps on our iPad so he can swap between the different themes.

Another favourite of both of our kids is Dr Panda Hoopa City2. We have mentioned this app before but it is worth mentioning again. Building the city is in itself a lot of fun but the fact that you can then enter the buildings that you have just created and then play with the characters adds another layer to it all. Kudos to Dr Panda for developing this gem!

And not to forget – we do actually talk to our kids whilst traveling, listen to music and do fun things together during the breaks. Still, I don’t know how our parents did it in the 80’s (yes, we are that old).

What are your favorite tips for traveling with kids?

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