|The new Samsung Galaxy Tablet (photo: engadget.com)|
With three kids (and one on the way) traveling can be stressful, aggravating, annoying, and troublesome...to say the least. So when my husband suggested a last-minute trip to visit his family in South Florida and I countered with a cross-country jaunt to visit my family in Scottsdale Arizona, we decided to go all in and do both...in a two week period.
My biggest worry was how I would keep the kids (all under 5 by the way) entertained in the car for 11 hours and on a cramped plane for 4 hours. You can only bring so many toys, especially on a plane, and having a variety of things to do is key for kids with short attention spans. So, I was thrilled when Verizon let me review their Samsung Galaxy tablet with 4G (cost $499, or $229 with a 2 year contract). I paired it with my own Wi-Fi only iPad2 to have a bunch of options and things couldn't have gone better!
I used the Samsung tablet to stream Nick Jr shows in the car, at grandma's house, and even at the playground. The 4G service is super fast and when I needed directions to the nearest El Pollo Loco or a quick diversion for the kids. I also used it to create a wireless hotspot (even in the car!) so that the iPad could run on it as well. The fact that the Samsung Galaxy could play Flash video was a real win over the iPad. (Why is that again?) However, the apps on the iPad are much better. But, the combination of the two was magnificent!
|Daddy uses the iPad 2 for a good night story.|
I highly recommend a tablet to any family who is traveling. Sure it's good at home, but it is fantastic on the go. Parents can make sure the apps are educational (not just Angry Birds) and that the videos are age-appropriate too. I was impressed with the speed of the 4G service on the Samsung Galaxy and how it was very user friendly. It may not be as "hip" as the iPad2 but it looks pretty darn cool in the hands of my three year old!
We had great experiences both in the car and on the plane and it really showed us that we CAN travel even though we have a bunch of kids. With the right preparation and a little discipline for the kids, things went super well. Families don't have to be chained to their homes any longer! Woohoo!