This post is sponsored by Amazon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
Probably the most frequently asked question I get asked about the two huge road trips I've taken as the only adult with my two kids is, “How did you entertain yourself?” Today, I'm sharing all the juicy details of how I stay sane on a road trip with two kids and no other adults.
I've been asked this question so many times, it kind of cracks me up now. It seems that the concept of driving all those miles by myself and not going crazy is very interesting to people. 🙂 So, when Amazon asked me to share their Fire tablet (affiliate link) and offered to send me one and the cute case (affiliate link) as well as sponsor this post, I knew it was perfect timing to share how I stay sane on a road trip with my kids.
I know you guys loved reading about how I entertained the kids on our trips, but I have some tricks up my sleeve for entertaining myself as well. If you remember, when I wrote about my favorite apps for a road trip, I shared a few of these tricks, but I wanted to answer in more detail for you. Hopefully, it will help any of you thinking of going on your own road trip with your kids. You can totally do it AND have fun!
My favorite ways to entertain myself all involve apps, I shared some other apps specific to the planning and executing road trips, so these will just be entertainment, both while driving as well as at the hotels. I've got 6 apps that I think are perfect entertainment for a road trip.
My all time favorite app for entertaining myself on the road is Audible (affiliate link). My kids think this app is for them because we pick stories that they will enjoy. I enjoy the stories as well. Once my kids get sucked into listening to a book, they often turn down other forms of entertainment and we listen to the book for a couple of hours in one day of driving. It is kind of a rule on our trips that once it gets dark while we are driving, we listen to a book because it helps keep me awake and entertained.
While I don't mind the driving and playing a license plate game or listening to music, etc., listening to a good book is great entertainment. If you prefer non-child-appropriate books, you may be able to use a single earbud so you can still hear both your kids and everything you need to hear while driving. Just make sure to check the laws of the state in which you are driving because some states do not allow earbuds/earphones.
I love the Kindle app (affiliate link)! I love a good read and once we get to the hotel and I get the kids to bed, I'm left sitting in a dark hotel room trying to be quiet so they will sleep. This is when I truly love my tablet because I have all the entertainment I want with my Fire tablet.
This latest version of the Fire tablet comes with Blue Shade installed as well. If I set it to, it automatically adjusts the lighting on the tablet to remove that harsh blue light. It makes it so much better to read in a dark hotel room.
3. Amazon Music
I may have gotten a little bit ahead of myself because, in order to get my kids settled down and to hopefully to sleep quickly, I use Amazon Music Unlimited (affiliate link) every night…can I just say I love their Auto Rip feature! When I buy an actual CD, if it lists auto rip, I get that music digitally as well. It works perfectly for us and for road trips. I travel with a small portable Bluetooth speaker. It is one of the first things I get set up in the hotel room each night. I usually stream a Spa album from Amazon Prime Music or maybe something mellow like Norah Jones. I have a prime membership, so I have tons of options. If I can get the kids to sleep quickly, then I get some fun down time otherwise known as the only ‘me' time on a road trip. 🙂
With this new Fire tablet, this summer on our short trip, I was able to download all my playlists right to the tablet(there is a microSD slot so the memory can be expanded to 128GB), so we had fun music anywhere we wanted music. My kids had fun taking turns being the DJ. 🙂
A lot of nights I'm too tired or brain dead to read a book, so I love all the variety of apps that I can use to stream TV or movies. Netflix has been a favorite. I may or may not have binge watched Royal Pains from season 1 to whatever season was available on our first road trip. 🙂
5. Amazon Video
When I ran out of Royal Pains seasons on Netflix, I headed to Amazon Video (affiliate link) and purchased the most recent season. I love that it just adds it to my library and with the new OnDeck feature the Fire tablet automatically downloads Prime video(I have a prime membership which you have to have to receive prime video) and Amazon Original Series(you will get the first episode of these if you are not a prime member) when my device isn't in use. I love that the Fire tablet is making sure I've got good stuff to watch when I get to the hotel.
Hulu is another place to find great shows to binge watch. I long held out at paying for another monthly fee, but I've been loving all the fun TV shows I've found on Hulu this summer, so I think the fee I am paying is worth it. I love binge watching things while on the road(at hotels…not while driving). It is fun to me. I usually end up staying up WAY too late. Hulu and the Real Housewives series may or may not be my current binge fest!
I'm sure that there is nothing earth shattering in what I shared on how I entertain myself on the road, but these are my little tricks. I always travel with my Fire tablet (affiliate link), earbuds, and a Bluetooth speaker whether it is an overnight stay somewhere or a 5.5 long week road trip like last year.
This summer in addition to using the Fire on our short little trip, which I will share with you next week, I've been carrying my Fire with my to all the various appointments and such we seem to have had. It has been so nice to pick up and read a book for 15 minutes while waiting or to play a word search game from among the apps that are free to Fire tablet owners.
If you have taken a road trip with your kids, what are your favorite ways to entertain yourself on the road? Please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear other ideas!
To keep up with all our adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram as that is where I post most of our trips and daily life pictures. 🙂