For many families jetting off to the sun, the time spent in the airport departure lounge is often one of the most arduous periods of any holiday experience. Keeping the kids amused while you wait for your flight can be particularly difficult – especially if your aeroplane is delayed for any reason. After all, kids really aren’t interested in browsing the duty free shops and they’ve already read the comics you bought them for the journey. So what else can you do to keep them amused?
Some airports have made attempts to help alleviate the problem of bored kids by introducing facilities especially for children, such as soft-play areas and arcades. While younger children might enjoy the soft-play areas, older children are still likely to experience boredom relatively quickly – especially when they realise that they could be spending all their holiday money in the arcade before they even get on the plane! Furthermore, some foreign airports don’t offer any sort of kids’ facilities, which can leave parents and children at loggerheads.
If you’re travelling with kids this summer, investing in a hand-held console could help banish those boredom blues and allow peace to reign in the departure lounge. What’s more, a hand-held console can also help keep kids occupied during the flight, and your holiday hotel stay as well. The two most popular consoles available are the Nintendo DS Lite and the Sony Playstation Portable (or PSP), with both offering a range of options to help keep your kids amused.
The Nintendo DS Lite has two screens, one of which is a touch-screen that allows greater interaction with in-game elements and is capable of Wi-Fi connections. This means that your kids can play games with other children from anywhere in the world, while the console’s ‘Pictochat’ feature allows short range instant messaging between users. The Nintendo DS Lite also boasts a large choice of games, including kids’ perennial favourites, Pokemon and Super Mario, as well as being backward compatible with games released for Nintendo’s older Gameboy Advance console. Music fans can also purchase a MP3 player, which can be added to the console to provide music playback capability.
Sony’s Playstation Portable (PSP) is a single-screen console and, like the Nintendo DS, also offers a Wi-Fi connection to other users as well as internet capabilities. In addition to having a wide range of games from which to choose, including favourites such as FIFA and Tomb Raider, the PSP console can also play movies, with many blockbuster films available for the gaming device. Furthermore, the PSP console can also play MP3 files so kids will be able to listen to their favourite music when they’re not playing games or watching a movie.
With each console offering so much, there’s never been a better solution to battling kids’ boredom. With games, films, music and chat capabilities aplenty, a hand-held console will ensure kids will be entertained for hours on end, enabling you to relax while you wait for your flight to finally be called.
Adam Singleton is an online, freelance journalist and keen amateur photographer. His portfolio, called Capquest Photography is available to view online.
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