Once an uncomfortable means to a worthy end, long car trips have changed quite a bit since many of today’s adults age 30 and over were children. Parents are undoubtedly familiar with the familiar cry of, “Are we there yet?” emanating from the backseat. But, such queries are now less frequent than they once were. And, that’s thanks in large part to devices and the access to data that they provide.

Devices can help passengers stay occupied on long trips. But, of course, devices vary in terms of their capabilities, which can affect just how useful they are on the road. So here are some helpful tips for travellers to get more out of their devices while on the road.

Download, download, download

Downloading before a trip allows travellers to access content offline. That means service interruptions and wifi dead zones won’t interrupt podcasts, television shows, or movies. Downloading ahead of time also saves people without unlimited data plans from having to pay data overage charges.

Turn your phone into a wifi hotspot

Smartphones have direct access to high-speed mobile network connections that tablets and laptops won’t be able to access without a bit of handiwork. That handiwork involves converting a phone into a hotspot, which can be done easily through the settings function in most smartphones. Once the phone is established as a hotspot, other devices can typically piggyback on its network connection.

Accessorize your vehicle

Staring down at a smartphone or tablet for hours on end is no one’s idea of comfort. Thankfully, comfort need not be sacrificed for entertainment. A headrest mount can be attached to the headrest of a front seat and accommodate various devices including smartphones and tablets. Devices are simply slipped into the mount so passengers won’t have to hold them in their hands while watching their favourite television shows and movies. Headrest mounts may be convenient, but kids might not be able to reach touchscreens while buckled in. In such instances, parents can replace their existing headrests with headrests with built-in monitors that come with remote controls that make it easy to adjust volume and other settings without undoing a seat belt.