The best tech and gadgets for stress-free family journeys this Christmas

Banish those cries of ‘Are we there yet?’ with this collection of tech and gadgetry…

Packing your family into the car for a journey is a stressful business. Central to this is keeping your kids, no matter what their age, amused for the duration. So, how do you fend of those salvos of ‘Are we there yet?’ and ‘I’m bored’ when you’ve got offspring who no longer think it’s cool to play I-Spy to while away the drudgery of a car journey.

What you need is a collection of the best tech and gadgets, which will keep them amused and, better still, reasonably silent so your driving isn’t affected. Shelling out for some cool new kit could therefore be worth its weight in gold. If you’re looking for the quiet life on that looming excursion and want to arrive at the other end feeling cool, calm and collected then read on. Ditto if you’re one of the passengers and looking for a suitable diversion.

Read more: Microsoft Surface Go review: a new iPad Pro and Galaxy Tab S4 killer?

1. Huawei E5577

Get connected in the car and stay that way

Reasons to buy
+Connectivity for up to 10 devices+Use the SIM of your choice

Mobile wireless internet is a must-have for most of us these days, so a Wi-Fi router in the car makes a sensible choice. Your offspring certainly won’t want to go far without being connected, so save their phone allowance and let them connect to this zippy 4G/LTE unlocked 150 Mbps portable mobile Wi-Fi device instead.

2. Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

Ditch the bulky paperbacks and go digital

Reasons to buy
+A screen that resembles real paper+Added connectivity options

A good book passes away time perfectly but traditional printed editions are bulky. Condense your library into the space of a pocket-sized e-reader and you can enjoy whatever it is you’re reading and then move on to another title if the journey is taking longer than anticipated. Get Amazon’s superb high-resolution 6-inch model and plump for the Wi-Fi and 3G edition for good measure.

3. EinCar Headrest DVD Player

Get a quality home cinema effect in the back of your wheels

Reasons to buy
+Packed with features and functions+Easily to install and setup

In-car video makes perfect sense if you’ve got kids sitting behind you and the benefit of this design is they’re not looking down, thereby hopefully avoiding car sickness while they’re entertained. This pair of feature packed 11.6-inch screens plays just about any disc format either together or separately and they also have wireless gaming functionality too.

4. Fidget Spinner

Melt away the tension with a fidget-spinner

Reasons to buy
+Super smooth bearings+Clearly built to last

These simple-but-effective gizmos really do work when it comes to deflating a bad atmosphere in the car. The Angry-Wolf model is just one of many, but is resplendent in stainless steel and is machined to perfection.

5. Anker 24W PowerDrive 2

Keep all of your in-car gadgets powered up

Reasons to buy
+Works with a wealth of devices+Charging for two

Without power you and your frustrated passengers will be at boiling point. So, make sure everyone can rest easy with this ideal accessory for ensuring you enjoy a fully juiced-up journey. This handy back-up measure will keep them sweet until journeys end and it can supply power to just about any kind of gadget or gizmo in your car.

6. Anker AK-A7115091 Nylon Braided Tangle-Free Micro USB Cable

Keep the power coming with this quality cable

Reasons to buy
+3 foot tangle-free cable+High-speed and gold connectors

There are oodles of options when it comes to the in-car charger and the same goes for cables to connect them to your phone, tablet or any other gadget. However, it’s best to invest in a quality cable, like the well-respected Anker brand to avoid disappointments en route. This one is a best-seller so worry not when the journey begins.

7. Amazon Fire 7 Tablet

Perfect for a journey and the final destination

Reasons to buy
+Cheap and cheerful+Surprisingly powerful

The low-cost, cool and compact new Amazon Fire 7 Tablet is ideal for travelling but this svelte gadget is pretty potent too, thanks to a quad-core processor, its Fire OS and a decent 8GB of storage. It’s also armed with with Alexa so that you can put her through her paces once you get to journey’s end.

8. Microsoft Surface

Stay productive and entertained on the move

Reasons to buy
+Full-on laptop performance+Compact and lightweight design

Older offspring in the back of the car will be fighting over the shiny new Microsoft Surface laptop, which does everything you need from a PC but combines that with a super slim and lightweight design. Kit yourself out with the Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 13.5-inch PixelSense display model and the silence will be golden.

9. Sennheiser HD 4.40

These quality headphones hit the spot

Reasons to buy
+Superior sound quality+Bluetooth connectivity

Headphones can solve a multitude of issues. With a decent pair of cans on your kids won’t be able to interrupt your front seat conversations or offer their own directions. These Sennheiser phones connect via Bluetooth or one-touch NFC, so there’s no faffing around with cables, whilst you also get the reassurance of top-notch audio from one of the best brands in the headphone business.

10. Nintendo Switch

You can’t go wrong armed with a Switch

Reasons to buy
+Can be played anywhere+Great range of games

Everyone loves Nintendo’s Switch and it is tailor-made for taking in the car. In fact, you can play it anywhere, so as an all-round solution this has to be one of the best there is. Cool games like Mario and Zelda will keep them, and you, entertained for hours. There might be a fight over one though, so buy a couple and enjoy an even grander shared gaming experience.

11. Car Organizers

Organise your kids in-car stuff

Reasons to buy
+Really practical storage+Easily cleaned design

This low-tech idea is actually a wonderfully practical solution for helping kids, or disorganised adults even, keep everything in one handy place on a journey. They hang on the back of the front seats and can hold everything from books and iPads through to pens and paper. Best of all, they keep your seats looking pristine and can be easily cleaned.

12. MEMTEQ Tablet Headrest Mount

Keep your occupants entertained with this tablet mount

Reasons to buy
+Multiple viewing angles+Universal mounting options

This handy little gadget only costs a few quid, but it’ll be an instant hit because your passengers will be able to watch their iPad in exactly the right position come travel time. This natty tablet mount allows 360-degree rotation and can offer a safe and secure home to the likes of the iPad Mini, iPad Air and 7 to 10.1-inch models along with other tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.