Scottah Dork
6/14/19 9:12 a.m.

Upcoming travel to southern WV and a beach vacation has my wife and I dreading the torture and torment only a car full of 2, 4, and 6 years olds can bring on a road trip. 

We would like to make sure they can use their tablets to watch Netflix and play some game apps. All needing WiFi. Hot spot for my phone isn’t an option because work phone. Wife has an iPhone 6 with 3g of data, but that will burn fast. She has Verizon for reference. 

What are our options? Some new fangled tech I’m not aware of? Car is a 2016 Kia Sedona without any in car WiFi so that’s out.  I’d prefer this to be a short term solution but that might no be possible, I understand. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/14/19 9:30 a.m.

You say, wife has VZ data plan of 3GB.  What will it cost you to increase her data plan for just one month?  I recommend the increase to be done proactively rather than pay for the overage which will cost more.  Even if you spend another $20 for the one month it may be cheaper than buying some new fangled device.  


Netflix and Amazon Video allows many (not all) videos to be free downloaded to the device (tablet/phone)  This is a temporary download, like 2 weeks but this is what we do for our 4yr olds video needs when we travel.  From there then focus on games/apps that do not need wifi.  

aircooled MegaDork
6/14/19 4:54 p.m.

Verizon, and others I am sure, sell a little mobile hotspot box that might work for you.  Compare it to just increasing her plan.

Duke MegaDork
6/14/19 5:54 p.m.

For $70 you can get a Straight Talk wireless hotspot from Walmart. It comes with 2gb and it’s no-contract prepaid data for about $5/gb after that - per gig price goes down as you buy in bigger amounts. 

slefain PowerDork
6/14/19 5:56 p.m.

What about a no data option? What kind of tablets do you have? We have Kindle Fire's for the kids. I use VLC as a video player and load ripped videos onto the tablets via my laptop.

I load stuff like this:

The kids have access to VLC through Amazon Freetime, and I just had to show them how to VLC and choose a cartoon.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
6/14/19 7:24 p.m.

I have a T-Mobile hotspot.  It's great. I think I have it at 10GB right now. 

Advan046 UltraDork
6/14/19 11:08 p.m.

Prepaid hotspot is the best option. Many different sources so shop around. If your wife has been a long time subscriber then her carrier may cut the best deal for one. 

Be aware that even at 4G a hotspot linked to three devices will have trouble streaming video smoothly as you cross the countryside. 

If they play well together you can even link them through the hotspot to simulate a LAN gaming connection. I did that with Minecraft. 

Also with Netflix you can download videos and watch them data free. 

Maybe allow them to purchase one new game each that is good offline.

Scottah Dork
6/15/19 5:17 a.m.

Thanks all. Good options here. 

californiamilleghia HalfDork
6/15/19 1:12 p.m.

How many GB  do you you will use ?

You can buy a one month  sim card with 5gb to 8gb for $10 or so and use it in a hotspot or an old phone set to hotspot.

tuna55 MegaDork
11/12/20 9:39 a.m.

Don't do it! I still don't do data in the cars for my kids and they are surviving barely.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/12/20 9:57 a.m.
Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/12/20 10:11 a.m.

Yeah, as a person in the tech industry and someone who's used computers from a young age?

Don't do it.  Let them be bored, let them use their imaginations, engage with them.  There's plenty of time for looking at screens later in life.

I still think of the times I spent in the back of the car on road trips with my siblings.

Scotty Con Queso
Scotty Con Queso SuperDork
11/12/20 11:59 a.m.

I think someone bumped this thread asking for advice for in canoe WiFi. 

californiamilleghia SuperDork
11/12/20 12:47 p.m.

 do you have an unlocked phone with Hotspot ?

you can buy one month sim cards on Ebay - 12gb for $30

there are others on ebay.......


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