The last time I went to Europe (eight years ago) I remember only being able to watch CNN international on the tv. Once I was bored with that I would read a book. This time when we travel abroad we’ll be able to watch American tv shows via Netflix or Slingbox. If we want to read a book we can do it on the iPad or on my Kindle.
The advancements in electronics also help minimize my fear of how to keep the kids entertained on our way over to Europe and back. I have put enough movies, tv shows, and games on the iPad and my phone to keep the kids occupied until the batteries go dead. Advancements in electronics will also minimize the books we need to bring. All of my travel books are on the kindle. I have enough books for the kids on the kindle as well. Furthermore, I plan to use my phone as a camera while on the trip. That means one less camera we need to bring.
While we are bringing the iPad and my phone with us, I asked the kids if it was okay if we left the Nintendo DS at home. I explained to them that it required a special charger that we would have to buy. Plus, while the DS is small it also has tiny games that go with it that could be lost. Between the iPad, my old phone, and my current phone we are bringing enough electronic devices. Furthermore, I am only hoping the kids will be using the electronics while we are traveling to/from Europe or at night when we are at our hotel.
So, in conclusion our nights of watching CNN international will be replaced by watching Netflix. And those large books that I packed in the past will now be on my kindle. Much lighter than a hard back book!