The Best Portable DVD Players for Families

by NanLT

Every parent knows the difficulty in keeping children amused on long car drives. A portable DVD player can keep children entertained and amused, and parents calm, on long trips.

Quiet children make for a happier driver

Keeping kids entertained on long car journeys has never been easier
Thing 2 listening to DVD
Thing 2 listening to DVD
Image by NanLT
Thing 1 engrossed in film
Thing 1 engrossed in film
Image by NanLT

Are We There Yet?

The most dreaded question on any family vacation

I've never been a big fan of entertainment systems in cars. I figure kids get enough access to TV at home, they don't need it in the car as well.

At least, I thought that until we started planning our summer vacation this year. Suddenly, my husband and I realised that we had planned to be alone in a car, with two active boys, for a 6 hour drive in France. After having been on a ferry for 2 hours, and in the car for an hour before that. Even planning for an hour stop for lunch midway through the drive, which would give them a chance to run around, that was still a long time.

Finally, I capitulated. Okay, we could try portable DVD players.

If you are planning a trip with a lot of driving and are looking for ways to keep your children calm and entertained in the back seat, invest in a portable DVD player. You'll be glad you did!


I'm a Portable DVD Convert

A DVD player keeps the children calm and the parents sane

We first saw the benefit of a portable DVD player two years ago when we took a family holiday to France. We were on the ferry going from Le Harve to Portsmouth, and one family had set up their kids with a portable player in a quiet section of the ferry out from under people's feet. Our children and about a half dozen others spent several hours gathered round the player watching cartoons and videos. We had started the journey home knowing that chances were high both boys would be tired and fussy for a good part of the ferry trip, but watching the DVDs distracted them enough that they were able to remain calm and happy for the majority of the time.

After that, we thought long and hard about purchasing DVD players of our own, but couldn't justify the price. Since then, prices have come down considerably, and the players have become more compact.

Let me tell you, this was the best purchase we made for the whole trip! Knowing our boys, we bought two players, and found them each a set of head phones to wear. We let each boy pick out 12 DVDs they wanted to watch.

It was great being able to talk to my husband as he drove, about things not related to cartoon characters. It was bliss listening to the silence as I watched the countryside slip by. 

No constant chatter, just the occasional outbreak in song as one boy or the other would suddenly start singing along with a theme tune. No constant fighting. No questions about how  much further it would be.

Certainly, we won't be setting up the Portable DVD players for every car trip, but for long journeys they are ideal. I would highly recommend getting one, or more.


Would you use a portable DVD player in your car?

Or not?
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Kids Bouncing Around?

Let them watch DVDs instead
Family in Car

Sony DVP Portable DVD Player

Sony DVP-FX970 9-Inch Portable DVD Player

Enjoy sharp, crisp video and images with the high-resolution Sony DVP-FX970 portable DVD player. The DVP-FX970 features a nine-inch (diag.) 180-degree swivel, flip screen for ...

Only $149.0

RCA Twin Mobile DVD Player

RCA DRC6272 Twin Mobile DVD Players - play two different DVDs!

The DRC6272 twin mobile DVD players by RCA make road trips fun. The seven-inch screens coupled with the headphone jack located on each player – gives you a personal theater ...

$115.0  $119.49

Curtis Portable DVD Player

Curtis 7 inch Swivel Style Portable Dvd Player (DVD7026)

With this Curtis Portable DVD Player you get PREMIUM QUALITY with an EXTREMELY LOW PRICE! Features/Specifications: -7" TFT, LCD, 16:9 SCREEN -SCREEN FORMAT: 480(RGB)X234 ...

Updated: 09/19/2011, NanLT
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pajs64 on 10/07/2011

We bought one for a trans Atlantic flight with our little doughter and since then we use it in the car always.

petunia on 09/20/2011

Our grandchildren enjoy DVDs in the car, and since they travel quite often, it is really a big help to the parents and other adults in the car. Our last trip to the beach with them we watched Sound of Music. By the time it was over, we had enjoyed singing along, re-watched and enjoyed that familiar movie again, and had a delightful trip!

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