Many travelers today have turned to technology to help pass time on the plane, bus or train. iPods, iPads, iPhones – pretty much the whole “i” clan has made the unofficial list of most useful travel gadgets.

Hawaiian Airlines, being the airline giant that it is, saw the increased trend and ceased the opportunity to better serve passengers. It is the first carrier to offer Apple iPad minis to those riding the 14 Boeing 767. That’s the big aircraft serving 14 routes between Hawaii and the continental U.S., South Pacific and Asia.

Unless you’re flying in business class, the iPads won’t be free to rent. It costs $15 for those who reserve prior to their flight and $17 in-flight. The minis will have hundreds of hours of Hollywood movies, television shows and games. A great way to keep the kids occupied during those long flights. I don’t envy the flight attendants who now have to keep track of these expensive devices, plus make sure they’re fully charged before the next flight…

This made me think of how we, as kids, used to keep ourselves occupied on the plane. Card games, crosswords, BOOKS. My mom always made sure to pack plenty of stuff to keep us busy; in fact, a stop at a local educational store for workbooks was always part of the prepping process. OK, we had Gameboys, but that’s nothing compared to what the kids got now.

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see tykes with tech gadgets in hand – smartphones, tablets, you name it. I’m pretty sure they know how to work those things better than me! A sign of the times, I tell you!

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