The Audio Player We Take On Every Family Trip

published Jul 6, 2022
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Credit: Yoto

Family road trips are a hallmark of summertime. Our family of 5 lives in New York City and each summer, as soon as school is out, we like to hit the road and enjoy time with family and friends. 

A classic parenting dilemma is how to keep kids entertained on long car rides. We drive a compact car and are extremely limited on the amount of books, toys, and activities that we’re able to pack. There are amazing tech-based entertainment options for kids out there, but we’ve learned the hard way that screen time during car trips isn’t an option for our car sick-prone daughters. Here’s what we pack instead:

The Yoto Audio Player: How It Works

Instead of packing screens or lots of toys, books, and activities, we pack our Yoto Mini audio player on every family trip!  Yoto sells two styles of audio player: the Yoto Mini and the regular-sized Yoto Player. Yoto players are controlled by physical cards that feature stories, music, activities, podcasts, and more. Kids can listen to the player with 3.55mm headphones or with the built-in quality speaker.

We have both player sizes for our girls. The Yoto Mini player measures roughly 3 inches by 3 inches and is easy to pack in a bag for car or plane trips, which makes it perfect for travel. The regular-sized version stays in the girls’ shared bedroom. It can sit on a nightstand and has a clock and nightlight features. They love to listen to stories in the afternoon for quiet time and find it soothing to listen to the classical music cards before bed.

How the Yoto Cards and Subscription Work

When you order the Yoto Player through the Yoto website you can add on a starter pack of cards for $10. The current starter pack has 7 cards included. It’s listed at a bundle price of $24.99, but drops to $10 when you also purchase a player.

As far as ongoing expenses, there is a Yoto subscription plan where you pay $9.99/month or $99 for the year and get 2 new cards per month, plus free shipping and 10% off additional purchases. While there are certainly other audio subscription options out there, we like that this one is screen-free and we don’t have to be connected to wifi to use it.

Yoto also sells a card case to organize cards, adventure jackets for both the mini and regular sized player, a Yoto Mini traveling case, and headphones. The headphones feature premium braided cable and a daisy chain feature to allow two sets to listen together from one player. 

Our oldest daughter got The Ramona Quimby Collection for her 7th birthday, and we also own the paperback books from the series, so she can listen and follow along in the book. Our 5- year-old has The Narwhal and Jelly Collection, and we checked out those books from the library so that she could also follow along.  

5 Reasons the Yoto Audio Player is Worth the Money

  1. Totally kid-controlled: The best part about the Yoto player is that it’s kid-controlled. By inserting an audio card into the top of the player kids can play and listen independently as long as they want.
  2. Screen-free: We like that the device is screen-free, with no cameras, microphones, or ads.
  3. Long battery life: Yoto Mini’s battery lasts for up to 20 hours which makes it perfect for road trips, flights, or playdates.
  4. No wifi-needed: You don’t have to be connected to wifi to use the Yoto audio player, which makes it ideal for plane and card rides.
  5. Space-saving, especially for gifts: We love asking grandparents to buy new cards for holidays and birthdays because it is a gift the girls love that takes up very little space in our apartment. 

Yoto has been a wonderful screen-free entertainment alternative for our daughters. They are ages 7, 5, and 2 and enjoy listening to stories, music, and podcasts together. We have a 12-hour road trip planned this summer and the girls are looking forward to lots of listening time with their Yoto Mini.