7 Apps to Help You Make the Most of Your Family Vacation
Ah, summer vacation. Time to relax and catch up on much-needed rest. But now that you’re a mom, family trips are all about keeping the kiddos busy and finding places that fit your toddler’s self-imposed bread-and-jelly diet. But you can still totally get that R & R you’ve been looking for, while entertaining the kids! It just may take some technical help. Whether you’re looking for local eats, need some kid-friendly entertainment in a pinch, or want to completely manage your travel itinerary (all in one place), check out the top apps for making the most of your family vacation.
Your flight was delayed — in a major way. Or maybe your layover has some sort of adjustment. These are things you need to know right away, especially if you’re traveling with young children. This app gives you real-time updates based on your itinerary. It also lets you reserve a rental car at a discount, though right now the app only works with Avis. Just tap and rent! Oh, and your little one’s need for a pre-flight vanilla-flavored steamed milk can be met with ease. Okay, so the app itself won’t actually get you the drink, but it will give you a list of the eateries, shops, and services at the airport.
Driving on the open road with your kiddos is a sure-fire way to up the number of potty and snack breaks needed by a hundred. You’re traveling on the highway, hours away from your destination, when your preschooler declares that they need to go — now! This app finds rest stops by state or interstate, lets you see how far away the next stop is, gives you rest-stop hours, sends notifications when the next stop is in range, and provides parking info.
This Android app takes the traditional license plate game up a notch. As you road trip it, have the kids search for plates of cars passing by. Look for different states and check them off the app’s list. If you’re an Apple family, Find the License Plate is a free iOS option.
You need kids’ activities, and that’s what this iOS app is all about. Get playtime and exploration ideas in the area you’re visiting based on opinions, suggestions, and photos from other parents. You can filter the ideas based on your child’s age, the season, the cost, and other important-to-families criteria. Think of this as a community-sourcing site for all kinds of family fun.
DL It: Free on iOS
5. WiFi Finder: It’s raining on your family vacation, and the kids are begging to download their favorite movie. Not using your precious data! You could pay extra to log on to the hotel’s WiFi connection, or you could try out this Android app to locate the closest free WiFi spots. (Try searching the iTunes Store for “WiFi finder” to turn up similar iOS apps.)
Getting around a completely new town with kids in tow is never easy. Waze gives you some help, highlighting the best routes based on real-time traffic situations. That means you can seriously cut down on the “Are we there yet?” factor. You can also get hazard, closure, and other alerts reported by other community users. On top of that (and the GPS features), you can also find the cheapest, closest gas stations.
Maybe your summertime travels are taking you out of the country. Between the baby, your toddler, and the great gobs of gear you now have to tote around, you don’t exactly have time (or the hands) to Google current exchange rates. But with a click of an app you can get them in real time. The XE Currency app is also ideal for your pre-trip planning.