Are you addicted to your smartphone when travelling? Need an app for everything you do? Well this week we have a guest post from Jess from travel blog Tripelio, who has helped us find five of the best apps you need when travelling as a family. From baby monitors to planning apps, here are Jess’s picks of the Five Essential Apps for Family Travel. Stay tuned to the end, as we have an app Giveaway too!
Travelling with your family can be a lot of fun, but if you don’t stay on the ball, you can find your plans spiralling out of control. Thankfully, there are plenty of smartphone apps that can simplify the planning process (as well as keep the kids occupied during those long hours in transit!) Here are five of our family’s favourite apps that we use for travel:
We used to travel with a thick folder full of printed documents – everything from hotel reservations to flight information to passport copies and more. Things got a little better once we started carrying mobile devices with us as we didn’t need physical copies of all our documents – but then we could never find everything we needed.
Since we started using TripIt, the whole process has been greatly simplified. All we have to do is forward reservations and receipts to one email address and they’ll be added to our itinerary. It definitely helps me get a more visual representation of when we’ll be travelling, so I know exactly how many days I need to plan activities for, etc.
The kids like to pack their own clothes, but they’re still young enough that they’d probably forget to pack something important if I didn’t give them a list. And I don’t always know exactly what we’re going to need – will it be hot there like it is here at home or will we need sweaters? Should we bring raincoats or just plan to go inside on the few days that it rains? And honestly, I might forget other little details such as hair ties or something as well.
The PackPoint app gets rid of all of that confusion and forgetfulness. Tell them where you’re going, when and for how long (plus customize it with further options, such as whether or not the kids will be repeating outfits), and the app will come up with a list of items for you. Packing is one of my least-favorite aspects of travel, so this app is definitely a godsend!
If you’ve got a long layover, you might need to get some food, or use the restrooms or find a kids’ activity zone… but navigating an airport and trying to read all the signs to see what there is when you have all the kids in tow is definitely something from my worst nightmares.
Instead, we use the GateGuru app to let us see what’s in our terminal or elsewhere in the airport. As long as I know we’re just going from one place to a specific other place, I stress less about the kids wandering off or getting lost along the way.
Cloud Baby Monitor
This app is great for everyday use in the car or for road trips or at hotels or…well, really everywhere! Forget those outdated baby monitors; this one allows you to use the camera on your smartphone, tablet or certain mp3 players to keep an eye on your kid(s) using another electronic device.
The picture’s a lot better than what you would get using a traditional baby monitor, and if you’re going to be carrying your devices with you anyway, you might as well put them to use en route. Now you’ll really know what’s going on in the backseat and who started it!
I love that the kids can use their tablets and smartphones to play games and stay entertained while we’re on the road or stuck on a long layover, but did you know that identity theft is more likely to happen to children than it is to adults? Yikes! Every time you or the kids install an app, you’re allowing someone else out there to potentially access information that you would rather stayed private.
Enter the Virtual Private Network (VPN). This tool will ensure that any data your device sends to the app developers is relevant to the app and is only visible to you and them. Hackers won’t be able to intercept the information packets en route. This gives everyone a much safer gaming experience. On top of that, the VPN hides your real location by providing apps with a spoofed IP address, meaning the kids can still watch Netflix when we go abroad, by using the VPN to get around the Netflix app’s annoying location-based restrictions.
These apps are only a few of the enormous selection of apps out there that could help your family with your travels. For the mums on the move out there, are there any other apps that you use to keep things stress-free while you’re on the road? We’d love to hear about them in the Comments section!
And now for the Giveaway! We have 20 promo codes for a free GPSmyCity app to giveaway (usually costs $4.99 at the app store). GPSmyCity features self-guided city walks in over 470 cities around the world. Each of the city apps contains from a few to over a dozen self-guided city walks for a single city, allowing visitors to explore the local attractions on foot at their own pace. If you’d like to try out GPSmyCity for free – simple leave a comment below with the name of the city you would like to explore on foot using GPSmyCity. The first 20 people to comment get a promo code. Simple!
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