When it comes to traveling, your smartphone is basically a magic wand and apps and the internet give it super powers. Need to keep all of your travel information organized? TripCase has you covered. Want to streamline navigating the airport? Enter GateGuru. There are few limits to the ways smartphones can ease the stress of travel, most especially when traveling with your kids.
Make Sure You Have a Solid Device
Your smartphone will be of little use to you while traveling if it can’t hold a charge for more than a few hours. Between extended battery life and a host of other impressive new features, like a more powerful camera to help you get the best shots of your kids on your adventures, investing in a smartphone like the new Apple iPhone 7before your next family trip is well worth the money. Make sure you also upgrade your case to something sized to fit the new model. After all, if your kids are going to be using your phone at all, you want to make sure it is as protected as possible.
Discover Local Parks
When traveling with little ones, park visits become a daily essential to let out some energy and experience the wonder of play somewhere new. Now, finding the nearest local parks is easier than ever. Map of Play is a website dedicated to helping users find great play spaces in cities across the U.S. They don’t have a stand-alone app, but the mobile version of the site is optimized for easy usage on the go. Users can rate parks, upload photos and even add a park if their favorite one isn’t currently listed on the site.
Entertain the Restless Ones
When it comes to entertaining a wiggly kid on a long plane ride or even just keeping the peace through dinner at a restaurant, it’s hard to beat the entertainment options that a smartphone can provide. Even a diaper bag full of toys and snacks can hardly hold little ones’ attention for the same amount of time that a few age-appropriate apps and videos can.
To make the most of your phone’s entertainment options and minimize the time it takes to get your kid engaged to prevent a meltdown, strategic preparation is a must. Download a few episodes of your child’s favorite shows to have at the ready in case you need them when you don’t have Wi-Fi or internet access. You can buy most popular kids programs on iTunes, Google Play or Amazon. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, check to see if the show is available on Amazon Instant Video, which in addition to streaming, also offers offline downloading to members. For apps, BestKidsApps.com offers comprehensive reviews and recommendations based on age. Download two or three options per child and save them for departure day so that the apps keep some of their novelty throughout the duration of your trip.
Find Your Way Around Easily
Navigating a new city is rarely easy, especially when you’re behind the wheel. Crowd-sourced navigation app Waze makes driving in a new place a little less stressful. Since the app relies on user reports, you can expect real-time updates on traffic, accidents and even speed traps. With some of the most current traffic information available, Waze is able to help you navigate around congested areas instead of wasting time sitting in traffic when you could be exploring a new city. Don’t be surprised if you love Waze so much that you start using it when you get back home to the Twin Cities to find out how you can streamline your daily travels around town.
If you are traveling to a city with an established public transportation system that you plan to use, Google Maps is a must. It offers navigation using public transportation and even just for pedestrians, so you can get the most efficient route from point A to point B.