While I like to think of myself as someone who tries to minimize screen time for my kids when possible, during commutes while traveling is absolutely, positively not one of those times. Airport freakouts, long car trips with countless bathroom breaks, or the boredom of sitting on a plane for hours, as parents, it sure seems at this point like the iPad or smart phone is a godsend for us. Might as well take advantage right?
And what about the parents? Visiting a new city and trying to find family-friendly events and activities can be a real pain in the butt. Never, fear, fearless parent, there are plenty of great apps for family travel that help with planning those days out on the town, kids in tow.
While they’re still growing, this is one of the coolest apps for parents I have ever used. They’re expanding into new cities all the time, with mostly a focus in some major metros and California. Tons of great activities for kids, with community-curated advice. A must-have for any parent!
Sit or Squat
I swear to goodness gracious, if I had a dollar every time one of the kids screamed “I have to go to the bathroom” at a very inopportune time, I’d be retired on a beach drinking mojitos already. But nobody pays me for that. So with that in mind, Charmin’s Sit or Squat is a must have for anyone, kids or not. It finds the nearest public bathroom, which also reminds me of George Costanza’s idea from Seinfeld-via-Curb Your Enthusiasm, the iToilet.
Similar to Winnie, Yuggler focuses heavily on kid-friendly activity while traveling. The community is pretty active, and the app itself is a great experience. It’s always nice when a deal pops up on their app for an affordable activity in the area too.
Trying to find a good place to eat for the whole family can be tricky. Is the restaurant kid-friendly? Is there available seating? How is the food, will the kids want to eat it? Foodspotting has all this information and more, making it easy to quickly book a spot for lunch or dinner while traveling.
This is a godsend while in an airport. GateGuru has information on just about every airport, where there’s food, bathrooms, play areas and more. While I still argue that sitting in an airport with kids pre-flight is one of the most testing experiences as a parent, GateGuru makes it slightly less challenging.
Family Car Games
Pretty much a must for any family looking to pass the time. Family Car Games has a wide selection of options from scavenger hunts to radio games, and more. Family Car Games is the best collection of games that keep the family engaged, without having everyone stare at their own devices.
Pay no mind to the Roadside America, which looks like it was designed in the late 90s. This is a very useful mobile app while road tripping. Food, rest stops, and fun and/or quirky attractions while on the lonely highway, all this information is right on your phone. Definitely makes it easier when trying to find something to look forward to while driving.
If you’re looking for the best times to travel, we’ve got a great tool for that. You can find the best times to visit any city in the world, so if you’re trying to find the best time to visit San Francisco, looking to avoid crowds in Miami, or are looking for ideal weather in Iceland, we’ve got it all!