11.20.2014Updated on 02.16.2018Tech

5 must-have apps for traveling with kids

Here are unique ways to use mobile apps to involve the entire family in the travel planning process.

Father with child at airport holding mobile phone

It’s that time of year again! Families across the country are starting to make their summer travel plans. Whether they plan on visiting out-of-town relatives, taking a getaway to the tropics or enjoying festivals in their own backyard, savvy travelers know that a little planning and preparation can help save time, money and unnecessary stress.

As the food writer at TravelingMom.com, a nationwide network of travel enthusiasts dedicated to improving the travel experience of busy moms everywhere, Megy Karydes enjoys sharing her travel tips and inspiring others to create their own adventures.

Today, she shares unique ways to use mobile apps to involve the entire family in the planning process. With the help of your smartphone and these must have apps, make your next family vacation an enjoyable experience the whole family will remember for years to come.

  1. Pinterest: As a busy mom of two, I rely on my smartphone and tablet to help me plan for family vacations. Pinterest is just one of the apps I use to plan our itinerary. It’s great for gathering ideas and making a road map of where you want to go. This past year, we decided we wanted to visit all 50 states before the kids go to college. To help us plan, we created a secret board on Pinterest that we’re using to plan our 50-state dream vacation.
  2. YouTube: We don’t rely on apps to entertain our kids during long road trips –  rather, we use apps as a way to collaborate as a family and plan trips that everyone will enjoy. We see apps as an educational opportunity for our children to learn more about the places they’ll be visiting. By searching for destinations and attractions on YouTube, you can virtually experience the places you’ll be visiting. You can even let your kids help you build an itinerary based on what looks fun to them. Not only is this a great way to get young kids excited about the trip, it can help you gauge whether they are old enough to appreciate the experience.
  3. Sunday Drive: You don’t always have to take a destination vacation to beat the winter blues. I love this app because it provides suggestions for mini road trips and weekend getaways so you can create an adventure in your own backyard. The best part is it provides details on hidden, off-the-beaten-path places that you may not have thought to visit otherwise.
  4. Postino: My kids have pen pals with whom they exchange hand-written letters. They love to send postcards, too! Whenever we take a vacation, we’ll find postcards to send family and friends. But this app, which I recently learned about, is fun because it lets the kids take a picture, decide on a frame and email them to friends and family members for free. It's a fun way to create memories and share those memories with their loved ones back home.
  5. Yelp: As someone who also loves food and is always looking for new restaurants to try, I rely on Yelp. Although I don’t use the app for the reviews, it can certainly come in handy if you’re looking for kid-friendly places to eat.

Data usage applies for app download and use.