Apps That Take the Stress Out of Family Vacations

Summer is here, and it’s time to make the memories of the “What I did on Summer Vacation” essays your kids will make come Fall.
Here are some apps that I’ve used on our recent trip traveling with our 2 1/2 year old, and will help you avoid having a vacation like National Lampoon’s ;)
I like using the Expedia App to book flights right from your phone, and you can also use it to book hotel, car rentals, or find an activity (amusement parks, museums, etc.). Once it’s booked, print your boarding pass at home, or simply print it out at the kiosks at the airport. Get the app now. Such a breeze for what you can control, security on the other hand…I have an app for that too….
This app is such a great tool when traveling with a child, especially when you are packing a “things to do” bag for the child to keep them busy on the plane. It has a tab that reads “Can I Bring?” and it is amazing. Just type in a questionable item you would like to bring on board the plane, and it explains if you can or not. It also displays any delays at your airport, and the waiting times at the security checkpoint. Though the TSA may get a bad rap, this app definitely helps make up for it. Get the app now.
Your little one too young to pack for themselves, or maybe doesn’t even understand why Mommy is putting their things in a bag? The My Suitcase App is great app for toddlers/preschoolers to play. The game allows them to pack items in a suitcase for a vacation at 4 different destinations. Once they pack their luggage, they arrive and play at their location. Real cute and my 2 1/2 year old plays it often. Get the app now.
Once you arrive on vacation, find the perfect restaurant or entertainment with the help of the Yelp App, an app (and website) dedicated to reviews submitted by real people about local businesses in the area. Find out which restaurants are great to bring kids too, but also has food that doesn’t come out of a bag or box.You can also “check-in” to places. Get the app now.

Mom Maps – Great App for Planning Playdates

This app is great for playdates! It finds the closest parks, playgrounds, restaurants museums, and indoor playareas near you. Select what type of place you are looking for, and the app maps out the places within so many miles of your current location (you can select the number of miles in the settings option).

You can also create an account and view pictures and reviews by other parents who have visited the places listed. There is also an option to add a play place that isn’t listed. I live in Cincinnati, and I didn’t find any indoor playareas come up on my search, even when I extended the miles up to 50, so I plan on adding a few areas that I’ve tested and approved.
One drawback about this app is that it is not covered in all cities: it only includes San Francisco, New York City, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland, Boise, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, Maui, Oahu, and Seattle. The app developers promise that it is continually being updated with new locations, so if your area isn’t covered, check back in a few months. I’ll also blog out updates to this app as well.