Summer is here, which means it’s time to start planning your family vacation. This year, why not use your iPhone or iPad to help you plan the perfect trip? There are iOS apps designed to help you with everything from making sure you’ve packed everything your family needs, to helping you find rest areas and gas, and ensuring you’re all entertained on the journey. These apps take all the stress out of the more tedious parts of planning your trip and make sure all the family has fun at every step of the way!
#1 Pack and Go Deluxe
Remembering to pack everything your family needs and ensuring all your essential pre-trip preparations are completed can be a stressful part of any vacation. This effective and comprehensive app allows you to create tailored lists of everything you need to remember, as well as setting alerts when tasks need to be completed. Use the pre-loaded packing lists and edit them to your needs. List options include:
- Baby essentials
You can also easily create lists of your own which can be named and saved to use again. You can also customize your lists with background colors, sounds and photographs. There’s even a password protected “Briefcase” area to store important information such as passport numbers and emergency contacts
This convenient app organizes all your travel plans and ensures nothing gets forgotten! Triplt connects to your email accounts and organizes all the confirmation emails for your trip – hotel, flights, vehicle rental, restaurant reservations and others. It then uses them to create a personalized, interactive itinerary which can be saved to your phone and emailed to other members of your party, or shared using the app. If there are any emails that the app misses, you can forward them manually and set up a new category with a couple of taps. All your travel plans are synched automatically to calendar apps and across all your devices for maximum convenience.There’s also a Pro version for $49 per year which gives you access to:
- Flight finder
- Flight alerts
- Seat upgrades
- Seat tracker
#3 Along the Way
An essential app for long journeys, Along the Way allows you to search for attractions, food and fun things to do while you’re on the road. If you fancy doing something unique, use the app to search categories such as:
The search bar can be used for specific words or search for special offers to save you money on your trip, and you can view photos, reviews and tips from other travelers, as well as business hours, prices and detailed directions.
#4 Rest Area Finder
When you’re traveling with family and pets, knowing where the next rest area is located is extremely handy. This convenient and well-designed app uses your location to display all the rest areas on your journey. Open the map and click on any of the hot air balloon icons to display further details about the facilities and hours of business. An additional feature allows you to search for welcome centers and scenic views for when you simply need a break from driving. The app will automatically update as your location changes; use the settings menu to change how far the app will search for a rest area from your current location. The distance to the next rest area from your current location will also be displayed automatically, and a report feature allows you to leave a comment if you find a rest area has recently closed or opened. A must-have app to help organize your next family road trip!
#5 MotionX GPS Drive
This fantastic alternative to Google Maps is now the best-selling navigation app on the iTunes Store. You can obtain maps from a variety of sources including road, marine and satellite – meaning the app suitable for use during a variety of activities. Use it while:
- driving on or off road
All maps are downloadable for use offline, and storage space for maps is unlimited meaning no matter where you’re going, you’ll stay on track. You can also receive live traffic updates and alerts, allowing you to stay one step ahead of any problems that develop on the road, as well as directions to amenities including gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. Live Voice Guidance is free for 30 days and costs $24.99 per year afterward.
#6 iFly Pro
Although it’s fairly expensive, it has lots of features which make it worth the price for regular travelers. After installing the app, simply enter your flight number and the airport you’re flying from; you’ll then quickly be able to pull up information about:
- Airport Status which notifies you of any problems or delays
- General information about the airport – smoking policy, location of Lost and Found etc.
- Parking information
- Real-time flight tracking
- Terminal map, including gate, restaurants, bathrooms and ATMs
- Information about airlines – baggage policies reservation numbers and route maps
- Transportation information and phone numbers for shuttles, buses, trains and taxis
- Layover ideas: local attractions and venues
- Ensure you’re on Wi-Fi when you first install the app, as it will download some background information.
#7 Family Car Games
When you have a long journey ahead, kids can quickly get bored. This collection of one hundred fun games will keep the whole family entertained for hours! Simply use the spinner to select a game, or browse the whole collection by name or category. The best part is, your tablet or phone is only required to select the game and read the instructions, so your little ones won’t be staring at a screen for the whole journey while your battery drains! No extra equipment is required to play any of the games. You can choose games based on age range and difficulty rating, and you can easily bookmark games to play later. You’ll find games suitable for all age ranges, providing hours of family fun!
#8 iStory Time
If your little ones love bedtime stories, packing bags full of heavy books to take on vacation will be a thing of the past with this well-designed app. Signing up for the free seven-day trial gives you unrestricted access to the full library. There are books to appeal to girls and boys, all of the books are narrated and there are colorful illustrations to keep children amused. Popular characters are featured in books such as Kung Fu Panda, Shrek, Smurfs, Madagascar and Turbo. The selection of titles is constantly updated meaning you’ll always find something new, with titles costing a reasonable $1-99-$4-99 after the trial period ends. You can also find episodes of popular children’s TV shows to view on demand.
Price: Free, in-app purchases required after trial period ends
All of these apps are easily downloadable from the App Store with just a couple of taps. They will help to take all the stress out of your trip, ensuring you remember all the little tasks that you need to complete before your departure day. You can easily customize maps itineraries, packing lists and much more. You’ll also be promptly notified of any last minute changes or delays to your journey, giving you more flexibility. With all the little details are taken care of, you can relax and enjoy the fun!