A lot of iPhone travel apps can help parents make informed choices about where they are going, what to do on vacation, and how to get there. With so many new products on the market every day, though, it’s difficult to sift through so many apps to find the real gems. As a parent, avid traveler and app developer, I’ve put together my shortlist of nine must-have family travel apps.
Family Matters offers hundreds of questions and activities to keep kids entertained on the go. Whether you’re standing in line at Disney World, waiting for the movie to start at a theater, or stuck in traffic – waiting just got a little more fun.
TripDoc helps organize all the places on your travel itinerary. Create one map on your smart phone that shows every place you want to visit on your family vacation, from playgrounds to restaurants and activities. Get walking or driving directions from wherever you are to where you want to go next. Keep notes about each place – including confirmation numbers, recommendations, what you loved and more – and then share it all with your friends via email.
Just say no to accidents! SitOrSquat is an app dedicated to finding the closest place to go potty. It even tells you if the bathroom is worthy of sitting or squatting (or standing).
You too can be a road trip guru. Sunday Drive takes mapping to a new level by connecting points of interest and providing driving directions. Use this app to find great routes – for a Sunday or any other day.
Travel Bingo keeps kids entertained on long road trips or just on the way home from school. To achieve “Bingo” find signs, vehicles, livestock, and other roadside items. Race against the clock to beat your previous best time or compete with a travel mate playing on a separate iPhone or iPad.
A whole library of made for the iPhone is available from PicPocketBooks. These children’s books stay true to the published versions, all with great pictures and audio.
My Little Suitcase
Using My Little Suitcase, kids can pack for their family vacation and choose where to go! Developed by parents, the app was designed to encourage free choice and independent thinking so children can participate in the trip planning process.
My own app, Mom Maps, personalizes your mapping experience and adds another layer of context with reviews and ratings from a diverse community of parents and family travel experts (with more than 100 locations from Travel Mamas and over 5,000 reviews total…and counting)! It’s like getting the inside scoop from friends in the know on what makes the cut when it comes to kid-friendly attractions during your travels. Got a favorite vacation spot or roadside attraction? Add your own opinions to the mix!
Moms With Apps
Want more apps? Check out Moms With Apps for a full library of apps by parents for parents. Now available via an app through the iPhone App Store.
What is your favorite family travel app? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Jill Seman is a San Francisco Bay mom, the creator of Mom Maps and one of the cofounders of Moms with Apps. She has over 15 years of engineering and management experience with media processing companies like Nvidia, S3, Cirrus Logic and Chips and Technologies.