Family vacations are a time of excitement, entertainment and making memories with the ones that you love the most. The technological advancements of modern life are making it easier with every passing year to streamline and simplify many of the things we do, from accomplishing everyday tasks to navigating around a foreign city, allowing us to make the most of each moment as it happens.
These 10 iPhone apps will help you turn your mobile device into a pocket-sized tour guide with a few taps of the screen, thanks to the App Store and the ingenuity of the developers who stock it.
- TripTracker – Live Flight Status Tracker – Before you get down to the fun and relaxing part of your vacation, you have to deal with the tension of managing the travel arrangements. The free TripTracker app streamlines the process for you, making it easy to check your itinerary, the status of your flight, and your hotel and car rental information instantly.
- TripDoc – Travel Planner and Organizer – Add the restaurants and attractions you want to visit, the hotel you’re staying at, and any other notable destinations in the area you’re potentially interested in seeing with this $2.99 app, then watch it plot everything onto one map. Edit your map with the web-based utility, sync with other devices to ensure that everyone’s on the same page, get driving directions to your destinations, and even take notes about the places you’ve visited.
- Yelp – Finding just the restaurant you’re looking for in a familiar city can be enough of a challenge, but trying to manage that feat when you’re in a strange location is almost impossible. Thankfully, the free Yelp app will help you access the closest restaurants to you, sort them by cuisine type, and check out reviews from other diners to make your decision easier.
- OpenTable – Make your restaurant reservations in busy resort destinations before you ever leave your accommodations with just a few taps of the screen through OpenTable’s free iPhone app. Make the most of your vacation by limiting the amount of time you spend waiting to be seated!
- AroundMe – When you aren’t sure what’s around you finding a gas station, drug store or bank can be a major undertaking. This free app takes all of the guess work out of navigating your vacation destination, letting you know exactly where you are in proximity to the places you need to be.
- Footprints™ – Track the locations of other members in your vacation party, share your own location with a select list of friends and family members, and make sure that everyone arrives to their destinations safely with this free app, which even allows you to grant teenagers a bit of vacation freedom by establishing geofences that will alert you the moment they’re crossed.
- Lokadot – Currently only available in Philadelphia, but in development for other cities, Lokadot helps you learn more about your surroundings by streaming relevant audio about the places you’re passing. Think of this free app as a self-guided tour aide and explore the city with the help of its residents.
- My Vacation – Plan your trip in advance, sort the photographs you take after arrival, and capture each memorable experience as it occurs with My Vacation. This $3.99 app features a travel journal that allows note-taking and audio recordings, giving you a multimedia memory album when your vacation ends.
- Wikihood – Figure out what the most important sights in a city are, what other visitors have found interesting, and the locations of museums and other landmarks, all with a few swipes and taps of the screen, thanks to the free Wikihood app. Organize the information by “persons” and “culture/buildings” to find exactly what you’re looking for, even when you’re offline.
- Travel Budget Tracker – Making sure that you don’t go over-budget on your vacation is a very important task, and one that’s easily managed with this $1.99 app from DKDesign. Make sure that you’re never surprised by budget limitations at an inconvenient time, track the amount you’re spending versus the amount you have available, and determine exactly what you can afford at any given time without stretching your vacation budget too far.
While these apps are great for navigation, finding specific types of businesses, and documenting your trip, it’s especially important to be sure that you’re adhering to the rules of the road if you’re driving in unfamiliar territory. You should never text or use distracting apps while you’re operating a vehicle, especially when you’re doing so in an area you’re unfamiliar with. Make sure that you hand the phone over to a capable passenger or that you pull over before whipping out your phone so that everyone is safe during your journey.
This has been a gest blog submitted by Emma Roberts with Summer Nanny.