A list of the go-to apps we’ve used for planning and taking great family trips around the world.
By Megan Harvey
Before I book in or pack up, I load down my phone with the latest versions of all my favorite travel apps. Here are the ones I can’t and/or won’t leave home without:
- Kayak and Sky Scanner and Hopper are my faves for booking flights.
- Seat Guru helps make sure to pick the best seats.
- Rome to Rio shows you how best to travel between stops – just plug in where you want to go, and the app will show you options for planes, trains, automobiles, buses and more!
- Booking.com to book hotel rooms, Hotels Tonight for last minute rooms and Airbnb for a house or loft. I really like Booking.com because all your bookings are stored in one place. You can easily look up your reservations and easily make changes or cancellations. I also trust their verified reviews.
- Be sure to download the app of whatever airlines you’re taking on a particular trip so you’ll have access to entertainment, flight updates and whatever other perks they deliver via your phone – and do it before you get to the airport because you know it isn’t always easy in the departure lounge or after boarding.
- Kayak and TripIt keep track of all your trip details.
- Trip Advisor shows us what activities are available in specific destinations, as well letting us check reviews on accommodations, tour operators and restaurants. Be sure to click the “family” box to filter reviews and view those written by parents.
- Wunderlist allows users to make any type of list. I use it for my trip to-do lists and set up packing lists for the kids, too.
- Mobile Pass is crucial for arrival in the U.S. after international travel. Enter your flight and passport info and skip the hour-long line upon reentry.
- LoungeBuddy in case I end up with a long layover
- Lyft & Uber are money-savers in cities where they operate.
- SpotHero eliminates circling for blocks by securing you a parking spot in big cities around the U.S.
- PocketEarth provides maps that work without wifi around the world – or download the local map for Google Maps if you’re going to be offline during the day.
- What’s App is widely used around the world as a text and communication app, especially when you need to get in touch with a tour operator, Airbnb host or other local and don’t have local phone service.
- Google Translate is a lifesaver for the random communication challenge no phrasebook could see coming.
- XE Currency Converter is my go-to app for keeping tabs on all the money we are spending.
- Units Plus comes in handy for converting Imperial measures into metric ones, and vice versa.
- Weather Underground provides updated weather forecasts in an easy-to-use interface.
- Yelp (as opposed to Trip Advisor) is what we turn to for restaurant reviews from locals (as opposed to tourists) in areas where Yelp has a large number of users. Open Rice is best in Asia.
- AllTrails, StarWalk and Roadtrippers let you be informed as you hike, drive and stargaze.
- Waze will help you get through big cities via the fastest route.
- Kindle is a must for travelers like me who love to read on vacation. I download a bunch of novels before I leave home so that I’ll have good wifi. I always download a Lonely Planet guide for the spot we are traveling to, too.
- Good Eggs (or your local grocery delivery service) is a lifesaver to ensure our refrigerator will be stocked upon arrival with all the foods we missed from home.
Megan Harvey – May 2019
ROAM Contributing Editor
Megan and her family lived every traveling parent’s dream by exchanging a year of their everyday Northern California outdoor adventures for a year of around-the-world outdoor adventures. Now they’re back – but still traveling every chance they get.
© ROAM Family Travel 2019 – All rights reserved
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