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Five Essential Apps for Family Travel

by andrew June 2011 - last edited February 2013 by Community Manager

The third in our series looks at family-friendly travel apps. While many of the apps we've featured previously are applicable for any kind of trip, this post is all about the kids. Below are five inexpensive and easy-to-use essentials for occupying and entertaining children and reducing parental stress. Download these and hopefully you won't be hearing "are we there yet?" anymore...

 

Roadtrip Bingo

There are thousands of kids' game apps out there, but very few that are travel specific, i.e. ones that allow children to interact with their surroundings. Bright Bunny's Roadtrip Bingo is the perfect antidote, bringing a shiny paper-free take on a classic car journey game that will actually keep children involved in their holiday. With 40 items - signs, vehicles, animals etc. - to find, it will keep them entertained (and you sane) for hours on any family road trip, or even on long train journeys.

 

£0.59 for iPhone and iPad

Roadtrip Bingo on the iPad

Roadtrip Bingo on the iPad

 

Family Matters

Family Matters for iPhone

Family Matters for iPhone

 

Engagement and communication is the aim of Family Matters, which can be especially useful when travelling. Instead of thinking up distractions for the kids, get conversation going with this app's wide range of fun questions and activities related to whatever you're doing. Challenge them to talk about and connect with their environment or what they're eating. There are six handy travel-friendly categories, including Airport, Road Trip, and Restaurant, though many of the features can be used interchangeably.

£1.19 for iPhone and iPad

 

My Little Suitcase

We talked about planning and packing apps before and now you can let the little ones in on the pre-holiday fun (fun for them anyway). My Little Suitcase is a simple but entertaining app for small children, who can get involved by choosing what they need for different kinds of destinations. Once they're set, it's game time and they can play with balls on the beach or even make the snow fall for a skiing trip.

£0.59 for iPhone


 

Sit Or Squat

Sit Or Squat for iPhone

Sit Or Squat for iPhone

 

Mainly advertised as an invaluable tool for people who require easy access to the nearest public loo, Sit Or Squat should also be recommended to anyone with children. Yes, toilet-finding apps might sound a bit funny, but we all know there's no fun in trailing round a foreign city with kids who can only focus on getting to the nearest bathroom. At present, this app is most useful in major American cities, but all info is user-added and growing all the time. So get involved with rating and reviewing and help others gain parental peace of mind.

Free for iPhone and Blackberry

 

Mom Maps

Mom Maps menu on iPhone

Mom Maps menu on iPhone

 

As you can guess by the name, Mom Maps is another American app, but is available for free in the UK and is well worth a download if you're heading to the States with family in tow. Dreamed up by a mother (naturally), this is a hassle-free, wonderfully useable app that will help you find and review kid-friendly restaurants, museums, indoor and outdoor play areas on the go in any of our US destinations. Another score for simplicity.

Free for iPhone and iPad


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SarahBarnes August 2011
What about a medical emergency on the road? I never thought it would happen to my family but it did. My son became very ill on our way home from camping. We found out he had a spider bite that needed to be looked at immediately. We used iTriage, a great app to find a local urgent care in the area where we were traveling. This app is a must have for travel!
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About the author: andrew

Andrew Bowman

Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.