This list of Best Apps for The Family Vacation was compiled by AndPlus. AndPlus is a custom software development company specializing in mobile application development and design, web and mobile web design and development, and custom software solutions to meet the changing needs of your business.You can contact us at www.AndPlus.com or on Twitter @AndPlusllc.
Whether your family is going to Las Vegas, Cape Cod, Florida, or Wally World, there is nothing like spending quality time with the people you love most. But, as we all know, the most stressful part of any family vacation is the voyage to your destination. Whether it be by plane, train or automobile, we’ve constructed a list of apps to take the edge off of the trip. Since we all know that spiking your kids’ Sonic drink with Nyquil isn’t the way to keep them quiet, here is a list of apps that will keep all the information and entertainment at your fingertips for your family trip this summer.
For the Kids
Road Trip Scavenger Hunt ($0.99) – How many of us haven’t played a scavenger hunt game on a road trip?? Since checkers won’t work in the back seat, this iPhone app is based on the classic find-it-first game we all played as kids. You start off by entering all of the names of the people who are playing. The app will then ask you if you would like to hunt for words, objects or a combination of both (I like combination of both because my big brother always won the others). Start the game and it will randomly select an item that everyone has to look for. When someone spots it, you just hit the button with their name and it gives them a point. Everyone’s score is displayed so you can tell when you really need to step up your game. Sorry mom and dad, there’s no app to stop the fighting of who got the item first…. yet.
Oregon Trail (Free) – One of my most fond childhood memories was playing Oregon Trail in my third grade computer class (MS-DOS anyone?). What better way to entertain your kids then with skill-based mini-games, challenges, side missions, new graphics and new departure options, all packed in to the lovable classic? Oregon Trail will keep your kids occupied for hours in the car…until they die from catching malaria or dysentery… or the dreaded snake bite.
123 Color: Talking Coloring Book ($0.99) If your kids are anything like I was as a child, they don’t go anywhere without their crayons or markers. I was great at coloring. I never went outside the lines…except in the car. Not my fault though, dad was hitting too many bumps and turning too much. OK, OK, maybe it wasn’t the perfect environment for coloring (or maybe my Rembrandts were more Picasos, but I digress). Here comes 123 Color: Talking Coloring Book. This app is educational as well as fun for children. The 123 Color: Talking Coloring Book app teaches number, letter and color recognition using art, music, animation, sound effects and voices. There’s even a finger painting program called “Perfect Paint” that won’t allow kids to color outside the lines. Maybe the entitled generation wouldn’t like this app, but our kids certainly will!
For The Navigator
Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, we haven’t forgotten about you. Here’s the list of apps in which beefing up your phone would actually make your trip easier. AndPlus does not condone Texting and Driving, though! Please keep focused on the road and stay safe this summer!
Google Maps (Free) – Was there any doubt that this would be the best app for your phone? (At least until iPhone releases the navigation integration they’ve been working on). Until then, get where you’re going with Google Maps. Receive turn-by-turn directions to almost any destination in the world. (Literally anywhere!)
Where To? ($2.99) – Where To? makes it easy to find the closest place to get a lobster in Maine, just where Adventure Island is in Tampa, FL, get you to the best gumbo in New Orleans, or the coolest surf spot in California. It’s a point of interest finder that will guide you to your destination with its built in map application.
Waze (Free) – Finally (!) a social network for drivers! This on-the-edge-of-your-seat app allows drivers to communicate with each other while on the same road, notify each other of speed traps and traffic jams, and even give you the estimated time to arrival as you drive. Whether others are reporting blockages or not, you will be able to see average speeds of others using the app, and even begin to plan your route to your destination before leaving the house. Be a good navigator and make sure others know about the broken down truck on Route 1, or how slow the traffic coming off Cape Cod is on route 6. Either way, Waze will get you to where you want to go!
Time For a Pitstop
Gas Buddy (Free) – What’s more stressful then seeing a sign that says “Next Gas Stop 50 miles” and you only have 25 miles left in the tank? Even though I do that to myself EVERY TIME, I can’t think of anything. Luckily, Gas Buddy is here to save the day! With Gas Buddy you can find the closest gas station in your area sorted by the cheapest gas to most of expensive.
Android Flashglight (Free) – Whether its helping you change the flat tire you’ve been driving on for the last two miles or looking for the quarter that you dropped for the toll booth ahead, Android Flashlight has you covered. It uses the LED camera flash to beam a surprisingly bright light to guide you in the dark.
Hotels.com Mobile App (Free) – At 2 a.m. the road is lonely. The fighting children in the backseat have morphed into sleeping babies, and the chatty co-pilot is now a snoring annoyance. Your eyelids are drooping and time is running out. You need to sleep. So pull over, pull out your smartphone and open the Hotels.com Mobile App. With the Hotels.com mobile app you can find and book your hotel directly from your mobile device. There are over 140,000 hotels listed on the app, searchable by proximity, price, and rating. A little advice, stay away from these hotels.