Whether you’re an iPhone addict or an Android devotee, apps can be your best friend on the road or when getting ready for your next family jaunt. Here are some of the most helpful:
Even the best of the potty-trained have accidents, but it’s easier to prevent them with Bathroom Scout, which lists more than 1.3 million restrooms worldwide (including public bathrooms, restaurants and other facilities). Turn-by-turn navigation makes it easy, and with street view, take a look around to see if it’s clean and safe for little ones to wee easily.
Those who’ve been stuck in an airport due to travel delays or a canceled connection know camping out on a cot isn’t much fun. But with kids — impossible. HotelTonight is a godsend for those looking for last-minute lodging, and it’s super easy to use. See locations on a map, read about on-site meals available and find bed configurations (amenities list crib and pet-friendly, for instance). Hotels compete for a spot on the app and only the best value and experience make the cut for sometimes hundreds off.
The surest way to prevent cranky kiddos is making sure they’re well fed. And while it may be easy to grab a snack on the street, sometimes Mom and Dad need real silverware, too. With OpenTable, search a vast network of restaurants categorized under kid-friendly, healthy, quick bite and more, all listed by price point, proximity and open table times. Plus, earn points that can be redeemed anywhere when accrued at eateries around the globe.
This new app puts a spin on the Disney FastPass+ idea for universal admission and it’s available in eight languages. Just chose a preferred time to visit locations like Notre Dame towers and you get automatic entry without waiting in line. Reservations are day-of only starting at 7:30 a.m. for same-day attraction visits.
Those planning their own trips know getting around once there is half the battle. Rome2Rio offers help comparing bus, train, car, ferry, bike options and more in one search in cities around the globe, and even works offline if WiFi is spotty (you have access to view previous searches).
Not using your phone as a GPS? Then hand it (or your iPad) over to Junior to keep him busy in the backseat. Some of the age-specific winners include the “Reading Rainbow” series for the iPad and Kindle, about 600 books appropriate for ages 1–4 kids can listen to or read themselves (yes, LeVar Burton makes an appearance as a guide and in in-app videos). Kids ages 5–8 will enjoy “Toca Life: Vacation,” with customizable characters, where every day is a holiday adventure. Building a sand castle, rushing through the airport to catch a flight or jumping on a hotel bed are all in store.
Noise from the next room getting you down? Don’t have time to sing a lullaby? Want to set an alternate alarm time? White Noise can do it all. Create your own sound or download sounds, or simply transport yourself from the jungle to the beach to the campfire with its crackling flames to set the right tone for your little one’s — or your own — sweet dreams.
Packing is stressful in and of itself, but packing for a family? Brutal! Save time with Packr, which compiles lists based on destination cities, countries or regions, along with travel dates and your planned activities to keep all bags 50 pounds or less (or, 20 kilograms if you’re headed across the pond).
With cooler weather and fall colors on its way, it’s time to plan your fall family travels. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort PA Wilds in Mansfield is the perfect destination, and with both scary and not-so-scary events, kids and parents alike can celebrate the festive season with trick-or-treating, fall crafts, fun with the Yogi Bear characters and more.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Oktoberfest is not all about beer. Although beer does play a major role, many of these German-themed fall festivals include activities fun for the whole family. You don’t need to travel to Munich to enjoy the oom-pah bands, lively dances, colorful Bavarian dress and traditional German foods; you can find them in almost all regions of the United States this October. Here are some good choices for families:
Rome is a city full of musts for visitors. You must visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps. And the list goes on, all the way down to trying gelato. No trip to Rome would be complete without the obligatory sweet treat, and for good reason. Gelato is delicious, refreshing and it comes in every flavor you can imagine. But while you can find it just about everywhere you turn in the Eternal City, it’s important to know not all gelatos are created equal. The city is brimming with fakes, and once you know how to tell the difference, not only will you see the fake stuff everywhere, but you will also refuse to settle for less than authentic.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Looking for a unique, fun and educational activity for the kids during your next family travels? Well, Kidzania has you covered. Located in Dallas, Texas, this city is not only built for kids but also run by kids. It’s unlike any other entertainment parks; in Kidzania, kids learn useful knowledge, skills and experiences, all while having the chance to be independent.