By Elaine Whelan
Family holidays are supposed to be a time to get away from your busy life with your loved ones and relax. However, the dream trip can quickly turn into a nightmare if you’re not prepared. The unknown is one of the most exciting parts about going somewhere new but it can also be the worst. Thankfully, all of this can be prevented with a few clicks on the app store. There seems to be an app for everything these days, but when travelling with kids that’s exactly what you need. Here are five top apps to take you from stressed to blessed in no time.
When you are in a foreign country, with screaming kids in toe and the sunshine beating down on your back the last thing you need is to be staring at a transport map trying to make sense of the different colours, letters and numbers and language that pinpoints the many destinations. This is usually followed by an argument and having to engage a local with no English in a game of charades to try to communicate where you want to go. To make matters worse, spending long periods in front of metro or bus maps screams tourist for any possible pickpockets. To take the stress out of navigating public transport abroad, the MetrO app allows you to search transport links in more than 400 cities and popular destinations around the world in seconds. With MetrO you can save the city you’re in offline so that you can search your route by subway, bus, tram or train without any Wi-Fi connection. It even sends you updates on any temporary disruptions, time changes or alternative routes. Gone are the days where everyone in the train station knows where to go but you!
Viatar Tours & Activities
Viator is run by the same people who own TripAdvisor and is the world leader in offering amazing tours, activities and travel experiences around the world. This app allows you to find over 200,000 bookable experiences, book tickets at discounted online prices and gain access to skip-the-line passes. Travelling at peak times like at the school holidays could leave you queuing for hours at popular attractions just to get in. These are hours that your family should be enjoying on your holiday and not wasting. So, with Viator you can skip the line, not the fun. Make your trip one to remember and not one you’d rather forget.
Kids aren’t well known for having a lot of patience or a strong bladder. When combined, these traits mean that when they got to go, they got to go! Flush is an app that allows you to find the nearest public bathroom to you. You can search through 190,000 loos all around the world. The app gives you immediate directions to the restroom and tells you if the toilet requires a fee or a key and which ones have disability access. You can even search for toilets offline, perfect for on the go surprises. Flush even allows to look at ratings for each bathroom for things like cleanliness. You can also add your own to the list for future visitors. This app is only available on the app store.
You wouldn’t eat in a public bathroom, so why should your baby? Mamava is the best app for locating breastfeeding facilities worldwide. This app makes it easy to find locations of breast pumping and nursing. There are thousands of ‘Mamava pods’ available and the app tells you if you can find plugs, locks, sinks or space for a stroller in each. This is ideal when travelling with a hungry little one as places like airports or unknown cities can feel impossible to navigate.
Being a parent means being responsible for looking after, not only yourself, but multiple people at once. Trying to remember everything for everyone can be especially stressful while on holiday. Boarding passes, passports, luggage, hotel booking confirmations, car hire or transfer details, activity or restaurant reservations is a lot to handle when you are supposed to be relaxing. TripIt holds all of these things in one place so you don’t have to. TripIt sends you your master itinerary for every trip so that you are one step ahead of planning, landing and everything in between You can easily access all of your travel details in one click to avoid endlessly scrolling through your emails looking for the hotel confirmation number under the judging gaze of the receptionist. This app allows an easier trip every time. It looks after the little things so that you can look after you.