The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season is the busiest travel season of the year. More than 41 million American are expected to fly the skies this year, making it one of the most stressful times to travel with young children. Let’s face it, babies can sense when mom is flustered, which set them off to crying. Being in unfamiliar surroundings and getting off schedule is another stress trigger for our littlest travelers. Let’s not even mention having to deal with the in-laws!
Technology, in the form of apps for Android phones, Blackberries, iPhones, and iPads can help keep mom (and dad) sane while traveling to Grandma’s house. Here are some of the best mobile apps for family holiday travel:
Potty Break – SitOrSquat Bathroom Finder lets you know which bathrooms are nearby, notes which ones have changing stations and even has reviews from other users so you know what to expect. Free. Available on Blackberry and iPhone.
YP – AT&T Yellow Pages is your trusted resource for answering the question “Where do I find …?” Need to get Children’s Motrin for that unexpected kid’s fever at 11 pm? It will show you the drugstores nearest to Grandma’s house. Need gas on the way back to the airport? Search for gas stations near your current location. Looking for some entertainment? Search the local events or movie theatre categories. Free. Available on Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone and Palm.
Dr. Mom – iTriage is the brainchild of two emergency room physicians. If your child suddenly develops ear pain, you can quickly pinpoint the symptoms and then find the best medical facility to provide treatment. Free. Available on Android and iPhone.
Travel Itinerary – no need to take along a folder with all your travel details. TripIt organizes your travel itinerary so it’s easy to access (and share with your mother-in-law so she knows what time to have dinner ready.) Free. Available on Android, Blackberry and iPhone. I’ve been using TripIt Pro (not free) and LOVE IT!
Games – Don’t forget about those games to keep the kids (and you) occupied when traveling. There are tons of free games and many inexpensive games. My family loves playing Skeeball.
Blackberry – A while back I put together some of the best travel apps for Blackberry users.
iPhone and Android – I finally went to the dark side and I’m now an Apple fan girl. A crazy fun mobile travel app that has come in handy is Google Goggles.
Tips for traveling: Be sure to keep your phone charged and have your charger handy to power up when needed. Most airports have recharge stations available in convenient areas, although not all offer this service. Earbuds are a must if playing games that make noise and your fellow travelers will be appreciative. Remember, don’t leave home without packing the patience and have a wonderful family holiday.