Travel has certainly changed since the introduction of iPhones and other SmartPhones. Now, we have access to maps, user reviews, booking tools, and so much more, right at our fingertips! But with all of the apps that are available, how do you know which are worth downloading? Here’s our guide to the best apps to download for family travel, split out by category.
Photo Editing Apps for Travel:
Snapseed is a Google-owned app that is the most comprehensive of the photo apps here. I use it when I have extra time or really want to take a few extra steps to make a picture perfect. There are lots of editing options, including the ability to edit selections of a photo. Spent the time to play around with it and learn how to use it to really make your photos pop.
I use PicTapGo when I need to make quick, easy changes to my photos. There are a variety of filters offered, and you can save a “recipe” of filters for later use. I especially like to use the “lights on” filter to brighten my darker pictures.
TurboCollage is my go-to app when creating collages on my iPhone. It’s easy to use and creates great collages of your pictures.
I’m obsessed with WordSwag. It’s the easiest (and prettiest) way to add text to your images. I usually choose to edit in one of the other apps first, then import into WordSwag to add the text.
Waterlogue is a fun app that makes your iPhone photos look like watercolors. I wouldn’t use it too much in Instagram, but I do enjoy using it on occasion. Here’s a picture of Cinderella Castle that I imported into Waterlogue.
Road Trip Apps for Travel:
RoadNinja came in handy on our trip when my daughter declared that she needed to use the bathroom right away. All you have to do is open the app, and make sure that it’s registering the correct direction (i.e., are you traveling north or south on the highway). It’s easy to switch if it’s incorrect. The app shows all of the facilities available at all of the upcoming exits – restaurants, gas stations, hotels, etc. But it’s more than a directory – you can also get special offers, share your favorites, and map out your trip with integration with Google maps.
Google Maps (free)
The latest version of iOS got rid of Google Maps, but you can still add it in the app store. Despite the fact that I have built in GPS in my car, I still used the Google Maps app on my trip. I found that the directions were more accurate in a few cases, and the maps were easier to read. In addition, in our cars, we can’t use the GPS when we are driving, so the app is great for me to use while my husband is driving. It’s also nice to have when on foot – it provides walking directions as well as driving directions.
The Yelp app is my favorite tool for finding the best local restaurants in the area. In addition to user-generated reviews, you can use it to check out menus, make sure the restaurant is kid-friendly, and get a feel for prices. I’ve found so many great hidden gems with the app.
Gas Buddy (free)
Ever been in the situation where you were running low on gas on your trip? Gas Buddy not only lets you find gas near you, it also shows the current prices. I’ve found it invaluable when I was running low on gas while in an unfamiliar area.
The OpenTable app is great for both home and travel. Once you find a restaurant on Yelp, use the OpenTable app to check availability. That way, you don’t waste time traveling to a restaurant that isn’t available.
Travel Booking/Deals :
Despite the name, Last Minute Travel doesn’t just offer last minute deals. You can get great prices on cruises, hotels, flights, and more, right on the app. I’ve already saved hundreds of dollars by using it.
The Kayak app is my favorite for doing comparison shopping on rates for hotels and flights. Once you find a great price, you can also use it to book your trip.
Hotel Tonight (free)
The Hotel Tonight app is great if you need to book something at the very last minute. They work with hotels to offer unsold inventory at a great price. Hotel Tonight is available in select cities, but this list is constantly growing.
I never stay at a new hotel or visit an attraction without reading user reviews on TripAdvisor. While most of the reviews are either from very unhappy or very satisfied customers, it’s still useful to get others’ opinions.
I LOVE TripIt, because it organizes all of my travel and sends text alerts when my flight information changes. TripIt Pro is a must-have for frequent travelers.
What are your favorite apps for family travel?