It’s about the journey. Turn an otherwise long and boring car ride into a part of your vacation by pointing out scenic routes, historical landmarks, fun restaurants and hidden local gems along your route. Routes include inside information and history from locals and experts in each community. (Free)
Good for: Families driving for hours with a backseat full of bored and cranky kids.
Never again forget to pack the important stuff. Provides ready-made packing lists for different age groups and lets you customize and check exactly what you need— with reminders—so you’re never left without your essentials ($1.99)
Good for: Moms who want to be organized but don’t have the time to create handwritten checklists for every child and suitcase.
Plan your route and your pitstops. From suggestions for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives to Route 66 Attractions and Offbeat hotels – this is a one stop shop road trip app whether you’re using it ahead of time or on the road. Check out the website before you download for lots of inspiration.
Good For: Finding great kid-friendly restaurants and parks.
Mom Maps helps you find family fun places, kid friendly locations on the go! Search our extensive list of kid's parks, kid's playgrounds, kid's restaurants, kid's museums and kid's indoor play areas. Search by category or zip code, and you're good to go! In addition to a comprehensive kids play guide, you'll find contact information, reviews by parents, for parents and directions. (Free)
Good for: Conveniently finding nearby places to fill vacation downtime.
Airports aren’t exactly known as fine-dining destinations, but GateGuru helps find the hidden gems in your arrival and departure locations. Upload your itinerary and the app lists food options—as well as shops and other services like ATMs—along with where to find them and ratings from other fliers. The app also provides estimated wait times for security lines and last-minute deals on rental cars. Shows information about terminals and amenities in over 100 airports, pointing out valuable traveler hotspots, like ATMs, coffee shops and bookstores. Includes user reviews to help you decide where to eat and where to skip. (Free)
Good for: Making waiting times and those oh-so-annoying delays more bearable.
Easily find the nearest rest stop. This app automatically finds your current location and displays all nearby rest areas and welcome centers. (Free)
Good for: Finding good pit stops for snacks and stretches on long and draining drives.
Ever wanted to take your picture next to a crazy large object on the side of the road? This is your app. Introduce your kids to the weird and wonderful across our United States of America. Editors review their favorites and you can check off which ones you’ve already visited. And there’s even a sunset alarm so you get the heads up for your last photo opportunities. They also make it easy to share your discoveries through Facebook and Twitter.
It’s OK if Dad said you couldn’t plaster a magnetic States map across your car. This app lets you mark off which states you’ve already been to. It’s a simple app but does the trick. And you can brag to your friends about where you’ve been by sending them images of your map.
Bridge the gap between the old school road trip fun you used to have when you were a kid and the digital age version for your own children. Type in nouns, take pictures or use photos from your smartphone or iPad’s photo gallery, and watch the comedy ensue.
Good for: Passing the time and getting the family involved.It even saves your story as a photo for recalling the fun after the trip has ended.
Entertain the little ones with illustrated children’s books for easy flip-through, and allows kids the option of reading it themselves or listening to a recorded narration. (Free-$2.99)
Good for: Keeping young readers engaged without over-stuffing your suitcase.
Create individual and automatic post cards—actual physical ones— from your trip photos and sends them to its recipient. (Free to download, $1.99 for the snail mail delivery)
Good for: Sending out customized souvenirs for friends and family of your summer trip.
Stream a huge collection of your favorite shows such as Arthur, Curious George, Daniel Tiger, and more. You will need to have an active internet connection to use PBS KIDS Video.
Good For: Those evenings when you’ve arrived at the hotel and are trying to settle the kids down at night. Or for those flight delays that have you sitting at the airport for hours!
A game for the whole family! A great classic travel game joins the digital age. This app allows 2 players to compete at the same time by providing 2 bingo boards on 1 screen.