Travel has a unique quality. It’s magical. It inspires us. It lets us experience beautiful cultures we might not have known otherwise. And when we travel with people we love, it deepens our connection with those fellow travelers on another level. For all those reasons and more, planning a family vacation is one of the best things you can do to bond with your spouse, your children and your relatives.
That all said, ask to anyone who’s planned a family vacation before and they will tell you: as magical as family travel can be, it can also be overwhelming. There are so many places you could go, so many things to see and do while you’re there, so many types of transportation you could use, and 365 days a year to choose to travel. Take advantage of today’s travel technology and let some of the best mobile apps on the market (like these six listed below!) make your planning so easy you won’t mind doing it again and again. Bonus: They’re all free and available on iOS and Android devices—so ready, download… plan!
If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all things travel, TripIt has everything you need. As your planning a family vacation, this mobile app organizes all your travel itineraries, related travel documents, flight reservations, car rentals, any special excursions you’ve booked, driving directions and more, and keeps it all in one place. On top of that, it’s free to download and easy to use! After you find and make any of the above reservations on their appropriate websites, you can automatically have your reservations sent to your TripIt account. The app also makes it easy for you to share your arrival information with whoever is picking you up from the airport or train station, whether they have TripIt or not. If you take a lot of family vacations, spend a little money and download TripIt Pro. This upgraded version will track your frequent flyer miles and plane seats, and should you have to cancel your trip at the last minute, help you get your money back on your flight, too.
Hopper is hands down the best flight-booking app on the market. Why? It’s 95% accurate when it comes to predicting and reporting flight prices. Just download Hopper, put in the flight(s) you’re looking for and hit “watch.” From then on, you’ll get regular updates sent directly to your phone that tell you if prices have gone up or down, if you should book now or wait longer, and when you it is time to buy your flight, it lets you do it right through the app. If Hopper tells you to wait for a lower price, it will even give you the exact date you should wait until. And when it’s time to book, you’ll get a notification that says “Book now!” It doesn’t get much easier than this,
Are you an avid Google user? If you are, join the club—according to a study conducted last year, Google processes 3.5 billion searches from users around the world per day. Lucky for those users, Google now has an application called Google Trips, which gathers all of your travel information directly from your Gmail inbox, automatically organizes and maps out all of your half- and full-day itineraries, and makes suggestions about what to do in the area while you’re there. Unlike Google? You get full functionality offline, so if you’re taking the family out of the country, you’ll have access to all everyone’s travel information before you find WiFi.
Packing can be stressful when you have to pack for you, a spouse and your kids. Enter: PackPoint! All you have to do is type in your destination, when you’re going to be there, how long you’re going to stay and any information you have about what you’re planning to do while you’re there, and this easy-to-use app will generate a bespoke packing list just for you. Want a packing list for your kids? Tailor the initial information. Want to pack extra outfits for nice dinners? Add them in there. PackPoint’s lists are comprehensive, but you can also use them as a starting point. The list is completely editable, so as your plans change, you can add or delete outfits and items as you see fit.
Traveling with little ones can be distracting and time consuming. And if you’re traveling to another country with your family, you shouldn’t have to stress about time zones, too! Circa is a simple app that helps you keep track of time across the globe, making it much easier to FaceTime Grandma when you’re in the Brazilian rainforest.
When you’re planning a family vacation, knowing the weather helps you know what to pack. AccuWeather is one of the top weather-forecasting apps on the market today, and for good reason: it works all over the world, provides information in more than 100 languages, has both minute-by-minute and long-term forecasting, and is used by nearly 1.5 billion people around the world. The GPS on AccuWeather is on point, and the weather report is tailored to your exact address. The accuracy is uncanny; you’ll never be in the wrong place at the wrong time without an umbrella again.
Looking for another way to keep all of your travel planning in one place? If you’re planning a trip to South America, one of the world’s hottest travel destinations for families, couples and solo travelers alike, contact Surtrek. Surtrek is an all-in-one travel company, operated by local travel experts, that designs custom, once-in-a-lifetime journeys through South America that let you and your loved ones travel like a local... without sacrificing comfort or style.