4 Tools You’ll Need For a Family Vacation

By Miles Young
Miles Young
Miles Young
Miles Young is a freelance writer, traveler, tech geek and finger skateboard enthusiast.
September 12, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Ah, it’s that time of the year again. You’ve busted your rear ends, pinched your pennies, and saved enough to take the family on a vacation. “Yay, Mom and Dad!” the kids rejoice — through a text from their mobile phones, of course. 

Whether you’re flying to your destination or are road-tripping to it, you’ll want these handy mobile tools to keep you prepared and protected. They could mean the difference between your family experiencing a nightmare vacation or a dream getaway. 

TripIt: Keep Your Vacation Plans Organized 

It’s estimated that about 65 percent of Americans own a smartphone and 20 percent of all mobile users have Android mobile phones. People possessing these devices can perform just about every function they need to before or during their vacations. So, where do you start?

Before you start booking your vacation, make sure you have a single spot where you can keep all your plans organized. TripIt, an all-in-one trip organizer, allows you to forward all of your reservations to a central email, creating a custom itinerary that you can access on or offline during your trip. In addition, TripIt provides maps, directions, and weather updates for each destination you visit. It also syncs your trip plans with your Google Calendar. 

Jetsetter: Find Exclusive Deals at Luxury Destinations 

If your pockets are a bit deeper, and you want to expose your family to the five-star treatment while on vacation, consider signing up for a membership with Jetsetter. This community of travelers provides you with expert knowledge, insider access, and exclusive deals on the best family vacations you can think of booking. Everything on this site has been tried, tested, and approved. In addition to the detailed reviews, the site offers plenty of lodging options, including city apartments, ski lodges, and châteaux and villas in the most pristine destinations around the world. 

Weather Bug: Monitor the Weather and Hope for Sunshine 

Once you’ve arrived at your vacation destination and settled in at the hotel, you’ll want to make sure you have an app that can provide you with reliable weather updates. OK, so as we all know, weather isn’t exactly 100-percent predictable, but the Weather Bug app does its best to keep you out of the rain (or any other harsh weather element). With more than 35,000 weather stations worldwide that run on a real-time network, Weather Bug is able to provide travelers with accurate weather updates at a moment’s notice and deliver severe weather alerts 50 percent faster. 

Yelp: Read the Reviews Before Eating at the Restaurant 

As much as you try to save money by buying food and drinks at the nearby grocery store, the point of going on vacation is to avoid cooking and enjoy the tasty dishes the local restaurants have to offer. There’s nothing worse than dining at a restaurant that serves overpriced dishes and puts your stomach in knots — and that’s where Yelp can help. This app allows you to search for the best food and drink located in the area you’re visiting, with detailed reviews from other Yelpers focused on categories like restaurants, nightlife, and bars. Four stars or more and your family should be good to go!  

If you need help packing your suitcases, navigating your travels, or capturing your vacation’s special moments, there are plenty of apps to help you do that too. Just remember to keep the time on your mobile device limited so you can enjoy your vacation — and the time you spend with your family. 

Miles Young
Miles Young is a freelance writer, traveler, tech geek and finger skateboard enthusiast.