Best Media Apps for the On-The-Go Family

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By Amy J. Silver

Traveling alone is challenging enough; traveling as a family can be a hectic affair, fraught with possible delays and forgotten items. But technology can make your life easier — or at least more organized. Indeed, your iPhone can be one of your most valuable allies when traveling. Portable, light, and constantly attached to your hip, the iPhone’s powerful computer is a surrogate brain of sorts.

With thousands of iPhone apps to choose from, you could literally spend weeks looking for the apps which will best suit the needs of your on-the-go family. Arm yourself with the best apps.

The Basics

TripIt

This free travel organizer will sync and manage your itineraries from your email account (or you can forward travel plans to plans@tripit.com). TripIt puts all your travel plans (hotels, flights, rental cars, etc.) on your iPhone, which you can access anytime. This app is a 2010 Winner of Outstanding Apps from The Wall Street Journal’s business Traveler and Innovation Awards.

Packing apps

Don’t forget toothpaste! Various packing apps are available, but the top ones are Pack & Go Deluxe and Packing Pro. Both provide similar features: create packing lists for each person who is traveling then check off items as they are collected. Furthermore, you can create additional self-designated lists such as “places to see” or “things to buy.”

Wikihood

Travel guides are important in new areas but lugging around books is pass. Discover the important sights in certain areas and find out what others consider interesting. People are raving about this high-ranked app, available in a free or paid version.

VLC

For planes or car travel, the free VLC Media Player is an all-purpose player that allows you to watch or listen to files of any type.

Flying Apps

iFly Pro

This app provides a complete guide to 600 commercial airports including available restaurants by terminal, Wi-Fi access, connecting gates, transport options, flight tracking, parking information, terminal services and more.

Gate Maps

For help in making airline connections (especially for last-minute gate changes), try Gate Maps with detailed maps of terminals in U.S., Canada, and international airline hubs. This app works even without a network connection (put your phone in airplane mode). The upgrade will display your arrival/connecting gates.

Driving Apps

Roadside America

On your next road trip, keep your children interested with sites of interest and oddities along the way. For $2.99 you’ll have access to one U.S. region, or for $5.99 for all six regions with over six thousand attractions. Included are maps, directions, photos, and reports on the bizarre, hilarious, mysterious, natural, unnatural, large and small sights.

Family Car Games

Let’s face it: traveling by car can be monotonous for everyone, especially young children. Turn your car trip into an adventure with the Family Car Games app. You’ll have access to more than 100 fun, creative, no equipment necessary games that will make your journey memorable and interesting. Select difficulty level based on ages of players.

Taking advantage of technology will help ease travel trauma for you and your family. Download your apps ahead of time . . . then sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

References

[1] Packing Pro for iPhone

[2] VLC

[3] Flying apps

[4] Family Car Games

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Categories: Technology