Traveling with kids is already stressful enough, therefore, make sure you are armed with the top travel apps prior to heading to the airport. Below are more than 20 must-have FREE travel apps. These apps are helpful from the planning stage through the ‘what are you going to do when you get there’ stage. They are generally not related to traveling with kids. However, they are great for making your trip smoother, and who doesn’t want that when traveling with kids. If you don’t have time for the full article, check out my Top 10 Apps here.
Apps for Accommodations
- Airbnb: This app allows you to rent a place to stay from a private person. This app typically has places that are the right size for a single family.
- VRBO: This app is similar to Airbnb, but it typically has places that are sized for larger groups.
- Hilton: This app allows you to check-in and manage your stays for any Hilton property. In some hotels, your phone can act as your room key if you have the app. This is a must-have app if you are going to be staying at any of the following hotels.
- Hilton Hotels and Resorts
- Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts
- Conrad Hotels and Resorts
- Canopy by Hilton
- Curio Collection by Hilton
- Doubletree by Hilton
- Tapestry Collection by Hilton
- Embassy Suites by Hilton
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Hampton by Hilton
- Tru by Hilton
- Homewood Suites by Hilton
- Home2 Suites by Hilton
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Marriott: This app allows you to check-in and manage your stays for any Marriott property. This is a must-have app if you will be staying at any of the following.
- The Ritz-Carlton
- St. Regis
- JW Marriott
- Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- W Hotels
- Marriott Hotels
- Marriott Vacation Club
- Delta Hotels
- Le Meridien
- Renaissance Hotels
- Gaylord Hotels
- Courtyard Hotels
- Four Points
- SpringHill Suites
- Protea Hotels
- Fairfield Inn & Suites
- AC Hotels
- Aloft Hotels
- Moxy Hotels
- Marriott Executive Apartments
- Residence Inn
- TownePlace Suites
- Hotel Tonight: This app is designed to provide you with last minute deals when your travel plans change suddenly, and you need a room ASAP.
Apps for Airport Parking
- PreFlight Airport Parking: This app allows you to manage all your airport parking from making reservations, viewing current reservations, and monitoring rewards points.
- The Parking Spot: This is the for booking parking at a Parking Spot location. Not every airport has Parking Spot, but most do, and it’s my personal favorite location for airport parking.
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Apps for the Airport and Airplane
Ground Transportation Apps
- Uber/Lyft: These are the most common ride-share services. Get the apps downloaded and your account setup. Then whenever you need a ride, you can quickly request one from whichever service is less expensive for your location. Note: you will need to have a car seat for your child.
- Wingz: This is similar to Uber and Lyft, but you have to schedule your ride ahead of time (at least 2 hours) and it’s only for airport trips. It’s also a service that is only available at select airports. However, fares don’t increase during peak times, so it can be more affordable during busy times. Note: you will need to have a car seat for your child. This service is available at the following airports:
- Dallas (DAL and DFW)
- Houston (IAH and HOU)
- Los Angeles (BUR, SNA, ONT, LGB, and LAX)
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Jose
- San Francisco
- Supershuttle: This is a shuttle service that does airport trips. It is often less expensive than Uber, Lyft and Wingz. However, it makes multiple stops, so your trip takes longer. Even though this is a shuttle bus and not a car, you DO need to have a car seat.
- iExit: This app is a must if you will be driving on interstates when you get to your destination. This allows you to look at each upcoming exit on an interstate you are on to see what food and gas options are there.
- GasBuddy: Also, a must if you are going to be driving at your destination. This app helps you find the cheapest gas near you.
- Waze: This is a navigation app that allows you to share real-time traffic and road info with other local drivers.
- Google Maps: This is a standard navigation app, but it is a little more user friendly than the default iPhone app with regards to letting you look ahead at the directions and seeing which lane you need to be in for an upcoming exit or traffic change.
- Citymapper: This app helps you find and utilize public transportation in a number of major cities around the globe. You can also view subway and train schedules without internet.
- Transit: This app provides public transit maps for 184 cities, 10 countries and 4 continents. You won’t need a car seat to take public transit.
Food and Activity Apps
- Roadtrippers: This app allows you to explore food and things to do that are nearby.
- OpenTable: This app allows you to explore food that is nearby and make a reservation.
- FourSquare: This app serves as a city guide.
- Zomato: This app tells you what restaurants are nearby and gives their ratings.
- UberEats: This turns any restaurant into deliver.
- AllTrails: If you are wanting to hike at your destination, this app provides trail mapsand reviews.
Other Helpful Apps
- Mamava: This app is a must if you are breastfeeding. It tells you exactly where breastfeeding areas are located in each airport. It tells you if it’s a Mamava pod or another type of room and real mothers leave their reviews.
- Kid Entertainment Apps: This topic is beyond the scope of this post. If you are looking for entertainment apps, check out this post.
Make sure to download and set up all of the above apps that are relevant to your trip. If you want more information about traveling with baby by airplane, check out my in-depth post on the topic here.
For some additional hacks for traveling check out these recommendations!
I have traveled with my 10-month old son on 10 round trips so far. Checkout My Top 10 Travel Apps list here to take a page out of my book.
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Mom, wife, veterinary pharmacist, equestrian, ice cream lover and occasional hot mess