Must-Have Apps for Flying with Kids

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Must-Have Apps for Flying with Kids

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

  1. 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.
  2. VRBO: This app is similar to Airbnb, but it typically has places that are sized for larger groups.
  3. 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
  4. 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
    • Edition
    • Marriott Hotels
    • Sheraton
    • Marriott Vacation Club
    • Delta Hotels
    • Le Meridien
    • Westin
    • 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
    • Element
  5. 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.

Related Content

Apps for Airport Parking

  1. PreFlight Airport Parking: This app allows you to manage all your airport parking from making reservations, viewing current reservations, and monitoring rewards points.
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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:
    • Austin
    • Dallas (DAL and DFW)
    • Houston (IAH and HOU)
    • Los Angeles (BUR, SNA, ONT, LGB, and LAX)
    • Miami
    • Orlando
    • Phoenix
    • Portland
    • Sacramento
    • San Antonio
    • San Diego
    • Seattle
    • San Jose
    • Oakland
    • San Francisco
    • Tampa 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. GasBuddy: Also, a must if you are going to be driving at your destination.  This app helps you find the cheapest gas near you.

Navigation Apps

  1. Waze: This is a navigation app that allows you to share real-time traffic and road info with other local drivers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. Roadtrippers: This app allows you to explore food and things to do that are nearby.
  2. OpenTable: This app allows you to explore food that is nearby and make a reservation.
  3. FourSquare: This app serves as a city guide.
  4. Zomato: This app tells you what restaurants are nearby and gives their ratings.
  5. UberEats: This turns any restaurant into deliver.
  6. AllTrails: If you are wanting to hike at your destination, this app provides trail mapsand reviews.

Other Helpful Apps

  1. 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.
  2. Kid Entertainment Apps: This topic is beyond the scope of this post.  If you are looking for entertainment apps, check out this post.

Final Thoughts

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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Must-Have Apps for Flying with Kids

19 thoughts on “Must-Have Apps for Flying with Kids

  • January 26, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    Holy smokes, this is awesome! What a great list to make travel easier. I’ve used a couple of these on my last trip, but there’s so many more I could have used. I’ll definitely reference this list for my next trip. Thank you!

    • January 27, 2019 at 2:52 am

      Thanks! While I was researching this post I found out about some awesome ones that I’ve been using since.

  • January 26, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    This is a very comprehensive list of apps that just about anyone can use to travel. As someone who travels often for work and is a Marriott platinum member I can vouch for the Marriott App. It’s great to check in on mobile and have you room ready when you get there. Thank you for putting this together.

    • January 27, 2019 at 2:52 am

      The Marriott app does work well but I’m a bit more of a Hilton girl 🙂

  • January 26, 2019 at 10:39 pm

    I had no idea there so many apps – spoken as someone of the Rough Guide and travellers cheques generation! Makes me realise I don’t use my smartphone anywhere near to capacity – looking forward to trying some of these when I next go on a trip.

    • January 27, 2019 at 2:53 am

      If there is a problem, there is likely an app to solve it/make it easier. I find my self using the phrase “there’s an app for that” all the time.

  • January 27, 2019 at 12:31 am

    Wow, I didn’t even realise there were so many travel apps available! What an awesome list! I haven’t travelled much as of late but am hoping that in the near future my schedule will free up a bit and I will be able to do more travelling, I will keep your suggestions in mind for sure!

    • January 27, 2019 at 2:55 am

      These apps can definitely make traveling easier. However, I suggest downloading them to set up/play with a bit before your trip so you know how to use them and which one is perfect for your needs at any given moment. Hopefully you get a trip soon!

  • January 27, 2019 at 12:36 am

    I don’t have children, but I think that this is super helpful for pretty much anyone. Really great collection of apps that can make travelling a lot less stressful. Thanks writing this.

    • January 27, 2019 at 2:55 am

      I use plenty of these apps when I travel alone. They really do simplify a lot of common travel difficulties.

  • January 27, 2019 at 1:29 am

    These are all very good suggestions, that’s a lot of apps I didn’t know about.

    • January 27, 2019 at 2:56 am

      Thanks! I found out about some of them while I was researching this post, and have been using them ever since.

  • January 27, 2019 at 5:23 am

    These are great! I took my first flight in ten years over the summer, and it was definitely a little overwhelming with all of the apps.

    • January 27, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      The apps have definitely changed things in the past decade!

  • January 27, 2019 at 7:01 am

    This is a fantastic list! I have used almost all of these on trips without kids, so I can only see how they will make a trip better when you have more people traveling and need to do things more efficiently because you have kids in tow. I would also add TripIt. It’s free and puts all of your confirmations and itinerary in one place.

    • January 27, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      TripIt is a great addition! I can’t believe I didn’t think to add that one! Thanks for the recommendation.

  • January 27, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    This list is GOLD! Thanns for compiling this- this is a good one to go on the favorites list for frequent reference.

    • January 27, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks! I have all of these apps on my phone for when I travel with or without kids!

  • January 30, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    A great collection of resources for any travelers, particularly those with young kids! Many of them I had never heard of and thought might be quite useful for us. Thanks for sharing !


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