Go high tech to ease vacation stress
I think for kids and parents, spring break is a good sign that the end of school is just around the corner.
With the end of school comes vacation. If you ask most moms, they will tell you that depending on the type of vacation, they may need another vacation after the trip. Going to Disney World with 2- and 6- year old children is different than going with 7- and 10- year olds and a set of grandparents.
Going to the beach is different than going to Boston to walk the Freedom Trail.
What’s the first thing you do when you pick where you’re going for vacation?
Book a place to stay.
Apps for staying
I prefer to stay in places that include kitchens and living areas so that we can have breakfast in our pajamas and the adults can stay up after the kids go to sleep. There are many websites and apps that you can use to find and rent such places.
The one I suggest is the HomeAway & VRBO Vacation Rentals (that stands for vacation rentals by owner) app because there is no joining or booking fee. Did you download the Out of Milk app I mentioned recently? It keeps to-do lists which could be used for packing lists, so you don’t forget your sunscreen when heading to the beach. It also includes a checklist you can tick off before leaving your house for a week or more.
I like an app called tripwolf because it has a social aspect that I enjoy. It includes information about popular attractions and restaurants along with information about available public transportation.
Users register on the tripwolf community and give feedback on these things. The app covers not only American cities but also foreign cities. Concerned about roaming charges when going abroad? No worries! The maps and other information are available offline. Another interesting app to use is called Field Trip. This Google app takes your current location and determines interesting things around you — architecture, historical places, and food. This is a good app for when you’re driving down the highway and you need to figure out the closest place that has something to eat along with an interesting place to let your kids or pets run around before getting back into the car. Speaking of kids, don’t forget to pack those game, tablet and phone chargers, and be sure to purchase extra batteries for cordless headphones or DVD player remotes.
You can get these apps
The apps discussed in this article are available for iPhone and Android. Search the iTunes App Store or the Google Play store to download.
Talk to Stephanie
Stephanie Kreitman is an IT manager, mom to two boys and a member of Upstate Women in Technology. Follow her @StephKreitman.