If you are among the millions of folks traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ve rounded up six cool apps that we think will help make your trip smoother, for you and your kids. Just make sure you’ve got the headphones packed and your smart phone and tablet batteries fully charged.
FOR EDUCATIONAL GAMING TIME: STACK THE STATES
While we’ve got tons of apps for kids that are fun and educational, we love this one in part because it can be played collaboratively, even if you’ve got older and younger kids in the same car. By
the time you get home, they may actually know more about the states you
drove through and visited than you do. ($0.99 for iPhone and iPad.)
If your kids are like mine, reading in the car can make them queasy. With the Tales2Go app, they’ll get
access to a wide selection of audio books that will keep you all entertained–even the people in the front seat. ($9.99/month subscription for iPhone and iPad.)
FOR BATHROOM BREAKS: Sit or Squat
Road tripping with little kids inevitably means potty breaks, which can be tough to navigate when you’re in unfamiliar territory. That’s why you need Sit or Squat, which will tell you where the closest bathroom is, and all the included amenties. (free for iPhone and Blackberry.)
FOR QUIET CREATIVE TIME: What Should I Draw?
My kids love to draw and color, but that usually means lost crayons and *gasp* markers on my seats. With What Should I Draw? you can play the music you want in the car (for a change!) while your kids can let their creative, artistic juices flow–all without wreaking havoc on your car’s interior. ($0.99 for iPad.)
As much as I try to avoid incessant movie watching in the car, I’m not above popping one on in desperate times. You can either rent or purchase movies, but either way, make sure to download before you hit the road and be prepared when the right moment hits. Just remember that once you start a rented movie, you have 24 hours to finish it or its gone. (prices vary.)
FOR A MUCH NEEDED JOLT OF CAFFEINE: Starbucks
There’s nothing that will get you through the home stretch like a latte or a triple shot venti latte depending on how far you still have to go. Make sure you’ve got your Starbucks card loaded up so you can just tap your phone and get back on the road. Plus, it’s also good for healthier food options, and well, emergency bathroom stops. (free for iPhone and Android.)
FOR THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: Google Maps
If your spouse is like mine and refuses to stop for directions–or worse, tries to convince you that he’s “taking a short cut” there’s still no better lifesaver than good old Google Maps. Load up your destination and you can even navigate around those dreaded “red areas.” (free for Android and iOS.)
We’ve got plenty more cool apps for kids. Safe travels, mamas!