5 Handy Family Road Trip Apps

This post is sponsored by Telstra.

With AJ (who has never loved travelling in the car) now 20 months old we thought it might be time to hit the road on a family road trip…albeit a reasonably short one so we could see how she coped. So with the car packed to overflowing – you would never know we would only be gone for only three days! – we headed off on a fun filled trip south to Busselton.

Given that we live in the age of mobile technology, there may have been no less than five mobile devices in our car (or the various luggage items contained therein) and I cannot tell you how thankful I was for this technology at various times during our short vacation – think grumpy toddler needing to get out of the car NOW! If you are planning a road trip with your family in the near future, I would love to share some great resources with you – first up, this great Telstra 4G free Happy Holidays eBook which is jam packed with tips for family holidays from some fabulous Australian bloggers, and secondly this list of five handy apps that just may save your sanity next time you hit the road with the kids in tow!

1. Maps
Starting with the basics, I use the Maps function on my iPhone all the time so it is no surprise that it was a lifesaver when we were travelling through unfamiliar territory. No more short tempered exchanges between spouses as we miss the turn off again due to Mum distractedly juggling the road map as she haggles with the kids in the backseat! Instead the lovely (albeit somewhat mechanical sounding) voice of the Maps apps made sure we got exactly where we wanted to go – at least when we typed in the correct destination 😉  Along the way it pinpointed the location of everything from a fabulous playground to captivating underground caves, as well as some wonderful family friendly wineries and breweries – beer, wine or great coffee while the kids play, yes please!

5 Family Road Trip Apps for Smartphones and Tablets via Childhood 101

2. Oz Weather Lite (Free)

5 Family Road Trip Apps for Smartphones and Tablets via Childhood 101

I am a bit of a nut when it comes to needing to know what the weather will be like – both day and night. I check the forecast most mornings and each evening so I know how to dress the girls for the day (or for bedtime – which is especially important for AJ as she wears a sleeping bag). I like the Oz Weather Lite app and each time we travel I add the town we are staying in to my list of cities so that I can quickly and easily see both the current conditions and the forecast.

3. Playground Finder (Free)

5 Family Road Trip Apps for Smartphones and Tablets via Childhood 101

Need to find a playground en route for the restless kids in the backseat? I can totally relate! Using the location feature of your smartphone, this app finds the playgrounds nearest to your current location and provides a handy list of features for each park. I found that in the south west of Western Australia the app seems limited to larger playgrounds such as the fabulous Apple Fun Park in Donnybrook which, by the way, my girl’s simply adored.

5 Family Road Trip Apps for Smartphones and Tablets via Childhood 101

4. Geocaching Intro (Free. Upgrade to Premium for $10.49)
Joining this global treasure hunt might just be the perfect way to break up your road trip, plus it will get the family working together. Create an account quickly and easily with the Geocaching Intro app and it will then flag caches nearest to your location. For those new to geocaching the app includes links to a handy series of short instructional videos. Don’t forget to pack a few treasures to exchange.

5. Audio Books For Kids (99c)

5 Family Road Trip Apps for Smartphones and Tablets via Childhood 101

We are long time fans of audio stories and the Audio Books for Kids app includes over 30 classic children’s books as audio recordings. Utilising the Librovox library of recordings, the app includes a range of traditional tales such as The Three Little Pigs, collections of shorter stories such as the adventures of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, and longer classics such as Anne of Green Gables and Peter Pan. I love that the stories are organised by suggested age, duration, title and author and that the story can continue playing in the background as you use other apps on your phone.

To celebrate family holiday fun this summer Telstra has gathered together handy tips from bloggers around Australia into the free Happy Holidays: 10 Tips to Plan Your Family Holiday eBook.

Telstra 4G WiFi croppedYou can get connected while you’re travelling with Telstra’s Pre-paid 4G Mobile Wi-Fi device. The small, lightweight unit can connect up to five Wi-Fi devices at once including tablets and laptops. As with all mobile networks, coverage and speed varies according to your location, local conditions and the device you are using. Check out Telstra’s 4G coverage for your location here and the device details here.

What are your favourite travel related apps?

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  1. Don’t forget instagram to keep a photo record of your trip! You can easily print a book of your adventure through the many services connected to the app!

  2. Playground Planner?! Awesome! I also like the sound of the Audio Books. Off to grab them (and my free ebook, yay!) now. Thanks!

  3. Ooo! Off to check out the ebook thanks!
    And I too am going to download the audio books. We actually just downloaded the complete collection of Beatrix Potter for Miss Daisy to listen to but this sounds fabulous! Thanks for the great tips!

  4. Oh that sotry app sounds great!

    We have downloaded a few librivox stories and love them

  5. Such great apps. I love the sound of the playground planner!

  6. Ooooo I love that playground app. I love the idea of audio books too! Can’t wait to see that eBook. Thank you!!!

  7. Hello playground finder! Is that not a lifesaver? It certainly beats looking for a Maccas and their scary playgrounds!
    Thanks also for the audio books recommendation. We listen to Roald Dahl on every roadtrip and could certainly use some fresh material because I know The Enormous Crocodile back-to-front! Love the ebook too, you girls all did a marvellous job x

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