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Southeast Montgomery-20130210-00376

Planning a family vacation can be time-consuming. As a busy working soccer mom, finding a free minute to schedule what creates lifetime memories remains difficult. So we grab every extra minute we can by asking our fellow moms on the playground, at girl scouts, and at soccer practice for their favorite travel destinations. After the children go to bed we email, tweet and Facebook with friends about their vacation experiences. We need all the help we can get so we even read travel blogs. Thus, we research our vacation ideas with our board of directors (family and girlfriends) to make sure we can plan fun and affordable vacations for our loved ones.

Thank goodness for the invention of travel Apps. They have made our lives so much easier.  We can vacation plan while waiting for carpool pickup. What tech tools and Apps are your favorites for travel planning?

Some of our favorite planning Apps (both Android & iPhone and free or a small fee) are:

  • Travelocity: always finds us great airfare but you can use for hotel and cars too. We love the super cool voice activated function
  • Kayak: helps find budget sensible travel deals for air, hotel and car
  • Tripit: creates an itinerary with your hotel, airline, car and resturant details
  • Pinterest: stores your packing lists.  Packing Apps exist but only use up memory
  • VBRO  or  Dwellable.com: are easy options for rentals and B&Bs and both have Apps
  • Jetsetter: provides listings of great hotel and vacation destinations, as well as great panoramic photos that you can browse
  • Hotel Tonight: lets you book same day hotels for up to 70 percent off regular prices
  • thenorthface and the Ski & Snow report: offer ski resort conditions 
  • Open Table: reserves tables in resturants
  • Zagats: gives insights on family friendly resturants
  • FamilyTrip :navigates two of our favorite cities which given their rich history are “must see” for families: Washington DC and Boston
  • Barefoot World Atlas:will educate your children about world cultures while you plan

Other helpful free Apps for the actual trip:

  • Sit or Squat: finds public restrooms so you can even plan in advance which is so important with wee ones
  • WI-FI finder: directs you to public WI-FI locations
  • The AccuWeather.com app: features weather forecasts around the world
  • Mom Maps:locates family-friendly places on-the-go, like parks, restaurants and play areas, with reviews from other parents and a detailed map of how to get there
  • Gas Buddy: provides current gas prices and finds nearby gas stations
  • Waze: navigates with feedback from local motorists. We used for NOLA recently

What Apps help you with your family vacation planning? We are so happy that our smartphones make life easier by helping us book our travel. Now, if only they could do the laundry!

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