Best Family Travel Apps

Best Family Travel Apps

Taking the kids out of their routines and onto planes, trains, and automobiles can be enough to make you scream "staycation!" However, with all the wonders of recent technology, you can turn that staycation into a wonderful vacation that you'll cherish for years. How? While on your family vacation, treat your smartphone like a magician's hat by using a variety of handy apps – to reveal the night sky, translate languages, look at maps that show your location anywhere in the world, and more.

So, if you’re planning on going away with the kids—by car or by air— make sure you’ve stocked your iPhone or iPad with these super handy apps for a stress-free trip.


Sunday Drives

This might just be the quintessential map for those traveling to the Outer Banks. Sunday Drives turns your otherwise long and boring car ride into a part of your vacation by pointing out scenic routes, historical landmarks, fun restaurants and hidden local gems along your route. The perfect app for families driving for hours with a backseat full of bored and cranky kids.


Mom Maps

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.


Rest Area Finder

This app automatically finds your current location and displays all nearby rest areas and welcome centers. Great for finding good pit stops for snacks and stretches on long and draining drives.


Sit or Squat

If you aren't near a rest area, this app tracks where you are and helps find public bathrooms in the area, and also marks whether they are open, closed or flagged as a “favorite” by other users. Great for quickly finding nearby bathrooms in an unfamiliar territory for those emergency potty breaks.


Pack & Go Delux

Perfect for the organized family, this app provides ready-made packing lists for different age groups and lets you customize and check exactly what you need— with reminders—so you’re never left without your essentials.


Gate Guru

Dreading an airport layover? Download this app and make those oh-so-annoying delays more bearable. Gate Guru shows information about terminals and amenities in over 100 airports, pointing out valuable traveler hotspots, like ATMs, coffee shops and bookstores. Also includes user reviews to help you decide where to eat and where to skip.



Great for air travel, this app reminds you of what is—and isn’t— allowed through the gates of airport security, and provides user-generated updates on waiting times and length of the check-in line.



Who hasn't forgotten where they parked the car? Well, wander no more. This app reminds you exactly where you parked on a map for easy locating, and also keeps track of time if you have a meter running.



This cool app shows illustrated children’s books for easy flip-through, and allows kids the option of reading it themselves or listening to a recorded narration. Great for keeping young readers engaged without over-stuffing your suitcase.



This creative app lets you create individual and automatic post cards—actual physical ones— from your trip photos and sends them to its recipient. The perfect app for sending out customized souvenirs for friends and family of your Outer Banks vacation.



Finally, you can put all the parts of your travel itinerary together – plane flights, car rentals, hotels, tours and activities, including confirmation numbers, addresses, arrival and departure times, contacts, phone numbers, websites. It's easy to organize trips on your desktop computer, edit, add new info, share with others, and all the information automatically updates in the smartphone app.


The Night Sky

Clueless about constellations? Not any longer! While vacationing on the Outer Banks, you'll find that the night sky is filled with stars - not city lights. Download this handy app, and you'll amaze your kids by knowing where to find all of the constellations.


Google Maps

Maps for everywhere in the world. And because your location is updated on the map as you move around, you can use Google maps while exploring every part of the Outer Banks.


Free Wi-Fi

Unfortunately, you won't find Wi-Fi in every Outer Banks vacation rental. This is a very useful app to find out what's close to you, e.g. the local coffee shop, where you can use Wi-Fi for free.



While traveling, there are times where a flashlight comes in handy: restaurants with dim lighting to read the menu, exploring downtown Manteo during a ghost tour, or an unexpected power outage. This flashlight app provides a bright light from the cell phone screen.





Seaside Showcase

It all starts with a luxurious Seaside vacation home or condo in one of the world’s most beautiful beachside communities.