This post is part of my partnership with the US Cellular Blogger Brigade Ambassador Program.
The snow is finally melting, specks of green are popping from the soil and my family is itching for a vacation.
Last summer we had our first official family vacation.
Two kids, eight hours in a car and seven days in a lake house. Overall, the vacation was great. Memories where made, in the form of canoe rides, chili dogs, s’mores by the campfire and endless games of Mastermind.
However, there were some rough patches, and lessons were learned.
As we begin plotting our attack for another fun, family-filled vacay, I’m using last year’s experience to guide us.
First and foremost I’m a planner, and I’m especially a bit Type-A when it comes to vacations. I know with kids there will be plenty of spontaneity, so why leave travel, lodging and the itinerary to chance.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of apps and accessories that we can use with our 4G LTE iPhone 6 and iPad Air 2, to streamline nearly every aspect of travel – improving the experience, as well as saving time and money.
Planning the Trip
Did you know 68% of smartphone owners used their smartphone to assist them while traveling, according to a recent U.S. Cellular survey.
I’ve used mine to find the best travel deals with apps like Expedia, Orbitz and Kayak. These all-inclusive apps present deals for hotels, rental vehicles and airlines. In fact, the survey found 27% of smartphone owners have booked a hotel room directly from their smartphone and 16% have purchased airline tickets.
Ever been that person fumbling at the ticket counter for your confirmation number? Go paperless with Gate Guru, which organizes your full travel experience – from flight and rental vehicle information, to airport amenities.
With more than 10 hours of battery life and up to 128 gigs of memory, the lightweight iPad Air 2 makes a perfect travel companion for reading, listening to music, watching movies or playing games.
It was indispensible during our eight-hour drive last summer. Plus, a pair of noise-cancelling urBeats In-Ear Headphones, are perfect for when I want to listen to something other than kids songs or my husband’s 1980’s music.
We Arrived Alive
Once I arrive at our destination, I like to live like a local. The Around Me app shows nearby restaurants, banks and more (including hospitals or emergency care centers for anyone traveling with an accident-prone family member), including directions to your destination. While I’m enjoying my vacation, Postagram keeps me in touch with loved ones. Just take a photo with the app, and for a nominal fee my message will be delivered as a mailed postcard! I can’t wait to use it, the grandparents will love it.
Relive the Fun
I love creating albums of our favorite vacation photos on my phone so I can show them off to friends and family.
Thanks to tech I can leave the stress at home, and create lasting vacation memories with my family.
Disclosure: Through the rest of the year I’ll be sharing some more of My BETTER MOMENTS as a US Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade Ambassador. All opinions are my own and an honest view of my story as a US Cellular customer.