Family Road Trip Apps and Tech Create Vacation Memories

Family road trips create vacation memories to last a lifetime and great technology and apps can help make them wonderful experiences. Our family just took another massive cross-country road trip this summer from Houston, TX to Rye, NY. Having road tripped around 1/2 of America, we have found that our tech gadgets and favorite apps make the planning and day-to-day travel easy and convenient. Keeping three children happy, the husband relaxed and juggling the trip logistics requires many arms and legs so we have to round up any help we can get.

Tech:Family Road Trip Apps

A Tech Savvy Car: helps the time pass quickly (usually family budget friendly so consider for the next round). Most cars now have smart phone charging plugs, GPS, DVD players and some like our Chrysler Town and Country Mini Van even feature 110 volt power outlets. Having your smart phone charged for quick access to google maps and key travel apps is a must

A Wireless Hot Spot: allows mom and dad to keep in touch with family, friends and work. Teens can even catch up on summer reading lists. We love our Verizon Hot Spot since it has powered our connections nationwide

A Smart Phone Camera: creates valuable memories of the kids and “the world’s biggest chair”. While we use our Go Pro camera for cool adventure shots, for everyday use we need something fast and simple to capture those spontaneous shots and videos. Our new Nokia Lumia 928 phone is perfect for taking family road trip photos.  When traveling, life is so much easier when you only have to carry one device. With the Nokia 928, we like how the 8.7 MP PureView camera keeps the shots and videos steady with its optical image stabilization. Our shaky cam days are over and our family and close friends will be forever grateful

Portable DVD players, iPads, iPods and Leapsters: keep the kids busy, but we try to balance the video games with reading, math, family car games (animal, mineral or plant guessing) and even singing (but, no show tunes!). Make sure you inventory all the devices and chargers as the family moves place to place and consider investing in a multiple device travel charger to organize the chaos


Apps make family vacations so much easier. You can find apps for everything from planning, logistics, to sharing the latest video adventure. On a road trip, locating gas, bathrooms, and restaurants along the way keeps your vacation stress free. We are so happy that we have apps that can handle these often dire situations.  While we have written about some of these apps before, we must sing their praises again since they saved our sanity. All apps are free and available for both Android and iOS unless noted.

Here are our top 5:

Gas Buddy: check out current gas prices, and find nearby stations which is useful while back roading to see the country side

Waze: use the free GPS app for navigating cities to avoid major traffic jams. Users fuel this app with current tips

Squat and Sit: find clean bathrooms across the country. You can even add your own ratings~ do we have some stories to share! Meanwhile, the app’s name gets the kids laughing if you need a diversion

Food Tripping: locate restaurants, farmers’ markets, juice joints, artisanals, and any local healthy alternatives to fast-food chains. This app worked great for our family since we like to sample each region’s cuisine and eat organic when we can.  If anyone has food allergies, be sure to read: Apps To Help with Food Allergies and Asthma

Joya: share vacation videos with friends and family while on the road regardless of file size. Within seconds, the video is in the hands of your friends and family with a simple click on a url. This means no more missed vacation highlights or spontaneous family dance moments

For actual trip planning check out our post: Great Travel Apps To Plan Family Vacations. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing adventures from our road trip family vacations so check back for more fun soon!

About the Author: 

Suzanna Keith ~ @skconcepts is an experienced marketing professional who believes in leveraging revolutionary insights and ideas to grow extraordinary brands. Her expertise includes researching consumer insights and building on these insights to drive long-term strategic direction in all aspects of brand management. Prior to starting her own consulting company Skconcepts, Suzanna served as Brand Manager for Mitchum AP at Revlon in NY, NY. Originally from Bristol, TN, Suzanna graduated from Bryn Mawr College and received her MBA in marketing from New York University. Suzanna is currently EVP for OnlineMomMedia, consults for, writes the blog and also blogs for Along with her husband and three children, Suzanna splits her time between NY and Texas.

Catch up with Suzanna online:
Twitter: @skconcepts
Facebook: TechandTravelmom


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Packing for a warm, sunny . . . Interview?


In four weeks, my hubby and I are traveling to Italy to celebrate our three-year wedding anniversary! The trip is jam-packed with activity as we spend over 10 days traveling from Rome, to Tuscany, then finally to Venice.

First things first though, "what am I going to wear?"

Packing for a TripLike most females, this is my main priority.  We’ll be in Italy 10 days and I won’t have a lot of room in my luggage to pack everything I’d like to wear, so I have to pick and choose wisely.  I researched the weather for Italy in May and typically it’s in the upper 60s to low 70s (perfect weather!), so I’m going to wear layers.  I know we’ll be walking around A LOT so instead of packing my cute heels, I’m sticking with flats and running shoes. It might not be the latest fashion trend, but I have learned from previous trips that heels are a bad idea.

Once I have my wardrobe figured out, the next item on my list is researching the places we’ll be visiting.  It’s very important to do your ‘homework’ before you go on a trip.  I bought an amazing book titled Rick Steves’ Italy 2010. This book is perfect for anyone traveling to Italy.  It tells you the in’s and out’s of the cities and where to eat and what to do.  It also tells you cool paths to take while walking the streets in Rome at night. Very romantic!

In addition, we also researched Trip Advisor on which hotels are best. We’re staying at nice hotels in both Rome and Venice, but I’m most excited about our hotel in Tuscany. It’s called Relais Viganle located in Radda in the Chianti region.  It looks beautiful!

Just like me, you might be planning for a fun get-away this summer, but did you know that these same principles can also be used when preparing for a job interview?

The same way you research and prepare for your trip, is the same way you prepare for an interview.

For example, again first things first, you need to find the right outfit’ or attire for your interview. It’s always better to be a little overdressed than underdressed. For men, a nice suit is always a good choice, and for women, a business suit is professional yet can be trendy with a cute pair of heels.

You should also research the company you’re interviewing with.  Do your homework! The same way you surf the web for local attractions or reviews of a vacation spot,  research the company online. Know their website inside and out. Are there press releases, or reviews of the company on the web? Also, are they active on social media sites? If so, see what they're saying to their customers.

Finally, it’s always a good idea to have a list of questions for the interviewer.  These questions will show them you have done your homework.  Make sure the questions pertain to the roles/responsibilities of the job you are interviewing for.  Some great interview questions can be found in this article.

I hope some of this information has been helpful whether you’re planning for a trip-of-a-lifetime or preparing for a job interview. I know our trip will be one we will never forget.


About the Author: 

Kelly Thielemann is a technical sourcer for MATRIX Resources. Kelly has over 7 years of recruiting experience specializing in Sharepoint, Data Warehouse, Business Intelligence and Web Development including Java and .NET. You can follow Kelly on Twitter at KellyITJobs.

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