What do you do when you don’t have any plans for Spring Break and the entire state of Michigan is heading to Florida?
You head to Sheboygan, Wisconsin of course!
Okay so it wasn’t exactly like that. But Ryan had work in Sheboygan and Chicago and he planned it for the week of spring break so we tagged along. I squeezed in dinner with my college roommate and her family in Milwaukee and we got to spend time in my favorite city on the planet, The Windy City.
But first there was Sheboygan…..
So I turned to a few of my favorite travel apps and we ended up having a really good time. Well except for the sibling bickering and lack of sleep that led to me wanting to lose my mind. Is there an app for that? #keepinitreal
1. Roadtrippers: Based on the Roadripper website, this app was my favorite!! Simply enter your road trip route and it points out attractions, history, nature, shopping and more. Not to mention eating and lodging. It brought about the biggest surprises of the road trip. In the middle of a Chicago suburb, next to houses of average nature, we found a 17,000 square foot pyramid with a huge statue of Ramses out front. Oh and it is plated in gold. Pure Awesome.
We also found the Jelly Belly warehouse factory tour. We ate our weight in Jelly Belly’s and sampled such flavors as Tabasco Sauce, Draft Beer and Grass. Because why not?
2. Trip Advisor: I use this app andwebsite obsessively. Whenever I am in a new place I always look through the restaurant reviews and for the list of the top attractions. It led us to a super fun children’s museum in Sheboygan. We spent a ridiculous amount of time there (partly because it was raining and most of the other top attractions were outdoors). And as luck would have it, right across the street was a top rated restaurant that specialized in bacon. BACON.
3. Yelp: My go to guide for restaurants (see bacon above). I use it mostly when I am traveling without the kids, but it is kind of a must have with kids as well. When you are in a strange place you really need to know if you are going to show up to a place that is totally unkid friendly. The last thing a couple on their first date needs is my four year old telling a fart joke. Or my 40 year old husband laughing hysterically at it.
4. Sit or Squat: No matter how many times you say to your kids, “Do you have to go to the bathroom before we get back in the car for a long drive?”, they will always have to go to the bathroom 3-7 minutes after you get back on the road. We have taken a LOT of roadtrips and we have gone to a lot of nasty restrooms out of desperation. Including one on our trip to Florida last year that I still can’t unsee. Sit or squat helps you find the clean ones. Thank goodness someone dreamt this up.
5. Uber: When we go to Chicago my kids think going on the El is like going on a ride to Disney. Same with riding a bus. They are living sad, un-citified lives. But sometimes the El and bus just aren’t convenient. I can risk all our lives in a cab, or we can rid like kings with Uber. You download the app, ask for a pickup, and a towncar comes and picks you up. But the awesome part is that the app is linked to your credit card so you don’t have to deal with any cash. It just automatically charges you and adds on the tip. The app will show you an estimated cost before you “book” your car. I thought the cost was very comparable to a cab ride, maybe a little more, but well worth it to avoid the hassle. (sign up with my link and we both get a $10 credit. WOOT!)
Honorable mention goes to my white noise app because falling asleep in a hotel room with kids is some sort of 7th circle of hell.
Do you have any favorite apps when you travel with kids?