Ok maybe it doesn’t MAKE me a better mom but it sure makes my life as a mom a heck of a lot easier! It dawned on me while we were planning our vacation with my in-laws how much I rely on my iPhone and how technology has completely changed the way I do things. Since I hate clutter my favorite part has been the elimination of paper. Grocery lists, maps, post-its, invitations or anything else you bring along with you for reminders or to help you get from point A to point B is no longer needed! Let me give you an example.
As I was saying we were planning our vacation this summer and my darling mother-in-law (who is not the most computer savvy) pulls out a map of the state we were visiting to show us where we were going. A real, actual, paper map. You know, the kind that you can never quite figure out how to fold back up? She had even highlighted the best car route and ideal towns to make pit stops. It was all I could do to hold back laughing (ok maybe a chuckle slipped out). To be honest I can’t recall the last time I have seen a map this large, or used one for that matter. So my brain starting thinking of what else my iPhone has replaced. The more I thought the more convinced I was that I could probably do this vacation without a single piece of paper. Here’s how I did it…
Many airlines now offer apps that allow you to check in and scan your boarding pass all the way through security. I have used Delta’s app and the functionality is great! They will even send you texts or emails with flight information updates so you never have to wonder if your plane is on time. So before you print that boarding pass check to see if your airline has an app for that.
Most car rental companies offer apps that allow you to make new reservations, modify existing reservations and find locations. I found apps for Budget, Avis, Hertz and Dollar. Disclaimer: my father-in-law made the car rental reservation and decided to book through Enterprise so I didn’t have to deal with this portion of the trip.
This was by far the BEST part of having an iPhone! I LOVE my Map app. I use the one that came with the iPhone but there is also a great MapQuest app you can download for free. It not only gives me multiple choices of routes but I can recalculate at any time from “Current Location” and it will update me as to how much longer till we reach our destination.
I also love the Yelp app. I used this to find a grocery store to load up on supplies for the week and to find restaurants along our route that were family friendly and had food everyone would enjoy. Since we were going through some pretty small towns there were not many chains, so trusting on the local reviews on Yelp was HUGE!
When you are driving through the forest and mountains there aren’t always gas stations nearby. Having the Gas Buddy app was extremely useful. It gives me a map of the nearest stations and their prices.
As I mentioned before, we were going to a pretty remote little town in the mountains. We were staying at a wonderful lodge resort but there was no 3G network there and my map app failed about 5 miles before we reached the resort. Not a major problem since there was only one road in and out of this place. Although the reservations were handled by the in-laws I have in the past saved emails with confirmation emails and addresses for hotels so I never need to print anything. Even if I don’t have internet I can still open a past email.
I also use my Notes app for any additional things I want to recall about my trip and use it for making packing lists. It’s helpful at the end of a trip while you are repacking your suitcase to ensure you don’t leave anything behind.
Ok this may not be a necessity but I love it so much I had to give it a mention. I use this all the time at home and on our drive I did use this app. It not only shows a map of nearby locations but also holds your rewards information and allows you to pay straight from your phone. After I earn 15 stars I get a free drink! It’s nice not to have to keep another card in your wallet or on your key ring.
So what other things has your smart phone replaced? Any helpful apps you can’t live without?