Last Updated on November 4, 2019 by Diane Hoffmaster
This post about vacation planning tips for tech lovers is sponsored by MyPostcard App. All opinions are my own.
Going on vacation is fun but technology can make it easier and more memorable if you use it right! No, you shouldn't scroll through Facebook and ignore your family. From travel tech gadgets and smartphone accessories to photo postcard apps, there are a ton of ways to use technology for good on your next family vacation.
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How to Plan the Perfect Vacation
I am a woman of simple needs when it comes to vacation. A place to sleep, good food, and a place to enjoy the peace and quiet are all I really need. Okay, a fruity adult beverage or two hits the spot as well!
I am not a 'fly by the seat of your pants' kind of vacationer. I know people who just wing it and grab a last minute flight to a place they just now decided they wanted to go. They throw stuff willy-nilly into a suitcase and away they go. That is NOT me! I am a list maker, a worrier, and a planner. I know exactly where we are going, how we are getting there, and even where we want to eat dinner before I walk out the door of my house.
Like these vacation planning tips? Read these travel ideas, too:
- Family Travel Self Care Tips for Low Stress Family Vacations
- Creative Ways to Save for a Vacation and Why Your Family Needs to Take One!
- How to Eat Healthy on Vacation
Planning a memorable vacation (the GOOD kind!)
If you are planning a vacation from start to finish, there are a lot of things to consider. If you are going on a FAMILY vacation, you have even MORE to think about. Because I guarantee that your 5 year old will not remember to pack underwear and your significant other may or may not remember to turn down the water heater. Here are a few things to do in order to plan a memorable vacation:
- Choose where and when you want to go. I wanted to hike the Grand Tetons in April one year. Only to discover that it was still covered in snow and most of the roads were closed. We went south instead!
- Decide how long you want to go. This will probably depend on how much vacation time you and the kids have. Plan a buffer day on either side for sanity.
- Start a countdown. Make it fun for the kids and something for you to look forward to. Or to adjust your planning and deadlines around.
- Take care of practical things. Make dog boarding reservations, put in a mail delivery hold request, drop off the keys to the house to the neighbor, etc. Make a list because you will probably forget things.
- Plan activities while you are there. Look at the visitors' bureau for wherever you are going. They usually have a schedule of upcoming events to look over.
- Plan some down time. Make sure you leave plenty of time to rest. This is a vacation, after all!
- Download the best travel apps. While a low tech vacation sounds great, technology can actually make travel easier and more memorable if used correctly. Stop scrolling through Facebook and watching cat videos. Instead, download travel apps that make your vacation easier, more organized, and a lot more fun.
Vacation Planning Tips for Tech Lovers
Travel smarter and make happy memories by planning ahead and using technology for good on your next family vacation. Invest in a few tech gadgets, download the best free travel apps you can find, and don't forget the recording devices!
Use the cloud for vacation planning checklists
If you want vacation planning tips that really make a difference, this is it. MAKE LISTS. I have an extensive packing list for when we travel and it is a document that gets saved from year to year to cut back on the hassle of creating a new one. Make a list in your favorite word document or smart phone note app. Send it to your significant other and your kids (if they are old enough) so they can access the document. Now, everyone has your packing list. Teens can pack for themselves. The husband can pack HIS stuff. Leaving you a whole lot less packing to do!
Use your phone as a mobile hotspot:
Use your laptop everywhere you go with a mobile hotspot. Get driving directions for your trip (and actually be able to SEE the directions unlike the ones on your tiny phone). Obviously, do not do this if you are the DRIVER! Search out a good restaurant to stop at along the way rather than just eating highway fast food. Check out Computer World for information on how to turn your phone into a mobile hotspot.
High tech travel gadgets
A suitcase is no longer just a suitcase! Make your luggage and carry on gear work FOR you, not just hold your flip flops. Harness the power of technology to protect your identity. Allow loved ones to use GPS to track you in the unlikely event that you are lost in an accident or natural disaster. Here are a few of the high tech travel gadgets I have found and love:
- Large Travel Laptop Backpack Anti Theft With USB Charging Port and TSA Friendly
- Compression Packing Cubes and Travel Organizers: These are not your typical vacuum bags-these expandable cubes use a two zipper system to help eliminate the extra bulk when packing your luggage.
- Small RFID Blocking Minimalist Credit Card Holder Pocket Wallets for Men and Women
- Real-Time Location Tracker: Small, lightweight, and durable design allows you to discreetly clip onto clothing or shoes.
- GoPro Hero5 Black: My teenager took our GoPro on a class trip to the tidal pools on the coast of Georgia and got amazing footage of sea creatures and waves lapping at the sand.
Protect and Share Your Vacation Photos:
Lets say you are having the time of your life on vacation and snapping lots of photos. Your phone is getting FULL of wonderful family memories. And then you drop your phone in the ocean. There go ALL your vacation photos in one horrifically sad phone tragedy! And what good are those photos if you can't share a few of the best ones with friends and family, right? Here are a few tips on how to protect and share vacation photos.
Cloud photo storage: The best way to back up vacation photos when you are on the go is to use the cloud. Set your cell phone to back them up automatically if that is an option. If you are using a digital camera without WiFi connectivity, invest in a Professional Water-Resistant Anti-Shock SD Card Holder.
MyPostcard photo postcard app: This is a free photo postcard app that allows you to turn your favorite photos into actual postcards that you can send to friends and family while on the go. No more random postcards of generic scenes and building. Put YOU and your family right in the postcard before you send it!
MyPostcard photo postcard app
MyPostcard allows you to personalize postcards via an app with your own photos and send them worldwide (if you love digital photo organizing, check out my review of the Shutterfly photo story app). They have a desktop version as well, however, the app is incredibly easy to use, especially on the go. They make it easy to upload, edit and customize your photos from wherever you are in the world. Then, just indicate how many you want and add the addresses and you are done!
You can choose from 1000's of designs in their incredibly diverse online design store. Need some creative help? Simply use one of their templates and get started. Choose your postcard, then choose your font, and even sign your postcard with an electronic signature! Personalize the card with the theme, colors, fonts, and extras that really speak to you.
Built into the MyPostcard App is an address book which makes staying in touch easy. MyPostcard has your postcard finished and on its way to family and friends within 24 hours. They send it anywhere world wide - at no extra cost!
Save on personalized photo postcards! Just click HERE . You will find a landing page to click for a 30% discount for my readers! Use code SUW2019 and save on personalized photo postcards with MyPostcard App! You can also check HERE for more updated deals for MyPostcard app. The app is incredibly easy to use and a great way to take those digital memories into a real life tangible thing for your scrapbook. Have any other vacation planning tips to share? We are hoping for a family trip during the upcoming holiday season!
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.