AllThingsCruise Ranks the Best Apps for Traveling With Children

For Immediate Release

AllThingsCruise Ranks the Best Apps for Traveling With Children

One of the Most Valuable (and Sanity-Saving) Travel Improvements Must Be the Inexpensive Apps Downloaded Onto Our Various Mobile Devices.

DETROIT (July 24, 2012) – The family vacation: it used to be that that a traveling child’s “Are we there yet?” punctuated nearly every mile of any long distance trip. Thanks to the remarkable advances in technology, however, this is no longer has to be the case. Some of the most valuable (and sanity-saving) travel improvements have to be the inexpensive apps that can be downloaded onto our various mobile devices.

(Thinking of making your next family vacation a cruise? Read more about the lines and their children’s policies here.)

Following are AllThingsCruise’s recommendations for the best apps for children and families when traveling:

For younger children:

PBS Kids Video

Cost: Free
Available on: iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch
Most Appropriate for ages: 2–7

Get this app for free, then spend some time downloading videos to your device before going on a trip- it will turn your mobile device into video player with some of your child’s favorite shows. You’ll have to do some digging to see which shows actually offer full episodes, but the time invested will be well worth the peace and quiet en route. And if they’re going to be watching videos, at least these programs carry some educational value.

Highlights Hidden Pictures

Cost: Free “Lite” Version, $.99 for full version
Available on: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch
Most Appropriate for ages: 4-9

With over a billion copies in print, Highlights for Children is a hidden pictures magazine that hearkens back to days of old; and now it’s available in a new hi-tech medium. The premise remains the same, objects are hidden in illustrations- but they now change from black and white to color when they’re found. (Hint: to make the game more challenging, turn off the scrollable list of objects in each puzzle.)

Stack the States

Cost: Free “Lite” Version, $.99 for full version
Available on: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch
Most Appropriate for ages: 5-10

A new premise for learning geography… as kids learn about states and capitals, they answer the questions (correctly) and drop states down to a platform. When the states stack up to a checkered line, kids earn themselves a state and move on to the next level. This game earns rave reviews for both fun and educational value.

Pure entertainment for a variety of ages:

Cut the Rope
Cost: $1.99
Available on: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android
Most Appropriate for ages: 5+

A sneaky lesson in physics for kids (and adults!), players must calculate the effect of each cut of a rope that’s tied to a piece of candy… and it must ultimately end up in a monster’s mouth. This game is weirdly, seriously addictive.

Angry Birds

Cost: Varies according to version
Available on: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android
Most appropriate for ages: 5+

A perennial favorite, Rovio keeps coming up with new versions of this game. Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Rio…they can be downloaded for free, or purchased for up to $2.99 if you want the HD version.

Diner Dash

Cost: Free “Lite” Version, $.99 for full version
Available on: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Diner Dash 2 is available for Android
Most Appropriate for ages: 7-12

Kids build a restaurant empire (working their way up from a greasy spoon diner to a 5-star restaurant) by seating and serving customers, and clearing off the tables when they’re finished. This game is pure distraction, and has sister games of DinerTown Zoo, Hotel Dash, Wedding Dash and Cooking Dash.

Best for older children:

Viator Tours & Activities

Cost: Free
Available on: iPhone & iPad
Most Appropriate for ages: 8-18

Traveling to a new city and want to do some exploring? Have the kids do some research through Viator- this app has 9,000 activities tickets in more than 750 worldwide destinations. Includes reviews from over 280,000 travelers, who’ve submitted information and photos related to the excursions. To see some of the excursions offered by Viator, click here.

Temple Run

Cost: Free
Available on: iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, Android
Most Appropriate for ages: 9-18

Temple Run is a treasure hunting game that moves at high speeds and has amazing 3-D graphics, a challenge even for older kids. A running mechanic allows the player to turn, jump, slide and tilt for an emersion in the environment and an ever-changing landscape. This game has mild cartoon violence.

Slacker Radio

Cost: Free
Available on: BlackBerry, iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Android
Most appropriate for ages: 10-18

For kids who aren’t game for a family sing-along and can’t stand to travel without their music, this app is available on a wide variety of devices. It offers over 150 preprogrammed stations and allows kids to create their own, to take their favorite music with them. It even stores their favorite stations for play when WiFi isn’t available.

Fun for the whole family:


Cost: $9.99
Available on: iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Android
Most appropriate for: Families, with kids of all ages

The perfect complement to a traveling family, this geocaching app lets you to go on a high-tech, real-world treasure hunt. You’ll have access to over 1,750,000 geocache locations worldwide, just follow the clues and use GPS to find your prize.
Note: this is an activity that should be done under adult supervision as some geocaches may be located in difficult to reach or remote locations. (Click here to get more information on the concept of Geocaching.)

There’s one more app on the horizon which is worth a mention:

Amazing Alex

For kids who like thinking outside the box, this game will be a perfect way to pass the time. The cerebral among us can create Rube Goldberg-like machines with various everyday objects to solve puzzles and rescue toys.

This game (formerly known as Casey’s Contraptions) was taken off the App Store when the rights were purchased by Rovio; looks like they intend to reintroduce it after some modifications under the name Amazing Alex. Keep an eye out for this one; the original version had outrageously good reviews and its reinvention should be something worth waiting for.


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