Petting Zoo

$3.99/$2.99 | iOS/Android

When kids are traveling and away from their standard routines, a familiar activity can help ground them. Petting Zoo is an interactive illustrated storybook with adorable, build-your-own animations by New Yorker cartoonist Christoph Niemann. Each animation is inventive and fun for parents and kids. Guilty pleasure alert: You may find yourself calming down with Petting Zoo while standing in a 20-person-deep line at the airport Starbucks.


Free | iOS/Android

Skyscanner has one function most other flight-finding apps omit—the ability to enter no destination as you search. Instead, the “explore” function simply highlights deals to fuel your wanderlust; from there you can sub-filter by date, class of flight, window of travel, and more. As an example, Skyscanner reveals coach-class non-stops to Tokyo for $700 roundtrip and business-class seats just shy of $3,000—both a good 50 percent cheaper than average. 

Lounge Buddy

Free | iOS

Even if you regularly fly business class, often some leg of a trip may find you stuck at Gatwick for five hours on a coach-class ticket—meaning lounge entry may be a challenge. Enter Lounge Buddy. Input your frequent flier info, premium credit cards, and itinerary, and it will filter which lounges you can access. Even better, if multiple choices, you can view the range of options and amenities, and where to find each lounge. The app also shows listings of one-time entry lounges, frequently for under $50. That’s well worth it for a meal, hot shower, and glass of Champagne—and refuge from the usual airport din.


Free | iOS/Android

Does Uber operate in Dublin? Before staring blankly at your phone, download this app, which reveals nearly every form of transportation you can imagine in 160 countries. The best way to get from Istanbul, Turkey, to Thessaloniki, Greece? There’s a ferry every half hour for just a buck—or you could fly for $100. The app is also handy because it shows standard pricing akin to a black car in a foreign country, so you won’t get ripped off. That means you can compare the two-hour train ride for $18 in rural Vietnam to the $50 private car ride that cuts an hour off your journey.

1 Second Everyday

Free | iOS/Android

This is an excellent app for your creative or bored teen. Daily video highlights are captured in a tight, one-second moment, so they  have to really think (rather than idly Instagram) about what they want to most remember from their travels. These one-second trip snippets are then collated into a video diary that’s exportable and captures your clan’s 12 days in Rome and Paris. In the end, your teen will have a gorgeous capture of the entire experience—and something artistic they can be proud of, too.