One of the greatest things travel is teaching my kids is how to read a map. Despite the advent of GPS, educational specialists say that is still an important skill that combines both reading and maths skills and helps to improve kids spatial sense and visual literacy.
And while the education benefits are great, there’s a more selfish reason behind our desire for the kids to be able to navigate the globe. You see, between their dad and I, it’s their only hope of making it out alive, because I cant read a map to save my life and Mr Eats World has the sense of direction of the average house brick, and between us we managed to have honed getting lost down to a fine art.
While the kids are developing a great awareness of where they are and where they’re heading especially Sugarpuff, who is like a radar, and are showing great progress as the family’s navigators, we’d be resolutely lost without our smartphones and a decent connection to GPS.
We’d also be lost without the new TripAdvisor Travel App, which makes everything so much easier for us when we’re on the road. Not only can we find hotels and landmarks in any destination, which can often help work out where we are, it can also help us find the closest restaurants to where we are, with recommendations from fellow travellers, which is a huge bonus when the kids and I get hungry… which is pretty much all the time.
And not only does it help you find somewhere to eat, you can call or book a reservation directly through the app, something that came in incredibly handy on a recent trip to Caloundra with colleagues, where many of the restaurants were fully booked.
It also has maps, so if I tag the places I’ve been it shows me a map to help me get back to where I came from which, even with my fledgling navigators and their awesome navigational skills along, is a very handy thing indeed.
But my favourite feature is its awesome timeline. Every time I snap a pic, the app records the name of the place and maps its location for me and adds it to my private travel timeline, effectively taking notes for me.
When I come home from my trips not only do I have a detailed journal of where I’ve been, and when, but the exact names and details of everything from that great soba noodle place in Osaka Station, which incidentally is called Kasane, to how and how long it took us to get there from Osaka Castle Park, which makes putting my stories together so much easier when I’m home
Disclosure. This is not a sponsored post, I downloaded the free TripAdvisor App and find it a handy tool as a writer, a traveller and an easily lost git, so wanted to share. If you want to have a play, you can download it here.