A Modern Day Fairy Tale: Traveling With Kids? This App May Make Trip Planning Easier

Monday, May 22, 2017

Traveling With Kids? This App May Make Trip Planning Easier



You're wandering around an unknown place, phone in hand, frantically searching for a kid-friendly restaurant, museum, or park to entertain your little ones for the day. It might be raining, your children might be tired and hungry, and you are certainly worried. We've all been there. Sometimes, the ideal family trip does not turn out to be as smooth as it could be.
One startup is trying to change that with a new parenting app.
Meet Yuggler, the activity planning app created by brothers Thomas and Stefan Bodenski. The Los Angeles Times reports that the app curates a set of kid-friendly activities on an interactive map, allowing users to customize their experience by time frame, type of activity, weather, cost, and other variables. Recommendations include nature, shows, playgrounds, hotels, and food, to name a few.
The app addresses the unique set of challenges that parents face while traveling with young children. Travel is a stressful experience to begin with, and it's no surprise that business people flying commercial report a 40% drop in productivity, for example. For busy parents, however, that might sound like a cake walk. Especially with little kids in tow, family travel can be tricky.
According to the app's original press release, the founders created the app based on their personal experiences struggling to keep their kids at the center of their family plans.
"Nineteen months ago, I asked my brother Stefan for help," Thomas said in the release. "It was so difficult and time consuming for me to find fresh ideas for kids activities that I can do with my son... Within the blink of an eye, my whole family and a team of developers around the world were involved in building Yuggler, the community for family fun."
Users can cultivate this community by connecting with friends and chatting through the messaging feature, according to the company's website. Parents can also set up customized notifications for events happening in their own community or the area in which they are traveling.
"I was able to find gardens and parks, bowling alleys, gymnastics classes and animal attractions near our home that I hadn’t heard of," Jen Leo writes in the Los Angeles Times, having tested the app. "Then I searched for attractions in London for our vacation and had more fun options than we had days to enjoy them."
Yuggler's website boasts the ability to curate results based on family interests. Many parents choose to avoid urban environments and take their children camping, as the great outdoors offers seemingly unlimited entertainment for kids. In fact, about 85% of campers took their first trip between birth and age 15. But if your family is more inclined to explore a city, Yuggler will find the right spots for you.
"Stefan and I are on a mission to maximize family fun," Thomas said in the press release. "We made it our mission to simplify the busy and hectic lives of parents, and enable them to spend quality time with their kids."
Leo does warn of a few drawbacks. In her Los Angeles Times review, she points out that the app's features, such as in-app purchase options, are not the same for every phone. She also warns that the navigation is not always intuitive, as a new search sometimes took her back to a map from a previous search.
The Yuggler app is currently only available in the Apple store and requires iOS 7 or later. You can use the app with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

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