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April 28, 2015

Winning ways Lumia can help you plan your family vacation

Are we there yet? As summer approaches in the northern hemisphere, now is the time to plan an adventure with the kids. From camping to cruises, your Lumia will keep you sane.

It’s that time again: The kids are almost out of school and feeling restless.

Summer vacation (or winter break if you’re in the southern hemisphere) is around the corner. Let the quest for fun begin!

But what do you do? Where do you go? How do you plan it all?

Your Lumia smartphone has everything you need to plan a holiday adventure for the entire family. Here are a few ideas to get you started, especially if you want to travel in North America.



Camping in the great outdoors can be an economical and eco-friendly way for the family to appreciate the majesty of nature and spend quality time together.

Public Camping USA – Canada is a free app that has a complete catalogue of more than 13,000 North American public campgrounds. Install it and see the closest ones to your home. It also now includes a weather forecast for selected campgrounds.

Interested in visiting a major park in the United States? Park Maps ($1.99) has a collection of trail maps for 15 of the top U.S. national parks, including the Ground Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. The app contains a retail equivalent of $300 worth of detailed National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps in one package.

Before heading out, be sure to use the free Camping CheckList app to prepare. To make sure you don’t forget anything, the app has 11 different categories covering 113 items to use as a starting point.


A visit to the Magic Kingdom is sure to make any kid (and most adults, too!) grin from ear to ear. Get the most out of your trip to the “house of mouse” with the following essential apps.

Disney Trip Companion is your ultimate guide to a Walt Disney World vacation. Detailed resort, attraction, and restaurant descriptions allow you to plan your trip in advance. This free app will remind you of dining reservations and Fastpass return times for reserved rides. Pin it to your Start screen and watch the LiveTile countdown clock tick down as your trip approaches.

When heading to Disneyland and California Adventure, make sure you install MouseWait, a free app that will give you the wait times for each ride.


An ocean cruise is a thrilling way to get away from it all while having all the comforts of home – if your home includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, that is.

If you’re traveling with Norwegian Cruise Line, its free Norwegian iConcierge app can help you make reservations for shore excursions, book on-board restaurants, and get information on daily activities.

Road trip around the U.S.A.

Taking the family out on the open road? Plan ahead by installing the free Gas ‘Er Up app that lists the cheapest gas station near you (North American gas prices only). It even takes into account driving distance and gas consumed while driving to determine the best location.

Tired of hearing static as radio stations fall out of range while driving? The Radio Stations US app (also free) displays the 50 radio stations active within 60 miles, including their name, frequency, and type of station. Tap on a station and you’ll get a recent play list of songs (if it has play lists, that is).

If you want the kids to occupy their time with something other than games, let them listen to the Great Big Treasury of Beatrix Potter, a free audio book app that includes 19 stories of Peter Rabbit and his friends in one collection.

Fly away

To get the best deals on airfare and hotels, try the free Kayak app. It searches hundreds of travel sites at once and brings back the best deals. This is my personal go-to app when planning travel.

Tripwolf is your personal travel guide to more than 150 destinations around the world. Read more about this app, new to Windows Phone, here.

Whether or not you’re planning a summer or winter vacation in the U.S., for more travel-savvy apps for your next getaway, go here.

Where will you go this summer? Tell us how Lumia will help you get there in the comments below.