Most of us are lucky enough to enjoy at least one vacation a year. And there’s a new trend for taking a break from technology too. However, instead of looking at technology as something to be shunned, why not embrace it as something that can make your vacation even more fun?
In this article, we explore several ways to use gadgets and mobile apps to enhance the time you spend with your family on vacation. And even if you’re not planning on going on a trip anytime soon, you should bookmark this page so that you can revisit it ahead of your next vacation.
1. Listen to Music Anywhere
The most likely place you’ll spend time together as a family when on vacation is by the pool or on the beach. In the old days people used to mount a big ol’ boombox on a patio table and play cassette tapes full of their favorite tunes.
These would have to be loaded up with half a dozen batteries, and at best you’d get half an hour of music before you’d have to flip the cassette over.
My, how times have changed.
Today, you can enjoy the same volume (and better quality) of sound in a much smaller package. Just pack your Bluetooth speaker of choice in your suitcase before you head off on vacation.
If you’re planning to use it poolside or on the beach, then try to pick up a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. There are many affordable bluetooth speakers on the market.
So, how can a Bluetooth speaker bring more fun to your family vacation? You can:
- Play relaxing tunes while you and your family lounge on the beach.
- Use karaoke apps to throw a karaoke party in the hotel room on a rainy day.
- Listen to the weather forecast for future day trips.
- Hook it to your backpack and play music during your family hike.
When you can have music anywhere you go during your travels, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. So, be sure to take your Bluetooth speaker everywhere you go.
2. Watch Your Favorite Movies
Vacation days with the family are usually chock full of activity, food, and fun, but what do you all do when you arrive back at your temporary accommodation.
Usually everyone is exhausted from the day’s activities, and just wants to lay in bed and watch TV. The problem is there’s not always something to watch. And who wants to waste more money on pay-per-view when you’ve already spent a fortune on the trip?
You probably already have a Netflix account, so why not take advantage of it by bringing your Chromecast along with you on the trip? Just plug your Chromecast into the HDMI port of the TV, and you can watch whatever you want.
If you take your Chromecast on vacation you can:
- Watch movies from your Netflix library.
- Play family-oriented games.
- Cast the day’s captured vacation photos.
- Play music from your streaming service of choice.
And if you need help setting up your Chromecast, we’ve got you covered.
Once you’re casting Netflix to your Chromecast, you can check out these original Netflix movies worth watching. Which will come in handy on those vacation days when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate.
3. Enjoy Augmented Reality Fun
Family vacations can be filled with tourist attractions and visits to restaurants. But towards the end of the vacation you can sometimes run out of things to do. So, why not create your own family adventure with an augmented reality game?
It doesn’t really have any practical application. But with a little bit of imagination, you can create a fun day of adventure for your family.
All you have to do is head outside and start laying clues by creating “walls” inside of the Wallame app at different GPS locations. You could start by laying the first clue just outside your hotel room. Then create another clue in the lobby.
At the end of the adventure, you could plant a fun surprise, and bury it in the sand on the beach, or hide it under a rock.
It’s a modern alternative to an Easter Egg hunt that’ll keep your kids busy for at least half a day, depending how clever you are at laying down puzzles and clues along the way.
4. Use Google Translate to Understand Languages
If you’re traveling overseas with the family, you’re going to come across a lot of signs written in a foreign language.
In most tourist areas, signs include both the local language and English. But if you ever travel off the beaten path (which is what usually makes a vacation extra-special), you’re bound to see things you don’t understand.
Thanks to the new AR feature in Google Translate, you now have multiple ways to translate languages around you while traveling.
Here’s what you can do with Google Translate:
- Enable Handwriting and Google Translate will do its best to tell you what the symbol or phrase means.
- Enable Conversation translation so that both you and the person you’re talking to can understand the conversation.
- Use Voice to translate any foreign audio to your own language.
- Use the AR camera feature to snap a photo of anything with text on it and let Google Translate tell you what it means.
The AR feature is the coolest addition to the Google Translate app. It works very fast, and supports a long list of languages from around the world.
Now there’s no longer any excuse not to take your family on an overseas trip to a foreign country. Just make sure all of your phones are fully charged and everyone has the Google Translate app installed.
And if you don’t like Google, there are plenty of Google Translate alternatives you can use instead.
5. Get Fit as a Family Together
If you’re a family that loves fitness, vacation is often a time when healthy habits start falling apart.
Why not incorporate some fitness fun into one or more of your vacation days? If you’re a family of runners, you could install the Zombies Run! mobile game on Android or iOS, and go on a hair-raising run together.
Zombies Run! turns a simple jog into a post-apocalyptic adventure where the world is filled with zombies, and it’s your job as a “runner” to try and save it.
The app comes with several “missions,” with radio transmissions along the way that talk you through the plot. At various points in the story, you’re being chased by zombies and you need to run to get away.
To play the game as a group, just remove your earphones and play the story at max volume so everyone running can hear. Even better, clip a small bluetooth speaker such as the JBL Clip 2 to your shirt or your waistband so you can crank the volume even louder.
6. Play Games on Rainy Days
Depending on where you go, one or more of your vacation days may be ruined by the weather. Which means your family will be stuck inside your accommodation with not much to do.
If you’re tired of the indoor pool and the local entertainment, multiplayer gaming is a great way to have fun with the family when you’re stuck indoors.
It does mean you’ll have to pack a games console for your trip. But as the weather doesn’t always cooperate, it’s always best to be prepared!
Make sure you stock up on good multiplayer games before you head out as well. And if you don’t have room for the console, there are also plenty of free mobile games for car trips you can play together as well.
Technology Can Make Vacations More Fun
As you can see, there’s no reason to be a luddite when you’re on vacation.
It’s popular these days to “unplug” during vacation. And it’s certainly true that avoiding any form of work while you’re supposed to be relaxing is very good advice. But that doesn’t mean you can’t season your trip with wholesome, tech-filled family fun.
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