If you're tired of hearing "are we there yet?" you'll want to make sure the kids have a smartphone or tablet with them in the backseat. No matter how you feel about kids and smartphones, for long vacation car rides, the smartphone may be your best friend.

If you'll be traveling with young kids this spring and summer, I've got a few things that'll make the trip a lot less stressful for them, and a lot better for you.

A couple of game apps are no-brainers. If you can, choose games that are not only age-appropriate but can be played offline. A couple of phones playing a couple of different games online will eat into your data plan after a few hours.

If you have an Apple device, check out Apple Arcade. Hundreds of interactive games to download. If you haven't tried it yet, there's a free trial and everyone can play them on their own device.

Instead of mindless games, how about a book? Kids will enjoy some of the comic books available now on phones. Madefire Comics display the content much like the comic books of yesteryear. The Marvel catalog is now included. Make sure the kids have earbuds though, these comics include motion, video, and sound.

If you're a Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney + subscriber, download a movie or even a couple before you leave the house. Just look for the options as you browse movies and shows. If you're not a subscriber, you can pick it up for a month or two, use it on vacation then unsubscribe.

And if you have a long car ride ahead of you, check out the app "Sit and Squat." This app, released by Charmin, helps you find clean restrooms along your route. Other users will rate the cleanliness and quality of bathrooms at fast-food restaurants and service stations. Green TP rolls identify clean restrooms and are rated as "sit." Red rolls mean to stand; they're best to avoid, if you can.

At times we might say we wish they'd just put their phone down when you're on vacation, but that isn't realistic. And be honest, for long car rides, when they're playing on their phones is the most peace and quiet you'll have all week.

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