How Parents and Families are Using GPS for Saving Time and Stronger Security
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Every parent’s primary concern is their child's well-being and safety, and in today’s world safety from external events and forces is an ever present concern.
Luckily, GPS technology is advanced enough for a GPS receiver to be placed in every smartphone, and by installing a family location sharing app you’ve got yourself a perfect way to use technology to help keep them secure at all times.
Family location sharing apps can be used in many other ways. Let’s say your family is out camping, sharing location with other members is a great way to know where everyone is at all times. Or when you go to a baseball game, you can just turn on location sharing and know when someone goes to the toilet, or to buy some snacks.
Of course, parents can use family location sharing apps to let their kids know when they are on their way back from work (so kids can tell them what they want for dinner right after a parent shares their location), or for the babysitter to know the locations of parents when mom and dad go out for a dinner together while kids stay at home.
There are lots of situations where a location sharing app can be extremely useful, so let’s look at some of them.
Using GPS to locate your child while they travel to school and back
This is one of the most common ways parents are using GPS to know where their child is. If the school bus doesn't have a GPS tracker, or they don’t use a school bus at all, the only way a parent can know that their kid is safely arrived at school or is on their way home is by using GPS.
Along with the family location sharing app, their child needs only their smartphone or just a standalone GPS receiver that can be found in the form of bracelet or necklace. If on a smartphone, the kid can turn location sharing on when they head out to school, turn it off while attending classes, and turn it back on when they head off to the house.
Or, if using a GPS receiver in the form of a bracelet or necklace, your child can simply turn it on when head off to the school, keep it off while on classes and turn it back on when it heads back home. Having a location sharing app is great when you have to pick up your kid from school. You can simply share your location so they know your exact time of arrival, and they can also send you a message along with their location via the location sharing app so you know where exactly to pick them up. Maybe they decided to go for a milkshake to a nearby diner or for a game of basketball on a nearby playing field.
Tracking school buses arriving and dropping off kids
Nowadays many schools have GPS location sharing services that track their bus fleet, offering parents a quick and easy way to find out where their kids are. Once they board the bus, you can track its route and know exactly when they arrive on school premises.
Also, on their way back home you can see the exact departure time and the time and station where your kid got out from the bus. It is simple and made in order for parents to always have a peace of mind about their children being safe.
Using location sharing when your child is on a field trip
A child’s first school field trip can be a massively stressful situation for any parent. They are letting go their kid alone with a bunch of other kids, with only a bus driver and a teacher to look out for them, and they have every reason to be worried. But, with GPS location sharing they can know where their child is at any moment.
Of course, since many schools track their bus fleets parents can just follow the bus if the feature is enabled. If it isn’t a simple location sharing app along with a smartphone or a standalone GPS receiver can do wonders.
You can chat with your child (since most location sharing apps support messaging), ask them to keep their location on while traveling, and to check in every morning and before going to bed so you know they are safe. With GPS location sharing you will be able to be worry free while your kid is visiting your state’s national monuments, or when they are off to a summer camp.
Creating a list of your family’s favourite locations
Since many location sharing apps support bookmark features, you and your family can create a list of your favourite places. Your best fast food joint, the place with the best ice cream, the best coffee in the town, just imagine how easier it will be to decide where to go for a family dinner when all favourite restaurants are bookmarked. Just ask your family where they want to go, and each of them can share their favourite from bookmarks list. You don’t have to call each other, or to meet all of them in the house; everyone can send their vote via smartphone!
Meeting up easily in public areas
Similar to the bookmarks list, you can share your location and allow for other family members to locate you when you have to meet. For instance, when in a shopping mall you can allow everyone to wander whenever they want and then, when it is time to go or just a time to grab a bite to eat, just send them all your location along with a message. Much easier than to look up for each member by calling them or sending one message after another.
Similarly, when you all are outside, visiting a country fair or something similar, location sharing can ease up the process of getting everyone together when it is time to go. Just mark a spot on the map, and share it with your family and tell them you will meet there along with meeting time. This can save lots of time that can be spent on checking out different fair booths or just having a good time instead of trying to find all members, one by one.
Sharing location with loved ones, so they know when you're heading home from work
This is a great way to let know your family when you head home to work. In case you are running late just send them your location and tell them that you will be back later, so they don’t have to wait for you for dinner.
"Your family will know you are safe and sound and arriving home."
And once you head home, just enable an automatic location sharing once you enter your car (many apps feature this option) and your family will know you are safe and sound and arriving home. This way your partner can let you know what to buy on your way home, instead of sending a message hours before with you forgetting about it. And a great way for your kids to let you know they want some ice cream from their favourite place that’s suitably located along your route home!
A great way to know location of family members when on a family vacation
Family vacations, especially if you have three or more children, can be crazy ventures filled with constant trying to locate them all. But with location sharing apps, GPS receivers, or smartphones, locating family members can be a breeze!
You got up late and realized your partner already left for the beach with one kid while the rest are still sleeping? You can check out your phone, find out your partner’s location and join them quick and easy without spending half an hour trying to find them on a crowded beach. Or if you have a couple of older kids who want to take a walk through the town while you and your partner chill out for a bit at the hotel pool? Just tell them to check in every once in a while, and you will be worries free while enjoying at the poolside, reading a book or sipping cocktails.
Knowing where everyone is while on an outdoor adventure
Camping or hiking is a great way to spend some quality time with a family. Especially today when parents are always working, and kids hang out on social networks, never having time for some outdoor activities.
With a location sharing app, you won’t worry about where your kids are. For instance, if dad decides to take kids to fishing to a nearby stream, and mom decides to take a walk through the forest, they both know where each other is at all times, they can chat and check in every once in a while. And when dad and kids catch some fish and grill it, they can just let mom know its lunch time!
"With a location sharing app, you won’t worry about where your kids are. "
Or if your family loves participating in geocaching or orienteering events, a family location sharing app can be a great way to coordinate your efforts. Just tell everyone to check in every minute or so and to let know if and when others find a cache or the next control marker so you can be faster and more efficient.
Letting your children know where you are during business trips
Going on a business trip doesn’t mean not having fun with your children. You can use a location sharing app to show them where you are, your hotel, a nice restaurant you found, or to simply share a Google Maps link so they can check out some nice part of the city you saw.
Your children can also share locations of nearby souvenir shops they found online, so you can get them something from the city you’ve stayed in while on a business trip, or you can guide them through your daily routine by sending them Google Street links, showing them how big is a hotel, or how nice neighbourhood around it is. Possibilities are endless.
Sharing children’s location with other parents during sports practices
If you and other parents from your school or neighbourhood have organized pickups during sports practices, instead of hunting all children one by one, which can be tiring at times, you should all get a location sharing app and then just let the kids know which parent will pick them up so they can share their location with the said parent.
This way, children don’t have to wait at home for a pickup. They can be at friend’s place or playing on a nearby playground, with their location shared with the parent pickup group so the designated driver can know where the whole gang is at all times.
Letting grandma and grandpa know their grandchildren are on their way
You can show the location sharing app you and your family are using to your parents, so they install it and know every time their grandchildren on their way to their house. Just let your children check in once you go, and grandparents will be thrilled once they see the notification.
Using a GPS device to know where your child is at peace of mind
Every time your child is at a friend’s place just let them know to turn on location sharing once they head home, so you don’t have to worry about them. Or once they get older, just tell them to check in every hour or so when on a party, a ball game, at the mall, or at music show so you can be safe and sound knowing where they are.
This can work in many different occasions and is much better (and quicker, and less embarrassing for the children) than calling them, with all of their friends knowing they are talking to parents, especially if you have teenagers. Instead of calling them, and potentially embarrassing them, just send them a message and ask them to check-in. Be a cool parent, no a parent that’s always on the phone, always checking in their children, not letting them have fun.