After a whole year spent working behind the desk, the holiday you have so much planned for is finally coming. Whether it is a relaxing beach holiday or an adventurous trip to an exotic country, everything must be perfect to help you relax and recharge your batteries! However, who has not experience the awkward feeling of missing out the best of a location, or the sensation of disappointment after an average dinner in a mediocre restaurant for tourists? Or more, to spend the entire budget in the first days of the vacation?
Here are 8 applications that will help make your holiday even more special, saving you at the right time and making you look smart with your friends!
1. Google Maps
Impossible not to have it: Google Maps is the reference point to go anywhere. Before leaving for holidays, though, remember to download the areas where you will travel, so you’ll be able to navigate offline without spending on unnecessarily roaming data. You won’t need to wander around with a paper map found in your hotel reception, or to spend hours in front of the subway map. In fact, Google Maps suggests you even the buses or trains you need to take in order to reach your destination, showing you where to go and where to get off. Another good idea is to save you hotel among your favorite places, then the position of your car when you park, or even the places you plan to visit: you’ll see how much time and stress you will save!
2. Google Translate
Following navigation, the second main issue when traveling is the foreign language and Google has the answer also to this. We are used to Google Translate on the browser, but the mobile application will surprise you: no need to type the text you want to translate, just launch the app and frame the words with the camera for a simultaneous translation. Ever felt a slight discomfort in front of a restaurant menu in which you can not understand a word? Frame it with Google Translate and you will be able to read the menu to your friends, then you can also listen to the right pronunciation to make a good impression with the waiter. Remember to download the languages you will need on vacation before you leave!
What are we doing tonight? Who has never asked this question on vacation when the carefully planned trip program fails to answer? Applications like Meetup, Eventbrite and YPlan suggest you events, festivals and activities near you that reflect your interests, to meet new friends and spend an evening different from the usual. From concerts, to lectures, to networking events (where maybe you will meet your next customer or supplier): there is something for all tastes! Tip: Install more than one app before leaving, in each there are a different number of events based on where you are going.
One of the worst things is to spend the whole holiday worrying about how much you are spending. You might end up collecting each receipt, keeping a notebook with the reasons for every expense and worst of all you will end up not buying any of all those great souvenirs for fear of breaking your budget. Fortunately applications like Mint help you keep your focus on holidays, without guilt. Before leaving you can set a budget for the whole vacation, and then Mint will collect your expenses automatically from your credit card during your entire holidays. And what about cash? No problem, Mint takes into account when you withdraw money, enabling you to track how much you have spent compared to how much you still have in your wallet.
Discover more: Mint
5. WiFi Mapper
Annual leave exists in order to pull the plug, but exactly when you are starting to relax…you often find out that you need to answer an urgent email or to send an important document to a customer! As a consequence we begin to wander around looking for a free Wifi spot, asking every restaurant if there is any free Wifi. Wifi Mapper allows you to see on a map the wifi spots around you (and in addition when the connections are free to use!). It also gives you information about the quality of the connection (and how good is the coffee served in that place!), so that you can avoid losing half an hour to send a photo due to a slow wifi!
Discover more: WiFi Mapper
An even more serious issue than not having Internet connectivity is … that your battery has died! How many times your did you have your smartphone going off just when you needed it most? E.g. when you needed to find out in Google Maps how to return to your hotel? Services like ChargeSpot and PowerMat offer to local shops the possibility of installing cellular charging stations, where you can plug your dead phone and enjoy your coffee or go shopping while it comes back to life. By downloading their apps, you can see right away if around you there are charging stations where to run to make a “refill”! 🙂
Another critical issue is choosing the restaurant to dine in every night, or which museum to visit among the various ones around you. TripAdvisor obviously remains the best app for restaurants reviews, but apps like Triposo should not be overlooked. Triposo collects from a large amount of online sources all the information like where to eat, the nearby activities, the museums, the city walks and even some historical information on the site, to organize your vacation without losing too much time among different apps. It also works offline, so remember to download the area in advance before leaving (or look for a wifi if you remember it too late). Triposo could be considered a “Swiss boxcutter” of local information!
Discover more: Triposo
It may seem an obvious application, but when traveling Dropbox can be more useful than ever. First, it is always a good idea to create a folder with important files that could be vital: scans of your documents, such as passports and driving licenses, airline tickets and hotel reservations, etc. This way, if you loose your wallet or your phone is stolen, you’ll have the information you need always at hand, just by connecting to a browser. But not only: you can set the auto-upload of your photos to a Dropbox folder as soon as your smartphone connects to a wifi: in this way your photos are safe and you can also instantly share them with your friends while travelling!
Discover more: Dropbox
And you, which are the apps you can’t leave without when on vacation? We’re thrilled to know if you have any suggestions! Shoot us a message in the comments! 😉