Holidays! That lovely time of the year when we decide to take a break from the monotonous routine of 9-5 work, school days and stress in general. For some, holidays just mean unplugging every electronic device around the house and sleeping like a sloth, for others, holidays equals outdoor time; therefore, we should consider how our smartphone apps can help us to plan the best vacation trip ever.
Not so long ago travelling meant carrying a sort of agenda with all your travel itineraries, phone numbers, documents and everything you may need in case of emergency prior getting to your dreamy destination. TripIt takes this analogue experience into the digital world by setting everything in a sleek, easy to understand, interface, where you can manage these following elements:
• Travel confirmations
• Flight itineraries
• Hotel reservations
• Car rental reservations
• Ferry tickets
And if all this wasn’t enough, TripIt is also compatible with Airbnb – ideal for those who happen to be on a tight budget! This app features as well a Driving Assistant for helping us to reach new destinations, but one of the aspects worth considering is acquiring the Pro Version of TripIt, which among many improvements it helps us to track frequent flyer miles.
Once you decided your destination is time to check rates for both flights and hotels. Perhaps for some a 5-star hotel is a luxury worth spending, for others, the ideal vacation spot means getting back in touch with tradition. Either way, budget always matters when planning your holidays, and Skiplagged is willing to give us a helping hand.
By creating a smart search engine, Skiplagged can offer us different combinations of travel itineraries for saving up to 80% of the average cost of flight: you only need to be willing to make more stops at various airports, plus travelling just with carry-ons.
A classic for any serious traveller, TripAdvisor is the 2.0 version of the old paper travel guides. Not only you can collect information on the destination you plan to visit, but also can read serious reviews of places to visit, restaurants, hotels or services you plan to acquire.
Let’s picture the scenario where you know which place you want to visit, but you don’t have any data on how to get there, where you should book or which sites are worth visiting: TripAdvisor can do give you that much data, with photographs, tips from expert travellers and much more.
For those who consider preparing their luggage as a newly found way of torture, there is an app that can make the experience more enjoyable. Packing Pro was crafted with the idea of helping users to organise their suitcase, sorting items by categories.
The very first step with Packing Pro is to tell the app where you are heading to, and how many days do you plan to stay – weather is also another variable to add. The app then will offer you a tentative list of what to pack from clothing to accessories, footwear, etc., plus also reminding you of the important milestones to complete prior heading to your next holidays like getting vaccines or buying tickets in time.
Is there a downside to this app? Besides being a paid-only app, it only works for iOS users by now.
The best way to get familiarised with a new place is by meeting its iconic places. That can be truth to some point, but if you are truly looking for a cultural experience, then Sidekix is the app to go.
You need to tell the app the destination you plan to go, and Sidekix will show you the best route to take, which isn’t necessarily the shortest one. Get to know amazing places, cosy cafes, art galleries and much more with the help of this app.
When switching between time zones ends up becoming a major inconvenience due to jet lag, this petite app can do wonders for our health.
Binaural works by using binaural beats – which are auditory illusions that can be perceived when two different pure tone sine waves, with frequencies lower than 1500 Hz and less than 40 Hz difference between them are presented to the listener one through each ear. Studies prove that exposure to this phenome can help people to relax, improving the overall mood and helping us to relieve stress.
By acknowledging the benefits smartphone apps can give us, you are taking the process of taking your best holidays ever a step closer to reality. Most of the apps reviewed in this article don't require any subscription fee to work, and can be compatible with any smartphone available in the market, although you should consider these two aspects:
1. There might be other apps that can offer similar, or even better, services than the ones exposed over here: it’s a matter of testing different options until you find the one that suits better your needs
2. Apps like TripAdvisor can work in offline mode – amazingly handy for avoiding data roaming fees. However, they do demand you to download bulky files (some of them can get up to 1 Gb), in which every single aspect of a city, as a travel guide, is covered to provide you reliable data.
Good luck and have a safe flight!