I think it’s probably safe to assume that I never leave home without my phone, especially when I travel, and now that I have the new Samsung Galaxy S7 (oooh, shiny) you can bet it will be in my hand, purse, or pocket wherever I go. Not only do I pretty much take all my photos with my smartphone, but I also have some apps I simply can’t live without when I go on a trip with my family. There’s the app specific to the destination I’m visiting, my airline’s app, and then there’s my favorite check-in app, but there are also a few others that help us in a pinch or keep us organized and on schedule so nobody has to constantly be checking the time. We recently returned from a family vacation and I can tell you that a reliable network like the one I have with U.S. Cellular along with some invaluable downloaded apps helped to make our trip that much more enjoyable.
With Memorial Day just around the corner and summer right behind that I know a lot of families (including yours, I hope!) are probably planning some time away from home and I say the least amount of stress involved, the better. One of the best ways I can think of to minimize stress while on vacation is to have a plan while also keeping things fun, spontaneous, and as laid back as possible. While I don’t spend a lot of time on my smartphone when we’re traveling, I do use it as a very important tool, like for taking photos, paying for coffee, and checking into places we visit. I’m so happy that my friends at U.S. Cellular came up with this wonderful list of apps to make your next vacation more enjoyable and hopefully help you to relax and stay organized. I already use a couple of them, but there are others that I wish I had known about a long time ago because they would have come in quite handy. I guess I’ll just have to plan another trip with my family soon so I can use all of them and report back to you or you could go on vacation and let me know what you think of them.
5 Best Travel Apps
- TripIt is an app I’ve honestly never used, but I definitely plan to in the future. It sounds like a great app for keeping all the details of your trip in one place and the best part might be that it connects with Google Maps to help with directions when you need them.
- I finally tried Uber for the first time on our most recent trip and I’m definitely a fan. We didn’t need to use it a lot, but when we did I loved that I could use my GPS signal to find a driver nearby, plug in my location and the size vehicle we needed, and get a fare estimate immediately. The most fun part is that you can literally watch through the app as your driver makes their way to you, with a real time estimate of their arrival. Oh, and I had an email on my phone with the summary of our ride by the time we walked through the door of our destination, which is so darn awesome. If you’re traveling to a place where you know you will need taxis then I’d say that downloading the Uber app is an absolute must!
- Currency Converter: I’ve only traveled outside of the United States once, but I’d definitely love to do it again, so I have a feeling this app will come in handy since it can sometimes be pretty confusing trying to figure out various exchange rates for different countries. The Currency Converter app provides conversion amounts for more than 190 currencies and regularly updates exchange rates. You can even input a few of your favorite travel destinations to have quick access when you need it.
- I don’t know about you, but my family loves to eat while we’re on vacation. We love to visit our favorite restaurants and try new places, which is why I love the idea of using the OpenTable app. It provides travelers with all the information they need when trying to make a dining decision. From reading reviews to viewing menus, and even making reservations, OpenTable is a super handy app when traveling (or even when you’re just looking for someplace new to eat near your home).
- Dropbox: Okay, I have a confession to make. I have downloaded Dropbox, but I’ve hardly used it at all, which is why I wish I had read this tip several months ago because it’s sort of genius for when you’re traveling and trying to keep photos organized. Dropbox is most often used to share work files and organize other valuable documents, but it can be used when traveling, too. Basically you just assign a picture folder and upload photos at the end of each vacation day. This not only frees up some memory on your device, but it also keeps your precious memories organized for when you want to relive your trip after arriving back home.
So, tell me. What’s your favorite can’t-live-without app when traveling because I need all the help I can get the next time I plan a family vacation?!
P.S. Have you downloaded the Parent/Teen Cell Phone Contract yet? I hope you’ll consider it as a helpful tool to keep everyone in your household on the same page where smartphone safety is concerned.
Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, but I love to travel and I love apps and all thoughts and opinions are my own.