Using your phone to retrieve information instead of calling has become common among most people. When you leave your phone behind it inspires a feeling of anxiety and you vow to never do it again. This connection to phones becomes especially important when you go on vacation. When far away from home, your phone becomes one of the most important items you bring on vacation. Phones can turn into your lifeline providing useful and important information at a moment's notice. We will break down some of the top apps (in no particular order) to have installed on your phone when you go on vacation. Grab your phone and hit the app store because it's time to get your phone ready for your next getaway.
The Weather Channel App - The usefulness of this app is clear when you're away from home. It uses GPS technology to give you up-to-date current weather conditions, hour-by-hour forecasts and radar models. You can save different locations, allowing you to scroll through them and check current conditions at any time. The app has other perks as well including allergy notifications, hurricane watch, videos , news, airport conditions and a social weather reporting feature. The main drawback is the integrated ads and videos that are blended to look like relevant content. Overall The Weather Channel gives the traveler a range of tools to analyze the weather at any location.
GasBuddy - This app makes the list via recommendation from Time Magazine. The GasBuddy app can help you find the cheapest gas stations regardless of where you are located and rewards you for reporting up to date pricing on different gas stations regularly. GasBuddy awards you points that can be used toward prizes. You can keep track of your points on a leaderboard and add points through fun games and challenges. This app is handy when you do find a gas station, because all you need to do is click on the location and it gives you directions via Google Maps. The biggest complaints are that it cannot be used on some tablets and they don't show the hours each gas station is open. All in all this app is useful, reliable and free. Give it a try at home before you head out on your getaway.
Waze - No matter if you are navigating a route you’ve never driven or your normal route to work, Waze is an app that can benefit you. Waze relies on user provided input to give you the best possible directions to your destination and alerts you to such things as road hazards, accidents, traffic jams and police. The community of users is constantly updating the maps, leaving you an efficient route to your location. You can increase your standing in the Waze community by accumulating points through regularly updating conditions and changes in traffic (just don’t do it while you’re driving). Waze also has driving games that can give you points as well. The main drawback is that the maps are cluttered and there is too much happening with the app while you are driving. When you’re away from home and traffic is keeping you from your dream getaway, let Waze be your lighthouse in the night.
GateGuru - If you’re taking to the air at some point for your next vacation don’t look past the GateGuru app to help take some of the worry out of your trip to the airport. This app was highly recommended by Engadget and does not disappoint. GateGuru gives you real time information pertaining to arrival/departure times, TSA waits and flight information. In addition it gives you airport weather, car rental information, food locations, shops and ATM locations. User generated reviews keep you from going in blind to various airport situations. This app is built to integrate with social media so you can stay updated with locations and activities. GateGuru keeps track of your travel stats so you can compare with friends and other users of the app and see where you rank. The biggest complaint is not having enough locally sourced reviews for venues within the airports. Take the randomness and worry out of your next visit to the airport with the real time help of GateGuru.
Uber - Take the hassle out of finding transportation on vacation with Uber. Recommended by Forbes Magazine with no criticism, Uber gives you the option to let a local person deal with driving and navigating unfamiliar roads. Assuming you are in one of the cities covered by Uber, all its takes is signing up and requesting a pick up and you’ll be on your way. The app comes with handy features such as fare estimator, splitting fare with another traveler and arrival time updates. It also allows users and drivers to rate each other, helping Uber provide the best possible product to its user. The main drawback of Uber is that it needs a wireless connection to operate. With Wi-Fi being standard at most hotels and airports, this is less than a problem than ever. Leave the stress of driving on vacation to someone else and let Uber help provide a worry free vacation.
Yelp - Once you reach your location, you’re going to need help finding local stores, restaurants and services. When it comes to finding and rating locations all over the globe,Yelp stands at the front of the line. Yelp has been helping their users find and rate restaurants, bars and most types of businesses since 2004. There are over 50 million reviews on Yelp that can help you make the best choices possible while vacationing. The reviews are user generated and they appear when you are near a location or whenever you want to look up a specific spot. To find different locations, Yelp uses a variety of filters, to help you cut through the clutter. Each location has pictures and detailed contact info so you can plan accordingly. The app is easy to use and features an augmented reality view that shows you in real time where locations near to you are. Leave guessing about local features at home, when you take the Yelp app with you on your next vacation.
Packing Pro - Coming highly recommended from the people over at CNN, is the unique app named Packing Pro. This app can help you pack your bags for almost any trip. Packing Pro generates a list of potential items you may want to bring with you on your next trip. It does this by asking you to input information such as location, food, weather and size of group, to name a few. The lists are generated in less than 30 seconds and they pull from a pool of around 1,000 items you could possibly bring on your getaway. It is amazing to see the detail of the lists, and Packing Pro leaves very little to chance when it comes to packing the correct items. The user interface is intuitive and easy to use. The only drawback to this item is that it’s not free. Leave the chance out of planning what you will or won’t need on your next vacation with Packing Pro.