No doubt that traveling has a lot of moving parts. What should you pack? How will you get around? Where will you stay? What will you eat? Our smartphones have replaced travel agents in the modern age, and a litany of options exists in the app download market. The obvious (Uber, Instagram, Yelp) aside, which ones are truly helpful? We tested a ton of ’em to find out. Here are our top six … the best travel apps for this spring break.
This pretty app works seamlessly with Dropbox to streamline the process of storing and organizing your vacation photos. You can create nifty shared albums with your family, and it saves your images geotagged chronologically to save you a step in remembering where you were and when you took it. Best of all, it saves in high resolution, which makes it easier to get great prints should you want hard copies.
SB TIP: We love PostalPix for direct-from-smartphone photo print ordering.
2. Packing Pro
It doesn’t matter if your primary consideration is an airline weight limit or car real estate for the kids. When it comes to packing, space counts. Enter Packing Pro. Tell it where you’re going, who’s coming with and how long your stay is, and it will generate a list of items that ranges from the stuff that so easily slips your mind (I.D., money, toothbrush) to the more specific. Cruise to Cozumel? Packing Pro is here to remind you to pack a bikini — and the sunblock for your kids.
Speaking of sunblock, this app is a handy little tool for spring breakers — it locates you, detects the UV index of your spot and generates an alarm that reminds you to, as Baz Luhrmann so infamously reminded us in his song from 2000: Wear sunscreen. It even considers your skin type!
4. Jet Lag App
Simple name, intuitive app and one backed up with real science, no less. Jet Lag App coaches you out of that notorious zombie state. The most generally agreed-upon approach to navigating a time zone hop with grace is to gradually alter your sleep habits as your trip draws near. Simply tell the app when you’re planning to leave, where you’re going and your usual bedtime, and it will generate a series of day-by-day alarms to help you wake up on the first day at your final destination the same time as the locals.
If you’re driving around a new city, Apple Maps just doesn’t cut it. Waze offers a smarter solution, at the ready with alternative routes via back roads and neighborhoods. It wisely considers traffic, and since it’s user-driven, you’ll get a heads-up about road construction and even speed traps. It’s got some quirky, fun, little tricks up its sleeve, too — you’ll most definitely get a giggle out of its “boy band voice” setting, which sings you turn-by-turn directions in its most Harry Styles-ish style.
Let us not forget our own app! If you’re in Birmingham, Nashville or Memphis, it makes thoughtful recommendations — straight from our editors — about local happenings, the best spots to shop and the yummiest places to eat and drink if you’re traveling to any of these three cities. More cities are on the way, too, like Atlanta and Louisville, for starters!
Ready to travel? Yeah … us, too. Here’s to a safe and happy spring break!
Want more travel tips? Check out our article on how to rent the perfect vacation home.