Technology is wonderful for helping plan vacations, and making vacations easier. But where do you start? There are so many apps out there, some free, and some paid - we went through tons of apps and these are some of our favorites. I guess I expected flying cars by now, but these apps are so cool that they're a solid start on the way flying cars. If you haven't downloaded these yet, you can hit "expert traveler" status now by downloading a few!
Trip Plans (free) This amazing app is something that comes with your Keepsake Travel Designs itinerary and keeps you organized while you travel. Each member in your group has their own login to the app, and using the chat feature you are able to talk to each other throughout the planning and travel process, as well as with your travel advisor while you're traveling. Heading abroad? The app can save all your travel documents and information offline so you can access it without internet. That means that if you need walking directions from your hotel to the museum, you'll have them on your phone and you won't need internet service to follow them! We can also upload all your confirmations and booking information to the app so that you have every detail of your trip in the palm of your hands.
iTranslate Converse (free) I can not say enough amazing things about this app - if you have any plans to travel to another country, this should absolutely be on the top of your list of downloads. The app is free to download, and acts as a translation device right in your pocket. You have to flip your phone upside down to use it, select the two languages you want to translate (English and ...?) and then tap and hold the screen and start talking. The app will translate your English phrase to whichever language you choose, AND translate the answer back to English. My husband and I downloaded it and practiced our French (him) and Spanish (me) back and forth to each other and were pretty impressed with how well it did. There is a subscription option if you have a lot of translation needs, but for travel and a few uses, you should be set with the free version. Day One Journal (free) I am not great at the idea of "journaling", but with Day One, you don't have to be a writer to create an amazing record of your vacation. For each day you can add tags, weather, pictures, activities, or grand musings of your vacation. You can check in on the app, add a few photos, then go enjoy being there and still be able to open it up later and reflect on your day through the app's activity feed - or just turn on location services and it will track your location for you. It's not Facebook or Instagram, so don't expect likes and comments - but it will let you record all your thoughts, views, photos, and feelings without publishing them for the world. One of the highlights of the app is the Day One Book. Starting at $19.99 (for 50 color pages), you can use the app to create your vacation book. Before you travel, create a new journal for the trip, track and add photos where you want to while you're traveling, and when you come back, create a cover, tweak what you want to, and order your book - it's seriously that simple. Mobile Passport (free) If you are traveling internationally and you don't have this app, I'll wait while you download it. This will change your customs experience completely. You can enter your passport information, fill out the customs forms, submit it to CBP through the app, get the receipt, and breeze through customs. So far you can use the app to breeze through customs at one port (Ft Lauderdale) and 24 airports. Once you create your profile, you can even save it and reuse it for it for future trips. If you don't have Global Entry - absolutely download this app before you go! App In The Air (free) I used to have a great flight tracking app... and then it disappeared. So if you're looking for a new flight tracking app, try this one. So why this flight tracking app over any others? Well, this one is full of cool features including wait times for ticketing, security, and customs. It also includes destination weather, contact information for the airlines, and flight maps. For an extra cool feature, it can even track your previous flights and your mileage account balances. The basic flight tracking is free, but for alerts, check-in, and no ads, you will end up paying a subscription (but they do have a lifetime option for about $30 one time).