What’s the best thing about summertime? Vacation! We’ve put together the most recommended apps and tools from travel experts to help make planning your summer vacation a stress-free endeavor.
Tip #1: Keep your friends and family close
Have you set aside time this summer to see new places? Travel writer Janna Graber advises, “if you’re new to travel, it’s okay to start somewhere close and grow from there. Try something new while you’re there.” If you’re worried about staying connected with friends and family while you’re on your trip, pick up Karma Go. The Karma Go portable Wi-Fi keeps you connected wherever you go. The Karma Go wins our personal Wi-Fi pick because its small enough to fit in your pocket and is lightweight to almost forget about. But don’t let its size fool you, the signal is strong enough to connect to it from 100 feet away. The battery is long-lasting at a 6-hour life, and holds over 220 hours of standby time.
Tip #2: Stay organized
It’s important to keep all your paperwork, tickets, and information in one place. Leslie Patrick Moore recommends “for a travel app, I like [to use] TripIt to keep itineraries in one place.” TripIt is highly praised for its simple design and organizational features. You just book the trip on your preferred travel site, and then forward all of your confirmation information to TripIt. Well-versed travel writer Fiona Harper reports that she uses “TripIt for filing all travel plans in one place.” The app will then compile a principal itinerary which you can connect to from your smartphone. Once a master itinerary is created, you can edit and share your travel plans, get flight alerts, and find better flights on-the-go.
Tip #4: Convert the smart way
Planning a trip to a foreign country? You’ll need to download the XE currency app. XE lets you calculate currency conversions while you’re on-the-go. “I love the XE for currency conversion” states travel writer Jones Around The World. This app gives you more than just the basics, because it gives you access to the most up-to-date currency exchange rates, recent history of any currency rate, while calculating conversion costs quickly. This app is available on iOS and Android.
Tip #5: If all else fails, stick with the basics
If you’re similar to travel writer Frank Bures, who “like[s] to keep it old school” by keeping mostly analog travel records, like “maps, notebooks, guidebooks, [and] strangers standing on street corners”, we recommend planning ahead for different types of electricity in different countries. Many people invest in surge protectors for their hair dryer, curling iron, iron, and other essentials that need plugging in. The Belkin SurgePlus USB Swivel Charger provides a portable power strip that includes three surge-protected AC outlets. The Belkin SurgePlus’ 360-degree rotation allows you to plug it into tight spaces. You’ll never have to worry about frying your electronics because this charger also features a light that indicates when surge protection is active.
Tip #6: Keep an open mind
If you’re experiencing a different culture for the first time, it can be easy to get into a rut of looking for familiar foods, people, and places. It’s best to fight that urge. Travel writer Doreen Pendgracs said it best with, “a tip for new travelers would be to keep an open mind and be open to trying new things.”
Learn more travel tips and tricks from our Summer travel episode [link to Summer travel tips youtube video] of TCC Talk. Stay safe.