Travel Apps

Travel Apps :: Splitwise

[trip style = any]

You're on vacation with friends for a week. You paid for the hotel. Friend A drove and paid for the gas. Friend B paid for lunch, but only for himself and Friend A. Friend C bought all the groceries and she paid for them in a different currency. Friend D only joined the fun for four days. If no one moonlights as a genius mathematician, how will you settle your expenses without spoiling your vacation? Enter Splitwise, the app that takes awkwardness and confusion away from the equation of friends + money + travel.

How it works
Start a new group, name the group {i.e.,"Don't mess with Texas"} and add group members {you, Holly & Sam}. Then add individual expenses and the group members involved in each expense {i.e, bike rental & hotel in Austin}. Each group member can log in and add their bills, and then the app magically calculates what everyone owes. Bonus features: You can even add notes to expenses and settle up via PayPal.

Trip Styler Tip: If you're looking for an app to split restaurant bills, download Plates. It integrates with Splitwise, calculates tax and tip and splits shared dishes.

Download Splitwise for iOS or Android devices, or log in from your computer {$$ = Free}.

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

Travel Apps :: PackPoint
Real-Time Translation

[austin images by kevin vandiver & nick simonite] 

Travel Apps :: PackPoint

[trip style = any]

It was only in Seattle, on the morning of my flight to Sweden, that I realized I'd failed to pack a single pair of socks for two weeks in Scandinavia. This is how I ended up with a pair of $10 socks from the airport newsstand and several more styles from the Gothenburg supermarket. #travelfail

Even when I write out lists and pack and repack my bags, it seems like I always forget somethingsocks, pajamas, toothpaste, charger—which is why I was so excited to find an app that takes the guesswork out of packing.

PackPoint helps you organize what you need to pack based on destination, date and length of trip, weather, type of trip {business or leisure}, activities and gender. It even asks you whether you'll have laundry facilities. In seconds it creates a packing list that even a veteran traveler can appreciate.

It would be nice if the app had an option to select mode of travel {plane, car, ship, etc.} and size of luggage {carry-on, checked bag}, and I noticed a few flaws in the list {no footwear other than sandals and hiking shoes for Palm Springs}, but you can add and subtract from your list and even save it for later. The best part? It's free. If you want to add custom activities, you can upgrade in-app for 99 cents.

Sample trip #1: Long weekend in Palm Springs

What to pack: swimsuit, coverup, sandals, hiking clothes & shoes, dress, skirt, casual pants, 2 casual shirts, 4 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of underwear, pajamas, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, camera, cell phone & charger, boarding pass & itinerary, ear plugs, book, assorted toiletries, makeup, hand sanitizer, lip balm

Sample trip #2: 10 days in Barcelona

What to pack: passport, medical insurance card, foreign currency, power adapter, swimsuit, coverup, sandals, towel, dress, dress shoes, jewelry, light jacket, cardigan, sweater, 9 pairs of socks, 9 pairs of underwear, 5 casual shirts, 3 casual pants, skirt, pajamas, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, camera, cell phone & charger, boarding pass & itinerary, ear plugs, book, assorted toiletries, hair products, makeup, hand sanitizer, lip balm, umbrella

Sample trip #3: 5 days in Whistler

What to pack: snow jacket, snow pants, toque, sunglasses, gloves, long underwear, heavy jacket, dress, 4 pairs of socks, 4 pairs of underwear, 2 casual shirts, casual pants, pajamas, hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, water bottle, camera, cell phone & charger, boarding pass & itinerary, ear plugs, book, assorted toiletries, makeup, hand sanitizer, lip balm

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

Packing 3.0 - List It!
Fitting 50 Garments into 1 Carry-On
Packing Pointers with Shaun

[photos via @heatherlovesit & packpoint except whistler by mitch wonton/]

Travel Tech :: Selfies Made Simple

travel selfies made simple[trip style = any]

If you're not into awkward vacation selfies marred by an arm dangling across your snap, or if you'd rather not ask a stranger to take your photo and later find out it's blurry, you need to know about the perfect app for that.

Over the past few weeks my love for my iPhone app, TimerCam {equivalent on Android = TimerCamera}, has been burning bright. Having been in WA on an end-of-summer vacay with Mr. Trip Styler and our pup, and now on Oahu with my sister, this app has been invaluable for marking memories. I recommend you download it in all its freeness. {It was Japan's number-one photography app in Feb 2012 and they're always ahead of the game!}

Unless we're talking about the new Nokia with a 41 megapixel camera, a smartphone is not the ideal tool for capturing memorable moments at landmarks like Australia's Whitehaven Beach or Croatia's Dalmatian coast, but as the saying goes, your best camera is the one that's WITH you.

Trip Styler Tip :: There's a time and a place for vacation selfies. Self-timer camera apps are best used in non-touristy areas where you're sure nobody will snatch your phone {unless of course you're aware of an iLeash, which I am not}.

Here's a recent photo I snapped using TimerCam:

travel selfie + smarphone self-timer camera app {Ignore my poor choice in bicycle-esque bottoms; I didn't know the moment would strike for a family photo.}

To set up the shot, press on the screen to ensure the light and focus are right, tap the timer [5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec] and click the camera icon to start the timer.

Eat Like A Chef

chefs feed app + travel must[trip style = foodie]

Food is central to travel. We must eat, so why not eat well? Plus, discovering a decadent dish on the road is akin to travel euphoria, no? {If you don't agree, I implore you to try pear and asiago ravioli in Italy, this dish will change your world}.

Introducing Chefs Feed, a professional palate-powered app dishing the meals celebrated chefs love in their own city! Featuring 500+ chefs and 18,000+ dishes, this 2013 webby award winner gives new meaning to curated cuisine. Think of it like Yelp, version 2.0.

If you live in or are visiting one of the 23 cities currently supported in the app {London, Vancouver, Seattle, NYC, Vegas, SF, etc...}, search chefs' recommendations near or afar for sure-thing eats. For example, in Vancouver, L'Abattoir's Lee Cooper digs the moules frites at Chambar; in Vegas, the Border Grill's Mary Sue Milliken, indulges in the whole fish at Estiatoria Milos. The icing on the cake? The more each chef eats {which is a given}, the more they update the app.

Travel {or your Friday night date}, just got a little more tasty. And, this virtual feast is free.

PS - I'm adding this to my essential travel app toolkit.

chefs feed app details

How It Works - sign in {you have to sign in because chefs are always updating their fav dishes} - select a home city - once you select your home city, browse any city - search chef-by-chef and dish-by-dish - see each chef's restaurant picks on a map - available for iPhone and Android

More Travel Apps magicJack - a free calling app Instagram - as a travel tool TomTom - navigate abroad without using data

[photos via chefs feed app]

I Just Called, To Say, I...

trish[trip style = any]

"I just called, to saaaaaaaaaay, I loooooooove you. I just called, to saaaaaaaaaaay how much I caaaaaaaaare..." - Stevie Wonder

There's something to be said for proper conversation. Clearly, Stevie Wonder agrees.

When emailing or iMessaging your loved ones on vacation isn't enough {or typing on a tiny screen is making your digits tired}, there's always the option to talk on the good ol' phone, for FREE, sans international calling plan.

Recently my sister was in Croatia and I was in Austin. We talked the whole time via iMessage, but when our conversation demanded more than short-burst updates, we called from opposite corners of the globe for a proper gab.

If you want the *option* to call someone you care about while traveling, here's how to do it:

The 411 :: Making Free Calls From Your Smartphone On Vacation 1/ Find WiFi 2/ Download the magicJack app for free calls to U.S. and Canadian phone numbers, or any magicJack phone number anywhere in the world {iPhone // Android} 3/ Make the call {no sign-in required}

PS - Google Talk is another complimentary way to call regular phone numbers from your computer, and Skype-to-Skype calling is still free.

Have you had success with any other free calling apps or services? Do tell.

[photo of/via @tripstyler]