10 Apps for Your Summer Vacation
Popular apps like Booking and TripAdvisor are excellent travel companions, but they are not the only ones. Below is a list of apps that will make your summer vacation comfortable and safe.
When preparing for a vacation, it's easy to forget anything at home: money, camera, swimsuits, and even a little child (especially if their name is Kevin). To avoid such mishaps, download the uPackingList app on your smartphone. Developed by Ukrainian programmers, it comes with a stamp of quality, as they excel in understanding travel essentials, perhaps better than anyone else in the world. Since February 24, 2022, every Ukrainian has had an emergency suitcase by the door, just in case they need to evacuate quickly without leaving anything important behind. With uPackingList, you can create a convenient checklist for your journey. Items are categorized into 16 categories, including food, clothing, documents, gadgets, accessories, and more. Once your list is ready, simply press "Pack" and start packing your suitcase, checking off each item as you place it inside.
While traveling abroad, hand gestures can be helpful in many situations. For example, pressing your thumb against your palm and pushing on the fleshy bump to order a medium-rare steak. However, there's no guarantee that the waiter won't think you're offering an acupressure massage. Also, if you need to exchange money, how can you ensure that a random person on the street won't mistake your intentions for something else entirely? Therefore, before heading abroad, it's wise to learn at least a few dozen of the most commonly used phrases there. If your vacation came unexpectedly and you don't want to learn a new language from scratch, Microsoft's Translator app can help. It offers text translation for 70 languages, even offline. Additionally, the app has a photo translation feature, which is useful when you want to read, for example, the list of ingredients on a package. Furthermore, it provides real-time translation for voice conversations between two people, displayed in split-screen mode.
Sunburns can not only spoil your summer vacation but also wreak havoc on your marriage, as depicted in the comedy film "The Heartbreak Kid," starring Ben Stiller. Moreover, excessive sun exposure increases the risk of developing melanoma. To get the right dose of vitamin D on the beach and timely retreat to the shade, install the UVIMate app on your smartphone. It helps track the UV index at your current resort location and calculates when to apply sunscreen (based on your skin type) and how long your sunbathing sessions should be.
Source: Collage by Leonid Lukashenko
If you're an introvert and don't want to be part of a tourist crowd following a guide, how can you explore the cultural heritage of a foreign country? The answer is to hire a personal guide, but this can be costly for your vacation budget. Fortunately, there's an alternative – the free izi.TRAVEL app with audio tours. Using GPS, it finds nearby historical and cultural landmarks, and all you need to do is put on your headphones and set out on a self-guided tour. The app already includes 100,000 audio tours and 2,000 museum audio guides. Its database covers 2,500 cities, 100 countries, and is available in 50 languages.
What if you are the opposite – an extrovert – and want to make new friends instead of spending your entire vacation alone? Pay attention to the Couchsurfing app, where millions of people from thousands of cities around the world offer tourists to stay not in hotels, hostels, or rented apartments but right at their homes. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture of a new country and interact with wonderful people. Or not-so-wonderful – that's a matter of luck.
It might happen that your family members go their separate ways during the vacation. You might head to a museum, your spouse to a spa, and your children with their grandmother to an amusement park. How can you regroup later? Sure, you can simply call each other, but what if someone puts their phone on silent or forgets it at the bottom of their bag in a noisy place? To avoid unnecessary worries, you can use the Life360 family locator app. Install it on the phones of everyone going on vacation with you, and each person will be able to check the map at any time to see where everyone is.
A portable mirror is useful during any trip, but why carry an extra item when you can quickly touch up your makeup or shave using your smartphone? The Beauty Mirror app sets itself apart from the standard camera usage because it does not apply automatic enhancements to the image. Moreover, it offers a screen-based light source, which is quite handy since not all smartphones have a front-facing flash.
Typically, every monument or historical building has a plaque with its description. Similarly, there are labels for plants, but they are usually found only in botanical gardens. If you come across an interesting tree or flower and want to know their names, use PictureThis. Simply take a picture of the plant through the app, and it will be scanned, providing you with two or three possible names. You can compare the photos and descriptions to choose the most accurate name. If you can't find a match, you can post the plant's photo and discuss it with other users. There's bound to be someone who can identify that rare magnolia, African mirsinus, or some colorful eucalyptus in the picture.
Vibrant experiences are what people yearn for throughout the year in anticipation of their summer vacation. However, getting fined by the police for relieving yourself in a public place can be a vivid yet unpleasant experience. To avoid finding yourself in such a situation near some tourist attraction, install the Flush app. With just a few clicks, it will identify your location and find the nearest restroom, showing you the quickest way to get there. The app has a database of 200,000 paid and free restrooms (including facilities for disabled individuals). It's definitely a useful tool to have on hand.
Due to light pollution in large cities, the number of stars visible in the night sky is rapidly decreasing. A study published in the journal Science earlier this year revealed that a person born in an area where 250 stars were visible will only be able to see around a hundred by the time they turn 18. So, summer vacation presents a great opportunity to escape the bright city lights and enjoy the starry sky while it's still visible. To help you identify constellations and stars, you can use the Sky Map app – your personal pocket planetarium.