‘Appy Holidays – Part 2

We are always told to turn our mobiles off while on holiday to really make the most of the relaxing time with your loved ones.  However there are a few apps/programmes for mobiles that really can make your holiday that little easier.

Show me the Money…

There are a large number of these around, so it’s worth having a look around to find one that suits you.  I’m talking about currency converters. The one that I use is simply called Currency Converter.

This app has a huge offering of currencies, you can select your preferences and choose a currency ridiculously easily, and then its a case of inputting the price of your new straw hat, from the market seller by the beach and seeing if you have got a good price. (The answer is YES!)

This is a great way to keep on top of how much things cost, because if I am honest when I am on holiday all the money I have feels like Monopoly money, I am on holiday so everything goes. But this will help you keep  an eye on things.

Another very helpful tool is Tipulator, which explains how much you should tip in each country. For example the 10% standard in London is regarded offensively low in New York, while the same amount is insulting in Tokyo.  It just might take away a little bit of stress if you eat in a particularly nice restaurant.

Language Helpers

There are a few language helpers, that can aid you while you are away. The select few free ones are surprisingly good for basic translations. But if you want to kick it up a notch then check out the Better Translate Pro app.  This costs £1.99 and calls on both Google and Bing translate services to offer you the best in real time translations.  It works very well but don’t get too excited, you won’t be chatting up the waitresses with it just yet. Well I suppose you could try.

However my personal favourite is World Lens. This allows you to take a picture of a menu in French and download the picture, fully translated into English.  You do have to pay for the language you require via an in app purchase but the results are quite amazing! Plus you get 10 man points for having an app that uses character recognition!

Getting Around

This always stumps me while on holiday, I always assume that I am going to walk everywhere but sometimes you have to travel a little further to find that perfect beach or the Michelin star restaurant.  Step up HopStop.

Covering 68 countries it provides users with all the public transport options you need. From buses to trains. From New York to Norfolk (although that is a long bus route).  It’s smart design means its not overwhelming and filled with pointless information. You get the information you want quickly in just a few taps.

Also take a look at using some of the other tools we have mentioned, and never, ever underestimate the power of google maps. (Just remember roaming charges and mobile data!)

Restaurant Booking

You have managed to navigate your way to your ideal location but now your partner is getting hungry, in my case I have exactly 8 minutes from this point to find somewhere to eat and drink before I am turned to stone, or eaten alive depending on her mood.

Luckily for me I use Trip Advisor that will show my the restaurants in my select location, and a rating for each (out of 5). It has literally saved my life about 5 times.  The selling point for me is the customer reviews, you can see what to eat, and what to avoid via recommendations from previous customers.

It is always worth having a back-up plan, especially when you are away.  In this case I would recommend Open Street Map – This open source website is updated by the public and users, with top spots, restaurants POI’s and everything inbetween. The simplicity of it means that even if you have to use it as a back up your partner won’t even notice the switch.

Well there you have it a few apps and mobile applications that could really help you make the most of your holiday. I am jealous, I really am.  Let us know your thoughts on these apps or ones you use instead.

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