"Summer, summer, summer time — time to sit back and unwind." Yep — DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince put it best: Summer is the time to chill, and take epic trips to unplug from the stress of your workaday life. These travel apps to rock your summer getaway will ensure you do just that. If you're hitting the road this summer, or even planning a staycation close to home, your trusty smartphone can help you have a memorable experience.
You might remember the days when the disposable camera — a watershed '90s invention — was the best thing to bring on vacation. The excitement of waiting to see what you captured on your cardboard camera could only be eclipsed by the disappointment of getting those photos back and finding pictures of thumbs, blurry snaps, and accidental photos you snapped when you weren't even pointing the camera at anything. Luckily the digital revolution has made this vacay problem a thing of the past the same way it's also made paper maps and clunky emergency car phones obsolete.
When I went on spring break to Myrtle Beach my junior year of high school my three don't-leave-home without items were the disposable camera, the ancient car phone my mom borrowed from a co-worker, and a TripTik from AAA. Oh how times have changed. In 2017 there are myriad apps to help elevate your travel experience. Here are a few of my favorites.
If you like to document your travel adventures, or have dreams of becoming a YouTube influencer — like travel junkie "Fun For Louis," who decided to start vlogging his travel journeys with his friends — CyberLink has apps for that.
ActionDirector lets you quickly capture, edit, produce, and share your videos right from your phone. And, PowerDirector allows you to create engaging videos on-the-go. You can also import and edit videos, add effects and titles, and export HD video directly to Facebook or YouTube. The apps are only available for Android phones and Windows tablets, and computers.
Here are some tips from CyberLink for making your travel movies the envy of all of your friends.
- Keep Your Story In Mind: To rack up video views like the YouTubers manage to do, it’s important to remember that you’re a storyteller. Every cut, transition, graphic and sound effect is an opportunity to tell a bigger story.
- Only The Best: It’s really easy to include the majority of a clip, as it all seems necessary to the person that captured the video. While the entire clip may seem important, try to only include the climax, the most exciting moment, of each one so viewers are kept on their toes and viewing your best work.
- Don’t Go Overboard On Effects: They’re available on most software to enhance your videos, but there is definitely a point where it’s way too much. Choose effects that fit the tone and feel of the video, then spread them throughout so they don’t lose their impact.
I always like to get a local's perspective while I'm traveling, but I don't always have money to take a tour. That's where Detour comes in handy. Detour is an app that takes you on guided tours of more than a dozen cities — all from your phone. The tours are narrated by people who actually live there, including celebrities.
"Detour's local experts include filmmaker Ken Burns, who will walk you through his neighborhood in Brooklyn, actor Joel Grey, who will take you around Broadway, and chef Marcus Samuelsson, who will help you eat your way through Harlem," Travel + Lesiure reported.
And, if you're an expert on your city, you can even record your own Detour for others to enjoy.
If you're strapped for cash you might think taking a trip is out of your reach because hotel rooms are expensive — especially in the summer. This app is about to blow your mind. Roomer brings together travelers who have to cancel pre-paid reservations and matches them with those looking for last minute deals.
This setup means that both parties benefit. As the person looking for a sweet deal, you will score big. As a seller who has to cancel, you won't lose all of your money. Seriously, why didn't someone think of this sooner?
If your favorite thing to do in a new city is hit the pavement and get lost in the hustle and bustle, then Sidekix is your new best friend. This app was created by and for people who enjoy walking and discovering new places by foot.
"Sidekix has pioneered the concept of interest based routing," its website stated. "Unlike other navigation apps which focus on providing the shortest or fastest journey, Sidekix enhances the urban experience by offering routes based on a user’s passion."
The app, which currently works throughout cities globally across the U.K., Europe, U.S., Far East, Australia, and Israel, also allows you to add specifications to routes, such as stopping at an ATM or grocery store on the way to a friend’s house.
This app is pretty much my dream come true. I am directionally challenged, so when the maps voice tells me to head east, I have no idea which way that is, and I have long lamented the benefit of an app that uses landmarks instead of directional navigation. Turns out, I'm not the only one.
Walc gives you turn-by-turn walking directions using visual cues, which I think is pretty genius. The app is in its beta phase, but you can still try it out. If you always walk the wrong way when using walking directions in a strange city, this app could be your new BFF.
If you're traveling someplace where you need a car, then you might know that rental car rates can be out of reach. Turo is disrupting the rental car market, though, by letting ordinary people rent their cars to travelers for a fraction of the cost rental car companies charge. This means money for the owner and big discounts for travelers like you.
Turo is already in more than 4,700 cities, and 300+ airports across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. And, if you need to make some quick cash for your own vacation, you can rent out your car. Turo even covers the insurance, so your car is totally protected.
When you're in a new location, it's not always apparent which areas are safe and which you should avoid. Geosure analyzes the most accurate, up-to-date crime and safety-related statistics — and shared intelligence from its global community — to give you a location-specific security score.
The app covers six safety categories for cities, and even specific neighborhoods for cities around the world, including overall security; physical harm; theft; basic freedoms; disease, and specific threats to safety.
I love traveling alone, but that doesn't mean I necessarily want to be alone the entire time, or shoulder the entire cost for things like transportation. Wouldn't it be great if there was a social network just for travelers? Well, now there is.
SoloTraveller connects you with other people traveling on their own so you can meet new people, share the cost of taxis, and more. If you're looking to travel alone — but not be lonely — then this app is for you.
"I noticed there were a lot of like-minded solo travelers out there not having someone to share life’s moments with," founder Tony Elmes said on the website. "I also noticed how difficult it was to meet new people within my age range, and there was an incredibly large and diverse group of travelers out there that were looking for the same connection, information and new experiences."
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there any have an epic summer. You deserve it.