summer vacation

Where will your summer travels take you? Image: Rafa Bahiense via Flickr CC

Hopefully you’ve been enjoying many relaxing days poolside or at the beach, dipping your toes in the sand, or getting back to nature so far this summer. If you’ve been saving up all of your energy for an awesome summer getaway (or an equally awesome “staycation”), then don’t forget to download some of this season’s best new apps for the occasion! Here are some new apps to enhance your summer vacation:

If you’re going on a road trip… Road trips are one of the best ways to bond with friends while seeing new sights. While many people opt to ditch their phones and GPS systems in favor of a Road Atlas or map, if you tend to be more into techie options, then applications like Stezza and GasBuddy will be perfect for your trip.

As far as music players go, Stezza is pretty basic, but one of its best features is its extra-large buttons designed for controlling your playlist on the go (or on the road). If you’ve got your phone mounted to the dash as a GPS, Stezza makes it really easy to play tunes without getting distracted. GasBuddy, free for iOS and Android phones, is an app that helps find the best gas prices nearby. Bring these two apps along on your trip and you’ll be set!

If you’re traveling somewhere far… Traveling abroad is an exciting opportunity to see the world and experience new tastes, sights, people, and cultures. However, it can feel a little daunting if you’re unfamiliar with the language or geography of where you travel. Apps like Word Lens, Gate Guru, and Tourist Eye (all free for iOS and Android), will help make faraway travels during your summer vacation absolutely seamless. Gate Guru is designed to help travelers find everything they need during their time in the airport before and after their flight. From locations of airport shops and eateries, to your travel and flight information, Gate Guru is ideal for those looking to condense all of this important information into one space.

Tourist Eye is essentially a digital wish list for travelers, and one that allows them to access the wish lists of fellow tourists while abroad. This app is also ideal if you’re looking for suggestions for things not to miss out on in a foreign city, as it will help you cultivate more bucket list-type items that are specific to your location.

Perhaps the neatest one of these traveling apps is Word Lens, which uses your camera to translate things like signs and menus while abroad. Of course, translating more colloquial sayings from another language will not yield exact results, but Word Lens certainly makes it easier to bring context to unfamiliar situations.

If you’re having a fabulous “staycation”… It’s never a bad idea to plan a little me-time at home once in a while, and summertime is the perfect season for a great staycation. Everplaces is an app that is great for these kinds of vacations because it allows you to save places that you’ve been to and links you to places your friends think you would like. Essentially, it’s an app that allows you to track all of the good times you’ve had locally and abroad, making it easy to plan awesome day trips or nights out when you’re at home.

Other great staycation apps include The Best Day, which is great for planning events with your friends, and Foodspotting, an app for anyone wanting to treat himself or herself to the best local eats.

What are your favorite apps to use during summer vacation?