This mindful-meditation app features exercises specifically geared to help put you in a travel frame of mind – including “vacation,” “fear of flying” and “for the weekend” – but it’s the “sleeping” session that proves indispensable on trips with significant time-zone changes. I don’t whether it’s creator Andy Puddicombe’s dulcet British accent or the breathing exercises, but I’m always catching zzzs before the 10-minute program is even finished.
The app and desktop versions of this note-taking/organizing app have become invaluable to my trip planning. Install the browser extension to save any website to a folder and add keywords – perfect for keeping track of train schedules or potential tour operators. Connect it to e-mail and you can save confirmation notices and event listing newsletters for easy reference. The app version lets me do the same while on the go.
As a cheapskate, I am disappointed in myself for not discovering this website earlier. The premise is simple: Link to retail sites through the Ebates portal and earn a certain percentage of money back on your purchases. Dozens of travel providers are available, including Accor Hotels, Fairmont, Avis, Best Western, Expedia.ca, Booking.com, Marriott Hotels, British Airways, Hotwire, G Adventures, Sandals and Hotels.com.
Never spend a minute organizing vacation photos again. The app automatically backs up any pictures on your phone, creating videos, GIFs, collages and albums as it goes (it also suggests photo books, available to order for a fee). And Google’s smart search makes it a cinch to find photos by person, landmark, destination or theme (food, pets, colour etc).
White Noise Lite
Slamming doors, kids running down the hallways, loud guests in the room next door –hotels are full of commotion that can disrupt a good night’s sleep. This free app lets you choose from generic masking sounds (I’m partial to “brown noise”), nature tracks or even city sounds to drown out the unwanted hubbub. Just make sure to keep your phone plugged in overnight or you’ll wake up to a low battery.