Best Holiday Apps That Get You Through the Season

 In Tech

A cheap app can make or break a so-so picture (Left: shot with camera phone- blurry, bad color, boring. Right: fixed and made fun with Camera+ app)

Travel is hectic. Holidays make it even crazier. I’ve found a few of the best holiday apps for my iPhone that make my life a little easier and a whole lot more fun. What are you traveling with this season?

For the Photo Fan: I have come to love these two camera apps above all others. They are great for creative, on the fly photos of family and friends along with landscapes and just plan fun.

  • Hipstamatic– my favorite camera app for night-time shooting and high contrast funky images. I have my favorite lens/film combo, but with 3 lenses and 3 types of film to mix and match you can get so many different effects, even 70s washed out and orange shots.
  • Camera+– my latest go-to photo app. Try out all kinds of filters, borders and even add in captions. Best of all, take a bad picture of an incredible moment and make it worth the memory.

Hipstamatic app

Camera+ app

For the Pregnant lady: Jennifer Miner over at VacationsGals recently clued me into two invaluable apps for the pregnant lady. My travels and movie watching just got a whole lot better.

  • SitOrSquat tells you where the nearest restroom is based on your location.
  • RunPee lets you know when to take a potty break during a movie. It also lets you know if there are extra scenes after the credits and gives you a summary of the first 5 minutes when you are running late.

RunPee app

For the Planner

  • Goby– going to a new place? Find out what the local attractions and odd spots are to visit. Think your location is too obscure? I found stuff to do in the tiny town of Wolfeboro, NH. You should be fine.
  • TripDoc– make your trip planning easier by mapping out every place on your itinerary on one easy to access map. Search for recommendation from friends and other websites. Get directions. Makes notes for future reference. What more do you need?
  • Weather Channel– now that you have all of these great places to go don’t get stuck in the rain without an umbrella.

Goby (top) and TripDoc app

For the Explorer

  • Oanda Currency Converter– this is my go to currency converter. I love seeing where my money can take me
  • Gas Buddy– find cheap gas wherever you are in the US or Canada. With all that money you save you could go on another trip!

Oanda app

For the Know It All

  • IMDb– Who was that actor in that 1977 movie about space ships? What was the name of that film with robots (or was it aliens) in it and Will Smith? No not that one, the other one. Now you can wow your family with your trivia knowledge, not to mention win a few bar room bets.
  • SkyView Free– what’s that up in the night sky? Well now you can look like you know. With this handy app you just point your phone’s camera at the sky and it tells you which star, planet or constellation you are looking at.

IMDb and SkyView

For the Baby

  • Spawn Lite– baby screaming in the car? Distract them quick with this screensaver like app. I’m not a huge proponent of baby screen time, but this helped Dek stop crying long enough in the car for me to regain some patience and figure out what he needed when he was super tiny.
  • Sleep Machine Lite– bring some soothing sounds into the car, plane or even nap time in a strange land when you can’t have our travel sound machine with you.

Spawn Lite and Sleep Machine app

For the Active and Curious Toddler: My friend Nic has tried and tested several Apps with her 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. She is passing her top picks down to me now that Dek is getting more interested in games on my phone. This will help keep the peace as we fly to the east coast and drive all over seeing friends and family this holiday.

*Although many of the links show the iTunes version of the game, many are available on alternate, non-Apple devices.

Dek just got into Toddler Teasers. The program says the object name out loud and he tries to find the shape. After a few screens he gets a sticker for his virtual board. Very exciting!

Got a favorite app? Let me know about it so I can add it to my list.

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Showing 7 comments
  • lauren

    Love the photo and toddler tips. Hope you get a few kick backs from the folks at Apple;-)

  • More Kids Than Suitcases

    If there’s one thing I’m capable of, it’s taking terrible pictures. I’m grabbing both of your photo apps and see if they can help even me!
    I kind of want the Run Pee app because I hate waiting through the credits when there’s no scene at the end. I do wish it had a different name though. I can hear my kids already.

    • Reply

      With the Hipstamatic app, just play with how you center your subject. Can be kind of weird, but also causes great results.
      And I LOVE that RunPee tells me if there is stuff after the credits. I think that’s my favorite part. I always make people wait just in case and now I don’t have to!

  • Lisa

    It’s probably not meant for kids but Emma LOVES playing with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone!! She actually takes some pretty good pictures.

    • Reply

      My friend’s 4 year old just got into using her phone to take pics this past year. He loves all he can do. We love it cause it means my friend and I are in pics finally 😉 Can’t wait for Dek to be able to take some pics! Tell Emma to keep snapping away!

  • Jennifer

    I’m so glad to see RunPee get a little love! It’s such a funny idea, and it works. 🙂 I need to get to know Hipstamatic – thanks for this useful roundup.

  • Traci

    I’ve used imdb more than I care to admit. Usually, when I’m supposed to be working!

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