With the official first day of summer on its way (and the good weather rolling in even sooner), it might be time to start thinking about that annual vacation or getaway you’ve been putting off for too many years.
If you’re a travel buff, half the fun of a trip is in the planning. And if you’re not a travel buff, half the stress of a trip is in the planning. With the right tools, you’re covered either way. Plunk these overlooked apps in your smartphone or tablet and enjoy an easier, breezier summer getaway—planning stages and all.
Scouting the perfect spot
The moment you read the words “summer vacation” you likely have a few destinations spring to mind. Google Street Viewing locations and snapping up travel guides to each place is one way of narrowing down the list. Streetography (available for iOS devices) is a better way. It curates and pulls together user-generated photos to give you an authentic view of a neighborhood or city—from the perspective of a local.
Planning it out
If you’re going to be travelling with a group, PlanChat helps reduce confusion, crossed-wires, and all of the other headaches that come from poor communication. It can be hard enough for a group of friends to pick a place for dinner, let alone plan an entire vacation. PlanChat lets you book accommodations, build an itinerary, and even split expenses—all within a streamlined group chat app. The only wrinkle: You’ll have to hope everyone in your group has an iPhone or iPad, as this one’s only available for iOS devices.
Sidekix is ideal if you’re planning on exploring a major city on foot. It finds you the most interesting routes from A to B, so you can discover hidden gems and trendy haunts in between visiting tourist hotspots. Citymapper, for its part, gives you all the information you need to get around town, including maps, directions, up-to-the-minute local transit schedules, and even Uber integration. Think of it as your own personal travel assistant.