By Oui We contributor Estephanie Gomez
Our love for the holidays at this point is very real. Also real? The holiday scaries. You know these - the pre-travel preparations, the impending traffic dread, the last-minute shopping trips - our list goes on. But over the years and through many a trial and error, we’ve found a number of resources to help us stay sane through the process - and they all fit in your back pocket. We’re excited to share seven apps guaranteed to keep your spirits merry and bright this holiday travel season.
ALL IS CALM, ALL IS BRIGHT
Sometimes you just need a little breathing room and navigating the art of meditation can just add more stress to the situation. So a few years ago, I searched for a simple app that would help me do just that and found a saving grace in Calm. The app offers a Breath feature, guiding you as you inhale and exhale for as long as you need it, as well as more than 100 guided meditations. If you’re in for a long flight or need to escape a tricky dinner table conversation, tune out the noise and tune in to the steady rise and fall of your breath. Spring for the premium version and have Matthew McConaughey and his honey-soaked southern drawl lull you into a sense of calm as he narrates one of the app’s many “sleep stories.”
The creators of Headspace have meditation down to a science - literally. The mindful app makers work with an in-house science department as well as more than 35 of the most prestigious scientific research institutions and organizations to ensure Headspace’s impact. The free version of the service provides the Basics, a 10-session course that teaches you the essentials of meditation using colorful and purposeful animations. At one session a day, you’re pretty much covered from Christmas Eve until after New Year’s Day.
DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW
A Google Maps for the avid wanderer, Roadtrippers serves as a kind of all-in-one travel app. The free version lets you plan routes; discover roadside attractions, scenic points, and parks; and book lodging straight from your phone. For a yearly fee, you get access to exclusive user content that was practically designed for holiday travels, including offline maps and live traffic conditions
Flights, like holiday plans, can change in an instant. While you may get a courtesy email from your chosen airline, we recommend taking a walk on the cautious side and opting for an app that tracks your flight and updates its many details. Aside from taking a pun to a new height (sorry!), App in the Air is full of other useful bits and bots, including check-in wait times and tips for locating after-hour coffee shops.
Don’t even know where to start? Whether you’re looking to travel by train or plane, Roam2rio’s got you covered. Modeled after the website of the same name, the app pulls estimated prices, journey durations, and booking details from over 5000 companies in more than 160 countries.
The “door-to-door travel information and booking engine” has been a Oui We favorite and the app version is perfect for both full-on trips and mini escapades in a new city.
We’re big-time believers in a disconnect to reconnect mentality, but we also feel strongly about not apologizing when you have to plug back in. Maybe you’re on call for work, or communicating with friends and family via an app, or perhaps you’ve simply spent too much time waiting at the airport terminal and are in dire need of some cyber distractions - whatever the reason, you deserve access to free internet and none of the stress that comes with finding it. WiFI Anywhere helps you locate and connect to WiFi hotspots around you - and even their speeds.