We snapped this quick iPhone photo right before we headed home after an epic fall empty nester getaway at Walt Disney World. If you go to Walt Disney World, downloading and using the My Disney Experience app is critical! It’s how you do everything — from making dining reservations to booking FastPasses for the rides. Did you know that travel is the number one thing people say they are looking forward to in the empty nest? We’ve loved traveling more in the empty nest — from accompanying my husband on business trips or going on little weekend getaways to epic anniversary trips and little jaunts to our island condo in Florida, the opportunity to travel more is something I’ve really enjoyed the past few years.
We’re so blessed to live in a time when there is so much helpful information right at our fingertips! When we travel, that’s even truer! There are travel apps that can keep you out of high crime areas in a strange city, help you adjust to an unexpected layover, and lots more. While everyone is familiar with good old Expedia, Travelocity, and GasBuddy, today, I’m sharing a few of our less obvious faves! I’m also giving you a good look at this adorable sequin flamingo tee. It’s been such a fun addition to my fall wardrobe!
This app can help you survive an unexpected layover! With information on over 3,000 airports, it can help you navigate terminals, keep track of your flight status, and provide discounted access to more than 300 airport lounges. In addition, it can help you find exclusive discounted offers at nearby restaurants, cafés, and shops. Once you get where you’re going, it can help you calculate the least expensive way to reach your hotel, direct you to shuttle bus stations and taxi stands, and even provide discounted reserve parking at more than 50 locations.
This one’s an empty nester must-have! This powerhouse app is like Expedia, Travelocity, and Kayak on steroids!!! It lets you search and compare discount prices for flights, car rentals, and hotels with no fees. The best thing for empty nesters? If you’re not sure where to go on your next getaway and you’re on a budget (who isn’t?!), select “Everywhere” as your destination in the search engine. It will let you browse cheap flights to places all around the world as well as the best deals from your home airport via the Top Deals feature.
I’ve tried a couple, but I think Citymapper is the best app to help you navigate public transportation in various cities. It provides real-time departure times for buses, trams, and subway systems as well as bike routing and bike share info. It can even integrate with Uber! Coverage includes most major U.S. cities as well as many large international cities.
CRIME AND PLACE (“Lite” version $.99 + in-app purchases; full version $14.99 + in-app purchases)
Okay, I haven’t downloaded this one but Bob is dying to because he loves anything to do with true crime! (I know, my mild-mannered husband! Who knew, right?) This app uses the FBI’s Crime Reporting database and the U.S. census to map crime statistics nationwide. Its main feature is a compass that directs you out of harm’s way (or at least the likelihood of harm’s way) by using GPS to warn you when you’re “entering a high crime area.”
This super fun app helps you find all of those quirky little attractions and oddities that you otherwise would miss on your road trips. You plot your route in the app or directly on their website and the app provides you with an extensive list of epic side-trip suggestions based on your interests.
When it comes to learning the culture of an area where you are traveling, this exhaustively researched app is probably the only one you need! It was developed by the Air Force to help officers acclimate overseas, and it focuses on etiquette, traditions, and politics, with categories like Personal Space & Eye Contact, Conversational Topics, and Dining Customs. I haven’t used it yet, but we’re heading to Greece and Italy next year and you bet we’ll be deep diving into this app before we go!
BINAURAL (Free + in-app purchases)
This app drowns out noisy hotel sounds and eliminates the need for packing a separate white noise machine. It generates sound waves designed to help you boost concentration, relaxation, and sleep.
GOOGLE TRANSLATE (Free)
In addition to translating text in 103 languages, this app lets you take photos of signs and converts those images into translated text in 37 languages! It also translates two-way bilingual conversations in 32 languages.
THE INFATUATION (Free)
Forget YELP! This restaurant recommendation app bought Zagat earlier this year, and it rates restaurants in 31 major U.S. and international cities from a more reliable editorial perspective. It uses GPS to pinpoint your location and give you nearby recommendations.
GLOBETIPS (Free + in-app purchases)
Did you know that Americans are known for their tendency to overtip abroad? This app will help you avoid that by cataloging tipping practices in more than 200 countries and regions and providing an atlas to learn the local tipping norms. It even features a built-in receipt scanner that will check your phone’s GPS before pulling local gratuity customs into its calculator.
I get so many compliments when I wear this darling sequin flamingo tee! I paired it with black ankle pants and shoes for this photo shoot, but when we got into good lighting, I realized that, although the flamingo’s legs are black, the stripes on the shirt are actually dark navy! (Hahahahaha!) After I shared my embarrassing “mistake” on Instagram, several of my followers said they didn’t consider it a “mistake” at all, and the navy and black looked great together. So sweet! Any-hoo…just so you know, the stripes are navy! 🙂
Do you have any travel apps you love? Please share them with me in the comments below! Also, because I’m nosy, I’d love to know if you’ve gone on an empty nester fall getaway this year, and if so, where you went! If you’re still looking for ideas on where to go, then you need to join me for a very special Facebook Live on Empty Nest Blessed Facebook Page this coming Wednesday night (10/10) at 8 p.m. CST. I’ll be talking with Suzanne Stavert, the empty nester and travel blogger who runs a travel blog geared toward (You guessed it!) EMPTY NESTERS!!! You’ll want to check out AdventuresofEmptyNesters.com before our Facebook Live, and then tune in to hear our conversation. We’ll be talking everything from starting a business as an empty nester to (You guessed it!) travel recommendations for empty nester getaways and even multi-generational travel. If you’re not sure how to watch a Facebook Live event, don’t worry! I’ll be sending detailed instructions on how to do it to everyone on my email list on Wednesday afternoon. (So if you haven’t signed up for the Empty Nest Blessed email list, you might want to consider it!)
All photos except the top one, by Megan Weaver. Top one by Bob. (Hahahaha!)