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Top Travel Apps for Solo Travelers

Top Travel Apps for Solo Travelers

The all-inclusive type of travel which you buy from a tour operator is a cool thing – you have everything planned and ordered for you. Basically, all you need to do is relax and enjoy all the activities you are offered. But, every tourist knows that you will only feel (and become) a real traveler when you go somewhere on your own and plan everything by yourself, and everything usually includes your tickets, dwelling, eating, and sightseeing.

Those who do it on their own at least once get hooked immediately, promising to never buy a premade tour again. Are you ready for the risk of becoming a travel junkie? If so, read on about the best apps for successful solo travel.

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Hopper

If you want to save some cash on airfare (well, who doesn’t?), be sure to install Hopper. Its mechanism is simple – it analyzes billions of airfares and companies on the daily basis, catching the optimal time for buying your tickets to basically anywhere. Have a specific flight destination? Use the “Watch a Flight” option to catch the lowest price for it.
If you don’t have a specific date for your travel, there is a color-coded calendar of Hopper you will definitely enjoy – it shows the cheapest dates of the month.

Travel List

Even those who are not newbies to packing for a trip forget essentials from time to time. And, if you are not one of those people who only travel with their ID, phone charger, and credit card, buying everything on the go, Travel List will be pretty helpful here. There are calendar features and reminders for the stuff you pack last-minute – ensuring you have everything for a comfortable trip.

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Airbnb

If you’re looking to find a site with more listings than Airbnb does, you will have some serious troubles. Airbnb has more than 1 million offerings to choose from, and you can literally find whatever you want or need – vans, castles, a bed in someone’s apartment, or a whole guesthouse for your own use. It’s not quite as simple as booking a hotel, but you will definitely have a much more personal experience in your search.

Foodspotting

Getting to your destination is the half of the task – you still have to eat something in order to stay alive and full of strength for sightseeing. Foodspotting will help you find any food in local restaurants – literally any food. There’s absolutely no need to head for McDonalds. Try the local food instead (if you are somewhere exotic) – just be mindful of sanitation and understand that having stomach troubles while traveling is somewhat expected!

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Google Translate

As simple as it is, if you travel somewhere that they don’t really understand your language, the “conversation mode” of Google Translate’s app can make your interactions with locals much more understandable. Be sure to adjust the lag time and prepare for some silly translations. Throwing in some hand gestures can make for a perfect communication strategy.

TripIt

This small and handy app will be indispensable for those who don’t want to get lost in all the confirmations and itinerary details. The TripIt app will scan all your letters and convert the info drawn from there into a simple and convenient trip itinerary that connects to your calendar.

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TripAdvisor

For those who don’t want to have unpleasant surprises along the way, TripAdvisor will be a huge help in choosing everything from hotels and hostels to bars and other places. The app gives you ranks and reviews from other travelers who’ve already been to where you plan to go. These will help you to make the right choices. They also have an offline city guide to use – this does not require an internet connection and you will know everything you need, no matter where you go.

Localeur

This sightseeing app is a good companion to the previous app, and here is why: there are plenty of popular and famous sights that distract people from truly unique and authentic places. If you want to feel what locals feel, use Localeur and you will get tips from those who really know it all. The list of cities available is growing every day.

CityMaps2Go

Navigation troubles will not bother you with this one. Having maps for the top travel cities, like New York, Paris, Rome, Berlin, and others, allows you to pin all your locations and sights into a personal route. There is an offline options for those who hate running around the city looking for a decent WiFi signal.

Featured photo credit: The lone traveler/ Noelle Buske via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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