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Taking a Road Trip? 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey

Taking a Road Trip? 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey

Modern technology has completely revolutionized the way we travel. Can you remember the last time you printed driving directions, stopped at an information center for a local map, or called a travel agent? We’ve grown accustomed to the many benefits of technology to the point where we can’t imagine traveling without it.

In recent years, the rise of mobile devices has completely revolutionized the travel industry yet again.

These days, we spend almost as much time getting our phones ready as we do preparing for the trip itself. We delete photos to free space, spend hours crafting music playlists, download our favorite apps, check our data usage, and more. Unfortunately, much of the exciting content and data that is collected on mobile is confined to mobile. Your check-ins, restaurant reviews, swipes, scrolls, favorites — these are often exclusive to the medium on which they happen: mobile apps. While some things occasionally get transferred to desktop, most of your content never leaves the mobile platform on which it was created.

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This means there is a hidden world of mobile-content that will never be surfaced. Mobile tech company Branch seeks to tackle this. They build tools that search unique mobile content, making it easier to discover and share information that would otherwise be forever lost in the mobile abyss. Through their app content discovery engine, we’ve uncovered new and engaging content from various travel apps that transcend the options traditionally limited to the desktop or conventional search engine.

In light of the holidays, we compiled 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey. Why are they secret? The pieces of content on this list would have typically been challenging to find over the web, but were easily unearthed using Branch’s various app discovery tools. Follow our cross-country journey through curated pieces of content that were previously hidden inside mobile apps to make your next trip more memorable.

Note: Highly recommended that you view this article on your mobile phone for an optimal reading experience.

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mobile travel apps

    1. Start Your Trip

    Once you’ve selected your starting and ending destinations, you’ll need a little help connecting the dots. The app Roadtrippers offers city guides for your stops along the way. Roadtrippers integrates travel preferences like fuel-cost and personal interests to create a custom starter map like this.

    While starting out in San Francisco, we pulled up Headout to see recent, highly booked events and tours. We saw that Beach Blanket Babylon was booked 11 times in the last 3 hours, and decided to check it out for ourselves. Headout offers real-time updates so even as a tourist, you don’t miss out on the latest events around you.

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    2. Crowdsource Recommendations from Locals

    Driving through Salt Lake City, we consulted Localeur, an app that crowdsources recommendations exclusively from locals. We searched for dinner recommendations through Utahan Caroline’s list, and we appreciated that her list was devoid of the tourist traps that fill other commercialized travel guides.

    Mobile-Travel-Apps

      3. Browse Local Rentals

      On our way through the south, we decided to stop and get a convenient, yet comfortable, rental through Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) in one of the most popular rental areas in their app, the Texas Gulf coast. Options varied from a luxury oceanfront beach house to a cozy seaside cottage perfect for the family.

      4. Plan Your Stay with Your Host

      On day 10 of our road trip, we drove through Atlanta where we found a top trending place on Airbnb’s app, a Secluded Intown Treehouse. With Airbnb, you can make reservations and communicate with hosts straight from their mobile app.

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      5. Browse Trending Adventures

      According to a popular article from the Culture Trip app, our next stop, Charleston, is popularly regarded as one of the 10 most beautiful cities in the US. The app finds trending places and fun adventures around the world.

      Mobile-Travel-Apps-2

        6. Find Truly Local Experiences

        When our 3,500 mile road trip came to a halt in New York City, we pulled up Facet, an app that shows hyper-local inspirational travel videos from adventurers like us. We discovered an off-the-beaten-path art gallery, our new favorite bakery, and if you’re up for a truly local experience, check out one of the popular dive bars from Localeur. NYC offers something for every type of traveler.

        7. Book Easy Flights

        Finally, if you are tired of driving after traversing the entire country, you can use Hopper to book a flight back from NYC to SF, one of their most popular routes.

        (As for your car, we haven’t quite figured out how to transport that along with you, but we’re sure there’s an app for that.)

        Featured photo credit: Canva via shutterstock.com

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        Shannon Wu

        Founder, Mr.Progress

        mobile-travel-apps Taking a Road Trip? 7 Secret Mobile Hacks to Guide Your Next Journey 9 Traits Early Startups Should Look For in a Marketing Hire 5 Email Marketing Hacks to Triple Your Response Rate

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        Last Updated on July 29, 2020

        19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

        19 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

        Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

        There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

        This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day:

        1. Todoist

          Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

          Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

          If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

          Download: Todoist

          2. 1Password

            You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

            1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

            You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

            Download: 1Password

            3. Bear

              Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

              It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

              Download: Bear

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              4. Hazel

                Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                Download: noodlesoft

                5. Alfred

                  Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                  For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                  It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                  Download: Alfred

                  6. TextExpander

                    TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                    For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                    An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                    Download: TextExpander

                    7. Backblaze

                      If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                      Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                      Download: Backblaze

                      8. Keyboard Maestro

                        Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                        Download: Keyboard Maestro

                        9. Snagit

                          There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                          Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                          10. Bartender

                            Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                            If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                            Download: Bartender

                            11. Otter

                            Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                            Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                            Download: Otter

                            12. Flux

                              Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                              Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

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                              Download: Flux

                              13. PDFpen

                              If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                              PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                              Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                              14. OmniFocus

                                OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                Download: OmniFocus

                                15. Franz

                                  It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                  Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                  Download: Franz

                                  16. MindNode

                                    If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                    The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                    Download: MindNode

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                                    17. Focus

                                      The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

                                      This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                      Download: Focus

                                      18. CleanMyMac

                                        Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                        Download: CleanMyMac

                                        19. Grammarly

                                          A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                          This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                          A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                          Download: Grammarly

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                          Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                          More to Boost Productivity

                                          Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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