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20 Top Travel Apps and Tools

20 Top Travel Apps and Tools

In today’s tech age, it really pays to employ every tech tidbit available that may work in your favor. Today, the answer to every problem can be solved with this solution: “We’ve got an app for that!” Navigating the global unknowns is no exception to this rule. Traveling is always fun, but reducing the stresses through some good app choices can go a long way toward having the trip of a lifetime. After all, who doesn’t want to spend less time managing messes and more time making memories?

Apps To Be In the Know:

1) Packing Pro

If you’re like me, you hate to pack, and with airline restrictions on weight and number of bags, deciding what to bring certainly hasn’t gotten easier. Therefore, it helps to have an app that makes this necessity a bit easier. Packing Pro can help you create a list of what to pack from scratch. Or, if you suffer from packers block, you can use a set packing template with categories for men, women, business trips, camping, and more. You can also create a collection of reminders to include things you often forget, such as socks or the often-abandoned phone charger. This app also reminds you to lock up valuables and buy travel insurance, which is a nice safety net should the unthinkable happen.

($2.99 for iPhone/iPad)

2) Mint

When you finally decide on your dream vacation, you need to have a plan to fund it. Mint can help you create a budget to set aside money for travel and also help you track your spending while you see the world. Mint is also synonymous with privacy protection. Money can’t be moved within the app and your data is protected by banking-level encryption.

(Free for Android and iPhone/iPad)

Apps To Be a Travel Pro:

3) FlightTrack Pro

Airline apps are always a good investment, as staying updated on the fluid status of flight times and seat assignments is critical to maximize your travel effectiveness. FlightTrack Pro gives you airport terminal maps, gate numbers, and updated flight times so you always have the most current status on your airline adventure. This trusty app even looks at past historical data and can forecast delays for certain flight plans. It also utilizes SeatGuru’s seat charts to show you the best seats for leg room and amenities.

($9.99 for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad)

4) Lookout Mobile Security

Are you worried about losing your Android phone or your information on it? Then this app will give you the peace of mind you seek. Lookout regularly backs up the data on your phone and allows you access to it from the web. This little security gem also scans for malware to protect your data. And, in case you lose it, you can access an online tracking feature to find it quickly. Should your phone fall into the wrong hands, using the premium version ($2.99), you can remotely wipe your phone clean of all information to ensure your private data is kept safe.

(Free for Android.)

5) TripIt

This is the organizer’s dream app! Forget dealing with messy itineraries, slips of paper everywhere, and random facts all smashed into your pockets. TripIt lets you put everything for your trip—hotels information, confirmation numbers, car rentals, dinner reservations, daily excursions, and flight information—in one convenient place. You can also access it online or export it to your calendar to help plan day-to-day activities.

(Free for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone/iPad)

6) Kayak

Kayak is a way to put together multiple scenarios for your trip and chose the best one for your budget and preferences. You can easily filter through different price points from multiple airlines and companies and book hotel rooms, flights, and car rentals all in one place to craft your ideal getaway. You are also be notified of price changes on flights you are considering. Kayak makes hotel selection more easy by providing descriptions, reviews, rates, and photos while directing you to the best site to book your stay.

(Free for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad, and Window)

7) Spotify

Need some tunes to stay entertained on the plane? This great music-streaming app allows you to create playlists for a database sporting 15 million songs. You can download your music to your phone to save for times you are offline for some in-flight entertainment. You can either pay a $10-per-month subscription fee or simply purchase track lists to your computer individually.

(Free; for Android, iPhone/iPad, Palm and Windows.)

8) Kindle

Need some reading material while you fly the friendly skies? You don’t need to waste precious carry-on space with bulky books. Now, you can read any book from your PC from the e-book marketplace. To make your reading experience more personalized, you can highlight, change font size, page color, orientation, bookmark and look up definitions. This is a great app to bring an amazing e-book library right to your fingertips.

(Free for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone/iPad)

9) Angry Birds

If you have an addictive personality, this game can pull you in quickly. While blocking out the outside world for one of birds with anger management bent on rescuing their eggs before they become omelettes may not be the most productive use of vacation time, this is a great app to keep you sane if you get stuck waiting in line or on the tarmac. You really can kill two birds with one stone, or in this case, several piggies with one bird.

(Free for Android and iPhone/iPad)

Apps to Use On the Go:

10) WhatsApp Messenger

Do you want to stay in contact with friends by text, but have worries about roaming charges? This app eliminates the uncertainty. You can text your friends for free as long as you have a WiFi or 3G connection. You also don’t have to remember phone numbers, since WhatsApp uses your address book to locate your friends easily. (99¢ for Android, Blackberry and iPhone)

11) Skype

Skype is a great tool for calling people, especially when outside the US, since you can talk and text through Skype accounts for free through WiFi or 3G. If you need to call a cell or land line phone, you can make calls for a very low long-distance rate through Skype’s credit program.

(Free for Android, Blackberry and iPhone/iPad)

12) Vocre

You don’t have to travel far in the world to learn that English isn’t often the mother tongue. This app helps you to communicate with locals and translate your thoughts into their own language. Simply choose from English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish, speak into the mic, and then turn your phone to your new friend and the app will say and write your message so they can understand you.

($4.99 for iPhone)

13) Google Translate

Another great translation app is Google Translate—an app that allows you to translate 58 languages in a very easy-to-use format. You can type or speak the phrases you want to translate and then, with a touch of a button, the language barrier becomes a non-issue.

(Free for Android and iPhone/iPad)

14) Word Lens

Confused by signs and menus in a foreign language? This app helps you figure out if you ordered snails or haggis, or if you are driving the wrong way down a one-way street. Simply take a picture of the printed unknown signage (handwriting won’t work), and translate the text immediately.

(Free to download, but $9.99 to purchase a translation pack for iPhone)

15) Help Call

While no one wants to think about encountering an emergency, it is always good to be prepared. This app locates your global position and then gives you access to local ambulances, police, and fire stations in 126 countries. If you are unable to see to dial the numbers, it even offers the option to shake the phone to make a life-saving call.

(99¢ for iPhone)

16) Pocket First Aid & CPR from American Heart Association

I’m sure you aren’t expecting catastrophe, but emergencies are rarely scheduled events. This app offers step-by-step life-saving information, with images and videos, on how to assist in medical situations. You can also create a personal medical profile with medications, insurance information, and emergency contacts. You even have the option to add it to your phone as wall paper so first responders can easily see it.

($3.99 for Android and iPhone/iPad)

17) Oanda Currency Converter

Confused by exchange rates? If you are tired of doing conversion equations in your head, let this app solve your math headaches. The tool is up-to-date with more than 190 currencies and four metals. You can also enter bank rates easily.

(Free for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad and Windows)

18) TripAdvisor

Become a globe trotter with the inside scoop with this handy app that compiles hotels, flights, restaurants, and points of interest in ratings, reviews, and recommendations. Read real feedback from previous travelers, scan through photos, create your own experience, and then let your voice be heard for future followers to benefit. You can also book restaurant reservations through a partner app called OpenTable.

(Free for Android, iPhone/iPad, Palm and Windows)

19) OpenTable

Wondering where to go for dinner? This handy app allows you to search restaurants by location or name, filter results by price and cuisine, enter your diner party size, and reserve a table. You can also cancel reservations through the app if plans change.

(Free for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad and Windows)

20) Instagram

If you don’t want to drag along a bulky camera, Instagram for iPhone (or Lightbox for Android) makes your smart-phone pics look like you had a photojournalist document your trip. You can also play with filters to jazz up your pictures, and then upload them to sharing sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

(Free for iPhone/iPad)

More by this author

Sarah Hansen

A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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Published on November 9, 2018

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

So, are you ready? Here we begin.

6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

1. Spreadsheets and Databases

Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Access
  • Statistics
  • Data Analytics
  • Adobe Campaign
  • Quickbooks
  • XML Database management system
  • Filemaker Pro
  • MATLAB
  • Hive
  • FORTRAN
  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
  • SAS

2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Google Analytics
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Email Marketing
  • Web Page Design
  • WordPress
  • Digital Media
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Campaign Management Software

3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • AutoCAD
  • CorelDRAW
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Maya
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Operating Digital Cameras

4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

  • HTML
  • C/C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • XML
  • UI/UX
  • LINUX
  • CISC and RISC architecture
  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
  • Memory Management
  • PCB Layout
  • SQL

5. IT Troubleshooting

Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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  • Backup management
  • Diagnostics
  • End User support
  • Client-Server management
  • Installation and configuration
  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
  • System administration
  • Tech support

6. Enterprise Systems

Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

2. Rule the Social Media World

a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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4. Live and Breathe Creativity

a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

b. Canva Design School

From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

2. Work on Your Efficiency

Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

3. Look for Shortcuts

Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

4. Apply for an Internship

Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

The Bottom Line

Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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