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20 Top Travel Apps and Tools

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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)

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Last Updated on November 25, 2021

How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

    What Does Private Browsing Do?

    When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

    For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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    The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

    The Terminal Archive

    While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

    Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

    dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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    Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

    Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

    However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

    Clearing Your Tracks

    Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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    dscacheutil -flushcache

    As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

    Other Browsers and Private Browsing

    Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

    If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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    As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

    Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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