10 apps for a hassle-free holiday

Desktops

by Duncan MacRae| 18 July 2014

Some of the best free apps available to make the most of your vacation.

Whether travelling within your country or to the globe's most exotic locations, most travellers will experience some frustrating roadblocks. While technology can't solve all of your problems, it can certainly make your life on the go a lot more worry-free. You no longer have to worry about booking tickets, hotels, and more - Opera Software is here to help make your vacation easier with a few free apps that won't add any extra weight to your carry-on.

The following apps are available for free on either the App Store or Google Play.


1. Sunscreen

Yes, there's now an app that can help you avoid crisping up under the summer sun. Sunscreen will detect the ultraviolet index rating of your current location and set a countdown timer to alert you when you're due to put on more sunblock. All you need to do is put in your skin type and the sun protection factor (SPF) of the lotion you're using, then set it and forget it.

2. Spotted by Locals
Spotted by Locals is a series of mobile city guides with up-to-date insider tips by city-loving locals. You'll get a comprehensive list of the best shops, restaurants, bars, points of interest and more that you would only know about if you lived in that city. Each guide can be downloaded for reading offline.

3. Opera Mini

Need to quickly check something on the internet but are scared of roaming fees? The Opera Mini browser uses compression technology to shrink down webpages to as little as 10% of their original size. This means the site you want to access will load faster and cost less, since you'll use much less data to open it. This is also super useful for speeding up crowded Wi-Fi connections or getting online when you have poor internet reception. When on the go, Opera Mini will be the perfect companion for your phone!

4. Couchsurfing

If you want to live like a local during your trip, Couchsurfing makes that possible. If you're looking for a place to stay, the app lets you find a host in any country on Earth. This global community has over 8 million travel buffs in 120,000 cities. With Couchsurfing hosted events, you can meet up with travelers and locals alike, maybe even learn a new language or explore a different cuisine.

5. Word Lens

Free for a limited time, this app is mind blowing - simply use Word Lens to instantly translate printed words in real time, using your built-in camera. Having trouble deciphering a menu in a foreign country? Can't quite figure out a road sign? The app can translate from English, Spanish, German, French, Russian, Italian or Portuguese instantly.

6. Opera Max

Opera Max is a data-savings app that shrinks videos and photos on almost any app on your phone. It can extend your data plan up to 50% for free. Opera Max summarizes your phone's activity to tell you which apps hog your data and how much you've saved. You can set Opera Max to remind you when you are roaming, so that you set apps to using Wi-Fi only. This prevents them from using any expensive data.

7. Heyday

If you have trouble organising all your pictures from vacation, or even remembering some of your favorite moments from the trip, Heyday is the app for you. This automatic journal keeps track of your locations and the photos you take along the way. Add a few of your written thoughts and Heyday automatically combines it all into an effortless journal that you'll love viewing and sharing time and time again.

8. TripCase

TripCase guides you through every stage of your trip, making you the savviest traveler out there. You can input your hotel, flight, train, rental car, or any other travel information into the simple interface and it will automatically be organized for you. You can then view your trip in an itinerary view, where each step of your trip will be laid out in front of you.

9. Rates

While there are a million and one currency conversion apps, Rates is designed with simplicity, usability, and beauty in mind - and it works offline. Supporting 150-plus currencies, simply swipe side to side in the app to access menus, add and remove currencies, and more. You can also reorder, delete, and add currencies within the app whenever you'd like.

10. Uber

For getting around town, Uber has you covered in more than 100 cities and 30 countries. Request a ride using the app and get picked up within minutes. On-demand service means no reservations required and no waiting in taxi lines. You can even compare rates for different vehicles and get fare quotes within the app. Using PayPal or adding a credit card to your account means never needing cash on hand. Sit back, relax, and go anywhere you want.

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