10 Of The Best Apps For Traveling To Europe

The modern day traveler no longer needs to carry a small stack of books and complicated maps to travel around Europe. With only a few apps on your phone you can replace them all and save yourself the hassle of carting them around while maximizing your time in Europe.

1. uPackingList – Travel Organizer

uPackingList - Travel Organizer

Not everyone needs an app for helping them pack their suitcase, but for those people like me who are guaranteed to forget something important if left to their own devices, this list helps to make sure that you don’t. This app is available on both iOS and Android.

2. TripIt – Travel Planner

TripIt - Travel Planner

This app takes all of the confirmations you receive for reservations, plane and event tickets, and puts them together into one clean itinerary for you to reference. It allows you to add additional trips if you travel often as well. This app is available on both iOS and Android.

3. Google Translate

Google Translate

Google Translate translates phrases from just about any language you will come across. Though the translations are not always perfect, they are usually pretty close and just about as good as you can get. Not only will it work for written text, but it also has a voice function which will translate what you say into the local language, making it great when you don’t know the language or can’t seem to wrap your mouth around the native words! This app is available on both iOS and Android.

4. Wikitude

Wikitude

Wikitude is an augmented reality application. A user needs only to hold up their smartphone camera and the application shows various details and facts about the location. It also allows you to find locations and restaurants as well as play games through the camera program. This app is available on both iOS and Android.

5. The Lonely Planet Wifi Guide

The Lonely Planet Wifi Guide

Done in the same style as the amazing Lonely Planet books, this app gives you the kind of details about a location that you may have never known without it. Designed to help you understand and fully appreciate the places that you’re visiting, this app is great for the traveler who wants to do more than just look at pretty things, but wants to actually experience the locations they visit. This app is available on both iOS and Android.

6. Wifi Finder

Wifi Finder

These days being able to connect to wifi is essential for the modern traveler. This application is one of the essentials to keeping you sane as it locates the nearest wifi hotspots and lets you know whether they are paid or free. This app is available only on iOS. Here are more tips on finding free wifi everywhere.

7. Tipping Bird

Tipping Bird

Nearly everyone that is traveling to Europe is going to come across a situation in a restaurant or cab or some kind of establishment where they aren’t sure what the tipping etiquette is. In some places it is expected that you tip more, in others tipping is not expected at all. This application lets you know what the etiquette and amounts would be based on your location and who you would be tipping. It’s great for making sure that you’re doing the right thing. This app is available on Android.

8. MetrO & aMetro

MetrO & aMetro

These apps, one for iPhone and one for Android, are very similar and provide you with a series of maps for trains or subways in hundreds of major cities around the world. They allow you to find out when and where transportation is available from anywhere that you are. You can download them once right before you leave (to make sure you have the most updated version) and then do not need to be connected to the internet to access them again. MetrO is available for iOS and aMetro is available for Android.

9. Spotted by Locals

Spotted by Locals

Do you want to experience a location the way that the people who live there do? This application which gives you information and tips from those who actually live in the area. There is everything from restaurants to great places to hike that come from the people who are likely to know best! This app is available on both iOS and Android.

10. XE Currency

XE Currency

Useful and convenient, this application is a straightforward converter to let you know what the currency exchange in any given location is. This app is available on both iOS and Android.

These apps are among thousands designed to help you get the absolute most you can out of your trip. I feel that these are some of the coolest and most useful, but they only scratch the surface of what you may find. Post and let us know what other apps you find useful for European trips!

Michelle Fach is a travel writer with an active lifestyle blogging for Dobovo, the European travel company specializing in travel apartment rent (and covering unique destinations like Odessa or Kiev).


Top Currency Converter Apps For iPhone

People fond of traveling often face the problem of currency conversion. Of course, if you are a genius mathematician you can easily calculate how much US dollars you need to purchase 350 EUR or 2,000 RUR. However, unfortunately, not all people are like this.

Sometimes, it is very difficult to understand adequacy of prices in foreign countries. As known, in some countries prices for some categories of goods are significantly lower than in the US, for instance. Thus, you should make sure you are aware of the prices. Currency converters are available online, however, it is not too comfortable to go online each time you need to convert currencies. Luckily, there are many converting apps for smartphones, iPhones, in particular.

Now, let’s enjoy this short list of the best currency converter apps for iPhone. If you don’t have an iPhone, it is high time you get one.

Currency Converter!

If you have an iPhone and you travel a lot, you should think of getting yourself Currency Converter! By the way it is also compatible with iPod Touch and iPad, so if you are an Apple fan you’ll enjoy the application. So, what does Currency Converter boast of? First off, this is an intuitive and user friendly interface. Secondly, this is a full offline mode, in case you do not have WiFi or 3G around. Thirdly, this is the price. You can get the app at iTunes for less than $1 – $0.99.

The application supports all major currencies, so you will be well armed with information when going abroad. You will quickly get used to the app interface and conversion of various amounts will not be a big problem anymore. I will recommend this application to anyone who often needs to convert various currencies and even amateur traders.

Quid Universal Currency Converter

Quid Universal Currency Converter is a more professional application, perhaps, suitable for seasoned traders. If you want to stay informed on currency exchange rates all the time, Quid app is exactly what you are looking for. It gets info on 180 word currencies, but if this is not enough for you, go ahead and add some more currencies and their exchange rates. Customization of the application is perhaps its biggest advantage, at least for picky users. The app price is its another great advantage. It’s $0.99 at iTunes – definitely affordable, especially if you do need currency conversion pretty often.

The Currency Converter App

It is another application with the main goal to convert currencies using the latest exchange rates. The list of currencies is quite broad, however, if you need to add some more units, you are certainly welcome to do so. Again, the application is fully compatible with all Apple mobile devices. It is possible to view all currencies and their exchange rates as one list or choose one base currency and a few other currencies that interest you. For instance, you can set US dollar as a default currency and the app will convert everything the US dollars. The price remains the same – less than $1.

As a professional trader and a financial blogger, Aleksey recommends to exchange e-money and look for the best conversion rates at reliable sites. Visit the link to get more information. And good luck!


3 Apps For A Day Of Golfing In Paradise

There’s nothing like heading out on a clear sunny day for a round of nine or eighteen on the links. A pleasant breeze blows the flags just a little, touching the dewed grass just as the sun comes up over the horizon to mark a new day of golfing. Is there any pairing better than golf and good weather?

As it turns out, there is: golf and technology. Technology that makes golf not only easier and more convenient but also more fun is always in demand, and as the world becomes more mobile, so too does the world of golf spring forth into the electronic age. Believe us; once you review the kind of golfer’s technology available today, you’ll know why this is a good thing. Here are a few pieces of technology you might want to check out.

Swing by Swing

If you could pick just one application to use while golfing, what would it be? The chances are that there isn’t just one app you’d pick—you need more than one in order to keep score and to find the range of your next shot. If you can combine the two functions into one app, you’d get Swing by Swing, an Android-friendly application designed for just about everything you could possibly need when you’re already out there on the links, from tracking your distance to tracking the amount of shots you’ve already taken.

The application has been featured in sources as wide-ranging from Golf Magazine to the New York Times, establishing its popularity as one of the chief golfer applications around. In other words, there’s a good chance you won’t need another app once your Android phone is ready to run Swing by Swing.

Golf Buddy Voice

If you want something beyond the mobile sphere, then it’s time to upgrade to Golf Buddy Voice, a device that essentially acts like a caddy, giving you shot information, telling you what areas to avoid, etc. all by actually playing a voice!

The features on the Golf Buddy Voice include audio distance information (i.e., the caddy will tell you the distance of your next shot from the pin) as well as support for a wide range of greens and holes. In essence, the Golf Buddy Voice is the robot caddy you always wish you had, only this caddy also comes with a volume control for making the trip a little bit more user-friendly.

Golf Logix (iPhoneAndroid

Perhaps the most-downloaded golf app available, Golf Logix is the kind of all-in-one app that you want if you are a novice golfer and want to be sure that you have the latest and greatest. Golf Logix is particularly known for helping you to set tee times with local courses, ensuring that you don’t miss the local deals or any of the local courses. This is especially nice to have while on vacation, when you’re not sure about the golfing opportunities in the surrounding area, but can be great to use year-round for any of your golfing excursions.

Carrie Thompson, who writes for ForeUp, is an avid blogger who enjoys hiking, biking and traveling in her free time. Although Carre is not a golfer, her phone sticks close by her side for other app-related uses throughout the day.


Track All Your Online Purchases Via Slice App For iPhone

slice app for iphone

We all like to keep track of our expenditures, no matter whether we are very rich or just the middle class people. But it is very hard to keep track of all the expenses if we deal with cash and checks.

These days most of the required things of daily needs are available over the internet and we pay via debit or credit cards. Although keeping record of payments done by debit or credit cards is pretty easier than other ways but still it is very hectic for people like me who has lots of things to remember in a single day.

As money is very important asset and its proper management is very necessary so I searched for some apps that can manage and keep record of all the purchases which I do online and save them for me. I didn’t find too many results in this category but still got a really worth app.

Slice is free app available in the productivity category on the official iTunes store and it is compatible with all latest and previous Apple devices.

Slice keeps a record of all your online purchases. If you’ve ordered any product then this app will provide you notification regarding its shipping and delivery details and that too via push notifications.

It also provides notifies you whenever the price drops of any product you’re planning to buy. You can add details of all your online orders by either scanning the barcode or entering the tracking number.

It also saves and keeps record of all the payments done by me over the internet while purchasing any item or services. It keeps all the e-receipts which I can check whenever you’re free to calculate your monthly or weekly expenditure. It keeps record of all of your online transactions history so that you can easily search for the things you’ve already purchased in past.

Another great feature of this app is that when your product is shipped you can track that on the map.

Thinking of sending gift to a friend? Then try this app and using it you will be able to track the order completely.

Stephanie Johnson works for Robustbuy which is the largest China Wholesaler web store, here you can find everything from Cheap Android Cellphones to Windows smart phones and wide range of iPhone accessories, iPod, iPad, digital camera accessories and accessories for Android devices and PC.


What To Do In Bangkok

Public seen on CAT

Public seen on CAT by Prachanart

Contrary to what Hollywood movies might tell you, there’s much more to do in Bangkok than visiting the red light district. It is truly a city of culture, wonderment and some of the best dining in the world that will make for a vacation of a lifetime.

Get Spiritual

Before a night out on the town, it’s best to reflect about your past, present and future with a trip to one of the many Buddhist temples in Bangkok. Known locally as wats, one of the most famous Temples in Bangkok and the entire world is the Grand Palace. Another trek worth taking is to the Wat Kalayanamit to see Thailand’s largest indoor sitting Buddha that is almost 50 feet high.

Shopping In Siam

One of the main tourist destinations in Bangkok is the Siam shopping center. Western currency goes a long way in Bangkok, perhaps none more than at shopping centers where visitors can purchase designer clothes at a fraction of the price. Men also like the various haberdasheries where they can get tailored suits custom fit in only a day or two. Thailand locals appreciate it when visitors dress nicely and nothing says style like a form fitting suit.

See A Muay-Thai Fight

Mixed martial arts is a global phenomenon and Thailand is the birthplace to one of the world’s most popular fighting forms. Fights in Bangkok are unique because they feature a pre-fight dance ritual that honors teachers and a live band performs at the matches.

Attend A Day Festival

With all the spirituality and local tradition represented in Bangkok, there’s hardly a week that goes by when there isn’t some sort of festival in the city. Many popular events pay tribute to the Buddhist religion while others are celebrations of local music and even one strictly for vegetables. Along with festivals are various markets where consumers can find clothes, electronics, jewelery and more at bargain basement prices.

Nightlife

Remember, you’re in Bangkok so now’s the time to enjoy the nightlife and live on the edge. Enjoy a drink high above the sky at a rooftop bar and visit some of the cabarets and exotic dance clubs that have made Bangkok an Internationally renowned treasure.

The staff at Gogo Flowers in Bangkok offer tips on Bangkok on their sites blog.  You can also connect at Google + and also as for advice about flower delivery in Thailand.


The Psychology Of Traveling

The Psychology of Traveling

I know someone in Australia who is a true traveler. I don’t just mean that he loves to travel, he lives for it. All of the money he gets goes almost entirely into saving for his next trip. He will go for a year at a time, forsaking all the comforts to get there. He has backpacked through Europe and Asia, so far, and he plans on not hitting the other parts of those continents he missed the first time around before heading to do the same in North America.

All of this is absolutely incredible. Just getting out there to one country is hard enough, but he has managed to see two continents on limited funds, all within two years. Yet, back home he gets a lot of grief for it. Especially from family and friends who just don’t understand why he bothers to travel when there is so much in his life there that he should be focusing on.

He and I have spoken about this quite a lot. There has always been tension and frustration between himself and those in his life back in Brisbane. His life is supposed to be set on a specific line: a steady job, a wife, a couple of kids, a house. None of this interests him much, and they just don’t understand that. But worst, for a long time he felt as though he were doing something wrong for not wanting those things.

It all comes down to personal fulfillment. We are all fulfilled by different things, and have different goals. He has chosen his path, and there is nothing wrong with it. It just happens to differ from what others in him life decided for themselves. They don’t understand his choice because they don’t understand the psychology of the traveler.

What Drives Us

The Psychology of Traveling

Take a moment and imagine stepping off of a plane in a brand new place. You look out the wide, glass windows of the airport, gazing past the runway to the world beyond it. You turn and glance at the many people hurrying by, meeting loved ones who have just gotten back home, or scrambling to catch their own flights. It is a picture of beauty, a look into endless possibilities. That is always the feeling I get in an airport.

That sensation inevitably stretches out into the city I am in. It’s somewhere I have never been before, a whole new land. It has its’ own history and delights, culture and stories to tell. People I have never met before and might never meet again. Anything can happen, and the very idea that I am standing there is enough to make my heart pound and adrenaline pump through my entire body.

While this is a personal feeling, I have heard something similar from others who love to travel. That sense of excitement and wonder and possibility all rolled into a single moment. One that can be repeated again and again. Is it any wonder that we are so eager to run off to the next destination, see the next place?

My friend still struggles with his feelings of being strange for avoiding what people say is ‘normal’ for a man his age. I continue to tell him that there is nothing at all wrong with him. The call of travel is a strong one, impossible to resist. How could anyone think badly for him wishing to see the world in all its wonder and glory?

Jessy is the travel addict and writer for Dobovo, the free travel search engines helping you find affordable accommodation in Kiev.


Where To Buy Fun IPhone Accessories For Kids

In an age where more and more kids have access to their own mobile phone, smartphone or computer, there is a growing market for kids accessories for phones and computers alike. If your child has an iPhone, then chances are they will spend time listening to their favorite music and beats. What you need to realize here is that constant use of headphones are dangerous for adults and even more so for little kids. ZAGG offers the funkiest accessories to ensure that your child’s noise volume is safe even for their delicate ears.

 

Finally, a way to protect young ears from hearing damage

All kids love to play loud music and make noise, it’s all part of growing up. But when children have access to smartphone technology from an early age, it’s vital they don’t damage their hearing by constantly listening to their favorite songs at full blast. ZAGG offers volume limiting earbuds, volume limiting headphones and more to ensure your child enjoys their time with an iPhone without damaging their young ears.

Young kids love anything bright and noisy so funky accessories from ZAGG, for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5, make the perfect gift. ZAGG’s products don’t just personalize their experience, but they make headphones safe for kids to use without constant supervision. Kids will love bright phone cases and screen protectors to keep your phone safe from scratches, drops, maybe tantrum throws. They will love to listen to their favorite music with bright-colored ladybug or frog headphones.

 

Kids can now play on a smartphone or tablet with little supervision

When you have made the decision to purchase an iPhone for your child you should be prepared to kit it out with the best technologic up to date accessories specially designed with small hands in mind. Cover the iPhone with a screen protector and a funky, bright case, ensuring that scratches and accidents will not result in an expensive repair bill. Choose from plush toy speakers and the very best in volume limiting earphone equipment from ZAGG.com to make sure that your child listens to their phone at the volume suited for delicate ears.

 

When ordering online from ZAGG.com, your first order will include free delivery to Europe or the U.S., so take advantage of the offer by ordering a few different accessories for your child to swap and change. Most young girls love sparkly and bright accessories so choose a brightly colored drop resistant case she can decorate with her favorite colored stickers. Headphones shaped as ladybugs or frogs will be a huge hit with your kids and you can be assured that no matter how much time they spend listening, they will not damage their hearing.

All kinds of kid-friendly accessories available

If you order all your kid-friendly accessories for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 online from ZAGG.com, you will be guaranteed not just the best prices but the best quality and service too. Volume limiting headphones are vital for your child’s hearing development so never let your kids play with your headphones unsupervised; instead simply log on to ZAGG and choose from the funkiest of headphones for your kids that will make every moment they spend with their iPhone safe and fun.

Author Ben Tanner, reviewing and sharing his view on awesome Apple iPhone accessories.


7 Educational Apps For Children

As the influence of technology tightens its grip on society year on year, more questions are being raised in regards to technology and our children. Some have stated that technology could have a negative impact on the new generation. However, as these apps demonstrate, technology can teach, inspire and generate new and exciting ideas in young minds.

Monkey apps from Thup Games

Kids can follow Monkey and his friends in four, colourful interactive games: Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, Monkey Preschool: When I Grow Up, Monkey Math School Sunshine and Monkey Word School Adventure. These apps for Android include well designed, engaging characters and fun learning which includes jigsaw puzzles, counting, matching, maths and lettering. Animated stickers are a fun reward for completing tasks.

It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex!

This Android app is for older, dino-lovers. Great images and sound effects guide an inquisitive child through the prehistoric age. This app has been noted for its high-quality graphics and accurate content as its creation was overseen by palaeontologists at the Smithsonian Institute.

Cinderella: Shapes and Patterns

Kids can interact with Cinderella and other characters from the Disney movie with this educational app for iPhone and iPad. Designed for children aged 4-7, the various games help children identify shapes and create their own patterns.

My Robot Friend

This app for iPhone and iPad is designed for tech-loving school children. The all-inclusive content teaches children programming skills, logic, reasoning and problem solving over its 80 interactive levels. Kids can navigate around the app using shields, shrink rays and invisibility cloaks from their own customised robot.

Fish School

This app is perfect for pre-schoolers who are beginning to recognise letters and numbers. A variety of brightly coloured fish will keep toddlers entertained as they learn colours, letters, shapes and numbers. The colourful app was awarded gold by the Parents’ Choice Foundation.

Brush and Smudge Colouring Book

This free interactive colouring book app for iPad and iPhone will boost your child’s imagination and creativity whilst saving your walls from crayons and paint! The digital tools are easy to use and creations can be saved to a photo album at the end of an arty session.

Zoo app from ABCmouse.com

This free Zoo app from iPhone and iPad is a great way for nature enthusiasts to learn more about the animal kingdom. The environments are engaging and the animals were created by professional animators for high-quality realism alongside true animal sound effects. The app includes fun animal facts and quizzes to test your animal knowledge.

Within the app boom of recent years, plenty of clever, high-quality educational apps for children have been created to stimulate and entertain. Find out how you can connect these apps with your TV at http://visopix.com/ for a great way to learn with your child.

Jenny Booker is a freelance copywriter from London. When she’s not spending time with her nieces and nephews, Jenny’s passions include art, photography and mango sorbet.


Five Excellent Travel Destinations In Thailand You Should Visit At Least Once

Thailand - Patong beach, Pataya

Thailand – Patong beach, Pataya by melenama

For many decades, Thailand has been one of the premier Asian destinations that millions of tourists flock to all year round. This country has progressed at a remarkable rate since the 1970s and has not looked back since, especially in terms of its tourism industry. For those who have yet to come to this little piece of Asian heaven, there is a list of Thailand holiday destinations that simply must be on their itinerary.

Ko Tarutao

Ko Tarutao by Argenberg

Ko Tarutao

This spectacular location is just one of the 51 different islands that encompass the Marine Park of Tarutao archipelago in the southern region of Thailand. Among other things, this island is where some of the most pristine beaches in the world can be found, with its remote location allowing its utmost preservation. In addition, it is also a great place to watch marine wildlife up close, as it is home to tortoises, whales, monitor lizards, mouse dears, and crab-eating macaques.

For those who love to explore nature, there are a number of excellent hiking trails in Ko Tarutao where exotic waterfalls and plant life can be seen and enjoyed.

Koh Samui

Koh Samui by tk_yeoh

Koh Samui

This is among the most famous islands in Thailand with its breathtakingly fine white beaches, excellent diving sites, and highly diversified marine life. While most people go to Thailand to enjoy the clear blue waters, others are also interested in the lush greenery and wildlife, which Koh Samui has in abundance. In addition, this island does not lack in tourist entertainment as there are a number of bars and pubs in and around the area that allow for a drinking and dancing with friends and family.

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang by Distra

Chiang Mai

For tourists who are fond of shopping for clothing, shoes, accessories and souvenirs, Chiang Mai is by far the best destination in Thailand. This city is considered one of Asia’s biggest shopping hubs that house dozens of malls and hundreds of small boutiques in various nooks and crannies. Whether you are looking for high-end designer goods or great bargains, this is a great destination to visit and shop your heart out.

Krabi Province

Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, this destination is just about the best place to be during summer. Some of the diving sites in Ko Phi Phi Don, Krabi Province are among the most preserved sanctuaries that have very strict policies and rules that apply to tourists and local divers. The unspoiled beaches are also a sight to behold, not to mention the local scenery which includes outdoor yoga classes.

Public seen on CAT

Public seen on CAT by Prachanart

Bangkok

This city is among the most populous cities, but more importantly, it is where tourists can find some of the most exquisite Buddhist temples and other displays of excellent Asian architecture. Some of the finest and highest rated hotels, malls, and museums can also be found in this city, which is beginning to rival such cities as New York, Paris, London, and many other world-class locations in the world, at large.

When planning a trip to Thailand, it helps to know which places can offer the most fun and excitement. After all, vacations are all about relaxation and unwinding so you might as well make the most out of the down time.

John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand. If you are in Thailand and you need legal help, visit Interactive Thailand.


The most stylish Bluetooth speaker on the planet

Vers1Q

Wrapped in a 3″ hand-crafted wood cube, 1Q is a powerful little Bluetooth sound system that produces warm, surprisingly natural sound. Integrated Bluetooth v2.1 provides a simple wireless audio link to any smart phone, laptop or tablet device. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but can easily deliver enough sound to fill some pretty large spaces.

The Vers 1Q has plenty of supporters across the design and technology world and the project kicked off thanks to huge support via Kickstarter funding that saw the project reach 700% of its goal.

“The public response to the 1Q on Kickstarter has been simply amazing – well beyond our expectations” – David Laituri, founder of Vers and designer of 1Q.

The compact cubes are available in beech, walnut or bamboo finish; wood was deliberately chosen due to its excellent sound reproduction qualities as well as its high design value.

The cube has a 3” dimension (fits in the palm of your hand) and the sound system connects wirelessly with a phone, tablet computer or laptop via Bluetooth 2.1 to provide a fantastic solution for lovers of music and design.

The Vers 1Q Bluetooth speaker has some impressive qualities for such a small product. The wireless speaker has a 10m range and has up to 10 hours of battery life. It can be the perfect accompaniment to a BBQ or picnic.

Plug two Vers 1Q speakers together and achieve instant stereo sound.

Vers also have a very attractive approach to environmental concerns with an aim to reduce packaging as much as they can and through the use of wood as a renewable material. Vers also take a very positive approach to ensuring that the electronic components within the speaker can be easily disassembled and recycled where possible. Vers also recycle all the electronic waste that is sent to them.

You can buy the Vers 1Q at Covers and Cases in the UK or you can find a local retailer via the Vers Audio site.

Thanks to Ben for this guest post.


Budget Travel: Learning To Vacation With One Bag


Travelling on a budget means cutting costs in every way possible. Now that many airlines are choosing to charge a per bag fee for the luggage you travel with (whether you check it on or carry it one), you should be looking into ways you can trim down on your packing. Here is a budget travel guide to travelling with one bag:

Plan ahead

Before you pack, take ample time to check the weather reports and plan your itinerary. That way, you can go through your travel plans, with the weather in mind, and determine exactly what type of clothing you will need to pack in your baggage. This leaves very little room to over-pack on a “what if?” basis.

Bring the basics

If you are concerned with dressing well on your vacation, then it may be tempting to pack a variety of your most fashionable clothing pieces. However, if you are trying to pack lightly, then you should consider bringing some classic staples that you can mix and match to create different outfits, as opposed to bringing an array of matched outfits. For example, a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, a blazer, a skirt, and pair of khakis can be combined in countless ways to create a virtual wardrobe of looks out of only five pieces.

Travel size

When it comes to bathroom accoutrements, you can save a lot of space by purchasing travel sized products. Consider travel sized toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving gel, and more when packing for your one-bag trip.

Consider hotel freebies

No matter where you plan on staying, it is highly likely that your accommodations will provide a good number of your travel necessities for free–from hair care products to coffee to an iron. This means that you don’t have to pack them, and you can save that space (and money) when travelling.

Look into laundry

If you plan on vacationing for a while and care about packing lightly, then you should look into your laundry options while travelling. That way you can pack as few clothes as possible and just wash and dry them while you are away. Many hotels offer a laundry service for a fee, or provide on-site Laundromats for their patrons. If your accommodations don’t offer a laundry solution, look for a near-by Laundromat.

As you can see, there are some very basic steps you can take to pack as little as possible the next time you travel. Want to fit everything into just one bag? These suggestions can help you do just that.

About the Author: Ailene Boyken loves to travel and encourages anyone who wants to learn to travel on a budget to start now. You can save money, see the world, and experience new cultures for very little if you plan carefully!


Creativity Trend Spotlight: Designs Of The Year 2013

Liquiglide Ketchup Bottle. Designed by Dave Smith/Varanasi Research Group MIT.

Liquiglide Ketchup Bottle. Designed by Dave Smith/Varanasi Research Group MIT.

It’s that time of year again when architecture and design are celebrated at London’s Design Museum; and this time the competitive stakes are high. A diverse landscape for creative minds, 2013’s Designs of the Year Awards is already being described as a breeding ground for industry innovation. Featuring a variety of design projects, the current exhibition mix ranges from gigantic architecture works like the Shard, to developments of a more modest ambition, like the non-stick ketchup bottle submitted by MIT.

Presenting an eclectic collection of digital architecture, fashion, furniture, graphics, and transport designs; the main commonality between the categories is that they comprise of the most original and exciting prototypes and designers in the world today. And of course, the nominated 2013 Designs of the Year deliver from every angle.

Designs of the Year are a Circus of the Exceptional

A circus of the exceptional, the London Design Museum is currently home to everything from a giant cauldron, to Nike’s Flyknit Trainers, and a model of Ohio’s striking museum of contemporary art – built by London architect Farshid Moussavi. The highlights of the exhibit are endless, with various experts in the field represented to put forward content that reflects the industry as a whole – and naturally the combination is a quirky one.

This year’s winner will follow in the limelight of the London 2012 Olympic Torch; the overall victor at the last exhibition. A tough act to follow, the event is luckily about more than placement. ‘Designs of the Year’ offers a unique chance for visitors to see the direction that world of design is heading in by providing them with a snapshot of what is going on creatively across the globe.

2013 Design Trends

The trends are becoming evident too, with open-source design and DIY design emerging as strong elemental themes. The focal point of public interest remains is trained on what form the progress that this year’s creativity will take. For instance, the London Design Museum curator, Pete Collard, has said that the most significant advance since 2012’s exhibit is the “transition of 3D printing technology from its R&D phase to the home.”

Running from March 20th to July 7th, the Designs of the Year Exhibition is worth making a beeline for. An opportunity to see the designs that are destined to set the world ablaze, this is also a moment to celebrate a rare moment of original creativity, and the sheer scope of its form.

Bella Gray is a lifestyle blogger with a keen interest in international design trends. From workwear UK to the Designs of the Year Awards, Gray is your go-to-gal for all the industry’s breaking news headlines and behind-the-scenes gossip.


Tips For Using Your Smartphone When You’re On Vacation

Tips For Using Your Smartphone When You're On Vacation

Chinese New Year Smartphone by Mr. T in DC

Today’s travelers who go abroad can pack a multitude of useful tools into their smartphones. Here are tips for using your smartphone when you’re on vacation.

Getting Started

The smartphone’s maps, apps, and GPS abilities mean travelers no longer have to contend with confusing paper maps. You can plan your day’s destinations and head straight to them, even if you don’t speak the local language. However, a language or translating app such as Fodor’s Travel Phrases can make communicating your needs much simpler.

Travel Guides Made Mobile

Travel guides are another popular travel tool for the smartphone. You can purchase e-books for your favorite region or city or select among different travel guide apps. Lonely Planet has a selection of apps and e-books for iPhone and Android that you can read on your smartphone.

Tourist attractions and restaurant recommendations are easier to find with a smartphone. Quiz your fellow travelers on Facebook or Twitter or seek out Yelp for dining options abroad. Don’t forget to check the hours of operation for the places you’re visiting in case your visit coincides with a local holiday.

You can enlist your smartphone to check flight times or find public transportation information if you need to travel by rail or bus. A currency converter app is a must have, also.

When you travel with a group, you’ll want a way to keep track of everyone. Put your day’s itinerary on your calendar app and share it with your group. Collect their contact information in case anyone becomes separated from the group. If someone wants to split up for a day, check the map app for a good place to meet again later.

Your Travel Channel

Your smartphone can also act as a journal of your experiences. Use a note app to list your day’s exploits and enhance your travel diary with pictures and videos. Later, you’ll be able to share your pictures with friends and family or you can use a service to print pictures or postcards. Upload your favorite travel videos to YouTube or other sites as well.

Another way to broaden your travel experience with your smartphone is to buy examples of local music to listen to once back home. Update your blog with your dining experiences and musings on your trip, too. If a younger traveler needs a break, a game or video can provide a respite.

Staying in Touch for Less

Before you depart home, check your voice, data, and texting plans. International rates might be higher than you expect. You may find it cheaper to install a texting app or make calls with a service like Skype. Check for free local Wi-Fi at a fast food restaurant or other public location, as hotel rates for Internet access might be costly.

Schedule reminders if you need to check in with work. Account for time differences if you’ve flown to another time zone so you don’t call too early. Emailing colleagues and family is another option for keeping up without disrupting your vacation.

A smartphone can provide a lot of assistance when you’re on vacation. For your next trip, load it up with beneficial apps and enjoy your time off.

Dawn Knight is an avid travel blogger; she played around with many of these tips during her recent trip to Villas del Mar.