Winter is just around the corner, and it’s time to embrace the season and enjoy the snow. Although you might like unplugging from work and email, you won’t want to miss out on these 7 great apps when traveling:
- Trover – Try a social photo app built for travelers to share their experiences in off-the-beaten path places. You’ll find great discoveries through the eyes of a traveler. The app allows you to find the best food in Whistler thanks to a Yelp-meets-Instagram collage of yummy eats arranged by distance. Throughout your adventure, you can share your awesome photos with a community of fellow adventurers. Trover is a great option if you need inspiration, need to make a visual bucket list, or don’t want to visit the standard tourist areas. In the spirit of full disclosure, Expedia recently purchased Trover, but we wouldn’t have if we didn’t love it.
- Cairn Offline Maps – Whether you are heading on a snowshoe hike or to a new city, Cairn makes it super easy to notify family and friends of your trip plans. During your trip, safety contacts see your location in real time, and you can send prefilled messages like “I’m OK” with the touch of a button from the app or Apple Watch. If you haven’t checked in by your predetermined time, Cairn will notify contacts with your tracks and instructions on what to do. Cairn is one of the only apps where you can get free worldwide offline maps (topographic and city). Since it’s optimized for the wilderness, maps and GPS work without a data or Wi-Fi connection but also show you where to find cell coverage by carrier from crowdsourced data.
- REI National Parks – 2016 is the US National Park 100-year birthday and to celebrate REI built this app. The app is a good discovery tool for planning a National Park trip. Worried about going in the winter? Don’t! You can find information—from accessible trails to winter camping—on several US National Parks like Arches, Zion, or Joshua Tree, which all make great active vacation spots in the winter.
- Facebook Safety Check – Most people are not aware of the safety functionality in the Facebook app. The app informs you of any large-scale emergency or natural disaster in a destination you are visiting. If Facebook decides to activate the safety check, a button will appear asking if you are safe. When you check in, friends and family get to see this in your feed.
- Weather Underground – Powered by a network of 200,000+ weather stations this is one of the best hyper-local weather services for forecasts and current conditions. You can get hour-by-hour weather and precipitation summaries, monitor air quality, identify UV risk, look up ski reports, and even find out about flu outbreaks. The interface, including the Apple Watch app, is well designed and easy to read.
- SkiLynx – Imagine that your family is in Park City hitting the slopes. Your teenage daughter goes off with friends while you and your 12-year-old son speed ahead on the black diamond, leaving your spouse in the blue. SkiLynx allows you to track each person in your group and overlays your and your friends’ locations so everyone can see each other on a 3D resort map. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about dropping your phone while riding the lift because the Apple Watch allows you to send prewritten messages at the tap of a button so that you can set meeting points or ask the group which lift has the shortest lines.
- Expedia Things to Do – We’ll admit that we’re biased, but did you know you can find and book activities like dog sledding and ski lift tickets through the Expedia app? Book on the go, save time, money, and earn reward points on great winter activities. Our employee-favorite winter activities include a hot soak in the Blue Lagoon (Iceland), dog sledding in Juneau, a Zion and Bryce Canyon tour, and skiing at Steamboat.