By now we all know there’s not only an app for everything, but when it comes to travel – there is a whole world of apps out there to enhance your experience! While we’ve covered so many here on this blog, there’s always room for more. Here are some great apps to consider for your next trip.
If you love a good tour guide when traveling somewhere new, this is an app you probably won’t be able to live without once you download it. HearPlanet tells you what attractions are nearby and then plays the Wikipedia description aloud.
Called “a dream come true for mobile workers” by Macworld, this app is something special. This app is great for anyone who finds themselves constantly downloading docs abroad, and spending lots of money to do so. Air Sharing lets you save HTML Web pages, PDFs, text files, you name it, for off-line perusal anytime, anywhere.
If you sharing, and want your friends to know exactly where you are in the world, IAmHere will do that for you. This application use GPS and Wifi to acquire the location, or use map to have you set the location.
Customs differ from one city to another so just picture the distinctions between one country to another. This app shares useful tips and information on the culture and lifestyle of over 165 countries. The app dispenses international dos and don’ts, one for every day. If you travel a great deal, for business or pleasure, this all will be an amazingly informative friend.
International data rates can be awfully expensive, so finding Wi-Fi is absolutely crucial, especially if you Skype while abroad. Wi-Fi Finder tracks over 145,000 hotspots in 135 countries.
As 2012 officially wraps up, we wanted to take a moment to thank all of our loyal fans for supporting Mobiata, a brand and team we are very proud to be a part of! This year, we joined the world of Tumblr, and we’ve loved getting the opportunity to share all things travel, as well as getting to follow so many other great travel bloggers.
We wanted to round up some of our favorite Mobiata posts from this year, ranging from great travel apps we couldn’t live without, to how to pack your sports equipment. Take a look back on some of our favorite posts from this year…
Great Apps for Business Travelers
Heading on your next business trip soon? Here are some great apps to help along the way. From packing and dining to navigating subways and language, these apps will certainly make your trip easier and more enjoyable!
Virtual Carry-On: Tips to Overcome Travel Anxiety
When it comes to travel, especially air-travel, it is very common for many to feel anxiety. While some people get a little bundle of nerves as they’re about to embark on a long flight, others find themselves completely paralyzed with fear. Even if you suffer from travel anxiety and are getting on a plane this holiday season, you still can enjoy your travels! Here’s some great advice from BoardingArea.com on how to deal with these emotions.
Food for Flight: Getting ready to fly? Eat This, Not That!
You’re headed to the airport in a few hours, and plan on just grabbing something to eat before you board the plane. Hold on! There are a few things you should know about what you put into your stomach before and during your flight. Here are some tips and suggestions on the best things to eat while traveling, and those you could do without!
When checking out a new city for the first time, many want to discover all of the unique restaurants, shopping and museums it has to offer. When you’ve got a passion, though, such as books – you just might want to check out the book stores in the area too. We’re not talking about your run of the mill Barnes and Noble, we’re talking about these one-of-a-kind, funky, independent bookstores that give a city charm and have a great story behind their start. Each interesting and special in their own way, we’ve rounded up a few of the coolest book stores in America.
When traveling, it’s easy to remember the important stuff to pack: the right clothes, enough underwear, your toothbrush and medications. But there are all those other things that are often forgotten, debated and left at home, or not even considered all along. Here are a few items that we consider to be some of the most important of all. Next time you’re packing for a trip (big or small), add these to your list.
Whether you’re quite the athlete or someone who just loves a certain sport, it’s not unlikely that you’ll be traveling with sporting equipment at some point on your life, be it for a business trip or vacation. If you’re planning to golf, ski or play baseball while away, there’s certain equipment of your own you may want to bring with you. What’s important to note is that there are restrictions are on certain items. Regardless of the size or type of equipment, you should make a point to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations so you don’t run into any problems at the airport.
The great thing about a vacation is that it allows us to take a step back from our everyday lives and really experience something special. For many of us, the opportunity to do some good while we’re away from home enhances our vacation that much more. If you’re looking to go on a trip where you can also help out the environment, rest assure that there are many options out there for you! The Daily Green rounded up a great list of fifteen eco-friendly volunteer vacations, perfect for the traveler looking to walk away with a valuable volunteer experience while away. Below are just a few of the fantastic opportunities available, click here for the full list!
Protect sea turtles while patrolling Costa Rican beaches.
Each year the endangered leatherback, green and hawksbill turtles come to the beaches of Parismina, Costa Rica to nest. Unfortunately, poachers also frequent those beaches. It was with these turtles in mind that the Asociacion Salvemos Las Tortugas De Parismina (ASTOP) was started. The agency was founded by local residents who patrolled the beaches at night to stop poachers and protect sea turtles during their nighttime nesting routine. Volunteers can patrol the beaches while also collecting data on these amazing creatures.
Make the desert bloom in Israel.
Deep in the heart of the Israeli desert lies one of the greenest places you could volunteer, Kibbutz Lotan. This low-impact organization boasts composting (no water) toilets, a passive cooling system and shared gray-water systems, to help conserve water. As a volunteer you’ll help with organic gardening, creative recycling projects for visitors (shown here) and construction needs around the kibbutz (in fact, you’ll stay in a straw-bale and mud geodesic dome campus that was created by previous volunteers) among other projects.
Explore old Europe in a new way.
Maintaining ancient forests in England, protecting wetlands in Germany, building nests on the Black Sea in Bulgaria: These are not your typical European vacation activities. But each promises an unforgettable experience. Toss out your travel guidebooks and explore a foreign country while helping to protect it with a BTCV Conservation Holiday. (That acronym used to stand for British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, but now they simply go by BTCV.) The organization offers conservation holidays around the world but focuses mainly in the U.K. and other parts of Europe.
Explore the Rockies on the Colorado Trail.
The Colorado Trail was built by volunteers, back in the mid-1980s, and each summer volunteer groups organized by the Colorado Trail Foundation set out to remove downed trees, fix signs and markers, educate trail users and generally keep the trails open for everyone to use. Volunteer vacationers camp out in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, cooking, eating and working together.
We love the idea of a trip that gives back. Have you ever been on one? Tell us about it! Leave a comment on this post, or connect with Mobiata on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or find us on Instagram @Mobiata!
2012 was a big year for us here at Mobiata, and one of the exciting things we started to get involved in was Instagram. Naturally being a lover of photography and travel, Instagram has become such a fun way to share our favorite pictures, and also an awesome tool to follow others. Below are 7 of our absolute favorites that we’ve posted this year!
Bike riding in Amsterdam
Beautiful sky view from flight
Aerial shot in Toronto, Canada
Just another busy day in Times Square
A slice of paradise in West Palm Beach
The busy city of Munich, Germany during Oktoberfest
A fantastic view from right below the Eiffel Tower
Heading off on an adventure sometime soon? Maybe it’s your first journey abroad. The thought of packing (and figuring out what to pack) can be quite daunting. And for some reason, whenever people are packing, they suddenly feel the need to bring items they never even use in the first place, because, what if?
We get it, it’s confusing! While there is no one right or wrong way, we can definitely help shed some light on how to pack realistically.
If you don’t use it at home, don’t pack it
While you literally may be traveling across the world, it doesn’t mean the everyday items you will be wearing and using will end up being all that different. It’s a classic mistake first-timers going abroad make, and one even seasoned travelers find themselves making. Of course you’ll need to pack accordingly based on the weather and climate, as well as any extra items you’ll need for specific things you’ll be doing there (ski goggles, bathing suit) – but there’s no need to pack anything that you have to spend too much time debating. Leave it at home, you won’t miss it!
Buy things when you get there
All those little things can start to add up, making your bag heavier and taking up unnecessary space. Lotions, shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays – you can pick up that stuff once you arrive. You might even end up discovering a new brand you love at a great price if you’re abroad. Plus, traveling with those items can get sticky…literally. If you’ve ever had a shampoo bottle explode, you know what we’re talking about.
Use storage bags
Packing cubes, mesh storage bags, whatever you prefer – but these guys are a great way to keep yourself organized when you’re packing a variety of clothing attire for different destinations and itineraries. This way, what makes sense to be together, stays together, and you don’t end up with a big jumble of clothes in a ball.
If you can go with a smaller version of something, do so! From blow dryers and make-up bags (pack the make-up you actually wear!) to flashlights and umbrellas, if you can get a smaller version or own one – most definitely bring it. There’s nothing worse than lugging around heavy bags from one place to the next, and the smaller your items are – the less cluttered your hotel room will get.
Know the current airline luggage rules
Make sure to call your airlines or check online for the latest information regarding your airline’s luggage rules. If you’d like to avoid additional fees and unnecessary stress the day of travel, make sure to understand how many pieces of luggage may be checked and the maximum dimensions and weight allowed for each bag.
There is something so magical about color. Bright and colorful cities have such a distinct, unique character to them. They’re easy on the eyes and can’t help but make you want to see everything! From the architecture and design to the beauty of nature itself - If you love art and color, and want to take in some of the most beautiful scenes in the world, there are a handful of places you may just want to add to your bucket list. The Coolist rounded up a list of 10 vibrant cities around the world, and we are jaw-dropped over some of these amazing photos! Check the full list out here!
Cinque Terre, Italy
The pearl of Italy’s riviera is not a city, per se, but a collection of five seaside villages that are together celebrated as an UNESCO World Heritage site. Cinque Terre, Italy comprises the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, all of which are perched high above the quiet Mediterranean below. These villages climb the mountainous overlook with bright, varied colors, appearing as if they were drawn in place by the pastel hand of a dreaming artist.
Generations ago, the priestly caste of Jodhpur, India painted their homes blue to separate themselves from the rest of the citizenry. It wasn’t long until the rest of the old city, Brahmins or not, took up the tradition and painted their homes blue as well. While the city has expanded far beyond its old walls today, its central core is almost entirely indigo in color. Ask a few locals about the color choice today, and you’ll receive many answers. Some may point to the priestly caste years ago, others suggest it wards off mosquitoes, and others claim the blue keeps their homes cool under the hot Indian sun.
St. Johns, Canada
The city of St. Johns on the island of Newfoundland is arguably Canada’s most colorful city, a characteristic in contrast to its otherwise chilly climate. The cultural gem of its province, St. Johns features many museums, art galleries and urban parks throughout its hilly coastal environs. In the hip sections of the city, low-rise buildings have been painted in a vibrant array of colors, a visual quality that is noticeable even from the ships that pass by. When it comes to color, there’s nothing dull about this hamlet on the easternmost point of North America.
San Francisco, CA
Despite its standing as the most culturally-progressive city in the United States, there’s another rainbow of colors shining brightly in San Francisco. This densely-packed peninsula city is home to a colorful architectural identity, one reflected in the varied paint styling that changes from door to door. The Painted Ladies, a row of homes in San Francisco’s Lower Haight district, are one of the most recognizable works of color in the city, but bright colors can be found anywhere throughout the town.
And our favorite one of all:
has been called the “Ocean’s Sweetheart”, “The Jewel of the Pacific” and the city that “goes to paradise”– and it is also the cultural capitol of this geographically narrow nation. It is covered with color from city limit to city limit, a characteristic which has charmed Chileans and foreigners for generations. The city of Valparaiso climbs from the shore of the pacific into the mountains above, covering the hills with a sight as rich as the personalities within. Its culture, its color and its progressive spirit have earned it another nickname which fits this list quite well– the San Francisco of the South.
We’ve all heard it before, “Do as the locals do.” When traveling to a new place – be it a city, state, country or continent, one of the very best ways to get the full experience is to act like a local. It’s up to the tourist as to just how far they’d like to take it, and we think the more local you act, the better! Getting an up close and personal account of the way a culture experiences the world around them is such a fulfilling, exciting and eye-opening experience.
National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel recently wrote a piece about some important rules and social norms to learn about before heading to a new country. Cultural consultant Dean Foster, an expert at helping business executives negotiate sensitive deals overseas, shares his personal ideas on etiquette for over a dozen countries with his latest venture, CultureGuide apps. (Talk about awesome travel apps!) Below are some of our favorite universal rules that Foster discusses. You can check out the full article here.
Practice the local greeting. Most Thais prefer the wai (palms pressed together as a prayer); the Japanese drop their eyes and bow slightly. Muslims don’t shake hands with the opposite sex.
Mind your table manners. In parts of Asia, chopsticks left standing upright in a bowl of rice symbolize death.
Drink as the locals drink. During a toast, Slovaks hold eye contact from the moment a drink is lifted until it’s placed back on the table.
Be aware of fashion statements. In Polynesian cultures such as Hawaii, a flower tucked behind the right ear means you’re single (and ready to mingle). Wearing a striped tie in the U.K. may imply membership in an exclusive club or school.
Be flexible about space norms. Expect to be elbowed and bumped into on the streets and subways of South Korea.
Avoid offensive hand gestures. The middle finger isn’t the only digit that disrespects. The Dutch tap thumbnails together in disgust; the A-OK signal is X-rated in Brazil.
“Delight in the expectation that you will experience things you don’t understand. People are generally forgiving of cultural ignorance — you’re not one of us, so how could you know? — as long as you’re respectful.”
What are some local do’s and don’ts for other cultures that you’ve learned through your travels? Leave a comment on this post, or connect with Mobiata on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or find us on Instagram @Mobiata!
There are plenty of reasons a person might end up traveling back to the same destination time after time after time. Perhaps it’s to visit family or friends. Maybe they’re in a long distance relationship. They may have a job that needs them to visit the same city (or country!) for work on a very regular basis. Whatever the case may be, even the most exciting destination can get old when you find yourself there quite frequently. Vagabondish is a fantastic travel blog, chock full of great tips, advice and information for those interested in and curious about travel. A great feature piece was posted on the blog, “How to Keep Travel Exciting When Visiting Somewhere for the Nth Time,” and we found it pretty inspirational! Below are some of our favorite pieces of advice that were offered. Read the full article here!
Don’t rely on your family and friends to know everything that can be done or seen or visited in their hometown. Locals often overlook attractions that they drive past every day (just think about the tourist attractions you’ve never visited in your own hometown to be sure of this). Look online or even in a guide book for the area and find a few new sights to see. You can even take your local friends out to explore something new right where they live.
Look beyond your destination, too. If you’re spending a week with family members nobody will mind if you take off just for a day or even overnight. In fact it can be a nice break for everyone, because having visitors in your house all the time can grow a bit tiring. There’s no need to think you have to stay within a few miles of your accommodation at all times.
If you have flexibility in your trip planning, try to vary the time of year that you make your trip. Weather and seasons often influence the time of year that someone makes a trip, but it’s probably worth considering alternatives. If only to add some variety to your trips. You’ll see your destination in a different light – different flowers, different clothing, different mood.
Research the festivals that are on or when some other traditional cultural event takes place, and visit then instead. The bonus is that even if it’s an event that attracts a lot of extra visitors to the town, if you’re visiting your friends or family and staying with them then you still have your accommodation at the ready, even if others don’t.
And a tip from us here at Mobiata: Explore! Sometimes, the most exciting thing one can do is plop themselves right in the heart of a city or town with no plan. No destination. It’s amazing where a person can end up with just their own two feet. While it’s only a small adventure, it’s exciting not knowing who you may meet along the way and what sorts of parks, sights, stores and restaurants you may discover. This alone-time is great for reflecting and appreciating not only where you currently are, but also where you call home. Make sure to have a camera on you!
Do you travel to a certain destination regularly? How do you enjoy it over and over again? Leave a comment on this post, or connect with Mobiata on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or find us on Instagram @Mobiata!
Looking to get the perfect travel gift for a child this year? The options are actually pretty endless! Whether it’s for a holiday present, or perhaps a way to keep your own kids busy while your family is traveling this holiday season, rest assured there is something for everybody! We’ve rounded up a travel gift-guide full of great options for kids of all ages!
Mad Libs on the Road
Remember Mad Libs? While you probably remember playing it mostly as a child, we’re pretty sure you could have just the same amount of fun with it today. In case you’re unaware of how Mad Libs works, players fill in appropriate words (nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc.) and create a hilarious storyline. Mad Libs on the Road is perfect for the backseat of a long road trip, and can be enjoyed amongst children or a whole family.
Kid’s Trip Diary
This is the perfect gift for any kid who’s traveling somewhere new and exciting for the very first time. It’s also a great travel companion for any child who is working on their writing, spelling or grammar – as it gives he/she such an opportunity to write and express themselves! With tons of space to write and draw, there’s also an area for keepsakes, such as ticket stubs, pictures and other souveniers. Another great perk about this diary is that it motivates kids to research the trip beforehand, so they get excited about where they’re headed.
52 Fun Things to Do on the Plane
Talk about a life saver! This book is as great for parents as it is kids. This palm-sized book has 52 different games and activities to keep the kids occupied and happy for the duration of a flight. As soon as one game gets a little old, flip to the next! Kids will find themselves using their brains and having fun at the same time, and hopefully not getting too antsy even on the longest of flights.
National Geographic Bee: Ultimate Fact Book Countries A-Z
For the child who loves to learn about the world! This book was actually created by a National Geographic Bee winner, and is the perfect tool for kids to help them learn how to prepare for a competition, study for a test or just fill their minds! It’s a great way to not only learn interesting facts about the countries of the world, but to in general learn the countries that exist, themselves. A great ft for a child and even a curious adult!
Road Trip Word Game
Another great gift by National Geographic, this word game is perfect for a long road trip with the family. Kids can play by themselves, or adults can join in. With either two or four players per team, answer questions like “Can you rattle off three towns that start with ‘P’?” The game is all about creativity and fun and will certainly help pass the time traffic along the way!
The time is here, loud and clear! Holiday travel can be exciting and fun, but also stressful and exhausting. If you find yourself anxious in general whenever dealing with traveling and airports, then traveling during the holiday season might be enough to cause you a minor panic attack. Travel Channel came up with the Top 10 Survival Tips for Holiday Travel, and well, we think they’re pretty important. Here are some of the most useful and crucial tips we wanted to share with you! Click here to see the full list.
Do your research.
Plan alternative trips if traffic makes your way home too overwhelming. Is there a scenic drive that might be longer but have less traffic? Break up a long drive by finding a few places to stop that will get the kids more excited than a truck rest stop. When flying, make sure you check the airline’s restrictions ahead of time on carry-on luggage and fees for checked bags.
Avoid checking bags altogether if you can. You won’t have to wait for your luggage on the conveyor belt, and you won’t have to worry about your mom’s Christmas present getting lost in Logan Airport. If you do check luggage, make sure you have all your medications and important documents and a change of clothes in your carry-on in case your luggage gets lost.
Ship gifts or give gift cards.
TSA suggests to ship wrapped gifts or wait until you reach your destination to wrap them, as they might have to unwrap a present to inspect it. Ship gifts ahead of time or bring the gift that can’t go wrong: gift cards to their favorite store or an Amazon card.
Travel early or late in the day.
Flight statistics show that planes traveling earlier in the day have a better on-time performance. And if your flight is cancelled, you will have the option of taking a flight later in the day. Also, there will be fewer lines at security. Best time to hit the road? When everyone else is asleep — early morning or late at night.
The overly friendly person next to you on the plane, the missed connections, the luggage that fell off in the middle of the highway? All of it will make for great stories over dinner when you finally make it to your destination. After all, holiday travel stress is just as much of a tradition as pumpkin pie and re-gifting.
Do you have any tips on how to deal with hectic holiday travel?We want to hear from you! Leave a comment on this post, or connect with Mobiata on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or find us on Instagram @Mobiata!