12 Reasons To Vacation with Your Smartphone


We recently returned from a short trip to Ottawa and Montreal.  This time, along with packing toiletries and clothes, I brought along my trusted iPhone.  I already knew I couldn’t live without my phone when I’m home but now I’ve learned that I can’t live without it when I’m not.

Here are 12 reasons why I will always vacation with my iPhone.  Please note the points are listed in no particular order and that all apps mentioned are free to download.

1.    Watch and Alarm Clock.   I can’t be bothered to figure out how to use the in room alarm clock or ask for a wake up call (who wants to wake up to that awful telephone ring anyways?).

2.    Camera.  Sure we had our digital camera but the camera on the iPhone is pretty good.  The kids loved using the phone to take photos and videos too.

3.    Twitter.  I’m addicted.  Enough said.

4.    Google Search.  Want to know what that landmark is?  Take a picture and let Google Goggles tell you.

5.    Maps.  This feature was extremely useful.  Although we carried the local map that the hotel gave us, we rarely used it.  Maps provided walking directions and I just followed the blue dot and highlighted route to our destination.

6.    TripAdvisor.  Used this app many times when looking for places to eat close by.  Complete with user reviews and maps feature, you can’t go wrong.

7.    TripTracker.  Had all my hotel reservations saved to this app.  Saved me from printing hotel confirmations or searching my inbox.  Also tracks flights and issues notifications on flight or gate changes.

8.    Weather.  Built-in to the iPhone, I had the cities set up so I had quick access to the local weather.

9.    AroundMe.  Great app to quickly find stores, coffee shops, malls, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, parking and more close by.

10.  GasBuddy.   A roadtrip must have, this came in handy to find gas prices and stations nearby.

11.   Personal Hotspot.  As much as I love my iPhone, it was great to surf the internet on the larger screen of my iPad after a long day.

12.   MapQuest.  Free app that provides spoken turn by turn directions.  Fantastic if you’re driving alone or if you have someone who can’t read a map (like me) for a navigator.

Please note that most of the apps mentioned requires a data plan to access.  As I was traveling within Canada, this was not an issue.  However, should be you be traveling outside your country, consider purchasing a data roaming plan.  This will alleviate any surprise charges on your bill.

Do you take your smartphone with you when you vacation? If so, what do you mainly use it for?



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  1. Max DeVitto says:

    I recently traveled to California with my 2 young sons. My youngest son fell at the resort pool and needed to seek medical assistance. I was able to use the iTriage app to locate a urgent care clinic down the road. This app saved me time, money and sanity. I encourage all parents traveling to download this app before you leave. You never know when you might need it!

  2. AppHipMom says:

    Great to see apps coming through in emergency situations. I’ve got the app but have yet to test it out. Thanks for sharing.

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