Best apps for spring break

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Joe Shlabotnik/Creative Commons

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This time of year, restless students are dreaming of escaping campus to sunny beaches and umbrella drinks. Get your swimsuits ready, because spring break is almost here!

OK, so realistically not all of us will be vacationing in the Bahamas. But whether we’ll be staying at Berkeley, going home or going on vacation, we all want the most relaxing and hassle-free spring break possible.

Before you overwhelm yourself with packing lists and travel itineraries, check out these phone apps that can make your life easier come next week.

“Gate Guru”

gateguru

Gate Guru allows users to rate and review airport eateries, shops, and services

Flying somewhere for spring break? If you’re unprepared, you’re likely to spend a few hours wandering aimlessly at an airport, waiting for a flight or layover. This app gives you all the airport info and flight status info you’ll need to improve your airport experience. You can search by airport to find real-time flight status info and even add your personal itinerary. Once you input an itinerary, “Gate Guru” provides all kinds of helpful data, including airport weather and estimated TSA security wait times at checkpoints. The app also contains reviews of airport restaurants and amenities.

“WhatsApp”

This messaging app has been popular for years with the international audience, and now it’s becoming increasingly popular with American college students who have friends overseas. When you’re traveling abroad and don’t want to pay huge international cellphone fees, “WhatsApp” is a necessity. It uses your cellphone data or Wi-Fi to send messages, and the first year of use is absolutely free!

tipulator

“Tipulator” takes the chore out of figuring out how to tip.

“Tipulator”

Spring break is a time for rest and recreation, so don’t feel too guilty when you start shopping and going out to restaurants more often than usual. Definitely don’t waste your precious vacation time on arguing with friends over how to split a check or how much to tip a waiter. Next time you go out to dinner with friends, use this app to quickly and accurately find a solution. Use it to calculate the bill down to the last penny by adjusting the sales tax, number of people and tip percentage.

“Roadside America”

Unfortunately, this app isn’t free, but we included it because it’s the ultimate app for planning a cross-country road trip. For $2.99 you unlock a region of the United States or Canada. Browse and find famous attractions in each state as well as odd mystery spots. If you have an adventurous spirit, allow this app to take you to exciting new places.

“Mixology”

mixology

Choose from thousands of drink recipes in “Mixology.”

You’re hanging out with friends over break and decide to have a few drinks. It’s time for you to show off your impressive bartending knowledge  that is, if you had any. Luckily, a simple phone app can help you out of this situation. With “Mixology,” any amateur can learn easy drink recipes, learn bartending terminology and techniques, see recommended cocktails and share your favorite recipes. The most useful feature is the “Liquor Cabinet” tab, which allows you to enter all the ingredients you have on hand to find all the cocktail recipes you’re able to make.

“TripAdvisor Offline City Guides”

Many people use the main TripAdvisor app to browse hotels and flights, but what they don’t know is that there’s an equally useful TripAdvisor app that doesn’t require Wi-Fi or cellular data. Read thousands of user reviews, and plan your trip. A GPS-based feature allows you to search for a restaurant or attraction and simply let the app lead the way by selecting “Point Me There.”

gasbuddy

GasBuddy helps you save money every time you fill up at a gas station.

GasBuddy

If you don’t have this app by now, you either don’t drive or have enough money to waste on expensive gas. GasBuddy locates the stations nearest you and helps you find the cheapest prices. You also earn rewards and points by contributing information about gas prices.

“Word Lens”

Take pictures of printed text in foreign languages, and this app instantly translates the words into English. The app is free, but you have to buy individual “language packs.” It’s a must-have for travelers trying to decipher traffic signs and menus.

Image Sources: Joe Shlabotnik, under Creative Commons and Tiffany Gong, Staff

Contact Tiffany Gong at [email protected].