The holidaze (as I call them) are always overwhelming and it starts around now, when you have to prep for Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza and New Years. Stores are talking about pre-Black Friday sales and grocery stores everywhere have Christmas decorations up. But, never fear, I am here to save the day along with 15 Apps that will help get you through this crazy time, save you money and, most importantly, allow you to enjoy the holidaze with your friends and family.
Easily the best app to have this season because it's free and you can scan the barcode of any item and the app will show you all the prices of nearby or online retailers. With this app, you can be sure that you got the best price for your gift and even read user reviews, so you know you're getting the best gift!
Free app that works with Amazon to find the perfect gift for anyone on your holiday list. You select age, relation, personality, and occasion and they pair you will all the gift choices. You can click on one, read reviews, and add to a shopping cart while you continue to look for other gifts. Once you're done, it brings you to Amazon for a smooth check-out process and your gifts can get shipped to your house or your family's/friend's houses.
$0.99. Want to get the kids out of your hair for a bit on X-mas Eve and help the little ones still cling onto their beliefs? This app helps track Santa on Christmas Eve as he delivers presents worldwide. Also, included is SantaMail, Naughty or Nice list and an Elf Blog. The SantaMail lets you email Santa what you want for Christmas or maybe a thank you note ;p
$0.99 app that lets you DJ, mix, and scratch your iTunes library straight on your iPhone/iPod Touch. You can record mixes and play them off your phone for parties. I have to put in here that I don't support using this to actually DJ events or call yourself a DJ but, it is a good and fun start and much cheaper! I think this app is a blast when I can't be behind the turntables because I'm hosting/cooking/bartending/waiting at the doctor's office, I can still DJ. You can loop, scratch, pitch bend, adjust the EQ and gain, auto BPM, use FX like flanger, phaser, echo,gate, bit crusher, and filter.
Free app that is going to save you this Thanksgiving, if you want to make a traditional Thanksgiving dinner- as it only has 9 of the traditional recipes. You pick the dishes and the app creates a shopping list and timeline as well as a step-by-step guide on how to create your dinner (even up to 2 days before!). It also has fun advice woven in like "Relax" and "Have a drink".
Free app that lets you search for wines by occasion, meal, preferences or region. If you already bought your favorite wine, there is a section for food pairings with that wine. This is a great app to help buy wine for the holiday parties you'll be going to or to look like a pro when you have people over for a dinner party!
$0.99 will buy you the go-to bartender label at all your parties. This app includes 60 recipes along with 15 bar snacks to go along with these delicious cocktails. Have a pregnant friend or a too-young niece in the midst? Not to worry, there's also mocktail recipes so they don't feel left out. Included are how-to videos, a unit converter, and space to write your own notes.
Your phone should already have one but, if it doesn't you can download for free Google Maps or GPS by TeleNav. The latter provides a search for cheapest gas prices and restaurants, cafes, bars, etc based on your location. It also has turn by turn 3D navigation and gives you an ETA- so you'll know if you're running late and should call. The average amount we travel during the holidays is 275 miles, most of this by car. The last thing you want to do is run out of gas or be stuck without food on long stretches of highway (I'm talking to you, 5).
This free app will help you save money while you're on the road or in a strange town that you haven't mapped out all the cheap gas already and do it for you. One bummer: it doesn't have information for every station in every city.
With ever-changing rules and wait times for security checkpoints, this free app will keep you in the loop on all things TSA. Plus, you can use this to check to see if incoming flights are delayed or how early you should get to the airport to pick up visiting family or friends. With this app, you can:
-Check approximate wait times at security checkpoints (crucial for procrastinators like me) - Search what you can and can't bring in your carry-on and what's best checked - Get airport delay info - Check weather at the airport and/or city where you'll be heading
Going to visit friends, family or meeting your boyfriend's/girlfriend's family in a city you've never been? Instead of wasting money on a travel guide or waste time reading paid for reviews from complete strangers, why not get tips from Facebook buddies? This app lets you do just that. FB friends recommend either hotels, restaurants, or things to do to you. Once you're there, you can snap a pic and post it to your wall so that your friends know that you listened and you can share their wisdom with other friends!
Don't want to go through all the work of being a DJ? Let the Music Genome Project do it for you- just select holiday and you're set with holiday tunes for your entire dinner/party/etc. Bonus points for the ability to switch it up if an impromptu dance party starts. Free.
See the full review, "What do DJs listen to while they're paying the bills?".
Have a long road trip/flight and restless kids of all ages in your near future? This fun game will help save your sanity as it has endless levels and anyone can play it. I'm not above saying that I've used this with my nieces and it always works, so I can get a few seconds or hours peace. Is it great aunting? Will it make them geniuses? Probably not but, at least we'll all live through the trip!