I love vacation, but I never get excited about the planning process. My wife on the other hand is excited about taking trips before we book them. Since she’s amazing at putting a trip together, I reap all the rewards of her hard work. When we decided we were heading to Kauai for our last vacation before our first child is born, my wife wanted to purchase travel information books about the island. After we got two books on Kauai from Barnes & Noble she put some great ideas together. Meanwhile, I sulked about having to help plan. Now back from our amazing trip, I wanted to share how important the Kauai vacation books we purchased were compared to what I was capable of doing on my iOS devices while on the island. How do you think my iOS devices did in realtime compared to my wife’s months of vacation planning? The vacation planning crown was on the line.
We relied on numerous iOS applications during our trip. The application we used the most though was Yelp. Yelp provided a great way to check out locations my wife had read about with up-to-date reviews, photos, hours of operation for the current day, and contact information. This application is a great resource to look-up businesses you may want to visit or simply those nearest you. Yelp also provides their location on an interactive map. When you find a place you want to visit, you now have a reference point on a map to find its location or it can be opened in the Maps application on your iOS device. The iOS Maps application gives users directions from their current location to the destination, which is great. This is extremely helpful while traveling in unfamiliar territory. Yelp came in handy in numerous situations. It was our go-to application while on Kauai. If you haven’t interacted with Yelp on your iOS device, make sure you download it so you’re able to familiarize yourself with it prior to a trip.
Yelp was useful for finding places to visit, but OpenTable made sure we had a seat at the dinner table while in Kauai. A lot of restaurants on Kauai allow you to make reservations using OpenTable. Going out to eat while in Hawaii was pretty pricey. This way I was able to collect points for reservations I made and honored while on vacation. The points you receive on OpenTable add up to collect dinning checks you’re able to use atOpenTable restaurants. I didn’t receive a dinning check while in Kauai, but I’m able to collect more points from restaurants back home in Chicago to earn my reward check. Only reservations you make on OpenTableand honor will count towards your dinning check rewards. Each reservation you make is worth at least 100 points, whereas other reservations will get you 1,000 points per reservation you honor.
iOS devices have come a long way over the years when it comes to taking photos. Yes, there are other smartphone cameras outperforming the iPhone and iPad. However, I’ve never solely relied on my on iPhone and iPad to be the only camera I use while on vacation. My iOS devices supplement my Nikon DSLR camera. This approach allows me to take quick photos using my favorite photo applications and also edit them on the fly. My DSLR camera doesn’t allow me to do this, so I feel it’s important to have something at my disposal enabling me to enjoy photos right away. The iPhone and iPad gives users the ability to take photos using the stock camera function or by downloading third party photo apps. One of my favorite third party apps I use is for photos is HDR by Lucky Clan. I found this application a while ago when I was going through the daily list of free applications on Appsgonefree.
HDR does an amazing job of merging two HDR photos to create a unique photo mix. This application snaps two pictures, a light exposure and a dark exposure. Then it mixes them together allowing you to choose one of four options to create a final photo which can be saved on your device. Users can save the HDR mixed photo you just created or save the two original photos and the HDR mixed photo. I always save the originals and HDR mix. This way I’m able to go back and recreate the other 3 photo mixes in HDR. Saving the extra photos will take up precious storage space, so make sure you are keeping an eye on how much available storage you have on your iOS device. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to store something on your device and being told their isn’t enough storage space. So before you go on a trip or if you know you’re going to be using your iOS device a lot for photos, check the storage space available to see if you need to free up some space on your iOS device. Give HDR a try, especially if you’re going on tropical vacation. It will give quite a pop to the bright colors in your photos. Once your creations are saved, you are able to share them on your social media accounts. Check out some of mine below and there are more on my Instagram account.
If you got the feeling I didn’t out do my wife when it came to getting the most out of our trip, you’re entirely correct. She had a well established plan that included lists of things to do prior to our arrival. Armed with my iOS devices, as you may have read from my previous post, I was able to get us to Kauai without printing a single document from home. My wife, however, was able to use the internet and travel books she bought to provide us with an outstanding vacation. She was able to quickly flip through her information for key places she previously researched. This allowed us to go about our vacation efficiently. My iPhone and iPad were extremely useful for getting us around the island using the iOS Map app, finding up-to-date review information via Yelp, and providing us with dinner reservations through OpenTable. Going about our vacation with the spur of the moment approach on my iOS devices would’ve resulted in a disorganized mess. This vacation reinforced how amazing my wife is at planning vacations for myself as well as others; she never disappoints, especially when it comes to planning a Disney vacation.