5 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Travelers

5 Apps Every Traveler should have in their mobile. Plus giving away free app download worth US$4.99!

Here you are ready to go on a long travel, maps all rolled up, your travel books piled up in your backpack but wait, these are no longer considered efficient in 2016 although they might be useful in situations where you do not have electricity readily available but this rarely happen.

So unless you are travelling without any mobile gadgets, you should arm yourself with whatever technology can offer for convenience and easy travel.

As a regular weekend wanderer, I never leave my home without these apps.

1. Evernote

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As a constant web surfer who easily gets distracted and barely remembers thing, this app is a lifesaver. If you are like me who sometimes have goldfish memory, you should have this. Not only is this useful for keeping thoughts, photos, business cards and reminders, Evernote can easily save webpages with one mouse click.

Before I travel to a place, I usually Google it and find relevant articles. Here’s one of my notebook about Southeast Asia. Once I find it, I save them to a notebook in my Evernote and make them available offline that way, you can easily recall tips and prices even without internet.

Another added feature is that you can do work chat and share notebooks with people, planning trips with friends has never been this easy. You can download it here.

2. Maps.me

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While I know most people use Google maps, I found this application more updated. It saved me during several trips in lesser known areas like in Siquijor. You can download maps for different countries and you can bookmark locations for reference. They constantly update maps so make sure to update otherwise you will not be able to use it.

Download here.

3. Monefy

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If you do not care much about sticking to budgets then you wouldn’t need this but for people like me who are money conscious, this does the job. It is simple to update and you can set it on a budget so you know how much money you can still spend. I find it so useful that I paid for the pro version!

Download here for the free app.

4. Rome2Rio

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I find it troublesome to check routes and then go to company websites to check rates for fare and accomodation when creating a budget. Thanks to Rome2Rio, I save time. Think google maps but with expense estimations for transportation. I find this useful when I do not know how to reach a destination and how much I should spend on transportation.

Download here for an IOS version.

5. GPSmyCity

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If you are into offbeat travels like me then GPSmyCity is the app for you. They over 5,000 self-guided walks in 470+ cities around the world. Awesome right? Each one of their apps contains from a few to over a dozen of self-guided walking tours for a single city, allowing visitors to explore on foot the best of the city at their own pace without the touristy cost.

Itching to download this? I have good news! GPSmyCity is offering 20 promo codes of one of their full-version city walk apps to happinas readers. Each such code allows a free download of the app, which normally costs US$4.99 at the App Store.

Here is what you have to do:

  1. Leave a comment in this article on why travel makes you happy.
  2. Submit a photo of your favorite city attraction or delicacy in the Philippines  pau.bernasor@gmail.com.

First 20 submissions will receive the download codes.

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Monday Musings: Taking Out Trash

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How often do you throw away? Most of us tend to keep a lot of unnecessary stuff whether in our places or in our minds. Unknowingly, we end up taking in so much that it leaves us with little space to work with.

I recently read an excerpt about Getting Things Done by Dave Allen where he described stuff as “Anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step.”  I have never thought about how much stuff I kept until I checked my email and sorted out my room. It is so easy to not realize the gravity of our hoarding and these stuffs slows us down and makes us inefficient.

Now is the time to clear your mind and place. Start by sorting and throwing out the unnecessary.

Monday Musings: 10 Quotes of Optimism

Pessimistic? Here’s your Monday dose of sunshine from the bright side.

Barely two weeks into 2016, how is January going for you? I would not say mine is smooth sailing but so far things have generally been going my way although there have been bumps along the way.

There are times when you feel tired of your inner battles, whether or not you should embrace pessimism all at once. Regardless of your current situation, choose optimism.

Here are some of my all time favorite quotes to get me back in the bright side:

  1. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
    ― Anne Frank, Anne Frank’s Tales from the Secret Annex
  2. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
    ― Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan
  3. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
    ― Winston S. Churchill
  4. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
    ― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
  5. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”
    ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
  6. “You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down”
    ― Charles Chaplin
  7. “Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.”
    ― Helen Keller
  8. “So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!”
    — Viktor E. Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning)
  9. “Write it on your heart
    that every day is the best day in the year.
    He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
    who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Collected Poems and Translations

The Optimist : Animated Short Film from John Mervin on Vimeo.

10. Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
― Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

The last one pretty much sums everything up. Hang on to the remaining light no matter what happens. As long as you think things can change it definitely will.

Now enough about me, how about you? What is your favorite quote on optimism?

Monday Musings: Choose Life

Surviving or thriving? Choose life.

Excitement from the new year is still around but how long will it last before you find yourself in the same situation as 2015?

How often do you envy other people for living their dreams?

You and them might have different situations but one thing you and them both have is choice.

Each day you make a choice, from the time you wake up to the jobs you take. Do not blame others for your situations. You are in full control. It is time to take the responsibility. Quit surviving and start thriving. Let your adventures begin. Choose life!

Choose Life from Rando on Vimeo.

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Move 2016

Make 2016 your year to move.

How many has it been since you told yourself this year is going to be different? How many times have you failed at it?

I admit that as the years add up, we start to doubt and lose hope on ourselves, whether or not we will be able to achieve our dreams. I also failed more than once but I call it a failure because I never did anything. Yes, I told myself but I barely pushed myself. So instead of putting you long posts in Facebook on how you will be a better version of you. I dare you to move! When you move, that is when things start to happen.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

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I have not moved much in the last weeks of 2015 and I apologise for that, I too have to still fight over my procastination demons.

Thank you for being part of my 2015. To the ones who take time to read my posts, supporting my futile endeavors into becoming a better storyteller. I am grateful for boosting my morale.

Happy New Year to All! Wish you a great year ahead.