The Top 10 Apps To Survive Holiday Airport Travel

Tis the season for travel (and unfortunately, airport lineups and flight delays). With people from all over the world scrambling to fly home for the holidays, travelling can quickly lose its appeal when a snowstorm delays your flight and you find yourself sleeping overnight in an airport using your luggage as a pillow. Luckily, if you’re the proud owner of a smart phone, you can use this helpful guide of apps to pass time between vending machine meals and make your temporary stay, a little less painful.



1. Skype (FREE) – There’s no better way to cheer up than calling a friend or family member and sharing a smile and some good conversation. It’s free to join and you can make calls to anyone in the world with a Skype account. You also have the option of calling landlines and cell phones for a small charge



2. Wi-Fi Finder 2.0.1 (FREE) – Interested in surfing the Internet aimlessly to burn some time? Chances are the answer is yes and luckily for you, this app will help you find a good connection nearby. You can download a complete directory of free Wi-Fi spots in the US and it even works without a data connection. Keep in mind this app works best in populated cities because that’s typically where you’re more likely to find free (and paid) Wi-Fi connections.



3. Word Lens ($5.00) – There’s nothing worse than being stuck in an airport where all the signs are in a language you don’t understand! Word Lens instantly translates printed words from one language to another, using your phone’s built in video camera, in real time! There are different language options to choose from so no matter where you find yourself during the holiday season, you’ll always be able to navigate efficiently.



4. Apple iBooks (FREE – books vary in price) – With airline luggage costs soaring, it’s hard to bring along your favourite reading materials without sacrificing your first born child as payment. Now you can download some of your favourite books and read them right on your phone. iBooks organizes all your titles, allows you to bookmark and set notations. It’s a great way to catch up on your reading while on the go!



5. Postman ($2.99) – What better way to share your experience of being stranded in an airport? Create custom postcards with photos and text and share them through email, web, Twitter and Facebook! You customize everything right down to the font so there’s no doubt that this app is a great way to pass time and share some of your magical holiday moments captured while waiting at gate 7.



6. Airport Maps ($2.99) – Navigate around the airport more effectively with this app that shows you where to find food, a comfortable spot to sit, or a few stores to browse through while you’re waiting. It offers coverage of 61 major North American airports providing airport maps and even terminal maps so you can find what you’re looking for fast!



7. iChristmas Tree ($0.99) – Take some time from sleeping on an airport bench to celebrate the holiday season and decorate your very own Christmas tree right from your phone! Choose from many ornament options, decorate your tree, take a snapshot and share your creation with friends and family.



8. Angry Birds ($0.99) – Is it really necessary to type an explanation? In case you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, now would be a great time to try out the game the whole world is talking about! It’s simple, addictive, and highly time consuming. We recommend playing near an outlet since chances are, you’ll kill your battery before you snap out of the comatose state hours later.



9. Next Flight ($2.99) – Want to make sure you beat that annoying woman and her screaming child onto the next available flight? Use this app to plug in your origin, destination, and departure date for a list of available non-stop flights from more than 1200 carriers for the current and following day. You can find all the flight details you need without fighting to view an airport monitor. Avoiding chaos, priceless.



10. Christmas Sudoku ($0.99) – A popular game with a Christmas twist! This puzzle will have you starting tournaments with strangers while you wait for your flight. It gives you the option of playing with Christmas goodies or numbers and will definitely get you thinking! It’s a great way to pass time and exercise your brain for the holidays!

Create Your Own Social Media Newspaper

Have you ever wanted to pick up a newspaper that had articles you were actually interested in reading? Well perhaps a quick visit to paper.li is in order. Paper.li can arrange all the links you’ve shared on your twitter account into a beautifully organized, easy to read, newspaper-style format. You can create custom papers based on hashtags, lists or your entire Twitter account. You can also create a paper based on your Facebook account using the same premise.


Local culinary adventurers, Windsor Eats, have established their own foodie newspaper and share it with their followers on Twitter. The Windsor Eats Daily is comprised of interesting articles about food from all over the internet. Be sure to check them out @Windsoreats and say up to date with the latest trends and taste bud teasers!

If you’re not too fond of the content on your own pages, you can visit the website and search for your favourite twitter accounts to see if they have newspapers you can read. It’s a great way to keep up to date with all the people you follow, especially if you don’t have time to go through individual tweets on a daily basis. You can even search by topic to find some interesting new people and stories.

Newspapers based on lists are also a great way to focus on a certain topic. You can create custom lists on your Twitter account that allow you to group together certain people for whatever reason you choose. If you’re running a local bakery and your twitter account isn’t the most interesting thing on the planet, you can create a custom list from people you follow such as other bakeries/bakers and compile their tweets into a unique custom newspaper that focuses on what you do best, baking! The same premise applies to food, electronics, or any other niche Twitter category.

If you want a custom newspaper based on a certain topic like Lady Gaga’s meat dress (you never know!), you can group the related hash tags together to create a paper that includes different articles or opinions about her risky outfit. This would work for any topic on Twitter and the opportunities are abundant.

These custom newspapers are a unique way to share information especially across a platform that’s so bogged down with updates every 5 seconds. It can be hard to keep up with recent tweets, especially if you follow a lot of people! Paper.li has created an interesting concept that merges traditional media (organized and structured), with social media (spontaneous and frequent) to create the perfect combination. Regardless of the medium, news will always be a static influence in our lives and it’s refreshing to see companies like Paper.li thinking outside of the box and developing a new process of sharing information online.

How iPhone Apps Can Help Make You a Healthier Person

Social media is a great way to share information and build relationships online but did you know that it can also be a great resource for improving your health? There’s no questioning the growth of mobile apps in the past year but despite what many people think, there are applications that can do much more than turn your cell phone into a glow stick.

The first step to a healthy lifestyle is setting goals. It seems easy but many times these goals can fall short in hours, days or months. What seems realistic at the time may not be possible when put to the test in real life scenarios. It’s one thing to say you’ll start every morning with a healthy breakfast but when you remember what a whirlwind the morning can be as you race around getting the kids ready for school, it can fade away quickly as you find yourself in the McDonald’s drive through.

Re-consider “On-The-Go”
Life can be hectic and if you find yourself on the go a lot, the app Restaurant Nutrition will make it a lot easier to stick to your goals. What you will find within this app is plenty of nutritional information from your favourite fast food joints and family restaurants. Information such as sodium content, fat and calories are broken down for each item and compared to your maximum daily intake so you can figure out just how big of a deal that extra hash brown will be. Personally, I use this app religiously. I find that it actually alters my decisions so as I read through the content in some of the sandwiches at Wendy’s, I change my mind and opt for Subway instead. It’s a great tool to have in your pocket as many restaurants can’t seem to grasp the fact that they need to post their nutritional information publicly now.

Add Some Spunk!
Sometimes not meeting your goals can be directly related to boredom and lack of creativity in the kitchen. Eating out often has an exciting appeal; always going somewhere different, trying new flavours and new cultural dishes. If you’re preparing the same boring meals over and over again at home, it’s no wonder your taste buds have wandered! 160,000 Recipes – Big Oven gives you plenty of recipe options across different categories. The best part about this app is that it gives you the option to enter what ingredients you have on hand and it will automatically produce a list of recipes that you can use based on what is available to you. It’s a great way to try something new without going to the grocery store armed with a list of ingredients you’ve never heard of before. Plus, this app provides access to food buying and handling tips and comments about specific recipes so you know how best to handle the chicken for your quesadillas and what other people thought of the recipe. Spicing up your cooking regime doesn’t have to be rocket science. There are thousands of great recipe apps available so you’re bound to find limitless inspiration wherever you look.

Stretch It Out
It’s one thing to have your nutritional needs down pat, but when it comes to exercise, it can be very difficult to squeeze some physical activity into our every day routines. Working in an office is never a pleasant experience for your body. You get back pain from the chair you sit in for up to 8 hours straight every single day, you get a sore neck and wrists from typing or working on a computer for long hours at a time, you get stiff joints from lack of movement and migraines from the poor lighting and the constant office chatter. Luckily for all of our office comrades, there is hope, and it goes by the name of iStretch. This app provides office yoga exercise videos that allow you to stretch out and work muscles that become tense throughout the day because of repetitive movement or immobility. Five minutes of iStretch videos every day will have you relieving lower back pain, neck stiffness, shoulder tension and wrist, arm and leg soreness. Not to mention it will also allow you to burn fat, increase your blood flow, eliminate headaches, and reduce stress. Working long hours every day in an uncomfortable environment can have serious side effects on your body! By keeping up with stretches during the day you can drastically improve your mood and your well-being all from the convenience of your office chair!

Track Your Progress
Once you have nutritious eating and exercise working on your favour, weight loss will undoubtedly follow. Sometimes it’s difficult to track progress without spending hours in Excel creating a complicated chart or diagram and that’s where apps like Weightbot come in handy. You can use this app to enter your weight daily and see your trends get plotted on a graph so you can set goals, watch your progress and view interesting analytical data about your weight changes. No need to calculate anything complicated just customize your graph type and view and watch as the app tracks your progress for you.

Ditch The Stress
Many medical studies have linked stress to weight gain and other ailments but sadly enough, stress is a part of our lives whether we like it or not. It’s impossible to remove stress completely, but there are ways to counter its effects and clear your mind of the clutter that weighs you down on a daily basis. Relax is an app that is designed to utilize the audio and visual power of the iPhone and provide you with multiple relaxing destinations to choose from. You pick from the options (night in paradise, campfire, under the sea etc) and simply relax as the audio and video transport you to a stress-free zone. It makes for a great escape during your busy day!

Utilizing a device such as the iPhone and its vast array of applications to help you set health-related goals is easier than ever. Find which apps work best for your lifestyle and offer the features you consider most important. Tracking, measuring and staying positive are a lot easier when you have the appropriate tools at your finger tips so don’t be afraid to harness the power of the iPhone and become the healthy person you’ve always wanted to be.