8 apps for the holiday season

These apps will not only make your life simple, but help you get the most out of your holiday. Start your journey with these essentials...


Let’s admit it; inasmuch as the days leading to the special day can be filled with thrill and anticipation, the packing tends to kick the sport out of a long-awaited holiday.

PackPoint allows you to delegate the brain-taxing task of having to check the weather, figure out what to pack and for what – for virtually every destination on the planet.

By simply inputting where you are going, when, for how long and what you will be getting up to there – the app meticulously generates a packing list with everything that you could possibly need at your destination, coordinated with the climate.

The list can also be edited and shared.

(Free on Android and iOS)

Airport + Flight tracker radar

In recent times, airports have gone from basic terminals with a few convenient stores to meccas of leisure and business. This also translated to a swell in size.

With over 2 500 local and international airports on its platform, this app lets you manoeuvre the maze that is present-day airports by providing terminal maps, store lists, parking, ground transportation and more, for every airport.

The app also features a live arrival and departures board including flight statuses.

(Free on Android)

The Entertainer

You’ve reached your destination and are dying to sink your teeth into a plethora of holiday activities.

The Entertainer will help you save some cash in the process, providing 2-for-1 offers for dining, attractions, leisure activities, health & fitness and hotel accommodation in more than 40 destinations worldwide, including Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban.

The app allows you to search for these offers, and redeem and/or share them with others from your phone.

The specials are valid all year round with no expiration date. After a free trial period, an annual subscription fee of R295 for 2018 is payable for the city in which you plan to redeem your offers.

In Johannesburg and Pretoria, for example, this will give you access to over 1 700 buy one get one free offers, and also includes offers on hotels worldwide, new and monthly offers.

(Free on Android and iOS)

Google Translate

Google most certainly raised the translation bar with its instant camera translation feature. 

When faced with something written or printed in a foreign language, you could simply whip your phone out, launch the app and point the camera lens at the text, which then gets instantly translated.

The app also allows you to download language packs, allowing you to use it even when you’re not connected to the internet.

(Free on Android and iOS)

DStv Now

If you find yourself with some downtime to catch up on your favourite shows or not wanting to miss that live game, DStv Now enables Premium, Extra, Compact Plus or Compact subscribers to stream from anywhere, at any time and at no extra cost. 

You could also download content to view when you’re offline. Alternatively, if you won’t be watching much on your vacation, the app lets you set recordings on your DStv Explora back home from wherever you are, to watch when you return.

With an in-app TV guide and reminder feature, it is like having both your decoder and TV in your pocket.

(Free on Android and iOS)

Netcare Assist

As added measure of preparation for come what may, the Netcare Assist app is your go-to all-in-one emergency aid. 

When faced with an emergency, you are given three easy to access options.  You could call an ambulance, find a hospital or doctor closest to your current location, or launch an easy-to-follow first-aid guide for varied medical scenarios.

(Free on Android and iOS)

Kruger National Park Field App

If you’ll be hitting up SA’s most famous park this holiday season, this app could lend a helping hand and shed some wildlife knowledge. 

The search time for larger predators could be cut with a recent sightings feature that also boasts a hotspot map of the last 400 sightings.

In addition to being your own personal guide in the park, it encompasses a checklist of animals, birds, trees, wildflowers, insects and reptiles that helps you identify them through a large cache of photos, with some info on each.

(Free on Android and iOS)

Google PhotoScan

Those old family photo albums that only get face time once a year after the Christmas Eve dinner can finally be brought to life and into the digital age.

The app allows you to snap and then creates enhanced glare-free digital scans in real-time. The photos come out looking as though they were just taken with your smartphone.

(Free on Android and iOS)

This article originally appeared in the 14 December edition of finweek. Buy and download the magazine here.

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