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2020 has certainly been a year for the history books. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up the way that we live our lives and transformed our everyday routines. Lockdown, quarantine, and social distancing restrictions have also meant that a lot of us are feeling more lonely than ever before. Using apps to stay connected with friends and family even when you’re far apart can have a good impact on your mental health.

In facts, many of us have been reaching out and connecting with our loved ones already through the power of technology. But our top favorite apps to keep you in touch with the ones you love, no matter where they are, might make staying in touch fun, varied and easy. From fun games to personalized video calls, screen sharing and relationship management, these (mostly free) communication apps for iOS and Android are the ones to download.

By the way, discover 10 great ways on how to stay in touch with friends here.

Top iOS and Android apps: Download these 10 apps to help you stay connected with friends

#1 Squad – for hanging out like you’re together in person

Squad is a relatively new app that provides you with the chance to hang out with all of your squad. Users of this app can switch back and forth between screen sharing and video chatting. There is so much that you can do with this app, with the only limit being your imagination. Unlimited text video and screen sharing means that you could watch videos together, share images, or just do your own thing with company.

#2 MyPostcard – for providing a tangible lasting connection

MyPostcard is number 2 on the ranking of apps to help you stay connected

Postcards are a great way to keep in touch with family and friends from all over the world. There is nothing quite like receiving a card from someone we always look forward to hearing from.

The MyPostcard app makes the whole process so much easier. Simply download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play and create your very own messages. You can even upload photographs to personalize your postcard. There is a whole host of pre-written messages to choose from to make sending your thoughts even easier. This is one of the best apps to stay connected with friends and family in the offline world.

#3 Whatsapp – for easy everyday messaging

Whatsapp is one of the most downloaded apps in the world for good reason.  With free calls, texts, and video chat, it is a great way to stay in touch with your long-distance family and friends. Plus, voice notes are perfect for having a conversation or sending a quick message when you do not have time for a proper catch-up. This Facebook-owned instant messaging service works on all smartphones to send encrypted messages over the internet.

#4 Garden – one of the top relationship manger apps to stay connected with friends

It’s not just about how to stay in touch with people, but sometimes also about when to. The app, Garden helps you stay connected with friends by reminding you when to reach out to your loved ones. Simply set up the contacts you want to keep up with and add how often you’d like to be in touch. You can even add notes of what your last conversation was about. It’s like a personal relationship assistant.

#5 Fight List – a way to spend the time with friends

A family feud style game, Fight List is super competitive and an exciting way to stay in contact with friends and family. Basically, in 40 seconds you have to come up with as many words as possible that are associated with the word on the screen to get the highest score. There are thousands of different themes available. You can use Jokers and revelation wands for help, chat with your friends, and play against other real players online.

#6 Snapchat – the app for fun spontaneous sharing

snapchat as one of the apps to stay connected on a yellow background

Snapchat is one of the most popular apps for staying in touch with long-distance family and friends. Download the app, create an account, and easily be able to chat with the people you’re connected with – or make new friends!

Live Stories mean that you can keep everyone updated with your goings-on. But the joy of Snapchat for some people definitely lies with the unique filters, with so many to pick from. You can also choose how long your snaps last for, and get notified if the person you are talking with has taken a screenshot. Snapchat is available on most smartphones, and it is free to download.

#7 House Party – a more adventurous video call

A hand holds a phone with the House Party app for staying connected

Along with Tiger King, bread baking and rainbow painting, House Party was a popular pastime during lockdown. The face to face networking app offers virtual communication with up to eight different people. You can play games like Heads Up! and Quick Draw. You can either go on Private Mode or crash stranger’s / friends parties, with the ability to drop in and out of video chats or ‘rooms’ as you please. It’s a great way to get to know friends of friends!

FYI – it’s received a lot of bad press about being unsafe. But the consensus by most news sites is that the rumours about hacking are untrue and part of a smear campaign.

#8 Zoom – the app for a virtual party

Another app that has been a hit this year is Zoom. During lockdown, this virtual video app has been used for everything. So many of us were using Zoom to learn, work, make music, do workouts together, have group dinners and so much more. Providing clear audio and good quality conversation, this private chat room allows for up to 1000 participants – time for that virtual party!

Sessions are capped at 40 minutes but you can upgrade to premium if you need longer.

#9 Netflix Party – the app to stay connected with friends over a virtual movie night

Netflix Party extension is one of the apps to stay conected

Bringing Netflix and chill (in the strictest sense of the words) to the virtual world, Netflix Party is one of our favorite apps to stay connected. Each person needs an active Netflix account. You will soon be chatting while watching movies or TV shows with your besties. One person needs to download the Google extension from Netflix and then share the link with the others. Whether it is peculiar crime documentaries, period dramas, or reality TV, the chat feature means you can react as you watch!

#10 Words with Friends – the app for a competitive games night

A social multiplayer game with a Scrabble-like twist, Words with Friends is one of the world’s most popular word games, and it is free to download on Google Play or the Apple Store. It is a great way to get competitive with those you love, and the lack of a time penalty means that you can take it at the speed that is best for you both. Both of you will need to download the game and create accounts before adding each other as friends.

Leaving for a holiday vacation? Terrific! Autumn is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to unwind and explore what the rest of the world has to offer, without the burning heat of mid-summer on your back. But planning for a holiday can be stressful; there are things to pack, flights to chase, places to go and things to buy. Luckily, forward-thinking developers have thought of a way to minimize those efforts and help you out. All you need to do is to download these 10 Holiday Apps to prevent any (albeit amusing) vacation disasters) 

Before you hit the road, here are ten essential apps you simply can’t do without. 

Best Holiday Apps #1
Packpoint

Packpoint as #1 of Holiday Apps
Photo source Screenshot: www.packpnt.com/

Don’t know what to pack – or more accurately what to pack for where? This holiday app, Packpoint, generates a personalized packing list for your trip. It makes everything no-brainer; just enter the location, travel date and length, along with some of the activities you plan to do. PackPoint checks the weather, your activities, and even lets you share your list with your friends – so no wasting time. You can easily tweak your finished list if you decide to add some more

There’s nothing more frustrating than packing whole outfits which remain at the bottom of your suitcase unused. This app rules this out completely – talk about efficiency.

Best Holiday Apps #2
Free Wi-Fi Finder

Free Wi-Fi Finder as #2 of Holiday Apps
Photo source Screenshot: www.itunes.apple.com/us/app/wi-fi-finder-free-internet

The first rule of vacation: turn your mobile data off. Unless you perversely enjoy receiving a hugely out of proportion bill for the five minutes you spent online of course. But, you do need internet time. Free Wi-Fi Finder can help you sniff those free signals from your hotel door or while in transit, and provides many passwords to boot.

The app allows you to stay connected, work from abroad and more – minus the scary roaming fees. You can easily tweet or chat with your friends and loved ones while on the go, or entertain yourself during a wait on Netflix. With thousands of hotspots available in each continent, this extremely helpful holiday app will keep your social life alive (online at least) without burning through all your data.

View this app on Free Wi-Fi Finder

Best Holiday Apps #3
Trip.com

Trip.com as #3 of Holiday Apps
Photo source Screenshot: www.trip.com

Planning a trip used was far more difficult before technology came along on its white horse. Here’s one very helpful aid you really ought to be carrying around in your pocket: Trip.com.

It makes exploring a ton easier; with a library of 60,00 destinations including travel guides, user reviews, and preferences, you can easily find your perfect match simply by heading to the Luxury or Foodie section. Get the best recommendation for a travel taste like yours straight away, it’ll save you hours of googling or having to find out one way or another in a 50:50 leap of faith.

Best Holiday Apps #4
Hopper

Hopper as #4 of Holiday Apps
Photo source Screenshot: www.hopper.com

Ask anyone why they haven’t booked their price and they’ll almost always blame expense.

But actually… there’s an app for that. Looking forward to snagging the best flight deals? Download Hopper. This app will send you notifications when your desired flight dips into the lowest price end. You can also find great flight suggestions from your home airport if you fancy a little spontaneity. Unplanned trips? No problem. Get the best flights without inadvertently cutting a hole in your pocket.

Best Holiday Apps #5
LuckyTrip

Lucky Trip as #5 of Holiday Apps
Photo source Screenshot: www.luckytrip.co.uk

If you’re less about planning and all about serendipity, this app is for you. This vacation app allows you to set your budget and let the fates/your button decide; it’s the perfect match for the travel thrill-seeker who is open to new adventures if they stay within their means! LuckyTrip covers all your vacation needs; with flights, hotels and handpicked activities available in 300 cities, you can find the best vacation that will suit your budget.

Visit the app’s website: Luckytrip

Best Holiday Apps #6
Circa

Jetlag is your worst enemy when it comes to traveling, but you can do your best to avoid it by downloading Circa. Beating nature could be both satisfying and healthy!

This app lets you keep track of time across various locations around the globe, helping you prepare your mind and body for the long flight and time switch. Use this app days before your flight, especially if you’re heading towards another continent. Pair this app with your Apple Watch and you can easily switch time zones as you go aboard the plane. 

You’d plan everything else, why wouldn’t you skip preparing your body?

Best Holiday Apps #7
Localeur

Localeur as #7 of Holiday Apps
Photo source Screenshot: www.localeur.com

This vacation app has you seeing your destination through the eyes of the locals there. Every traveler’s aim. Using a “community of local tastemakers,” Localeur is a flourishing network of professionals and creatives, sharing their tips on how to spot the best boutique hotels, coffee shops, clubs and other itineraries. This app covers the 50 major cities in the US, giving you the best insights and hole-in-the-wall finds as you explore America’s well-loved spots.

Best Holiday Apps #8
TimeOut

If you’re all about reading reviews (it’s not so unlikely), this app is your best find. Even if you’re not, it still earns its place on your phone. Winning its name from having some of the best breaks around the world, TimeOut lists down their best discoveries in your destination.

Imagine all the restaurants, events, hotels, museums, recreation areas, all in the palm of your hands, with ratings to boot! Make the most of your time out from the moment you arrive by listening to the professional reviews and lists recommended here. 

Visit the app’s website: TimeOut

Best Holiday Apps #9
Uber

Getting to your destination is made a hundred times easier (not to mention cheaper) with Uber, the famous ride-sharing brand that started a new age of transportation. If you want to save money by sharing your ride, you can choose to join a carpool and get to your next itinerary half the price. Although you can, of course, choose to ride alone.

Uber is used all over the world and you can score a ride with the tap of a button. Don’t ride alone; meet new friends along the way as you navigate through an unfamiliar place. Who knows, they might even help you out on your next route!

Bonus Tip for Holiday Apps
MyPostcard

MyPostcard as #10 of Holiday Apps

Well, you didn’t really think we’d leave this one out did you?

You’ll be taking photo after photo during your vacation, before, in all probability, sentencing them to a lonely death on your smartphone. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

Posting them on your Instagram account is a good second, but the only way to truly appreciate (would ‘honor’ be going to far?) your memories is to print them! MyPostcard allows you to keep those memorable photos  safe– not just in your social media accounts or digital drives – but in the palm of your hands. You can customize each image with a message which you can send to your family and friends as a personalized photo straight from your phone. Alternatively, you can order a classy art deco box of up to 30 of your fave photos to build your vacation album.

No Stress with these easy and helpful Holiday Apps!

So there you are, ten ultra-useful Holiday Apps for all your future vacations. Use these amazing resources to plan your itineraries, travel around, balance your time, and even plan what to pack! Traveling has never been more convenient!

Make sure to comment with any apps on your phone that deserve a mention!