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Tech the Halls: Must-Have Apps for a Stress-Free Holiday Season

December 14, 2023

Smiling woman wearing a Santa hat, holding a smart phone in one hand and pointing behind her with the other hand.

Check out these must-have apps for a stress-less holiday season.

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness. But let's face it - with all the chaos of holiday preparations, it can also lead to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted - and maybe even a little bit grouchy.  But don't worry - we've got your back!  We want your holidays to be stress-free and enjoyable, which is why we've put together a list of must-have apps to help you sail through the season. These apps will assist you in everything from organizing events to managing your budget, turning your holiday season into a walk in a (wintery) park.

Stay Organized with Gift Planning and Shopping Apps

The holiday season is a time for giving, and that means finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones. However, gift shopping can easily become a stressful and overwhelming task. Gift planning and shopping apps can minimize this stress by helping you stay organized, keep track of your budget, and find the best deals, making your gift-shopping experience much more enjoyable.

One popular gift-planning app is Giftster. This app allows you to create gift lists for your family and friends, and even share them with others. You can add gift ideas, set a budget, and mark gifts as purchased. This app is perfect for ensuring that you buy the right gifts for everyone on your list and avoid any last-minute shopping stress.

Another useful app is ShopSavvy. This app allows you to scan barcodes and compare prices to find the best deals. It also provides user reviews and product recommendations, helping you make informed purchasing decisions. With ShopSavvy, you can save time and money while shopping for gifts so you can focus on enjoying the holiday season. And speaking of saving money, don't forget to shop through Rakuten, where you can earn some pretty great cash back. They also offer a pretty sweet referral incentive that will fatten up your quarterly check. 

Working with a large family to plan your holiday? Cozi is a fantastic family organizer app that combines a shared calendar, to-do lists, and shopping lists in one place. Keep everyone in the family informed about holiday events, plan meals together, and create shopping lists that update in real-time. Cozi helps families stay connected and organized during the busiest time of the year.

Each one of these apps can help you stay organized and stress-free during the gift-shopping process, making your holiday shopping experience much smoother and more enjoyable.  

Stay Up to Date on Your Holiday with Apps for your Travels

Planning and staying organized during the holiday season can be a challenge, especially when it comes to traveling. That's why having the right apps on your phone can make all the difference. Whether you're organizing your itinerary, keeping track of your expenses, or finding the best deals on flights and accommodations, there are apps available to help you stay organized every step of the way.

One popular app is TripIt, which allows you to create a master itinerary for your trip by simply forwarding your confirmation emails. This app will organize all your travel details in one place, including flight and hotel information, car rentals, and even restaurant reservations.

Another useful app is PackPoint, which helps you pack for your trip by creating a personalized packing checklist based on your destination, travel dates, and planned activities. This app takes into account the weather forecast and even allows you to share your packing list with fellow travelers.

To ensure a stress-free and organized holiday travel experience, be sure to download these essential apps that will make your journey a breeze. Additionally, if you're flying with an airline this holiday season, consider downloading their app to stay informed about any cancellations or updates, keeping you in the loop every step of the way.

Capture and Share Precious Moments with Photo Editing and Sharing Apps

The holiday season is filled with precious moments that you'll want to capture and cherish forever. Whether it's opening presents, spending time with loved ones, or enjoying festive activities, photo editing and sharing apps can help you preserve these memories and share them with others.

One popular photo editing app is VSCO. This app allows you to enhance your photos with filters, adjust settings like exposure and saturation, and even create photo collages. With VSCO, you can turn your holiday snapshots into stunning works of art.

Another great app for capturing and sharing holiday moments is Instagram. This social media platform is perfect for sharing photos and videos with your friends and family. You can add filters, captions, and hashtags to your posts, and even create Instagram Stories to document your holiday adventures in real time. With Instagram, you can share the magic of the holiday season with the world.

Not a social media fanatic? Send heartfelt holiday greetings with personalized cards and gifts from Shutterfly. This app lets you create custom photo cards, calendars, and gifts that your friends and family will cherish. Spread the holiday cheer with a personal touch.

So, if you want to capture and share your holiday memories in the best possible way, be sure to download photo editing and sharing apps. They will help you create beautiful photos and share them with your loved ones, keeping the holiday spirit alive.

Indulge in Delicious Recipes with Food and Drink Apps

The holiday season is synonymous with delicious food and drinks. From festive cookies to warm apple cider, there are plenty of culinary delights to enjoy. Food and drink apps can help you discover new recipes, plan your holiday meals, and even find nearby restaurants and bars that offer holiday-themed dishes and drinks.

One popular food and drink app is Tasty. This app offers a wide range of recipes, from quick and easy meals to gourmet desserts. You can browse different categories, save your favorite recipes, and even watch step-by-step video tutorials. With Tasty, you can impress your guests with the mouthwatering holiday dishes you'll create.

If you're going to cook, that means you've got to shop! Skip the crowded grocery stores and long checkout lines by using Instacart or Shipt. These apps allow you to order groceries and lots more from your favorite local stores and have them delivered right to your doorstep, letting you recoup some of your time and energy for more meaningful holiday activities.

Another great app for food and drink enthusiasts is Untappd. This app focuses on craft beer and allows you to discover new breweries, rate beers, and even earn badges for trying different styles. With Untappd, you can find the perfect beer to pair with your holiday feast and expand your knowledge of the craft beer world. And before you ask, yes there is one for wine! Check out Vivino, where you can track tastings, get prices, and read reviews.

Stay on Track this Holiday with Budgeting Apps

The holiday season is a time for giving, but it can also be a time of financial stress. With all the gift shopping, travel expenses, and holiday indulgences, it's easy to lose track of your budget. That's where budgeting apps come in handy. These apps can help you stay on track and make smart financial decisions.

One popular budgeting app is Mint. This app allows you to track your income and expenses, set budgets, and receive alerts when you're nearing your spending limits. It also provides insights and tips on how to save money and reach your financial goals. With Mint, you can stay organized and in control of your finances, making this holiday season a stress-free one.

Another useful app is YNAB (You Need A Budget). This app takes a proactive approach to budgeting by helping you assign every dollar to a job and prioritize your spending. It also offers educational resources and support to help you build good money habits. With YNAB, you can stay on top of your finances and make informed decisions about your holiday spending.

If you're mobile/online banking with Education First, we also offer a free online budgeting tool to our members, iThrive, iThrive allows you to track your cash flow and spending by category. Set up savings goals, manage your budget, and more. So, if you want to stay on track with your budget this holiday season, be sure to download and make use of your chosen budgeting app and start the new year on a financially sound note.

Unleash the Festive Spirit with Holiday-Themed Apps

'Tis the season for spreading joy and cheer, and what better way to do that than with some jolly holiday-themed apps? Whether you're itching to deck out your phone with festive wallpaper or in need of a mental escape with a merry game, there's an abundance of apps to help unleash your inner holiday spirit.

One popular holiday-themed app is the Santa Tracker, which allows you to follow Santa's journey on Christmas Eve. You can see his current location, the number of presents he has delivered, and even play games with the elves. This app is perfect for kids (big and small) and brings a sense of wonder and excitement to the holiday season.

Another great holiday-themed app is the Christmas Countdown app. This app not only counts down the days until Christmas but also provides daily festive activities and ideas to make the most of the holiday season. Whether it's baking cookies, watching holiday movies, or going ice skating, this app will help you make every day leading up to Christmas special.

So don't forget, the holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, so take advantage of these holiday-themed tech solutions designed to take some of the work out of some of the most time-consuming tasks, like gift tracking and managing your holiday budget. Who knows, you might even find yourself waiting up late to see if you can catch a glimpse of Santa when he flies over your home on Christmas Eve!