10 Apps that Make My Life Easier on the Road
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Traveling occupational therapy while living on the road has presented many amazing opportunities to me but it’s also provided me with some challenges. As a person who is not very organized to begin with, staying organized on the road has become a serious challenge for me. Over the years I have found some apps that have made my life significantly easier. Here are my top 10 apps that I use on a regular basis to stay on top of everyday life!
- The Most Epic Alaskan Road Trip (Part II): Canada
- My Van Life Fails (so far)
- One Year of Van Life
- Van Life Essentials
- 5 Things that Happen When you Live in a Van
- Travel Therapy Resources
- Van Life Resources
As a once huge fan of making and burning CDs, I was always hesitant to switch to services like Spotify. I enjoyed the art of hand selecting 12-15 songs in a certain order and burning them to a CD, which I still do sometimes. However, I sometimes have very long road trips and having a plethora of music to choose from makes road trips more fun. I also thoroughly enjoy the playlists that their algorithm makes for me to listen to. Premium is worth it to me because I can download and listen to playlists when I don’t have service or on an airplane. Click here to check it out.
Sometimes I get sick of music during road trips and switch to podcasts. Podcasts are awesome because they are free! There are so many great podcasts to listen to anyone could find something that holds their interest. My favorite podcasts include, How I built this, 30 for 30, Tim Ferriss Show, Serial, S-Town, and the Dave Ramsey Show.
I would say 90% of the travelers I have met are traveling for the experience but also for the lucrative opportunities that travel therapy offers. Like me, most traveling healthcare professionals have taken out student loans to pay for their college. If you don’t know already, one of the main reasons for me living in a van is to save money in order to pay off student loan debt. I have been searching for apps since I started to help me stay organized with finances and tracking my net worth and so happy that I found Personal Capital. It’s FREE which is the best part. You can link up all your bank, loans, credit cards and investments. I find that Personal Capital has way fewer glitches than other similar apps I have used. It’s also very motivating to see my net worth slowly increase as I pay off more and more student loan debt. Click here to sign up!
I use Personal Capital to track my net worth but I use Every Dollar to make a monthly budget and keep me on track. Every Dollar is an app created by Dave Ramsey and based on a zero-based budget. Basically, this means that you project your income and then spend “every dollar’ before the month’s starts. Meaning you figure out your estimated income and then divide your income into a budget for all your expenses savings, expenses, and debt. I use to do this on an excel spreadsheet but it was difficult for me to figure out how to make the math automatic. As a traveler, my weekly checks can change slightly depending on hours worked. Every Dollar is really easy to update and change for unexpected income or expenses throughout the month. There is a free and premium version. I use the free version which means I manually place expenses in as opposed to the premium version which is attached to your bank. This app has helped me reach my financial goals and has made me feel much more in control of my income. Check it out here.
I don’t use credit cards anymore but as a frequent traveler, I do feel I may be more at risk of credit fraud than others. I like apps like Credit Sesame because they are free and can provide me with all my closed and open accounts. This is also good periodically check to see if someone has opened accounts in your name or to see if you have an account in collections. I have to say, their emails get a little annoying so I disabled emails from them and just check the app as needed.
One time I was visiting Joshua Tree National Park, became sick and needed to go to the Emergency Room. One day I checked my credit report and I had a collection bill of $50 from this hospital. I called the hospital because I had received no information about this. When asked if they tried to mail or call me to collect this bill they said: “ um ,we probably did.” Obviously, they didn’t really care and I had no letters or phone calls from them. I was annoyed because I could have easily paid the $50 and avoided collections. Long story short I may not have known about this bill for a long time if I didn’t check my credit report regularly. Click here to sign up.
Google Drive and Docs
I keep frequent documents I need like resume and compliance docs in a folder when I’m traveling. This was I can easily send resume, vaccinations, and whatever else I need to a recruiter instantly without needing to get on my laptop. With travel therapy being more competitive these days, you never know when those awesome jobs will come up.
I recently started using Evernote and really enjoy it. I essentially use it to make a “work” and “after work” to do list every day. The feature to be able to cross things off is very satisfying. I still have a notebook that I like to write in and keep for personal stories and things that happen, but I enjoy Evernote for the day to day notes and spur of the moment ideas.
One of the unfortunate parts of traveling for work, it can be difficult to plan other types of travel. Mostly because it’s difficult to know where I will be living more than 3 months in advance. I am typically going to have to pay more for flights simply because I can’t plan them out too far in advance. Sky Scanner is an app I have been using for many years and, I have always found the cheapest flights possible when compared to other flights. Click here to search for flights.
If I am not traveling home, I typically need to rent a car. I’ve been traveling for a few years now and have rented a car a handful of times. I definitely have had the best luck with Priceline when it comes to rental car searches. Check it out here.
It’s not in my nature to be a very organized person, but these apps make it easy to be organized and stay on top of everyday life!
What are your favorite apps?