10 Life-Changing Holiday Helper Apps

During this crazy, chaotic time we call the holiday season, technology can be your most trustworthy friend. Don’t believe us? Check out these nifty apps that’ll make your holidays much, much jollier.
  1. FastMall

    Photo by Shutterstock / The Nest

    What it is: This app details a mall’s layout -- including restrooms, elevators, escalators, restaurants and specific stores. Just choose your local mall, and it’ll download all the details (great for when you don’t have terrific service once you’re inside).

    Why we love it: How often have you gone around in circles trying to find that store? This app plans the route for you, saving you precious time. Bonus: You can record reminders, such as where you parked the car (G16!).

    Also check out: Getting your shopping done in a day? Use ShopSavvy to scan the barcodes of those items you’re thinking of purchasing. It’ll bring up other stores in your area, their stock and pricing -- ensuring you’re getting the best deal.

  2. Photogram

    Photo by Thinkstock / The Nest

    What it is: This postcard app lets users send photos snapped on their smartphones -- on their background of choice, plus a message -- to others via email, Facebook or Twitter.

    Why we love it: Need to send a holiday card? This surely beats paying for stamps -- and it lets you send four pictures at a time (perfect for those who just can’t choose a favorite).

    Also check out:Cards, Apple’s new app that lets users create a customized card from their photos -- with Apple taking care of printing, mailing and postage. It sends the card directly to the recipient (Season’s Greetings, Grandma!) and notifies the sender when it’s delivered. And the $2.99 price tag ain’t bad.

  3. Better Christmas List

    Photo by Thinkstock / The Nest

    What it is: This awesome app lets you decide what you’re getting your loved ones, create a budget and check the gift off of your list. Plus, it will alert you when you’ve -- gulp -- blown your budget.

    Why we love it: It’ll keep you on track and let you create “groups” of people to buy gifts for. Bonus? It tells you exactly where you stand on fulfillment (4/7 gifts complete!) per group.

    Also check out:QuickWish, which lets you create a wish list for yourself (and your little ones!) to send to family members. It pulls photos, retailers and price points that you can share via Facebook, Twitter or email. And it sure beats those “hints” you leave for your hubby (that he can never figure out).

  4. MyFitnessPal

    Photo by Thinkstock / The Nest

    What it is: An app that gives you the calorie count of all those holiday foods -- and what you’ll have to do to work ’em off.

    Why we love it: That whole “calories don’t count” myth we tell ourselves during the holidays is all well and good -- until you start your new year with 10 new pounds. Keeping a diary (an accurate one) during the holidays will help you to stop yourself from grabbing that extra cookie. Or pie slice. Or cake slice. See where we’re going here?

    Also check out: Headed to the in-laws or a friend’s home for dinner? Consider Hello Vino your saving grace. This wine app is like your personal sommelier, giving wine recommendations based on particular foods, tastes, regions and -- you guessed it -- holidays. And we’re not talking a generic “Cabernet Sauvignon” recommendation: This app breaks down specific wine brands and vintages based on things like reviews and price.

  5. TripIt

    Photo by Thinkstock / The Nest

    What it is: This app is an organizing genius. Simply send all of your travel confirmations to plans@tripit.com, and the app will organize your trip for you -- sending you reminders and helpful advice. It even includes maps, directions and links to hotels and restaurants.

    Why we love it: Because traveling is stressful enough.

    Also check out: If you’re driving, GasBuddy can save you money by showing the cheapest places to gas up during the drive, plus real-time pricing.