Can Technology Ease Your Holiday Stress?
Ease Holiday Stress With Tech 04:08
With all the cooking, decorating, gift-buying, wrapping and card-sending happening around the holidays, it's easy to fall into the "I'm too busy juggling to be jolly" mindset. Sharing holidays with friends and family is truly a present of its own, but if I'm not organized, I’m likely to forget about the eggnog spill while I’m sprinting to the mailbox to mail late holiday cards. Thankfully there are a ton of tools that take the stress out of everything from cards to festive dinners.
Navigate Airports With Ease
If you're traveling for the holiday, you can cut the time it takes to search for your itinerary with GateGuru, an app that will wrangle your flight info and airport information in one place. A service like Yapta can track flight prices and help you get a refund when the ticket you already bought drops in price.
Get Help Addressing Holiday Cards
If you choose to go with paper holiday cards, Postable's online address book can invite your friends to fill in their addresses for you instead of chasing folks to get their contact information.
Pick Up Last-Minute Gifts
E-gifting apps like GiftRocket let you send a cash gift with a message of how you think the recipient should use it. So, you can include messages like, "Share a night out with your honey!" or "Now you can get that guitar you've always wanted!" You can direct deposit the gift into the recipient's bank account or as a credit on their credit card.
Stock Your Kitchen
Use Shelf Scouter's barcode scanner to help you track what you already have and create shopping lists. Then, let the app tell you whether it's cheaper to buy online or at your local store.
Whether it's a successful recipe, a special item you tucked into your guest room or gift ideas that blew people away, you'll want to remember them for next year. Use an app like Evernote or a paper diary to jot things down, so you'll have a go-to "nice" list ready for next year.
One way I simmer my nerves in the kitchen is by using a digital thermometer that warns me via text message when my roast is ready. Say goodbye to overcooked anything! Another way I lower stress in the kitchen is by keeping all my recipes organized in a clever recipes app.
Keep Tabs on Online Orders
Online purchases are tough to keep track of while they're being processed and shipped. The Slice app tracks your packages and keeps track of your receipts, and lets you know if the item you purchased has gone down in price, so you can get a refund.
Avoid Identity Theft
Make sure your online identity and finances are safe with a watchdog site like LifeLock, which is constantly scanning to be sure no one is using your information. It alerts you if there's anything suspicious, and its team will help you if you become a victim.
When it comes to gifts, step away from the mall. Instead, shop online to buy for everyone from Mom to the mail carrier. I like to use search engines that scan the shelves of nearby stores and tell me where to buy the item. No more running from store to store or waiting on the phone. To keep track of online gift purchases (a stress in itself), I use an app that scans my inbox for receipts and lets me know when gifts get delivered or if something goes on sale. Finally, when it comes to holiday cards, it's probably no surprise that I pass on the paper. Sending digital e-cards saves money and time (and the planet) so I can bask in the spirit — instead of the stress — of the season.