No, this isn’t one of those articles telling you to go all “Eat, Pray, Love” and leave your technology behind. In fact, this is the opposite. Too poor to take a trip? Can’t get any time off work? Doing the world a favor by not dragging your screaming toddlers onto a plane? Well, I’ve found three apps that you can use to capture the very essence of a vacation, right on your iPhone.
Let’s start with transportation. You’ve got to get to your destination, and Pocket Planes in a game that let’s you experience some of what it’s like to manage a busy series of airports. Build up a fleet of airports and planes that can ferry cargo across the continent (and probably around the world, I’m only at level five!). While there are options for in-app purchases, you can easily play this game without spending a penny. I find the background noise quite soothing- it really does capture the sound of being on an airplane! Of the three games I’m sharing today, this is my favorite.
Next, accommodation. Once your pocket plane gets you to your destination, you’ll need somewhere to sleep. That’s where Monopoly Hotels comes in. If you’re tired of hotels that look like red plastic lumps, this is your chance to out-Trump Donald at his own empire. Build up hotels full of strangely-themed rooms and bizarre attractions. Combine units for bonus bucks- maybe the Scottie Dog room plus the Sushi Restaurant could finally break down some of mankind’s reservations about eating raw dog! Free download, but with a “store” button that I’m not even going to press because I don’t want to accidentally pay fivereal dollars to unlock the Tampon Shop. What, no Tampon Shop?
And finally, after your pocket plane flies you to your Monopoly hotel, you’ll need to find something to eat. Haven’t you heard? Tourists eat in restaurants. Travelers eat street food. Or so that unshaven guy who hitchhiked all the way from Jordan will tell you as he also asks to borrow a thousand yen. So, I bring you Streetfood Tycoon. More mindless clicking, this time picking up a skewer or carton, loading it with fries or corn dogs, and topping it with cheese or ketchup. You know I’m Canadian because I thought the cheese was actually gravy. Viva la poutine! This is another game that you can easily play for free, but making in-app purchases lets you upgrade your cart faster.
So download all three, turn them on at the same time, and imagine you’re flying, sleeping and eating your way around the world!