30 Travel Apps You Need! Aka The Ones You Won't DeleteNadia Carriere
I’m an app junkie, but I’m also an app removal junkie. If something doesn’t work for me, it’s gone within the same week that I’ve downloaded it. Over the past few years, I’ve downloaded and deleted hundreds of apps, weeding through the baddies and sorting through the goodies to find the ones that are useful. The travel apps you need RIGHT NOW are the ones that will help you in every stage of your travel. During your road trip, layovers at the airport, or walking the streets of New York City. These are your best friends, the ones you won’t be able to live without. If you roam between countries, you’ll really appreciate the map app I mention in the slideshow below, because it allows you to download the maps beforehand, so you don’t need to use up all your data searching for directions from point A to point B. Another will locate all of the attractions, restaurants and must-dos in the area with one tap of your finger. There’s even an app that will translate a sign into English by just taking a picture of it.
I’m not kidding.
These travel apps will make your trip that much more enjoyable. They’ll help you stay organized, save you time, money and a whole lot of hassle. Trust me on this one!
30 Incredible Travel Apps To Download Before Your Next Trip 1 of 31
These are the ones you won't want to delete. Trust me.
Photo credit: twicepix/Flickr
Gas Buddy 2 of 31
Gas is expensive and seems to mysteriously rise in the summer months when everyone's getting ready to hit the road. Funny how that happens isn't it. Anyways, the Gas Buddy app will use your phone's GPS to locate the cheapest gas wherever you are. If you report the gas prices in the area, you'll earn points towards their regular prize giveaways. It's a great community of drivers and travelers who work together to save money on gas and keep everyone in the know.
Available for Android, iPhone and Blackberry. Find out more at GasBuddy.com.
Kayak 3 of 31
Leaving out the #1 mobile travel app would be ridiculous now wouldn't it? Kayak helps you to find hotels, flights and car rentals while on the fly (pun intended). They are great for scouting out the best deals available. The app is avaialble for the iPhone, Android, iPad, Windows Phone and Kindle Fire.
Find out more by visiting Kayak.com.
TripCase 4 of 31
TripCase is one of the few apps that have been on my phone since the very beginning. Every trip I take is entered into this nifty little organizer with little to no work on my part. Any hotel, flight or restaurant confirmation gets forwarded to the TripCase email address and within seconds it appears on my app. All organized by date, trip and time.
If your flight is delayed it will update that as well. You can also add additional details to your trip within the app to customize your itinerary and keep everything in one place. There are a couple of other apps that are in direct competition with TripCase and I've tried them out as well, however this one is my favorite. The app is available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
You can find out more information by visiting TripCase.
Google Maps 5 of 31
It has to be said and I'm going to say it, the Map app on the iPhone? Horrible. Simply terrible. I would delete it if I could, but you can't do that with the pre-installed apps so I downloaded the Google Maps app instead. Much, much better and works well all around. Sincerely hoping Apple fixes their app, but in the meantime we have our beloved Google. It provides real-time traffic while you are on route, a street view option, layers and more.
The app works on Android, Blackberry, iPhone, Nokia S60 as well as the Windows phone. You can find more details by visiting Google Maps Mobile.
Red Rover 6 of 31
If you have kids and you live in the city, you need RedRover. Local programs, festivals, drop-in classes and other events are filtered by date and according to the age and personal interests of your children. It also provides good and relevant suggestions on where to eat, shop or play in the nearby vicinity. Smart!
If you've tested out RedRover in the past, be sure to download the latest 3.0 version as its quite different from the original and you can now find information on New York City, Atlanta and San Fransisco. More cities will be offered soon.
You can download the app for free through iTunes.
Packing Pro 7 of 31
When it comes to packing, I'm a horrible procrastinator. Meaning, I don't pack until the very last minute, usually hours before our departure. With a husband and three kids, that isn't usually the greatest idea. PackingPro has made my life a whole lot easier since I downloaded it a couple of months ago. I love how I can essentially have a customized set list for each trip and then add to each one as needed. I don't have to think about it or worry about forgetting something as long as I use this handy app. Yes it's $2.99, but my sanity is worth the cost.
Available to download through iTunes.
FlightTrack 8 of 31
During over 20 trips last year, I had major delays and a couple of flight nightmares. After the second one, I downloaded the FlightTrack app for myself and my husband. While I traveled solo, he could keep an eye on each of my flights for delays without having to worry on if/when I landed. Funny enough, during a couple delays , my app updated on my phone before the computer displays in the airport updated with the flight changes.
You can also track flights with zoomable maps and locate your gate numbers with a quick glance.
The full version is $4.99 and can be purchased for Android or iPhone.
GateGuru 9 of 31
You can track your flights, receive real-time updates on your itinerary including delays, security wait times, gate changes and more with GateGuru (owned by TripAdvisor). Personally, I like to use it for the airport card where the airport's amenities are listed and rated. I can find the closest Starbucks or Japanese restaurant with a quick glance.
This app is available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone. You can find out more by visiting GateGuru.
FourSquare 10 of 31
Foursquare isn't just an app, it's an entire social network. You can follow your friends to see where they check-in, try to match or beat their scores with your own check-ins and earn badges for fun. Many companies have jumped on the FourSquare bandwagon, offering perks or discounts to those who check-in with the app. I've received free entrees and appetizers a restaurants as well as up to 20% off my bill a a clothing store. A fun and useful app to keep on your phone.
Safety tip: If you are checking in around your own neighborhood, try doing so after you've left and don't check-in to places like you're child's school or doctor's office. I tend to use the app during my travels as opposed to an everyday app, for privacy reasons.
The app is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and Blackberry. Find out more by visiting FourSquare.
Along the Way 11 of 31
I love road trips, but finding good restaurants or stops along the way is a challenge, especially if you aren't familiar with the area or your route. Along the Way is powered by FourSquare and uses the reviews and rankings from other users to provide you with pit-stops along the way. No more guessing games!
The app is only available for iPhone and can be downloaded through iTunes.
XE Currency 12 of 31
The currency changes by the hour and when you are traveling internationally, it helps to keep on top of it. XE is my favorite currency convertor and can be used for your travels as well as for online shopping. I use it for my eBay hauls in addition to my trips to the USA.
The app is available for just about every platform. You can find more information (and test it out) by visiting XE.
Instagram 13 of 31
Instagram is easily one of my most used apps during my travels. Along with shooting and sharing photos and videos (new since June) geo-tagging is a must and can open a whole new world of discovery as you can find others who have taken photos in the same spot as you, discover new friends and more.
Katja Presnel's new book "Instagram as Your Guide To The World" is a great book to both get you started and increase your knowledge on the app and it's capabilities.
Road Ninja 14 of 31
RoadNinja provides a list of spots at each interstate exit and then categorizes the depending on what you're looking for. You can find them on maps, share the with your friends or through your social networks and discover deals along the way. RoadNinja also has their own set of promos to help you save money. Speaking of money, it displays which exit offers the cheapest gas prices.
The app is available for IOS and Android.
UrbanSpoon 15 of 31
I use UrbanSpoon locally as well as during my travels. It does a great job listing local eats and sorts them by location and proximity, ratings (sourced by Yelp) and the price range of the cuisine. The app provides the same information as the web version, but with a fun spin on it. If you aren't picky and are up for just about any cuisine, simply hit the Shake button or shake your phone and the wheels will find a good nearby restaurant for you.
I use both the web and mobile version of Urbanspoon. Both are worth a try. No more guessing games for dining! Another app that remains on my phone at all times.
Wolfram Sun Exposure App 16 of 31
Losing yourself in a book while relaxing on a beach in the Caribbean or on a cruise ship is something that is easily done, but can also cost you a wicked sunburn if you forget to reapply your sunscreen. Guess what? There's an app for that.
The Wolfram Sun Exposure Reference App will use personal information on your skin type, current location, time of day and current SPF being used, to calculate how long your skin can remain exposed to the sun before burning. Calculate your time, set your alarm and you're good to go!
Om Finder 17 of 31
Staying fit is something many of us try to do while we travel and sometimes the hotel gym doesn't quite cut it. Athletic apparel company Lululemon did a really great job with the Om App. You can find upcoming yoga classes and sessions in your area, narrowing it down by both location and instructor. You can also search by date to locate the best class that fits with your schedule and find tips and tricks from local yoga enthusiasts. Very nice formatting and easy to use.
The app is only available for iPhone and iPod and can be downloaded for free through iTunes.
Camp & RV 18 of 31
At $9.99, this is the most expensive app I've ever downloaded, but as campers with a travel trailer, it's worth it. The app is designed for iPhone and iPad and offers hundreds of locations and information on truck parking spaces, rest areas, low bridge locations, reviews on parks, as well as a map visual on campgrounds.
You can purchase it through iTunes.
PicFari 19 of 31
I dedicated an entire post to Picfari because it's one of the coolest apps I've found for travel photographers. Essentially, Picfari is a network of users who share their exact location, camera used (whether it by a phone, point-and-shoot or DSLR, lens and setting for each of their photos.
Let's say you are planning on visiting Egypt and want to take an amazing shot of the pyramids, you can look through Picfari at some of the ones posted and find out how and even when (what time of day) it was taken. A great resource! This one is only available as a web version right now.
Veg Travel Guide 20 of 31
For the past 7 years I've been consulting Happy Cow before every trip we take, to get information on local vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the area that we are visiting. They have since come out with the Veg Travel Guide app which allows you to find directions, phone numbers and websites to good veggie hot spots in your area whether it be a restaurant or health food store.
Happy Cow has also included an option for users to upload photos of your food, submit reviews and share with fellow users. This is a great app for vegetarian and vegan travellers!
Audible 21 of 31
Reading is a passion of mine, but last summer I spent so many hours behind the wheel, that I didn't get to read as much as I would have liked, so I downloaded Audible, bought Bossypants by Tina Fey and listened to the audio version through my headphones while the kids napped. When they are awake, they prefer The Wonderful World of Oz and the fact that someone else is reading to them, keeping them calm and happy while I drive is priceless!
Find out more by visiting Audible.com.
Word Lens 22 of 31
This app is magic. Simply magic! If you are traveling abroad and you spot a sign in Portugeuese, German, Italian, French or Spanish, just whip out this app and use the built-in video camera. The words will appear immediately on your video screen (no data needed). Like I said, magic.
Word Lens is free, however the catch is that language packs have to be purchased within the app.
Onavo 23 of 31
Onavo cuts your data use down significantly, by compressing it through a free, always-on VPN connection. You can see through regular reports on where your data goes and how much you use/how much you save.
The app is only available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Joya 24 of 31
iMovie is a great app to use if you want to edit and upload videos to YouTube, but it takes time and lots of data. If all you want to do is share a video clip with friends and family you can select it with the Joya app, enter their phone number (for text) or email address, and Joya will send them a link to the video. No large email files, data transfers or long load times.
FoodSpotter 25 of 31
Menus are one thing, but there is nothing like looking through a bakery window. Foodspotting is essentially like UrbanSpoon, but a visual version. You can discover nearby dishes, see what's good at a local restaurant, keep track of all the dishes you try and check up on what your friends are tasting. Foodspotting is a visual taste-test.
Available for free through iTunes.
WhatsApp 26 of 31
You'll never have to pay for a text again as long as you use the WhatsApp Messenger. It alows you to exchange messages with iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia users without paying a cent. It's not just for texting, you can also send unlimited images, video and audio media messages.
Shazam 27 of 31
Have you ever listened to the tail end of a song, but had no idea who sang it or what the song title was? It's happened to me more times than I can count. Open up Shazam, tap the centre and it will identify the song playing within a few seconds. You can then tag the song or purchase it through iTunes.
This is not a travel app per say, but it eliminates an annoyance many of us experience when driving. The app is available for Android, iPhone, iPod, iPad, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices.
Kindle 28 of 31
I always have two books on the go. One on my Kindle and the other in paperback or hardbound form. The Kindle app is a nifty one to have as it allows you to read with your phone from where you left off in your Kindle. I like to use it while my husband drives while my daughters use my Kindle or vice versa.
You can use the app on your computer, iPhone, Tablet, Android, Windows Phone or Blackberry. Visit Amazon.com for more information.
Hipmunk 29 of 31
No more jumping from Expedia to Travelocity. Hipmunk compares the top travel sites all at once and let's you in on hotel inventory for last minute savings. Their flight booking tool is quite good as well.
The app is available for Android and iPhone users. You can find out more by visiting HipMunk.
MapsWithMe 30 of 31
If you're traveling out of the country, chances are you won't want to use your data much. MapsWithMe offers detailed maps that are available completely offline. They are downloaded to your phone so you won't require any kind of data plan to use them.
The app is available for IOS and Android only. You can find out more at MapsWithMe.
Postagram 31 of 31
Use photos from your phone, computer, Instagram or Facebook with the Postagram app and send real postcards to family members. They can even pop out the photo once they receive the card and have it framed if they wish.
The app is available for iPhone and Android.
Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.