In the age of technology, more travelers are forsaking maps and phonebooks for iPads and smart phones. When everything is at your fingertips, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the hundreds of apps vying for your attention. We've made it simple by offering you a list of the most ingenuous, "why didn't I think of that," travel lifesavers to never be without for your next trip.
FlightTrack - Live Flight Status Tracker By Mobiata ($4.99)
By Ben Kazez
Track your flights up until the minute you board the plane. Users can zoom in to get specific map locations as well as real-time departure information including gate changes, delays, cancellations and weather announcements. This app has full international coverage too, which means you can track any flight around the world. And if your flight is canceled, FlightTrack will quickly help you find an alternate booking. You can download this app onto your iPhone or iPad and it is available in English, Chinese, Danish and Spanish.
Smart Traveler (Free)
By U.S. Department of State
Designed specifically for American travelers, this app, developed by the U.S. State Department, allows you to register with the SD before or after you arrive in a country. This way, if a natural disaster, terrorist attack or any other emergency occurs while there, the government will be able to find you, help you, or evacuate you. This is especially important if you are planning on traveling to a country with a history of natural or political upheaval. The app also gives you information about the country you are visiting and a continually updated list of travel advisories and warnings around the world.
TripIt - Travel Organizer (Free)
For those that are too disorganized to have everything together, TripIt does it for you. By forwarding your travel plans and confirmations to tripit.com, you are automatically given a "smartinerary." This lifesaver includes flight numbers, arrival and departure times, maps, driving directions, hotel reservations and check in times. And, all your information can be shared with others, which is great for loved ones back home or fellow travelers. You can also store your information on your iPhone, iPad, in you calendar or online so it is available at any time.
Around Me (Free)
By Marco Pifferi
If you are a traveler who needs a plan, this app is for you. This handy guide allows you to see what's around you the minute you arrive at your destination. You simply use your current location to find the nearest banks, hospitals, shopping centers, hotels, theatres, gas stations, landmarks, museums, parks - the list goes on and on. The app lists the address and tells you the quickest way to get there. This is perfect for those who have little time to wander around or for anyone who hates feeling lost in a new city.
By Booking.com B.V
Now it is easier than ever to find the perfect hotel anywhere in the world. This app lets you select hotels by location, price, amenities, availability and duration of stay. After you've found your cozy hotel in the country or a swanky spot in the city center, just provide check-in and out dates and the number of persons staying. The app includes pictures, maps and directions for the thousands of hotels in its directory. Available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
Healix Travel Vaccinations (Free)
By Healix IT
Why hasn't anyone thought of this before? This app is perfect for virtually anyone traveling outside their native country. It includes lists of potential and mandatory vaccines for every country. As an extra incentive to get vaccinated, the app provides a list of dangers and potential infections, diseases and repercussions. The app is easily searchable by country and is a no-nonsense way to stay healthy and safe while traveling.
Lonely Planet Phrasebooks ($5.99)
By Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd
Most of us have been completely lost in a new city at one point or another. You can say "please," "thank you," and "where is the toilet" - none of which will help you. Now there's an app to come to the rescue. Containing over 630 spoken phrases, the app speaks slowly and enunciates to give you the greatest chance of not embarrassing yourself. Now, you'll never be lost for worlds like church, store, bar, park and everything in between. The app comes in English, French and Japanese but offers dozens of translatable languages from those three.
Visiting a new city requires so much planning, reserving and coordinating that you may have no idea what to do or where to go when you actually get there. MetrO makes it easy to navigate the public transportation of more than 400 cities worldwide. Simply download the cities you are visiting and search your route by train, bus, subway, car, or trolley. The best part is, there is no wireless connection required to operate it, so you'll still be safe even in the New York City subways. The app also provides weekly updates, including the latest changes in routes, scheduled maintenance and which paths to avoid.
Camp Finder ($1.99)
By Camping Road Trip, LLC
For those who travel to get away from the cities and suburbs, this app helps you find the nearest campgrounds across the United States. You can choose from the over 14,000 campgrounds by location and amenities (like free wifi or pet-friendly), and you can also read reviews and view photos left by fellow campers. You can search by name, city and state, rates, and available discounts. It also lists contact information, maps and driving directions.