From booking flights to reserving a table or finding the nearest bus stop, travel apps have the potential to make any trip easier, more affordable and far less stressful. Need to check the status of your connecting flight without leaving your seat? There’s an app for that. Or perhaps you want to know how much that African finger painting your dad would love costs in dollars rather than shillings? There’s an app for that too!
With an estimated 17,000 on the market, choosing which apps to download before you trip can seem more than a little daunting. But not to worry, we’ve done all the hard work for you. From packing to making your flight to finding a hotel to changing money – these 14 apps will, without question, improve your travel experience. In fact, we’re willing to bet that after one trip you’ll start to wonder how you ever managed before!
TripIt travel Organizer. This is one of our all time fave travel apps. You can forget about carrying reams of paper itineraries with this handy tool. TripIt links to your e-mail account and picks up any confirmation number in your email. Any flight, hotel, dinner, or even theater reservation that has a confirmation number will be put into a personal and organized itinerary. They even have automatic updates if you flight is delayed!
Want to jazz up your travel photos? Now you can with Instagram on your ipad or phone. This well known app gives your photos professional, antiquated, or artistic looks. It instantly turns blah pictures into works of art, with filters such as “early bird’ and ‘nashville.’ Not to mention the fact that it makes sharing your pics via social media easier than ever!
Another great photo app. Whether you’re standing at the base of the great pyramids at Giza or lying on a beach in Costa Rica, Photosynth Interactive Panorama Capture and Sharing makes the best of your phones camera by stitching together your photos to create panoramic images. Send 360-degree views to friends and family while you’re traveling, and make them wish they came with you!
This is the easiest, and simplest app to track your flight; just tell them your airline and flight number and let the app do the rest. Want instant updates on flight changes, then Accept the push notification feature and they will inform you of delays, gate changes, and cancellations automatically.
Forget about sending tacky postcards back home, instead take a photo with the Postagram app and send it as your own postcard to anyone, anywhere. Postagram takes your photo and prints it for the grand price of 99c. Simply enter the address and they will post your travel photography via mail.
6. Urban Spoon
Find local eating joints by “shaking” your device and watching near-by restaurants slide up and down your screen. Urbanspoon uses GPS to pick out popular restaurants close to you. It currently workds in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia, but is expanding daily.
Flight delayed? Long layover? This app is perfect for you. It is basically a Yelp for airports. The app contains directories for over 124 airports and more than 25 international hubs. It take the stress out of finding an ATM, a decent cup of coffee, or a last minute souvenir.
8. Packing Pro
Deciding what you need to pack for your trip is an exhausting and time consuming affair. That’s why we love this handy little app. It takes all the stress out of preparing for travel. It allows you to create your own packing list, and then check the items off one by one as you squeeze them into your case. Undecided about what you might need in the first place? Then use one of their pre-designed templates which they have available for a variety of different trips.
9. XE Currency
Convert every world currency on the go, with this XE currency app. It syncs with you Wi-fi to provide up to date exchange rates, and also stores live rates offline should you find yourself without internet connection.
If Je ne parle pas français is the limit of your foreign language skills, then its worth getting google’s translation app before you go. It allows you to translate text between 57 languages, receive translations by speaking in 15 languages, and displays easy to read phonetic pronunciations on your screen. Just download and Voila!
We bet you most of you have this one already, but what you didn’t know is that it is much more than just a social media tool. It can also be a travelers best friend. While currently underutilized by travelers, Twitter can provide vital travel help before, after or during your trip. For example most airlines and travel companies have people checking their twitter accounts 24 hours a day, and even have special handles for travelers who need assistance. Try it, tweet and see how fast they respond! If your already Twitter Savvy, use it to meet up with other people while abroad.
Would you know how much to tip a cab driver in Paris or you hotel maid in Tunisia? Don’t worry Globe tipper has it covered. This app gives you advice and guidelines for tipping in more than 200 countries, from Australia to Zimbabwe. It can also divide a suggested tip into percentages, so you can split you tab with your friends.
The one stop app for public transport anywhere in the US, Canada and Europe. You can find, walking, subway, bike and bus directions for any major city, as well as detailed public transport timestables and scheduled service changes. Stuck in traffic or you train delayed? Simply hit the alternative route options and hopstop will re-direct you around the problem.
Traveling can feel like one long equation, from figuring out temperature in Celsius to working out your shoe size. Conversion-catchall “Convertbot” does the math for you. You can select from one of 20 categories, enter your confusing weight, height or length you need and the app instantly converts the figure into the desired unit of measure.