I’m always on the lookout for fun and useful apps for my iPhone and iPad when I travel. It’s truly amazing what’s possible with technology these days. Here are five cool travel apps I came across and took for a test drive. They’re available for Android devices too, but the best part is they’re all free!
Track My Tour lets you create an online map of your journey so your friends and family can follow your adventure as you go. You can chronicle your vacations, business trips, hikes, road trips, bike tours, and even cruises. From the app, you create a map and then share the link it gives you with your loved ones. Then, while you’re traveling you add “waypoints” on your map whenever you want to highlight a location or just say “I’m here!” There are many categories for the waypoints including dining locations, sights, activities, transportation options, and even the current weather—plus you can include text and a photo too. Your friends and family can follow a “breadcrumb trail” of your tour by visiting the link that you sent them. If you’re traveling internationally, you can avoid roaming charges by using the WiFi at your hotel (or at an internet café) to update your trip. I played around with this in my hometown, but I think it would be really fun to use on a long trip too!
TripIt is a travel organizer that lets you access all of your itinerary details right on your iPhone. It doesn’t matter where you booked your travel—you just forward the confirmation emails from your travel agent, airline, hotel, rental car, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then, it’s all organized in one place and you can access it anytime, anywhere. You can save multiple itineraries and even keep track of all of your frequent flyer accounts and miles.
World View let’s you watch webcams from all over the world at the touch of a button. There are literally thousands of cameras taking live pictures and videos of city streets, landmarks, natural wonders, and many other notable places. You can search more than 14,000 webcams on your iPhone through WiFi and both 3G and 4G networks, each providing interesting and beautiful views of the world. It’s a great way to see a place before you get there or to just daydream about being someplace other than your office cubicle!
Google Places helps you discover nearby destinations like restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, and other attractions while on the go. You can also find the closest locations for gas stations and post offices too. You may then rate these places (kind of like with Yelp), and based on your ratings, you get recommendations for new places you may like as well. The app is available in thirty languages including French, German, Polish, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Korean.
Goby helps you find activities and fun things to do in cities all across the U.S. The app can either detect your current location or you can search for a specific place. You enter a timeframe (such as today, tomorrow, or this weekend) and Goby gives you a list of all sorts of things going on. There are over 350 categories including outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and surfing; entertainment & nightlife including clubs, bars, theaters and casinos; family fun like bowling, zoos, and playgrounds; and arts and culture at places like museums and galleries. If ever you’re bored at home or traveling somewhere and want to act like a local, Goby seems like a great way to find something fun to do.
Have you ever used any of these? What do you think? Do you have any other favorite Travel apps? Feel free to share in the comments section below!