The Top 10 Free Apps for Every Type of Traveler
Free Apps to Guide Your Way
By Elayne Badrigian
When you hit the open road, you can travel light with your smartphone that can replace a large bulky computer and travel guide books. These free apps will make travel much easier!
Now, one of the world’s best travel search engines is yours to take when on the move. The KAYAK app for iPhone and other smartphones features a flight search that allows users to find the best flights in just a few finger taps and the hotel search will kick up results according to the user’s specifications. Rent a car quickly and easily and never lose sight of your bookings with the app’s new Trip Itinerary Management feature. Fly away and keep the stress at bay!
Feeling famished but unsure of where to eat? Yelp can help! The iPhone app connects users to nearby places to eat, shop, drink and relax. If an expensive restaurant isn’t on the menu, the app allows users to narrow their results by price. Browse hundreds of reviews to find the best burger joint in town or the café with an atmosphere to fit your mood. Add your own photos and tips to the mix and let your friends know where you are by checking-in on Facebook and Twitter.
Many of us have used Google Earth to span the globe and view faraway places for fun on our computers and laptops, but with the app, you can now hold the world in the palm of your hand. Navigate from Australia to Africa in a single swipe. Google Earth also allows users to search for cities, landmarks and businesses around the world. Check out millions of photos and browse the area around your destination before even arriving.
The TripIt app for iPhone essentially gives users their very own personal travel assistant, without the cost of one. To begin, simply forward your travel confirmations to firstname.lastname@example.org, where a “smartinerary” will be automatically created. Your travel plans will be combined with maps, driving directions and much more. TripIt also allows users to share their smartinerary with friends. No matter where you book, access your travel plans on your iPhone, iPad, calendar or online. Book your flight and let TripIt handle the rest.
Traveling to a new country is thrilling, but can also be frightening, especially if you don’t know the language. The iTranslate app for iPhone and now iPad allows users to translate words, phrases and even whole texts into over 50 languages. The app also features a dictionary and text-to-speech for 18 languages. iTranslate automatically starts translating while you are typing, helping to make ordering food or asking for directions a quick and easy process.
Having just been released in June of this year, the AroundMe app for iPhone is already proving itself to be a trustworthy companion to travelers. AroundMe indentifies your current location and allows you to choose the nearest Bank, Bar, Gas Station, Hospital, Hotel, Movie Theater, Supermarket, Restaurant, Theater and Taxi, along with the distance from where you are. From there, you can view your destination’s location on the map and the app will draw up the route. If a restaurant you ate at becomes a favorite, you can add the information to your contact list or email the information to friends.
The Currency app for iPhone is a must-have for travelers flying abroad. The app provides up-to-date currency exchange rates for 184 countries. Simply type in the amount of money you have in the appropriate currency and get instantaneous results. The app also allows users to customize their own list of countries and their currencies. Never lose sight of how much your money is worth!
The GasBuddy app for iPhone is a useful tool for travelers planning a road trip across the United States or up to Canada. The app locates gas stations in your area and provides their current gas prices. Never pay more for gas when there is a cheaper station just around the corner! As an added bonus, for every gas price you report, you’ll earn points toward prizes; GasBuddy gives away a $250 gas gift card every week.
As travelers, we’ve all found ourselves in an uncomfortable position when we need a bathroom but don’t know where to find one. With the SitOrSquat bathroom finder app for iPhone, the pressure’s off. SitOrSquat allows users to view nearby restrooms on a map or in a list sorted by distance. Before you go, read reviews and see pictures of the toilets. The app also features which bathrooms have changing tables and which are handicap accessible. SitOrSquat is essential for young travelers.
The OpenTable app for iPhone is great for making restaurant reservations not only on the go, but on the spur of the moment as well. Users can make restaurant reservations at more than 15,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. Specify the date, time and party size to view available tables. The app allows you to refine your results and view restaurant menus. Plus, OpenTable is connected with Yelp, making choosing a restaurant that much easier. Bon Appétit!