Quality phone applications are key to surviving today’s travel world.
As our phones get smarter and we grow even more dependent on hand-held technology, new phone applications are emerging constantly. For modern jetsetters, the information spewed from our iPhones, Androids, and iPads has become the primary means for surviving the expected and unexpected elements of travel. Below are six of our favorite free travel apps to help navigate everything from flight delays to last-minute hotel choices to new experiences in foreign cities.
FlightAware This app is about as close to air traffic control as most of us will ever get. It tracks all commercial and private flights in real time on full-screen maps. Neophytes employ FlightAware to track departure information, status of incoming aircraft, delays, cancellations, flight connections, and gate assignments; aviation enthusiasts like it for its more advanced GPS tracking and weather features. flightaware.com/mobile.
Hotel Tonight Ideal for very last-minute planners and those stranded due to transportation delays, the Hotel Tonight travel app offers same-day hotel bookings at discounts up to 70 percent. Their portfolio currently includes around 50 U.S. cities and a few in the UK and Canada. hoteltonight.com.
OpenTable Make (or break) dinner reservations instantly at over 25,000 restaurants in North America and Europe with this easy-to-use app. Search for restaurants by name, find ones closest to your current location, read reviews, view menus, and compare eateries by cuisine, neighborhood, or price point. opentable.com/mobile.
TripAdvisor Love it or hate it, TripAdvisor reviews are gospel when it comes to choosing a hotel. The popular website’s mobile app allows you to access over 75 million reviews and candid photos. Whether glowing, banal, or downright outlandish, these diatribes are quickly accessed at the touch of a button. In addition, Trip Advisor offers free Offline City Guides from your phone, featuring all of the app’s restaurant, hotel, and review content, as well as self-guided tours. tripadvisor.com/apps-itamobile.
TripIt The superlative travel organizing app, TripIt creates bespoke travel itineraries. Linked to your email account and synched with your calendar, it takes your incoming reservation emails with confirmation numbers— from flights to dinner reservations— and creates daily agendas. tripit.com.
XE Currency This app is key for trips abroad. You can convert between 190 currencies with up-to-the-minute rates, as well as quickly gauge if that airport exchange counter is ripping you off. More importantly, you can store exchange rates and later convert prices offline when shopping abroad. xe.com/apps.