Top 7 Must-Have Travel Apps

Aug 19, 2013

Top 7 Must-Have Travel Apps

Remember when travel meant being out of touch, getting lost despite the well-worn map, and waiting till you got home to subject family and friends to your photos?

It hasn’t been that long, but it’s hard to imagine travel without a device now. And as much as you need to put down the phone and enjoy where you are sometimes, we have to admit there are several travel apps we wouldn’t give up. Here are a few of our favorites for iOS and Android:

Ifly Pro
No more waiting at the mercy of the gate agent to tell you what’s happening with your flight. This $6.99 app keeps you up to date with your flight status and provides terminal, gate, and baggage info. And you can find exactly what you need in the airport with GPS terminal maps that will guide you to that much needed meal or drink, complete with hours of operation.

Instagram
Wish you were here! Your friends back home will wish they were there when they see your dreamy, carefully curated travel images on Instagram. Filters turn the most mundane scene into postcard-worthy scenes, and location tagging means you don’t have to write down the spelling of that awesome market in Barcelona.

Barcelona market

Google Maps
Remember Friends’ Joey standing on the map to orient himself in London? Let Google maps do the orienting for you. You’ll prevent wrinkles earned glaring at maps when you hand over the navigating to your phone. Google makes it blissfully easy to get from here to there, free of backtracking and craning your neck looking for street signs.

Foodspotting
Why travel if not to sample the tastiest local fare? Rely on foodies who’ve come before you as you window shop nearby dishes, with photos of their favorites. Or, if you have a hankering for something specific, say only a banh mi will do, search for the dish you crave. Also look up that restaurant you read about, and scope out their most popular dishes before you order.

Foodspotting travel app

Dropbox
If you need some files but aren’t lugging your computer around, no worries. Pop them in Dropbox before you go, and access them from anywhere. Some travelers store details like passport and emergency numbers in case they run into a mishap.

Skype
If you’ve got WiFi, you’ve got a way to phone home. Drop $10 in your account before you go, and your dispatches don’t come from (rapidly disappearing and hygienically questionable) phone booths, but from the comfort of your hotel or a cafe.

best travel apps

Hipmunk
For daydreaming about your next trip, Hipmunk provides hours of flight-search enjoyment. Plug in your travel dates and cities, watch the cute chipmunk dancing, and voila: your options are presented in order of agony with further filter and sort options. You can also find a hotel for tonight if you’re in a hurry.

Photos: Kuster & Wildhaber (top); Dana McMahan 

 

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Dana McMahan
Dana McMahan travels the world and writes about adventures in food and fitness, among them learning to make macaroons in Paris, eating mystery meat at a Moroccan roadside cafe, and Muay Thai lessons in Bangkok. When she’s not in another time zone she’s exploring Kentucky researching a book on the foods of her home state, or lifting something heavy in her garage gym. Follow her on Twitter @danamac.