Remember a time when the maps and pamphlets you were using to plan a trip covered the dining room table? Not any more. Whether you’re hitting the road or taking to the skies, there are countless digital companions to plan your itinerary, line up your tickets and connections and make sure you’ve got a record of everything you want to do – and need – while you’re traveling.
There are two types of travel apps: ones that help you plan, and others that actually do the booking by finding the best price and availability.
- TripIt offers a way to combine in one simple view all of your travel confirmations, itineraries, tickets, hotel bookings, rental car reservations, and the rest. It doesn’t make recommendations or advice on pricing, but the main dashboard becomes a central hub for all of your travel needs – no more fishing for a confirmation email to get your reservation number, or wondering what flight number you’re on.
- TouristEye helps you build a wish list of destinations where you’d like to travel and experiences you want to have. It’s your “blue sky” list for your next and all future trips. You can use it to build your bucket-list, and for a specific trip, share that list with friends or family. The collaboration aspect of TouristEye makes a favourite of families or friends doing a “road trip” together because they can then add their own comments and advice.
- TripAdvisor also helps you plan your trip from the beginning, and is probably the web’s largest repository of hotel and destination reviews, ratings, photos, and other information. TripAdvisor is very good for checking out various amenities at a hotel or resort, and its reviews let you see any good, or bad experiences from others who stayed there. Use its search option to type the question “I’d like to go to X place, I wonder what I should do while I’m there.”
Many booking apps are all linked directly with the company providing the app, e.g. Expedia, ClearTrip, etc. Skyscanner does everything you need for finding the best deals from airlines, especially if you are on a budget.
- Skyscanner is a clean-looking solution that does everything you’d ever need it to, aggregating fares from airlines and the big travel sites to bag you the best deal.
Fun, Specialized Travel Apps:
- GasBuddy for road trips, tells you how much different service stations are charging for fuel.
- Maps.Me saves you data by keeping maps offline, and also has more accurate maps than Google Maps.
- FlightTrack follows the paths of thousands of international flights on maps, with detailed information on departure gates, delays and cancellations.
- Pack Point, Packing List or Packing Pro for all your packing needs and hints.
SitOrSquat is a database of thousands of restrooms all over the world.
- Ghost Radar claims to detect the paranormal activity in your surroundings by using a variety of your phone’s sensors! (seriously?)