I was a bit of a johnny-come-lately to technology. I had the original iPhone up until the iPhone 4 came out (when I traded it in the AT&T guy laughed and said “Sorry but the only place this is worth anything is a museum.”)
I used to be more of an old-fashioned gal, bringing folders (with dividers and post-its) that contained all my travel documents, flight and hotel confirmations, articles about interesting things to do, etc. But I’ve slowly entered the digital age and have found several travel apps for my phone that have come in quite handy, and make me feel super cool when I can be like “Wait, I have an app for that!”
This is by far my favorite. TripIt is a virtual itinerary; it contains a detailed list of all your upcoming trips, with all the details you need to stay on top of everything. It syncs with your email account and automatically pulls your flight, hotel, and rental car confirmations and adds the information into your itinerary. In the event it can’t locate a particular confirmation, you can simply forward it to tripit.com and it will add it in, or you can go into the app and create a trip from scratch. This app makes it really easy to synthesize a ton of information, especially if your travels are anything like mine and often involve multiple flights and hotel stays. You can also find and locate friends and share itineraries; this is a great feature for sharing your itinerary with your travel partners, or, as in my case, worried parents.
I’ve just discovered this app, and the other night I spent an hour on it, cataloging the places I’ve been and creating a “HitList” of the places I want to go. For the latter, the app will check for flight deals or vacation packages regularly and update you if it locates anything. Your profile keeps track of all the countries and cities you’ve visited thus far, and you can share both this and your “HitList” with friends. As a bonus, the design and interface are really pleasing, so it’s fun to play with!
A nifty little combo of Instagram and old-fashioned postcards, this app lets you create customized digital postcards and send them to recipients via email. You can upload your own images and write notes, and each Postagram only costs 99 cents. You can troll your friends like I do and just sent them Postagrams of your face really up close.
Free WiFi Finder
This app will only work in urban areas that are “on the grid”, but it’s great for when you’re strolling around and want to stop for some coffee and check email, connect with loved ones back home, or, like me, check baseball scores. It’ll show you the nearest free wifi using its “wifi finder” or you can search via a directory.
OANDA Currency Converter
An absolute must if you’re trying to keep track of your spending, as it can be tricky constantly doing conversions in your head. This particular app factors in both ATM and credit card fees, so I’ve found that it’s the most accurate. This would have been helpful that time I spent $300 in Sephora in Turkey….
If you want to find interesting events going on in the city you’re visiting, this app will help. It brings up local concerts, plays, and other special events nearby. It also shows you the must-sees in your area, like famous museums or landmarks.
This is one I use in my daily life, not only when I’m traveling. It’s a great way to find good local restaurants, rooftop patios, yoga studios, anything you could want or need, and you’ll get the bonus of getting to see photos, read reviews, and even see a map with directions. It’s a must when you’re in any big city!
I’ve personally used all of these apps and they’re fantastic tools for any traveler. What apps am I missing that I shouldn’t do without??