It’s part of my identity.
It’s my passion
Outside of my family, I can’t think of anything I love more.
I am most alive when I am traveling.
To date, I’ve visited 57 countries, 47 states and every continent on earth. I’ve been a travel writer for years, although I do that on a smaller scale today. But I am constantly planning and researching travel and discovering new travel apps.
There are so many resources and apps that can make the journey more enjoyable and save you money. Here are some stellar travel related apps to consider that fit a variety of personalities and itineraries and offer a few travel tips, too. If you have other travel apps you love, please post them in the comments. I’d love to check it out.
If you’re flying anywhere, it’s a good idea to download the app for the airline you are traveling on and set up text alerts for delays.
If you’re a planner, then Tripit will be your friend. This app creates a master itinerary for your travel plans and suggests attractions and activities for your trip. You can check local maps, weather updates, and more. There’s an upgraded, paid version that includes features like flight status alerts. Basic service is free and available for most smart phones. www.tripit.com
No one knows a city like a local and that’s what makes Localeur such a cool app. It’s a community of local reviews for everything from restaurants to dance venues to attractions. Find the best whiskey bars in Austin or a great coffee shop in Denver. Free. Available for iPhone users. http://www.localeur.com
If you enjoy dining out, then BiteHunter is a great app to have. This real time location app will tell you where you can find a restaurant coupon or fixed price dinner. Be sure to read the fine print though because it gets deals from sites like Living Social, which can take 24 hours to become active, so if you’re only in the city for a night, you may miss the deal. Your first purchase may be time consuming, but the app will remember your information after that making it easier. Free and available for iPhones. www.bitehunter.com
If you’re traveling overseas and want to avoid costly text messaging charges, download WhatsApp Messenger for free international texting. WhatsApp is a mobile messaging service owned by Facebook. Here’s they key, the app can only text other phones that have downloaded the app, so if you want to text friends or family members, they have to download it, too. It’s easy to use. It just released a calling feature, but data charges may apply for the WhatsApp Calling feature. It’s available for most smart phones for free the first year (99 cents subsequent years). www.whatsapp.com
If you’re traveling overseas, the XE Currency App makes currency conversion a snap. The app converts money from all over the world so you can easily understand the local currency. And the good news is it’s Free. For iPhone, Android and Blackberry users. http://www.xe.com/apps/
Cruise Ship Mate is a popular app because it covers all the major cruise ships and allows you to see a layout of the ship, deck maps, check the weather at your port, read different viewers, and more. It’s free and available for iPhone and Android. www.cruiseshipmate.com
Have you ever gotten to the end of a cruise and nearly had a heart attack when you got the final bill on disembarking day? There’s an app for that. To budget, and track the size of your bill as you go (including how fast those cocktails add up each day), download Cruise Card Control. It’s available for $2.99 for iPhones. www.cruisecardcontrol.com
For the Foodies
How often have you tasted a great wine on a trip and sworn that you will remember it, only to forget it by the time you get home? You need the Vivino app, which has so many cool features. It uses a photo label recognition system that can quickly bring up bring up information for a given wine, complete with reviews, ratings, and tasting notes. So the next time you travel, snap a photo of that great wine label and find it when you get home. This app is useful to any wine drinker, not just while traveling. Free. Available for Android and iPhone. www.vivino.com
There’s a saying that you eat with your eyes first. Well, that what makes the Foodspotting app so great. This app is a visual guide to food. There aren’t specific restaurant recommendations, but instead specific dishes are recommended. Want to know who has great deep dish pizza in Chicago or another dish specific to a city? You will find it here. There are a variety of search mechanisms from neighborhood to category. It’s available for most smart phones. http://www.foodspotting.com
For the Road Tripper
The Gas Buddy app helps you save a dollar or two on your road trip because it allows you to locate gas stations near you and compare their prices. It’s free and available for most smart phones. www.gasbuddy.com
If you hate traffic and are traveling this summer, then the Waze app is a must. It’s advertised as largest community-based traffic and navigation app and it helps you avoid traffic, accidents, construction, speed traps, etc. Download the app, type in your destination and drive with the app open on your phone. You can contribute to it, too. Free. Available for most smart phones. https://www.waze.com/
One more note, open apps and GPS can quickly sap your battery, so invest in a car charger if you don’t have one.