Five Fantastic Travel Apps
Travel has gotten more and more annoying, and it seems like we have to hurry to the airport so many hours in advance of our flights to wait forever at our gate. A slew of travel apps are available to make the whole ordeal a little more bearable. I use all of these apps, but what I really need is a sherpa. One who will haul the enormous diaper bag and stroller, while dressed like a friendly clown to entertain my toddler, and will hand out lollipops and balloon animals to travellers we annoy.
Tripit – Free for iPhone and Android
Called “the world’s easiest way to organize your travel plans”, this app allows users to simply consolidate all their travel itineraries and sync with their calendar. It is so easy to use. All you have to do is forward all of your confirmation emails to email@example.com, and they are added to your account. You can add details or notes, share with friends or family. Search for restaurants, businesses, and attractions to add to your itinerary. Weather forecasts are available, as well as maps. You can upgrade to an ad-free version for $3.99
Gate Guru – $2 for iPhone and Android
A terrific app to help travellers find restaurants, shops and services at the airport. Includes information on over 115 airports. It also allows users to review and rate businesses, upload photos, as well as update the current wait times at security checkpoints. Save your favorite places, check in to Facebook, and view your Tripit folders from within the app.
FlightTrack – $4.99 for iPhone and Android
This app tracks domestic and international flights, covering more than 5000 airports and 1400 airlines in real time. Stay on top of flight status and gate info. The flight is shown on a map with a countdown to landing time. Upgrade to FlightTrack Pro to import data from Tripit.
XE Currency Converter – Free for iPhone and Android
I’ve been using their website for years so I was happy to see that they had a mobile app. Use it to convert every world currency and even see the prices of precious metals. It’s an important tool for travelling because it removes a possible point of contention. Rates in stores and money exchange kiosks will never be the same as the bank rates you are shown, but it gives you a clear picture of how badly you’re being hosed.
Google Translate – Free for iPhone and Android
I think this one is my favorite. I learned french at a young age, studied German and Japanese in University and became fluent in Spanish while living in Mexico and Central America. I can get by with bits of language I pick up, and my sunny disposition, wherever I go, but to have a way to communicate in 64 languages is a dream come true. When I travelled to the Czech Republic several years ago, I was grateful that many people spoke German and English, because there wasn’t a single sound in their language that was familiar to me. I would have loved to have had this technology to have a conversation with the wife of my host with whom I didn’t share a language in common.
Jared Halloway is a travel agent and freelance writer who works closely with luxury Bahamas resorts. He often writes about how to best travel and stay safe while on a vacation.
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