Everything you need to book a better trip can be found in the palm of your hand, thanks to the release of travel apps for Android and iPhone5. Read this—then start downloading.
Welcome to 2013: in place of stacks of guidebooks, piles of printed out flight confirmations, and notebooks filled with scribbled reminders and recommendations from friends, we have tiny computers that fit into the palms of our hands. Thanks to innovative new applications for both Androids and iPhone 5s, travel has never been more intuitive. Read on for Eagle Creek’s list of must-download travel apps.
TripIt is a one-stop organizer for all your travel plans – think of it as the digital age’s answer to the manila folder filled with printed and stapled itineraries. It’s as easy as forwarding confirmation emails for flights, hotels, restaurants and activities to plans [at] tripit.com, who recognizes reservations from more than 3,000 booking sites. An auto-import option is even available if you're too busy flipping through a guidebook to press “forward.” Plans can then be shared with family, friends and travel partners. As a bonus, a built-in points tracker allows you to stay on top of loyalty programs from airline, hotel, or other travel rewards. Cost: Free version available, $0.99 with no adds, $48.99 for TripIt Pro
TrailWallet is one of the leading travel budgeting apps on the market, making it quick and painless to track travel expenses. TrailWallet allows you to set a daily budget and track in both your home currency and that of the country you are traveling in. Adding in expenses consists of selecting a custom category, a currency, amount, and a quick note to jog your memory later about how much that street-side samosa set you back.
When you’re ready to reflect on how the budget is holding up, a pie chart will show you where you’re cash is going, a summary will show your success against your daily and monthly budget, and a daily archive will let you browse your day-to-day expenses. You can also send Tweets with app integration and email CSV reports to yourself or others directly from the app. Cost: $1.99
3. Gate Guru
Never wander an airport aimlessly again. Email flight itineraries to GateGuru or connect it to Tripit, then sit back as the app does all the work. GateGuru will alert you to your check in terminal, estimate security wait times, keep you up to date on airport terminal and gate arrival and departure info, and send you real time flight status updates. And no more guessing which snack options lie beyond security – airport food and amenity information comes mapped out with user ratings and is personalized to your arrival and departure times. Cost: Free!
This app will start make your trip infinitely more comfortable before you so much as open your passport. While SeatGuru can help you find low airfares and get real-time flight alerts, it’s most important function is right in the name – helping you find the best seat available on over 100 different airlines. High-res seat maps include information on seat features and amenities and include photos of seats and cabins uploaded from users. Cost: Free!
5. Frommer’s Travel Tools
From one of the world’s most respected guidebook brands comes an app that serves as a modern traveler’s digital toolbox. Features include a Tip Calculator complete with country-specific tipping guides, a Packing List that allows you to create your own entries or work from pre-existing templates, a constantly updated Currency Converter, and all-important Time Translators and Unit Translators for distance, temperature, weight and volume.
For those looking to kill time at an airport, a Postcards feature dashes off digital postcards via email, Twitter or Facebook, a Travel Trivia game tests your destination recall, and City Guides let you daydream about your next trip. Cost: Free!
For more travel advice, visit our Travel Tips & Packing Lists page.
Alexandra Baackes is a traveling writer, designer, and underwater videographer. She is currently in her second year of living as a full-time nomad.
How Can I Use RFID Technology for Travel?
Travel New Year’s Resolution: Get Organized!
Navigating Holiday Travel: How to Get Through the Airport Faster