When traveling, whether it is across town or across the world, I always have my iPhone on hand. Technology allows me to have a world of technology at their fingertips. When I'm somewhere unfamiliar, there's a bevy of applications that can help me save time and money. Here are some of the applications that I simply cannot live without while traveling.
Kayak is an application that has helped me get cheap flights on numerous occasions. It is slowly expanding and growing in popularity. In its early days, Kayak was merely a way to search for cheap flights, hotels, and rental cars. Today, I can book majority of my flights directly on the application, rather than being sent to another website. Kayak sends the information along to other services, such as Priceline, and compares prices. This has helped me to save a lot of money in the past.
Packing is always a stressful situation for me. I always end up forgetting something. I use the application to do the stressful thinking for me. It is, essentially, a list maker that allows me to create pre-saved lists. Whenever I go on a trip, big or small, I pull up the corresponding list and start packing. I can check off items as I go, ensuring that I get everything. There are even a few list templates that give me a better idea of the things I'll need if I go somewhere I'm unfamiliar with.
One of the biggest hurdles I have to get over when traveling is transit. Sometimes, it is difficult to understand bus lines or subways. HopStop provides users with a city's transit map to make getting around a lot easier. It is much more than a mapping application. I use it to get from point A to point B without getting lost. It provides routes by foot, car, bus, subway, ferry, bicycle, and more. Also, it provides multiple routes so that users can pick the right one. It even has bus schedules, which has helped to keep me on schedule on more than one occasion.
This application is a bit different from the previous application. It is similar to a GPS system, but provides up to date information on traffic, gas, and delays. When I'm on vacation, I absolutely hate wasting time. Instead of sitting in traffic trying to get to my destination, I use Waze to find shortcuts and avoid traffic jams. It provides turn by turn directions, giving the functionality of a standard GPS system with the added information I need.
I've made the mistake of not knowing the status of my flight in the past. The flight ended up being delayed by half a day, making my rush to the airport useless. Thankfully, Flight Tracker has eliminated that unnecessary scenario. The application provides real-time information on flights. This includes, departures, arrivals, delays, and assignments. It even has maps to show the flight's path, which is a huge plus.
On those globe-trotting trips to another country, I always need to have money on hand. With XE Currency, I am always in the know about my money. It provides up-to-date information about currency exchange rates. It uses cellular connection to stay current at all times. Of course, there's always fees to keep in mind. While the application doesn't take fees into account, it'll give travelers more knowledge about how much money they should be getting with an exchange.
What's the point in flying across the world when jet lag just makes you sleep throughout the entire stay? To quickly fix my sleep schedule, I use JetLag Genie. The application works by slowly altering your sleep schedule. In most cases, I use the application before big trips with long flights. I'll slowly prepare myself so that jet lag doesn't affect me and ruin my trip. All I do is put in my flight information. The application allows me to input my departure and arrival destination and time. From there, it'll create a sleep schedule that will help to prepare myself for the trip.
To get a taste of the local cuisine, there's nothing more useful than FoodSpotting. One of the most fun things to do on a trip is experience the culture. Local restaurants allow me to experience the cultural food and meet locals. While most would stick with what they know, I prefer to stray from the beaten path and find local treasures. The application is powered by the people who use it. They can leave ratings and reviews on local restaurants, giving food lovers a better idea about where to visit and where to avoid. You can even find a restaurant based on a particular dish. It uses GPS to find the nearest restaurant.
This intuitive application helps me find interesting things to do. Whether I'm looking for something specific, or just trying to kill some time, this application can provide me with recommendations. It is also community based, so users of the application can rate and recommend a number of different venues. I've used it to find some interesting shops, fun outdoor activities, and hidden natural beauties. It has helped to make my trips much more interesting. Usually, I will browse the application beforehand and create an itinerary. When I have some time to kill, I just use the GPS technology to find fun things around me.
This application has helped me out tremendously in foreign locations. Much like the web based platform, Google Translate helps to bridge the communication gap. It can translate text in 57 languages. I always have this application on hand when I'm exploring the streets of a foreign city. I can translate signs and easily make my way around. Additionally, the application can translate 15 languages by speaking into the phone. This is a great feature that I've used to communicate with locals.
Get the apps
Most apps are available on both iOS and Android. Just search the app store for them.
Guest post: This article was written by Andy G. He is 28, from Brno Czech Republic, and runs a flight help website called Travelsiders as a hobby. At the moment, he works as a free lance web developer. When he has a free minute, he is hanging out with his friends or helping others at Stack Overflow.