Top 10 Travel Apps to Download
Whether you need a little inspiration to get you off the couch and book those plane tickets, are in the middle of planning that trip you'll take in the coming weeks and months, or are on your way out of town, we've gathered 10 of the best travel apps available (free unless other noted).
1. MeerkatIf you thought it was cool to Skype or FaceTime with your friends or family members, wait until you live-stream your entire spring break in Cabo to the people you’re connected with on Twitter.
Meerkat (not the fuzzy animal native to Africa) turns your phone into a mobile webcam and live-streams your travel adventures with the press of a button. Suddenly, people are digitally right there with you, and the entire Twitterverse can tune in to watch you surfing the tides of Costa Rica. There is also a “schedule” button on the iOS app so you can start recording at a later time. 960 1280
2. GogobotWhat's your travel style? Whether you are a spiritual seeker, rank hotels by thread count or prefer street-food stands, Gogobot for iOS and Android has something for every traveler.
Save the suggestions to an itinerary and pull them up when you're out exploring, or search for new places to visit based on what's nearby. You can even make collaborative trip plans, looping in family and friends to add to group itineraries. 960 1280
3. Hotel TonightIf you like to live dangerously and fly into Brazil during Carnival without pre-booking a room, or your hotel burned down the day before your arrival, or you’ve ended up someplace you hadn’t planned on — we don’t judge here — then Hotel Tonight, available for iOS, Android or Windows phones, is for you. It’s a last-minute hotel-booking app that could keep you from sleeping under a bridge in Los Angeles, as well as save you money on accommodations. 960 1280
4. Carrot Weather
Stop trying to decipher the weather forecast on the evening news, particularly when it's in a foreign language. Carrot Weather is a bright and vibrant iOS app that adds a little humor to your weather forecast, with more than 2,000 lines of snarky commentary.
For $2.99, Carrot Weather is a good, fun alternative to other weather apps out there.
5. EnlightPhoto apps have been around as long as the App Store itself, but Enlight is the app you always needed. Whether you want to conquer Instagram, experiment with vignetting for a retro feel or make Picasso jealous by applying paint effects that convert photographs into artistic masterpieces — this is the app to take with you on vacation. Select the strokes, canvas and lighting that best flatter all your travel photos.
For $3.99, this iOS app is worth every penny. 960 1280
6. Field TripBefore traveling to a new city, it never hurts to reach out to locals or read up on the history and suggestions of favorite restaurants and attractions. But why bother when there’s an app for that? Field Trip is a background app that alerts you of the cool, hidden and unique things in the world around you that are at your fingertips.
The iOS and Android app is powered by publications such as Zagat, Thrillist and TimeOut, pulling suggestions for you on trendy places to visit, shows to see and restaurants to grab a meal. There’s even a “Women on the Map” option, which will point out sites where women have played an important role in our past.
No more walking around with your guidebooks in hand. 960 1280
7. TripItBe your own travel agent and plan every detail of your trip — from car rental to lodging to restaurants — with TripIt. You can create custom itineraries by hand, or simply forward the email confirmations of your flight, rental car, train tickets and hotels, and then watch the iOS and Android app make the itinerary for you.
TripIt is available for free or in a 99-cent, ad-free version. 960 1280
8. CitymapsCitymaps is a mash-up of Yelp and Google Maps that incorporates reviews, tips, directions, social aspects, discovery and local deals, all in 1 beautiful map app for iOS and Android. It allows users to create their own collections — say, of their favorite nightclubs in a given neighborhood — either to share with friends or just for their own memory.
And yes, once you find that hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the corner along the Seine in Paris, Citymaps will also give you driving, walking or mass transit directions. 960 1280
9. PeekWhen you’re planning a vacation and want to book a flight or hotel, you have multiple sites that can help, such as Hipmunk, Kayak or Orbitz. But when you’re trying to figure out what to do on your trip, there’s Peek for iOS. Think of Peek as OpenTable for booking activities.
Users can browse activities by category, such as “what to do with the kids” or “off the beaten path,” or they can look at Peek’s city guides, which are made by tastemakers such as Tory Burch and Wolfgang Puck, who share their suggestions for spending 1 day in their favorite cities. 960 1280
10. WazeDriving can be treacherous — especially if you’re traveling in uncharted territory. But this can be avoided with Waze’s navigation app for iOS, Android and Windows phones, which is constantly updated in real time using drivers’ GPS points. Activated by participating drivers who generate reports and send in photos, Waze can automatically alert you about traffic jams, fender-benders, detours — and even police traps. 960 1280
Mercedes Benz's DICEChris had the opportunity to try out Mercedes-Benz's Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience (DICE). DICE is an augmented reality-based dashboard that allows users to control features of their car with simple hand movements. Users can also see weather, social media, messages, GPS and more. 960 1280
Mobileye Driver AssistanceThe Mobileye 5 Driver Assistance product helps identify situations that could become dangerous, such as lane departures, pedestrian presence and headway monitoring. It can also help control the car by doing things like switching high beams on and off. This model has Bluetooth, so critical real-time warnings can be delivered to a smartphone. 960 1280
Schick Hydro Power Select RazorA task as simple as shaving is now enhanced with the Schick Hydro Power Select Razor. Users can select from 3 settings to find the vibration that is best for them. It also has a hydrating gel reservoir that when activated with water releases a gel to soothe skin. 960 1280
Victorinox Swiss Army Flash DriveVictorinox, the makers of Swiss Army Knives, are now entering the flash drive market. In the new product, the flash drive can either take the place of the knife or be added onto one. They range in size from 4GB and higher, and some offer a layer of protection that only allows access via fingerprint recognition. 960 1280
Optrix HD Sport Case for Smart PhonesOptrix HD is a sports case that transforms your iPhone 4S/4/iPod into an HD action sports camera. It is waterproof so it can withstand all types of weather. The case includes an anti-vibration sled to help limit vibrations. 960 1280
Cool Tools 19 Photos
Wallaroo Breton HatFor the mom off to sunny places … Fun, fashionable and featherweight, this travel hat blocks 97.5% of the sun’s UV rays. Plus, it rolls up tightly into any purse or suitcase. Now mom can stroll through the local farmers market in style. 960 1280
Travel DecorFor the mom who longs for a Roman holiday … remind her of all the great vacation memories with this print from Etsy. She’ll never forget how far your loves goes for her … or the amazing pizza you shared in Italy. (Other destinations also available.) 960 1280
Travel Tea PressFor the mom who can't live without her tea … consider this functional travel tea press that will let her enjoy fresh tea away from home. Extra points if you remember her favorite tea flavor to include with the gift. 960 1280
Hang On Travel CaseFor the mom who always travels in style … this ikat hanging travel bag from Stella & Dot can tote all her beauty essentials: "foam gloss to floss, rings to travel-sized things.” 960 1280
Nook With GlowLightFor the mom who loves to read on the go … the Nook with GlowLight delivers. During long nighttime flights, mom can curl up with a good book -- powered by this ereader’s soft glow. It’s also the lightest Nook to date, ideal for long reading sessions. 960 1280
Mott Cross-Body BagFor the mom whose purse is a black hole … How many times has mom dug through her purse, endlessly looking for something important? This Mott cross-body bag is the perfect place for mom to store her most important travel items. 960 1280
Universal AdapterFor the globe-trotting mom … this little green adapter is essential -- and compatible in more than 150 countries. So, whether mom’s in China or Chennai she can plug in her hair dryer or juice up her camera battery. 960 1280
Samantha Brown LuggageFor the mom who’s ready to roll … this Samantha Brown weekender bag doubles as a wheeled city bag. Plus, with a glazed croco-embossed exterior, mom will be rolling in style. 960 1280
eKO SuperLite Travel MatFor the yoga-loving mom … this yoga travel mat provides superior grip and weighs just 2 pounds. Mom can keep up with her daily yoga routine … and have something to write ‘om’ about. 960 1280
LomoKino CameraFor the shutter-bug mom … this camera ups the ante. Now mom can ditch the Flip-cam for something a little more artistic: a 35mm movie camera to shoot a movie of 144 frames. Very cinematic. 960 1280
Sofia Cashmere Travel SetFor the cool mom … help her stay warm on long airplane flights (or long drives) with the Sofia cashmere travel set. Soft and snuggly, the set includes a 2-ply blanket and cashmere-lined eye mask. Just make sure no one takes mom’s picture while she’s sleeping. 960 1280
LARK Silent AlarmFor the mom looking to wake her potential … this silent alarm clock and sleep sensor will wake mom with silent, effective vibrations -- and help her track how well she sleeps courtesy of a wristband-monitor. 960 1280
Mother's Day Travel Gift Guide 13 Photos
Emergency Portable Weather RadioRemember getting caught in a storm while kayaking last summer? You told yourself you'd never let that happen again. With Oregon Scientific's Emergency Portable Weather Radio, you'll always be prepared for bad weather (and you'll always have tunes on-the-go). 960 1280
Summer Gear Guide 2012 12 Photos