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
KayakKayak’s motto is “search one and done,” and they mean it. The app aggregates information from hundreds of travel sites so you can rest assured that you are getting the best deals available. Compare flight info, hotels and car rentals all with the touch of a few buttons. When it’s time for your trip, use their flight tracker and even get airport info powered by our friends at GateGuru. A word of warning: it’s so easy to whip out your iPhone and book a trip that late-night “what if” conversations might turn into real-life vacations … to the detriment of your bank account. 960 1280
SpotifyKill time while at the airport without spending all your money on music downloads or using all of your iPhone's precious memory. With a monthly subscription, get access to every song you could ever want — from brand-new hit singles to those oldie-but-goodies — sans ads. But what do you do when you're up in the air without a 3G or wi-fi connection? Simply save your favorite playlists for off-line use while still on the ground and you're all set to go! 960 1280
YelpThe days of regrettable meals are over. Happen to stroll by a restaurant with a delicious-looking menu in the window? There’s no excuse not to whip out that shiny new iPhone and look it up on Yelp. Didn’t get the best reviews? Use the “nearby” feature to find a place that has a few more stars by its name. Just remember, there will always be a few haters – don’t let one bad review spoil the stellar ones. 960 1280
Rocket TaxiIf you’re not close to a taxi stand, the Rocket Taxi app is very useful. It’s a location-based app that provides users with phone numbers to taxi cab companies nearby. This app is definitely helpful when you’re stranded or nowhere near public transportation. The 5-star rating system for each cab company is also helps you narrow down your choice. 960 1280
Pandora RadioFor a free option, nothing beats Pandora for personalized radio on the road. Download the app to your iPhone, get a sound dock, and start playing -- anything you like. Pandora has a genius for selecting popular favorites along with lesser known gems. So you feel like you’re getting what you love, along with exciting music discoveries. Take turns with your buddies indulging in various music playlists, everyone in the car will be happy with this app. 960 1280
Layover Guide With Anthony BourdainHave a layover pending and not sure what to do with your whole 6+ hours of free time? Never fear. The Layover App has you covered in cities like Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, New York, Rome, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong and more cities are on the way! Choose from restaurants, transportation and activities handpicked by Anthony Bourdain, former New York City chef, world-traveler and host of The Layover and No Reservations. Yes, we're patting ourselves on the back here. 960 1280
Food Network On the RoadLove diners, drive-ins and dives? Download this road-trip-ready app and it will use GPS to find nearby Food Network recommendations like where Guy Fieri ate, what Bobby Flay ordered and more. Just search (by city, chef, show, cuisine), get the address (and directions), and go! 960 1280
UrbanDaddyUrbanDaddy is the perfect app if you’re indecisive planning cocktails with co-workers, finding the best places to shop or choosing where to dine on a first date. Just select the day, time, and who you’re with and the app narrows down your choices on where you should eat, shop, grab a few beers and more. It’s ideal for business travelers or people who are always on the go. 960 1280
GateGuruStuck on a long layover and can’t stomach another stale microwaved sandwich at the airport? Heard your flight was delayed … 5 hours? We've all been there. GateGuru helps you find the best place to grab a meal, raise your spirits (i.e. best bars) and shop for souvenirs or gifts. So suddenly that long layover becomes much more manageable and even productive. 960 1280
INRIX TrafficStuck in traffic? No problem! The INRIX traffic app will lead you in the right direction. Whether you're trying to avoid an accident, construction work or a parade that just happens to be going by, open this up-to-the-minute app and save yourself some time and frustration. 960 1280
UberUber can be a lifesaver when there are no taxis in sight. Billing themselves as "everyone's private driver," just type in an address and city and a shiny black car is on its way. And don't worry about stopping at an ATM, Uber automatically charges your credit card and emails you a receipt. How's that for convenient? 960 1280
wt360 ProWho says you can't see beyond the 5-day, weekend or 10-day forecasts? With the wt360 Pro app you can see day-by-day weather up to a year in advance for some reassurance when you're booking your next vacation. Going away next week? You can also see hour-by-hour forecasts for millions of locations around the world. 960 1280
Editors' Picks: Travel Apps 15 Photos
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