Smartphone apps have become part of our daily lives, so why not take them on vacation with you? The best travel apps out there lend a hand, whether you need to book a hotel, get directions or a find a ride. We've gathered a short, unranked list of the most useful travel apps on the market.
PackPoint is a packing app that has lists of items for all types of trips. The app organizes what you'll need based on the length of your trip, weather at your destination and anything you plan to do there. PackPoint also takes your gender and the purpose of your trip, whether business or pleasure, in to consideration. From there, you can find lists of items based on activities like cold weather sports, sightseeing or camping. As you scroll through the list and begin packing, you can eliminate items as you put them in your suitcase or decide they're not necessary.
- iOS 7.0, Android 2.3 and later
Waze is part social app and part navigation tool. This app allows you to save your common destinations and new addresses anywhere you travel. On Waze, you can see road closures, construction, other app users and police traps. In addition, it is a GPS and warns you as you encounter any points of interest along the road, including cheap gas stations. You can also contribute your own findings to the map for others to see. This app is great for road trips, getting around unfamiliar territory and even for your daily commute.
- iOS 6.0, Android and Windows 8 and later
You can't plan for everything on your road trip, but GasBuddy helps you find the cheapest gas while you're on the road. The app shows you nearby gas stations and their current gas prices, and you can also earn points for reporting gas prices along your route. If you've ever been on a road trip through some desolate places, you know that gas stations can be scarce. GasBuddy will tell you when you should fuel up before entering empty backcountry.
- iOS 6.0, Android, Windows 8 and BlackBerry and later
Hotel Tonight helps you book hotels on the fly. If you're traveling, the app pinpoints your location and finds the closest hotel to your location. While you can't set any preferences, you can search for hotels tonight, tomorrow or pick your own dates. Hotels are rated as basic, solid, charming and hip. The app also has a list of amenities and a description for each hotel.
- iOS 7.0, Android, Windows 8 phone and later
TripWolf is a city guide written by users with information on over 500 global destinations. The app runs entirely offline, so there's no roaming fee when traveling abroad or anywhere without an internet connection. You can sort results for restaurants, hotels and events by popularity, distance and category.
User reviews cover things like neighborhoods, attractions, tours, activities, restaurants, shopping and nightlife. The guides don't cover all locations, but you can find places in popular destinations like New York City, Paris, Chicago, Florence, Spain and Hong Kong. There are in-app purchasing options for premium or unlimited guides, and the app requires you to download new guides.
There are many types of travelers out there. Traveling with family is different than traveling for business or with friends, so it's best to find a travel guide that fits your needs. Gogobot is an all-in-one travel guide that lets you explore your vacation area by traveler type. The app sniffs out the best hotels, activities and restaurants wherever you're visiting. You can sort through reviews of the city from a foodie, history-lover or student's eye view. There are 20 different filters to choose from on Gogobot that help you acquaint yourself with cities around the world. The app has a slick look and is easy to use on the fly.
- iOS 7.0 and Android and later
Whether you're in St. Peter's Square or in a national forest, it s wonderful to take in the view around you. Unfortunately, flat pictures don't always do the view justice. Most smart phones these days have panorama makers, but few have 360-degree panorama capabilities.
Photosynth gives you instructions as you capture your image. You can take pictures from around, above and below to create an immersive tour of the sights around you. Photosynth may not produce the most stunning quality photos, but the panoramas offer a unique look at your vacation. If you're struck with a minor case of wanderlust, you can see other users panoramas from around the world, share your own panoramas, follow others and be followed.
- iOS 5.0 and Windows
If you find yourself in the middle of an unfamiliar city and don t have the necessary transportation to reach your hotel, what do you do? Lyft is a driving app for cities around the U.S. Big destination spots like New York City, Los Angeles and Orlando are popular places for Lyft. The app connects you to safe, private drivers. You can simply access the app and send out your location. Lyft drivers go through extensive county and national background checks and all work locally. Your Lyft driver may even have suggestions for local hubs to visit.
- iOS 7.0+ and Android
iStone is a translation app that lets you access greetings and basic phrases in 12 different languages. With a little in-app purchasing, you can access phrases for over 20 topics like dining, shopping, hotel booking and health. iStone isn't the slickest translation app out there, but it's easy to use and gives you a native speaker sound clip so you can repeat phrases back quickly and accurately.
Xe Currency is a currency conversion app with both free and pro versions. You can convert multiple currencies at once if you find yourself traveling to different countries in one trip. Among the currencies you can view are Euros, U.S., Australian and Canadian dollars, Rupees, Pounds, Francs, Yen, and Yuan. This converter works for different platforms, so anyone who has a smartphone can use it.
- iOS 6.0, Android, Blackberry, Windows 8 and later