7 travel iPhone apps to help you get from A to B.
It’s nearly summer, which means it’s time to start thinking about vacations. Planning a trip is exciting, but it comes its stresses too. As well as booking tickets, finding accommodation, and researching local landmarks, you need to consider health and safety, and how you’re going to keep on top of all your travel arrangements. This list of apps will help give you peace of mind, so wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you can focus on what’s most important: enjoying your break.
TripAdvisor – FREE
TripAdvisor is a user-review app that provides ratings and references for hotels, restaurants, attractions, and flights from around the world. A spin-off from the popular travel website, TripAdvisor is packed with reviews and ratings from seasoned travelers and on-time tourists alike. Not only can you use the app to read reviews of a certain restaurant or accommodation in the area you’re visiting, but you can also search for the highest rated hotels or eateries within a certain place, and use the app’s “Near Me Now” feature to find out what people have said about amenities near where you’re staying. TripAdvisor is arguably more necessary than any guidebook, as all reviews come from fellow travelers before you, who can give you a heads up on what to seek out, and what to miss.
Kayak – FREE
The Kayak app allows you to search for and book the logistics of your vacation, including flights, car hire, and hotels. As well as comparing and booking deals through the app, you can opt in to receive Kayak’s weekly price alerts for your destination, track your flight status, keep a record of your trip itinerary, and look up baggage fees. Some of the app’s niftier features include the ability to view hotel prices on a map, and the ability to pull up airport terminal apps in the pro version of the app ($0.99).
mPassport – $0.99
mPassport is a range of apps that cover different cities in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Each app provides information about selected doctors, dentists, pharmacies and hospitals in that particular city, so if you need help in an emergency, you have the information to hand. Before you travel, download the app that correlates to the city you’re visiting so you can access the information you need even when you’re offline. Once you’re there, you can use the app to schedule doctor, dentist or hospital appointments, translate key medical phrases into the local language, and even find the local equivalent of common American medicine brands.
TripIt – FREE
The TripIt app provides a handy way of keeping all your travel details in one place. Simply create a TripIt account, then forward any travel-related emails you receive to the TripIt email address. The details in those emails, such as flight times and numbers, terminals, and arrival times, will automatically be added to your TripIt account, and you’ll be able to view the information through the app. TripIt also allows you to share your travel plans with friends, family and colleagues, and comes with Facebook and LinkedIn integration. For frequent travelers, TripIt Pro offers airfares and sends you travel alerts for a fee of $49 per year.
FlightAware – FREE
FlightAware alleviates some of the stress associated with catching one or more flights during a trip by providing you with real-time updates on departures, arrivals, delays and gate changes for any commercial flights around the world. As well as viewing flight information, the app also allows you to load the aircraft’s position using full-screen maps with NEXRAD radar overlay.
Help Call – $2.99
No one wants to put a damper on their vacation by assuming the worst might happen, but it’s always sensible to be prepared for an unexpected illness or mishap. The Help Call app automatically connects you to your local emergency services, whether you need police, fire or ambulance. Supporting 126 countries, the app also comes with a “Shake for emergency” feature, which enables you to get in touch with the emergency services within your country when you can’t see or touch your iPhone screen, simply by shaking your phone.
Smart Traveler – FREE
Smart Traveler is an app created by the US Department of State, specifically for US citizens traveling abroad. The app contains travel advice, restrictions, warnings and a database of US embassies abroad. If you want to, you can also use the app to access the government’s STEP program, which could help you get quicker assistance in the event of a natural disaster or local emergency in the country you’re visiting. The app also functions as a personal travel organizer, and you can store details of your trip and create a personal itinerary.