By Daniela Harrison
Travel apps are nothing new to the seasoned traveler. Many cherish the apps they currently use. And while airline apps are great for tracking flights, and itinerary apps like Pocket Travel Consultant are excellent for arranging your day-to-day activities, tickets, and vouchers, there are literally scores of travel apps beyond that handful.
A few cool ones I recently found are not only useful when traveling abroad, but can also be used in your very own city. Here are a few to consider:
NOAA is a weather radar app. Just plug in your city or ZIP code and voila — you receive the latest up-to-date weather report, and a forecast for the next few days. I love to use this app while packing for my next trip. It also lets me know if I should head to the airport early to avoid bad road conditions.
Speaking of packing, you have to check out the Packpoint Packing List Travel Companion app (pictured above). This is the coolest thing since sliced bread! You input your gender, your destination and travel dates. The app produces a tailored packing list for your upcoming trip. Just check off the items and you’re done. You can even add custom items to include on every trip if you like … oh, jeggings, or scarves. Super-fun to play with and amazing to keep you organized.
The Transit App is great if you’re traveling to a big city. It tracks all available public transportation while you’re traveling. For example, if you have to switch airports in London for your connecting flight, you can map out your entire Heathrow-to-Gatwick route right down to the minute. Pretty cool, huh?
If you’re a big shopper like me, the XE Currency app will come in handy. It easily converts all worldwide currencies into U.S. dollars. This can be a total lifesaver. Never again will you get caught up in buyer’s remorse because your super-amazing deal of a lifetime turned out to be not that great after all.
I also like to point out Urbanspoon, which is great if you’re looking for dinner recommendations while on the road. It’s easy to navigate, with up-to-date reviews and meal recommendations. What a great app to have on your phone! Write your own reviews and see where the locals eat.
Fancy Tips can also be helpful here. It’s hard enough to figure out how much to tip at home, but while traveling it can be even more challenging. Not only will the app keep track of appropriate amounts to tip, it can even do the math for you – in multiple currencies. And it has explanations with suggested amounts, so not only will you know how much to tip, but why you should tip this much.
Planning a destination wedding or family reunion? Social Tables is a really cool event-planning app. You can upload floor plans and design your own seating charts for your event. This is also excellent for conferences abroad and incentive trips. Wow your friends or co-workers with your planning skills and design amazing events while on the go.
Heading to the beach in a few months and still working on your beach body? Not to worry; Instant Abs is coming to the rescue. Choose from multiple workout tracks and select either individual exercises or an entire class. You can select from easy, medium or hard workouts and determine the length of each one. Exercises are easy to follow, demonstrated via pictures and videos. It’s a great way to keep your personal trainer in your pocket.
Lastly I’d like to point out one of my new favorite picture apps, Animoto. The app lets you take multiple pictures and design a fully professional video slideshow in seconds. Just select the order of your pictures and the desired background. You can even choose the music that best fits the theme. Add a title, introduction and closing, click “create,” and amaze your friends. It’s easy to share on social-media sites and you can even include short videos. It’s super-fun and creates videos in less than a minute.
I hope you find these apps helpful and have fun playing with them. As always, wishing you happy travels, wherever the travel bug takes you this year!
Daniela has been a Travel Consultant since June 2010. She works for Avenues of the World Travel, Flagstaff AZ 86004. For more information please contact Daniela at 800.230.3322 or Daniela@avenuesoftheworld.com.
Editor’s Note: One more app that’s great to have is the Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection app. It lets you buy policies, check on claim status, and get claims payments in seconds through BHTP Burst. It’s available on the App Store and via Google Play.