The intrepid traveler knows that certain essentials are required for a worry-free trip. Traveling with your smartphone is a handy way to combine several of these into a single, easy to pack item. Not only is it your camera, phone book, and computer; by downloading a few handy apps, your smartphone can also be an invaluable resource for getting you where you need to go.
Helpful apps designed for travelers are abundant for both iPhone and Android devices, and there are a lot of great ones out there. Here are three apps that I’ve been using which have helped me to prepare, stay organized, and find my way for trips near and far. And all of them are free!
If you’re tired of having to search multiple sites for the best prices on flights, hotels, and rental cars, I recommend giving Skyscanner a try. It’s an independently operated, one stop shop that helps you find great deals when planning and booking a trip and will also provide alerts on any delays or changes to your itinerary while you’re traveling. You can even sync the app to work across all of your devices so you can use it with a laptop or tablet as well.
One of the real challenges of any trip can be keeping all of your important information and travel documents organized. I keep them right at my fingertips using Google Trips Travel Planner. All of your flight information, hotel confirmations, meal reservations, and more are grouped together in a convenient “trip” folder, along with recommendations and reviews for other activities you may want to explore. You can even use the app offline, and if you use Gmail, the two will automatically be synced together so that you can receive email reminders.
Finally, I can’t say enough about how useful I find the constantly-improving Waze navigation app. I even use it at home to help me find the best route to anywhere I need to go. It provides real-time information about traffic jams or other delays, identifies the fastest-moving alternate routes, and can help you locate parking or gas stations nearby.
Spring is here, and travel season is upon us. Before you hit the road or jump on a plane, be sure you’ve got a few of these essential smartphone travel apps packed and ready to go along with you!