In 1975, a famous television ad campaign first reminded us to “don’t leave home without it.” The “it” referred to an American Express Card, of course. Today the same slogan could be applied to your smartphone, especially when traveling. With a myriad of free travel apps to choose from, smartphones have become essential travel companions. That’s why this month I have chosen to feature two travel-related smartphone apps: Wi-Fi Finder and TripAdvisor.
Wi-Fi Finder: Available on Android.
Adding the Wi-Fi Finder app to your smartphone means never having to say “I can’t find a Wi-Fi internet connection.” Bar none, Wi-Fi Finder is the best app for finding free or paid public Wi-Fi hotspots—anywhere and any time. You can use it online or offline to find your next Internet connection when on the go. Best of all, when you connect to Wi-Fi, you don’t consume data from your cell phone plan.
The current version of the app features more than 550,000 free and paid locations in 144 countries around the world. You can view Wi-Fi hotspot details and call location, as well as get directions and a map to the hotspot. You can even filter search results by location, such as café and hotel, or by provider type. When you find good Wi-Fi service, just add the location to your Wi-Fi list and next time you won’t have to remember where you found the service.
The app is not only for long-distance traveling, however: you’ll be amazed at the hotspots you can discover in your own neighborhood or city. Handy and accurate with a nice graphical interface, Wi-Fi Finder is free and available for both smartphones and tablets.
Trip Advisor: Available on Android.
Planning your next trip? How can you find the lowest airfares, best hotels, hottest restaurants, most mind-boggling landmarks? Millions of travelers already know the answer: TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. And now you can tap into this valuable, timely resource with your smartphone, thanks to the free TripAdvisor app.
When you do, you won’t have to worry about planning your next trip. To assist your plans, the app enables you to browse over 100 million travel reviews, opinions, and photos. These are all candid pieces of advice from everyday travelers, and not a travel agency’s list of fluffy talking points. So no matter where you are planning to visit, you have access to the unvarnished truth first. Simply type the name of a location and you get tons of data on it, immediately. Find yourself in a new city? Not a problem. Download TripAdvisor’s free city guide and use it offline.
There’s more. Search restaurants, for instance, by food type, price range and customer rating. Or find “Travelers’ Choice” award-winning hotels. The app’s “Near Me Now” feature helps you discover worthy travel options near any address you enter.
No matter where you are headed, thanks to the free TripAdvisor app your travel plans can be smarter, safer and cheaper. As one traveler urges, “Don’t book anything before you try TripAdvisor!”
This month I’ve highlighted just two of the many travel-related smartphone apps at your fingertips. I encourage you to download these two apps. Don’t forget to check out the many other apps that can help you plan, experience and enjoy your next trip.
A famous expression tells us a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Before you take that first step, consult your travel apps. As long as you have a smartphone, you’ll never travel alone.