Although mobile devices are certainly handy on an everyday basis, they truly excel when you’re traveling. Whether you’re attending a conference for work, organizing a family vacation, or undergoing some other kind of adventure, having a mobile device with your travel plans, itineraries, and other relevant information can make your trips faster, easier, and more fulfilling.
With increased security, high gas prices, confusing road layouts, and unexpected delays, traveling seems harder than it used to be. But, if you load the right travel apps onto your smartphone or tablet, you’ll find that the road becomes much easier. These apps can make common traveling tasks like tracking your flight, checking the weather, finding good food on the road, learning a new language, or converting between currencies surprisingly easy.
Below are 20 terrific iPhone apps for travelers.
Have you ever been in a hurry and missed a meeting because you couldn’t find a taxi in time? Here is a quick solution that will help you from getting into such trouble. Magic Booking works with 75 leading taxi fleets in over 40 major U.S. cities, with tap-to-call fleets in over 4,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. You can book a taxi online using this app, and you can even track the arrival of your taxi through dispatch updates or map views. You don’t need to call the taxi driver yourself, and you can even pay him directly from your credit card. In return, this app will provide you the e-receipt of your payment with a documentation charge of just $1.50. The app is free, and most travelers would agree that $1.50 per booking is fairly reasonable.
Are you in an unfamiliar place and worried about what and where to eat? Just shake your iPhone and get a list of restaurants nearby your place. You can use “Urbanspoon” to find restaurants nearby when visiting a new location. You can read reviews, sort by price range or cuisine type, and even make a reservation using this app. UrbanSpoon uses your GPS to locate restaurants near you, so you don’t need to have access to an internet connection to find restaurants near your place; all you need to have is the UrbanSpoon app installed on your iPhone. UrbanSpoon covers all of the United States and Canada, and large metro areas in the UK and Australia.
The Weather Channel
If you are traveling to an unfamiliar place, The Weather Channel app can be used as a precautionary measure to alert you of the weather conditions approaching in the next few days. The Weather Channel provides the most accurate weather information anywhere, and it’s one of the most frequently used traveler resources in the world. Having it in your pocket will keep you dry and dressed appropriately, regardless of your destination.
Packing Pro is a great app for travelers. This app enables frequent travelers to create and save customized packing lists for one-time or recurring trips. The app makes it extremely difficult to forget essential items during your traveling. You can buy this app from the app store for just $2.99.
For travelers, Skype is a must-have app. During your travels, you will come across many Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as exorbitantly expensive “roaming fees” or “international data fees.” This app will help you make free calls (Skype to Skype only) with nothing but a mobile device and an internet connection. You can even hold video conference calls if you are late or absent to your appointments. You can also load up credit in your Skype account and can make calls to landline or mobile phone numbers at surprisingly cheap rates (especially compared to long-distance and international call rates). Skype app is available in the app store; you can download it for free.
Sometimes, travelers forget exactly where they parked their car, especially if they’re using a rental car in an unfamiliar neighborhood. To avoid stressful “Dude, where’s my car?” circumstances, there is a user-friendly app for the iPhone in the app store that lets you make note of the location where you parked your car. With just one tap you save your parking spot, so that later iCarPark can easily navigate you back to your car.
Hold the world in the palm of your hand. With Google Earth for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, you can fly to far corners of the planet with just the swipe of a finger. Explore the same global satellite and aerial imagery available in the desktop version of Google Earth, including high-resolution imagery covering over half of the world’s population and a third of the world’s land mass. It’s a free app to download; you can download it from the app store.
People travel for a variety of reasons, and they encounter an even wider variety of languages. You are going to get yourself into great trouble if you are not conversant in a country’s native language. So, when you find yourself in these circumstances, iTranslate Voice is an amazing app that will let you communicate with those whom you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. With iTranslate Voice, you can instantly speak 31 languages, share translations, edit translations etc. The accuracy of its voice recognition is so amazing that you won’t need your keyboard anymore. So just go for it.
GPS is a must have feature for traveling purposes. Sygic is an iPhone app that features voice-guided GPS navigation packed with all the latest maps and a robust set of features. Both the app and maps are updated for free. Maps are also stored on the phone for offline use. Sygic is trusted by millions of customers around the globe.
What if you are on a trip and have to scan and email paper documents to your office? You don’t have a scanning facility where you are right now – so what will you do? For such circumstances, an iPhone app named “TurboScan” will figure out your problem. TurboScan turns your iPhone into a multipage scanner for documents, receipts, notes, whiteboards, and other text. With TurboScan, you can quickly scan your documents and store or email them as multipage PDF or JPEG files. It’s a paid app and will cost you $1.99 from the app store, which is a great value for any business traveler.
Are you annoyed by having to call Hotels to book a room? Well, you don’t need to anymore, because the iPhone app “Booking.com” takes care of this common traveling task for you. The Booking.com app offers a quick, easy, and secure way to find and book hotels (without requiring a phone call) using your iPhone. It searches for hotels near your location or any destination that you choose. Use your iPhone to show your booking confirmation at the hotel’s reception desk – no printouts needed! There are no booking fees and the app is itself free. So, definitely download this app if you are planning on traveling.
Do you hate being lost in an unfamiliar place and not knowing anything about your surroundings? The iPhone app “AroundMe” is a remedy for those who get lost all too frequently during their travels. AroundMe helps you learn about your new surroundings. It recognizes your current position and finds all important places in your current area, like banks, bars, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, supermarkets, and taxi services. It’s clearly a very useful app, and it’s free.
Healix Travel Vaccinations
This is yet another great traveling app for iPhone. It is useful especially when you are traveling around the world and need to stay up-to-date on current international health hazards. Healix Travel Vaccination App can advise you of what travel vaccinations and immunizations you may need before traveling to certain areas. It’s a free app to download, and it could save any traveler from some potentially dangerous sicknesses.
Global GPS Audio Travel Guide
Save the money that you would spend on guided tours and books. This iPhone app provides you with audio tours of sights all over the world! You can experience the world on your own terms. You just need to plug your earphones in and listen to the guided tour. It’s not a free app, but it’s a great alternative to hiring pricey travel guides or heavy, expensive books. I would recommend this app to people who are regular or casual travels. You can buy this app from the app store for $1.99.
Have you ever been in search of Wi-Fi hotspots while traveling? Wi-Fi Finder can help you find suitable bandwidth during your travels. It searches for Wi-Fi hotspots using the iPhone’s built-in GPS functionality. You can also filter by location type (restaurant, cafe, hotel, etc.). When you find the location that you want to use, you’ll be given a phone number and directions on how to get there. It’s a free-to-use app; you can download it from the app store.
Are you looking for a pub, a restaurant, a hotel, or something similar? Yelp is here to help. Use this app on your iPhone to search for places to eat, shop, drink, and relax. You can read reviews from a very active community of locals who are keenly familiar with their local area. Yelp uses your iPhone’s built-in GPS to search for nearby attractions and offer expert reviews.
This iPhone app provides you with turn-by-turn voice and onscreen driving directions. It monitors real-time traffic and informs you of accidents and slowdowns ahead so that you can re-route to avoid from getting blocked. Best of all, (and unlike most driving navigation apps), it’s free.
A must-have app for those who travel a lot. World Flights provides all live arrivals and departures information for all commercial flights at any given airport in the world. It is very useful to those dropping off or picking up commercial flight passengers, and it also displays flight tracking information on a map. At $1.99, it’s an affordable way to keep track of your flights and make sure that you don’t miss your departure or strand your associate or loved one at the terminal.
Viber – Free Phone Calls & Text
Viber lets everyone in the world connect – freely. More than 40 million Viber users have called, texted, sent photos to each other worldwide – for free. It’s a handy app for travelers, as they are able to become connected with their friends and siblings anytime. 100% FREE: Viber and all its features are completely free, with no subscriptions or purchases. Viber can help you avoid the shock of a surprisingly large phone bill while still letting you keep in touch over long distances. All you need is a 3G or Wi-Fi Internet connection and friends who use Viber too!
This app is the quickest and the easiest way to get up-to-date exchange rate information. It’s a great app for travelers who have frequent needs to change currencies. Users can calculate the latest exchange rates using the “Currency” app for the iPhone. It’s a free, intuitive app that can keep you from tedious currency calculations. Don’t get stuck on a business trip, vacation, or holiday without this great currency converter.
Do you have any favorite traveling apps to include? Is your mobile device a life-saver during your travels, or does it just make for large, expensive phone bills?