Top Five Travel iPad Apps

I was one of the millions of people who received a shiny new iPad as a present recently. While the Angry Birds game did manage to occupy my time for the first few days, I have since managed to step back and check out the other functions of this cool gadget. Of course one of my first goals was to maximize my iPad for travel and travel planning. I have a lot of apps to help me out when it comes to travel, but these are my five favorite.

1. AllSubway HD – This is one of my favorite apps for the iPhone and I was thrilled to see that they adapted it for the iPad as well. Simply put, AllSubway compiles comprehensive metro and light rail maps for more than 100 cities around the world and puts them at your fingertips.

If you’ve traveled to a new city, then you are probably familiar with the feeling of looking at an alien transit map and wondering who concocted such a thing and how on earth do you use it? The AllSubway app is a good step forward to helping you get around a new city without looking lost.

I love this app because I can quickly and easily access a transit system map without being online and without looking like a tourist. I have used this app around the world and love its ease of use and convenience.

Cost – $0.99


2. Hipmunk - I’ve been a fan of this web site for several months and was thrilled to FINALLY see them release an iPad app. Hipmunk is one of the best resources to find the cheapest flights available, returning information on flights that most web sites miss. Almost better than the bargains is the unique way in which Hipmunk presents the information, in an easy to read grid. You can organize the grid by price, flight length and airlines. Like the main site, this is a fun, quirky and immensely useful app.

Cost – Free


3. TripIt - If you really want to maximize your time and money while traveling, then you have to be organized. Before finding TripIt, I used to print out all of my various confirmation emails and staple them inside a manila folder. I know, so 1998, right? A reader recommended TripIt, and without exaggeration it has transformed my travel experience and probably saved thousands of trees in the process. Simply said, TripIt organizes all of your travel information for you and generates complete itineraries easily accessed through your mobile device. You can input the information manually if you want, but it’s so much easier (and cooler) to have them do it for you. All you do is forward your emails to them and within seconds a complete itinerary will be generated for you, instantly available in your TripIt account. I am endlessly fascinated by technology and this app really amazes me

Cost – $3.99 (you can upgrade to TripIt Pro that monitors flight status and tracks your frequent flier miles for $49 a year)

4. Cardstar – This is a new app for me, but I already love it. This convenient app allows you to store all of your loyalty and frequent guest card numbers in one place.

If you’re anything like me, when you’re booking travel it is sometimes hard to locate your frequent flier number or hotel loyalty number. I have my top few saved, but for rarely used airlines it takes me forever to find those cards. That waste of time is a thing of the past now since I have added all of my card numbers directly into Cardstar.

Cardstar isn’t just for travel, you can add grocery or any other merchant loyalty numbers to your profile as well. Even though I haven’t test it out yet, apparently Cardstar also generates coupons that are tailored to your individual cards and can be used automatically.

Cost – Free


5. XE Currency – I always use the XE currency conversion site whenever I need to find the latest rates. I was very happy to find their iPad app which brings the same high quality of their site to the mobile app.

XE is very simple and straightforward. You simply select the currencies you want to convert, the amount and you’re done. It’s a must have app for anyone planning a trip overseas.

Cost  – Free


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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

27 Responses

  1. ehalvey

    I may need to check out AllSubwayHD! I have a good wifi locator that includes an offline directory for places worldwide. Very handy if you’re in another country and don’t want to pay to roam on 3G. Need to check on the name.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      I seriously love AllSubway, I think it’s my favorite app. I’ve had it on my phone for a couple of years.

      Reply
  2. The NVR Guys

    AllSubway looks great. We will definitely give it a look.

    While not a travel app, have you looked at Flipboard yet. It is a gorgeous way to read twitter and RSS feeds. One of our favorites.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      yup, it was one of my first downloads. :) I love how it really opens up Facebook

      Reply
  3. Ethan

    Cardstar actually looks like a great app to stay organized in the grocery store. I don’t know, however, how toting around an iPad through the aisles would work.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      well it works just as well on the iphone as well. I used it last week in the store

      Reply
  4. Dave and Deb

    These are great suggestions. I haven’t bought an iPad yet, but it is on the list and I will definitely be back for reference when we do. Been using our iPhone which can use a lot of similar apps, but I really want to go for the bigger screen. An iPad is an excellent bridge between the iPhone and the computer.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Thank you! And yes, the iPad is great. I’ve been surprised at how productive I can be with it. And most of these apps are also available for the iPhone.

      Reply
  5. Food Pilgrim

    Great list.
    Not to turn this into a what else list, but you’ve got to mention Tripit. This app has saved me from missing many a tight connection. Faster than I could navigate the Barcelona airport departure board, Tripit told we where my flight was about to take off from.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Not at all, I really appreciate hearing about more apps! I’ve done an airline app follow up and am working on a hotel one now, I think I’m going to have to do another list of the top overall apps though :)

      Reply
  6. Michael Tieso

    Haven’t heard of Cardstar before, thanks for the suggestion! Trying it out now.

    Reply
  7. Scott Lehmann

    Matt,
    Thank you sharing your great ideas. I am on my second iPad and use all of those except cardstar, but will check it out. I also would like to recommend Tripit, I use it weekly, it’s great. Would it be possible to share this post with my friends on my blog?

    Reply
  8. Mike On The Cheap Route

    That subway one is great, thanks! I normally don’t have data when I travel unless its for longer term, so offline apps are essential

    Reply
  9. Cynthia Simpson

    So glad you tweeted about this again today, I just got an iPad this last week so exactly what I was looking for. I already have tripit, what a fantastic tool and although I have a kindle, think I should get rid of it now that I can read books in one place. I have also passed this info onto my son who travels extensively for business and who has also just purchased an iPad – am sure he will also find your ideas very useful. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Great! So glad you found it useful, I have many more articles on useful apps, including a guide to traveling with your iPad!

      Reply
  10. Chris

    Very helpful article, I di not know the app for the metropolitan maps of the world!

    Reply
  11. CSears

    Thanks for this list, Matt. I’d definitely try some of the applications you’ve mentioned in here, especially Hipmunk and All Subway. I’ll be heading to Milan in just a few days and hopefully these apps, along with the other app I purchased (25 things to do in Milan), will make my trip easier. Looking forward to read more of your posts!

    Reply
  12. Louis

    Great article!

    I recommend another travel app for planning routes: Routes. Planning your journeys.

    I recommend it! It’s great.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      Thanks and check out my post on apps for Summer Road Trips, I’ve included some there: landlopers.com/2011/05/17/top-ipad-travel-apps-summer-road-trips/

      Reply
  13. Jeff

    Matt, next time you do a New York roundup, let’s talk. I have the Real Pizza of New York app, I do events, dinners, and give a lot of info for travelers. Queens, NY is freaaking awesome, and I’m trying to show people why.

    Reply
    • Matt Long

      I’ve reviewed a lot of apps, popular posts.

      Reply
  14. Hai

    Thanks for sharing the guide.I am about to by my first iphone.

    Reply
  15. Forest Parks

    TripIt looks really interesting, I may have to give that a go. As for the metro app, I can see that being really handy so may pick that up for iPhone sometime soon.

    Thanks for your list.

    Reply
  16. Ian Ord - Where Sidewalks End

    I haven’t tried tripit yet… I’m going to see if they have it for Androids right now! I really need a central place to keep track of all my trips (post-it notes are getting a little old!)

    Reply
  17. Chris A Sharpe

    This is an epic list! Love the subway app, will be downloading these right away!

    Reply

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