Like millions of other travelers, I am absolutely addicted to my mobile devices. Not only are they always firmly attached to my hand, but they’ve also transformed my travel experience. A lot of people ask about my favorite apps so I put together this short list of the apps I always use on every trip. I hope you find them useful and please let me know which apps you like to use when you travel.
1. TripIt – This app is on almost every app list I write and with good reason, it is an integral part of my travel experience. Everyone hopes to leave the stress of daily life at home when they travel. Being organized is essential, and can help save time and money. Before TripIt, I used to print out all of my various confirmation emails and staple them inside a manila folder. So 1998, right? A reader recommended TripIt, and without exaggeration it has transformed my travel experience and probably saved a small forest in the process. Simply put, 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 confirmation emails to them and within seconds, a complete itinerary is “automagically” generated and posted in your TripIt account. I am endlessly fascinated by technology and this app really amazes me.
2. Instagram – One of the most popular photo apps out there, this is a great way to not just edit your photos, but to share them with your friends. Like Camera+ it enables users to edit using a wide collection of fun and dramatic filters but it doesn’t stop there. Yes, you can share the finished product with friends on Twitter, Facebook and email, but Instagram itself is also a social network. Friends, family and other interested people can follow your photo feed and you theirs. It’s a fun way to see what everyone is doing, including some amazing photography using their iPhones and iPads.
3. GateGuru – An all-in-one app that makes navigating airports a breeze. Users can find the closest amenities at hundreds of airports around the world. Maps and category lists make it easy to find restaurants, shops and lounges instead of aimlessly wandering through the airport and is especially useful when you only have a few minutes to spare. There’s also a function that theoretically provides estimated security wait times. The inherent problem with the reliability of this feature is the dependency on the participation of other users, so the information may not be up to date. One of the best features is that you can link to other networks such as your TripIt account. This one app can tell me everything I need to know about my flights and what I can find in the airport around me. What’s not to love?
4. 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.
5. Camera+ – This app came highly recommended to me and I can understand why. From my experience, this is one of the most comprehensive and easy to understand apps, especially important since most of us aren’t professional photographers. The app allows you to choose any photo and edit with traditional methods such as cropping, lighting and borders. But it also features a wide range of photo effects that can transform a photo into a professional work of art. Fantastic app for getting the most out of your photography.