15 Must-Have Apps for The Road
C'mon people, it's the 21st century. Let's ditch the old-school maps and guidebooks for nifty travel apps, shall we? Siobhan Reid rounds up the 15 downloads you need to inspire, organize and plan your next trip.
Think of it as: Your answer to Mother’s Day. Every year. You can use this app to turn your vacation shots into beautiful prints, postcards and photo albums.
Best for: Travel bloggers and magazine editors.
Think of it as: Your personal bodyguard. Companion uses geolocating to connect solo travelers with family, friends or public safety departments who can track their journey and receive alerts if they encounter trouble.
Best for: Solo travelers.
Think of it as: Your 24/7 travel agent. When you want to save $$$ on your next flight, consult this handy app which analyzes billions of flight prices daily to predict how prices will change, and tells you when to buy your tickets.
Best for: Nate Silver predictive whiz types.
Think of it as: Airbnb for dogs. Use it when you’re going on a trip and need overnight boarding, day care, walks, bathing and grooming for your pooch.
Best for: Those who refer to their dog as their "baby?"
Think of it as: A travel itinerary on steroids. The app allows users to compose shareable down-to-the-minute master travel itineraries.
Best for: Nazi Schedulers.
Think of it as: Your guide to artisanal coffee shops around the world. Take your latte Instagram game to the next level, people.
Best for: Coffee snobs.
Think of it as: WiFi, when you don’t want to slum it at Starbucks and McDonald’s. Use it to find the nearest WiFi hotspots in your area and avoid data charges and slow mobile connections.
Best for: Backpackers.
Think of it as: A stand-in for your cool friend’s travel recommendations. The app features cool insider-y spots handpicked by artists and locals in 11 international cities.
Best for: Hipsters. Yeah, we’re talking to you.
Think of it as: "Location aware" walking tours. Tune into these audio guides to learn about some of the most storied streets in the world. Highlights include Sopranos star Vinny Vella’s tour of NYC’s Little Italy and an actual fisherman’s account of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
Best for: Podcast devotees.
Think of it as: The kind of passenger-seat driver you actually want. Refer to the app when you want turn-by-turn directions and info on offbeat roadside attractions.
Best for: Enthusiasts of the Great American Road Trip.
Think of it as: A damn good unit converter. It’s great for when you’re traveling abroad and need to perform those essential conversions (pounds to kilos; Fahrenheit to Celsius).
Best for: Travelers whose mental math skills rival a 2nd grader’s.
Think of it as: A more intuitive version of Google Translate for Asian languages. Want to decrypt the takeout menu at your local Chinese restaurant? Or, how about experiencing the real-life version of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation?
Best for: Students of Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
Think of it as: The way you’re going to pay for next month’s rent. The app connects mobile photographers with brands, agencies and designers interested in buying the rights to their ‘Grams. Look, ma, no hands!
Best for: Enterprising Millenials.
Think of it as: On-demand parking. The app scans your immediate area to find cheap parking spots in real-time.
Best for: Budget-savvy travelers.
Think of it as: The ultimate travel brag in app form. Imagine you’ve just come back from a journey across Europe and want to show everyone (and their mother) just how much ground you covered in visual form (continent ratio maps, lists etc.)
Best for: Hardcore travelers.