Ten Top Travel Apps

May 1, 2013

Liz Weiman’s fall “Automize!” class gives us the lowdown on the best apps and gadgets for home, health, travel, finances, and productivity so we can simplify our lives. Here she offers us a list of 10 Top Travel apps for smartphones and tablets:

Have flight and airport information at your fingertips and manage your airline info. GateGuru gives real-time flight status, gate and delay notifications, weather updates, airport layout (food, shops),
rental car info, and more. (IOS, Android)


2. Google Translate 

Translate words and phrases between more than 60 languages.
You can also speak your phrases and hear the translations.
You can also access your translation history even when you
are offline. (IOS, Android)


3. Tripit



Great app for keeping track of travel itineraries. You just forward confirmation emails, or have it done automatically, for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more, and Tripit organizes it all with all your details and confirmation numbers. (IOS, Android)

4. Wordlens


Amazing app that uses the built-in camera to translate text from printed media, such as a road sign or a restaurant menu, and convert them to English. Translations are displayed on the original backgrounds. So far the app supports Spanish, Italian and French. See it to believe it! (IOS, Android)


5. AroundMe

Quickly find out information about shops, coffeehouses, museums, banks, theaters  and more that are around you, no matter where you are. Provides you with a map and shows you the distance from each location. It’s a great way to get your bearings, and to find a cup of coffee or dinner off the beaten path when you need it! (IOS, Android)


6. Google Maps


This maps program gives you accurate and easy maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. You can search for addresses.
(IOS, Android)


7. Trip Advisor

Traveler reviews, photos, maps, videos, and more make this app a great resource. You can find great deals, compare airfares, find hotels, locate restaurants, add your own reviews. (IOS, Android)




8. Dropbox

Get free, passworded cloud storage for files and photos with an easy account setup process online. You can set up folders, and use it to store all of your photos and videos without maxing out your smartphone or your tablet. You can select to share your photos with others just by adding their email address, which allows access to whatever folder you designate. It syncs across all your devices so you can access your files from phone, tablet, computer. It has so many uses that people are now using it as a verb, to say they have “dropboxed” this file and that file. (IOS, Android)

9. Pocket (formerly called Read it Later)

You don’t have to be online to read interesting articles, watch videos, or review web pages. Simply install pocket, and you can mark any media you want to view offline by tapping the “Save to Pocket” button that is installed when you use this app. It automatically syncs across your devices, so you can read or view formerly online content in places without Internet, such in flight, or remote areas. It’s called the DVR for the Web. (IOS, Android)

Note: Instapaper is another app that is a competitor to Pocket.

10. Evernote

Passworded app that gets you organized by scanning your notes on the fly, making the text of any receipt or notes/paper searchable, allows you to create to do lists and voice reminders. Syncs across all your devices, allows you to share any documents, and so much more.   It was on the NY Times Top 10 Must-Have Apps. It is often associated with productivity but its unique features lend themselves also to travel in terms of securing and accessing important travel documents, scanning receipts, keepsakes, and more. (IOS, Android)

There are so many other worthy apps and they will be covered in detail in the Liz Weiman’s upcoming class  Automize! Managing our Homes, Health, and Finances Using Apps & Gadgets.

A little Lagniappe! Even though we said 10 Travel apps, Liz gave us a few more. Be sure to check out Instagram (easy program that improves your pictures on the fly) and Trip Journal (documents vacation experiences to share with friends and family, and shows your travel routes if you wish to). SeatGuru helps you find seats on the aircraft, Flightboard gives you a live flight arrival/departure information from airports around the world, with information on aircraft type, delays, and other notifications. 

Are there any travel apps you couldn’t live without? Add your comments and let us know!