Although I love traveling to new destinations and revisiting old favorites, sometimes the whole process of booking, researching and mapping out my next big adventure can be a bit of a hassle.
But now with hundreds of travel apps available for the iPhone, I can do all of the above and more with just a few taps of the touchscreen. Below are eight of my favorite travel apps and two new travel apps that any serious jet-setter needs to download on their iPhone asap.
- Kayak: Besides being one of the best travel search engines on the internet, Kayak has come up with one of the nicest looking and easy to use iPhone apps out there right now. Search flights, hotels and car rentals with ease. Plus the new Trips Itinerary Management feature is pretty cool. Just email your booking receipts to Kayak and they’ll create a single itinerary for you.
- GateGuru: Whether you travel often or just a few times per year, you are going to want this travel app. Just type in the airport you’re visiting and it will provide you with detailed information about each gate. Whether it is figuring out where the nearest ATM machine is located or what food options are within walking distance, GateGuru is great. The app currently offers 86 U.S. airports, 12 Canadian airports and London Heathrow.
- Urbanspoon: I’m sure most iPhone users with adventurous appetites already have this app downloaded. But if not, you may want to check it out on your next trip. Let’s say you’re visiting Brooklyn, New York and want to try some cheap Thai food. Simply set the app to your requirements and shake it (yes literally shake the device). Urbanspoon will them provide you with a place nearby. Reviews are provided by Urbanspoon users.
- Yelp: Much like Urbanspoon, the Yelp iPhone app relies heavily on user generate reviews to guide people to restaurants, nightlife, hotels and various attractions.
- Southwest Airlines: When I first got the iPhone I said there was no way I would ever book airfare on my phone. Well Southwest made me a liar due to their extremely easy to use iPhone travel app. Besides being able to book airline tickets, you can make car reservations, check into your flight, receive flight status updates and sign up for Ding! Fare Alerts. (Note: Southwest Airlines will not appear in your search results when using the Kayak app. )
- Wikihood: Very simple to use and chock full of Wikipedia information for any location on the planet. Just enable geolocation and enjoy tons of information about restaurants, bars, hotels and attractions around you and nearby.
- Wi-Fi Finder: This app pretty much speaks for itself. When I am on the go I need internet access…all…the…time. This app has come to the rescue on more than one occasion. With over 320,000 locations in 140 countries worldwide, chances are it will be able to help you too.
- Happy Hours: What do I love more than a few drinks with friends? A few cheap drinks with friends. Looking for specials on dining and nightlife when traveling? Well then you need this app on your phone yesterday. Happy Hour will provide you with the best food and drink bargains going on near you at any time each day. You can filter your results too by cuisine, outdoor seating and free wi-fi (yay).
Two new apps you should check out…
- mTrip Travel Guides: This Montreal based company has been rolling out new travel guides to top destinations around the world at a rapid rate. I recently checked out the New York City travel guide and enjoyed building an itinerary that suite my travel needs. Simply choose your travel dates, the hotel you’re staying at and then specify your trip preferences. The categories include museums, monuments, parks and religious. You can even pick whether you want to visit top or alternative attractions.
- TripDoc: This delicious iPhone travel app helps you organize all the places you want to visit when you travel. Store and share your favorite restaurant, pub, hotel and more. You can check out all your saved favs on one easy to use map. Want to tell a friend about a place you just dined at? Simply share it via email. Very handy for people constantly on the go and business travelers.
(Disclosure: I was given a promo code to download both the New York City mTrip Travel Guide and TripDoc for free. )