The problem with travel apps is that appealing new ones arrive in the market much more frequently than vacation days appear on my calendar. How’s a person supposed to try them all! Sure, you can fabricate test trials during an ordinary day, but where’s the satisfaction there? I want to use these nifty, trip tools in heat-of-the-moment situations. Some real time vacation application.
Calm down, Keith. Labor Day weekend is when? Here are just a few of the top travel apps whose use I look forward to enhancing my next getaways.
Not sure where to find the cheapest gas price? GasBuddy pulls up the prices of several nearby stations. The app tells you which service providers are around, in case you have a preference, and how far away they are. So you can choose to cross town for the most inexpensive tank or coast in to the closest pump if you’re riding on fumes. Seeing the stations on a map will of course help find fuel.
Dustin Coupal and Jason Toews founded GasBuddy Organization. Their app and services are free to consumers. The pair hopes to become the premiere source for fuel price information. Their product is a bootstrapped venture, kept on the road through advertisements. GasBuddy monitors prices in the U.S. and Canada.
This tool allows you to track the location of other iPhones around the world. Phöne Tracker turns your mobile device into a GPS, allowing you to view the whereabouts of other authorized users. If you’re traveling in a large group that splits into smaller parties, this is a great way to see where everyone has scattered. I imagine parents will appreciate the flexibility this gives them to allow children to be on their own but still on the radar. The app costs $2.99. According to reviews, you may have to watch how fast it drains your battery.
Translator with Speech
Traveling to destinations where your native language isn’t spoken can be very rewarding and very frustrating. And no one, no one wants to wait for a tourist to go into the backpack, flip through a dictionary, then listen to a butchered pronunciation of, “Where is the train station?” Translator with Speech gives you quick translations of written or spoken text. See the words, hear the words in as many as 54 languages. How do you say “sweet” in Russian, Afrikaans, Swahili…?
The only downside is that the app requires Wi-Fi or 3G, so you have to be on the grid. It’s another freebie though, so no complaints.
This app looks to be THE flight companion. At $9.99, it offers flight alerts, terminal maps, updates on weather delays and more. Complete real time flight coverage. It has an offline mode for in-flight use, which lets you track a plane’s progress on a zoomable map. (I’ve always been a sucker for those.) FlightTrack Pro also works with TripIt, which lets you store all of your reservation information. This tool is the latest version of the immensely popular travel app FlightTrack, created by Mobiata Founder Ben Kazez.
There’s nothing like simple, sophisticated equipment to help you gain your bearings when you’re determined to lose your way.