August means vacations and lots of travel. Downloading a few apps before you head out can make your trip go much smoother. A smartphone loaded with apps that can find you clean, well priced accommodations, coordinate transportation and help you live like a clever local are a must for the intrepid traveler.
Below are some favorite travel apps of local travelers. Most are free but a few have a cost associated with them:
You can download a gratis version that syncs with your calendar and stores travel documents all in one place. This app is especially useful for air travelers. A $49 upgrade (billed annually) significantly ups the ante with real-time flight alerts, fare refund notifications and an ad-free app experience. Available for Android, iOS and Windows phone, free.
When parents and teenagers have different travel agendas, they can track each other via an onscreen map and then reconnect at will. Available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, free.
Find the best seat before your fly–even if you are already at the airport. With this app you can access seat maps and passenger seat recommendations and get real-time flight status alerts. This app officially belongs to TripAdvisor and is available for more than 15 airlines, free.
Stop stressing about when to book a flight. Buy now or wait a day. With this app you just input your plans and it will tell you exactly when to book to get the best price. It will also send you notices when your flight cost goes down. Available for iPhone and iPad, free.
Plug in your trip details to find the best local hot spots and happenings without ever having to pore through a free area newspaper. Available for Android, iPhone and iPad, free.
Use this favorite app to find hotels , restaurants and attractions in any destination. Now with offline access to reviews, maps, and photos for over 300 cities, you can see millions of reviews, opinions and candid photos from travelers. You can also use the “Near Me Now” to discover options near your location or any address you enter. Available for iPhone/iPad. free/
Making it easy for you to search for hotels, flights, and car rentals, all from one place, Kayak is an essential app. You can easily track down the best prices for everything and you can even keep an eye on whether your flight is on time. Reviews complement the service. Available for iPhone, iPad and Android, free.
A price comparison app, Hipmunk enables you to easily compare the top travel sites in order to find the best hotel and flight deals out there. It promises big savings and a speedy way in which to browse. It also offers a very handy ‘agony’ meter for flights, showing you how to minimize layovers and time. Free.
Hit the road now, worry where to sleep later.You get the best price–at the last minute, exactly where you are–with this app. If you have your eye on a specific property and it seems to expensive, use the Track It feature to receive an instant alert when the price goes down. Available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, free.
Want to camp but don’t have the equipment? You need to to head to one of the 485 privately owned Kampgrounds of America in the US and Canada. KOA offers cabins or airstream trailers that fit an entire family and even your pet. Search availability and book at your convenience. Available for Android and iOS, free.
Working across numerous major cities including, but not limited to, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, London, Paris, and Barcelona, Citymapper deciphers the transit systems so you don’t have to. Besides offering trip planning, it provides real-time departure information and a heads-up for on-line statuses and possible disruptions.Available for iPhone and iPad, free.
Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. You can join other drivers in your area who share real-time traffic and road information, saving everyone time and gas money on their daily commute.You can get alerts before you approach police, accidents, road hazards or traffic jams, all shared by other drivers in real-time. You can also see other friends driving to your destination when you connect to Facebook. This way you coordinate everyone’s arrival times. Available for iPhone, iPad or Android, free.
This is a local search and discovery service mobile app which provides search results for its users–in any city in the world. By taking into account the places a user goes, the things they have told the app that they like and the other users whose advice they trust, Foursquare provides recommendations of the places to go around a user’s current location. The user simply tells the app what they like–very specifically, like “craft beer” or “fried chicken. Every search is tailored to your tastes and past ratings from friends and experts. You can read short review and save places you want to go. If you want to check in or meet up with your friends you can download a companion app called swarm. Available for iPhone, iPad, free.
This is a highly popular new service available in most cities. Instead of walking aimlessly to find a cab, locate nearby background-checked drivers using the app’s map on your phone. Hail with a tap. Available for Android, iPhone and iPad, free.
The company develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars. Pay with Google Wallet or PayPal, or add a credit card to your secure Uber account so you never need cash on hand.
– Easily set your pickup location on the map, even if you don’t know the exact address. Get connected to your personal driver and check the progress of your Uber at any time.
Ready to take a cruise. This app will help you connect with a fellow passengers –and their shared photos–through social media. It is hooked in with lines including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival and Norwegian. Available for Android, iOS, free.
Traveling with friends and want to keep track of who owes what? Trip Splitter makes it exceptionally easy, allowing you to quickly split bills and keep a tab on what everyone owes. It should save plenty of arguments, plus ensures you always know how your finances are faring. Available for iPhone and iPad. Cost is $1.99.
With data roaming charges still high, knowing where to find a decent wi-fi hotspot is essential if you’re to keep FaceBook and Twitter up to date with details of your latest adventure.Simply fire up this handy app and follow directions to your nearest source of wireless internet. Best of all, the offline mode means you can download maps before you go and avoid roaming charges. Available on iPhone, iPad and Android, free.
Don’t forget to sign up for our WynShops each month. We offer a class featuring the App of the Month and will teach you how to use it. Check our website for information at www.wynway.com or call us at 765-692-3100.