Must-Have Travel Apps of 20144 min read
It’s hard to imagine a time before smartphones and apps enabled us to book hotel rooms, research restaurant reviews, or purchase tickets for attractions. While some will say they miss the days when traveling to a new city meant exploring the unknown, learning from your own mistakes (and not those of others), and discovering lesser known treasures, we have to admit, apps make travel pretty darn convenient.
Since there are a ton of apps from which to choose, here are our favorites for 2014:
There’s nothing romantic or funny about waiting 20 minutes in the pouring rain as you try to hail down a cab. Uber eliminates the hassle of catching a cab by letting you order one of its approved taxis through the app. It’ll tell you when your ride should arrive and sends a text when the driver is on the way. You can also view the car icon on a map, showing you where it is in real-time, along with a picture of the driver and his phone number. At the end of the ride, Uber will bill your credit card so no cash is necessary. Although Uber is only available in 100 cities, it’s rapidly expanding around the world.
When you travel for business, you want everything to run as smoothly as possible. Worldmate helps travelers stay organized by creating personalized itineraries based on their travel booking information and business meetings. The app will send you alerts if your flight is delayed or canceled and automatically find alternative flights if need be. You can also access world clocks, maps, weather forecasts, and business utilities such as Outlook and LinkedIn.
Converted by Ideon
Baking a cake should be easy anywhere you go, but it can get quickly confusing if you’re referencing a recipe with different units of measurement than what you’re used to. Not only does this app convert currency (a feature you’ll find in many travel apps), it will convert units of measurement, temperature, and more.
If you saw a statue in Spain and wanted to learn more about it, you might perform a Google search. But what if you didn’t know the name or anything else about it? Wikitude is an augmented reality app that allows users to learn more about the area around them. All you have to do is hover your phone’s screen in front of an attraction, and Wikitude will display specific information from its Wikipedia page, as well as reviews photos from your friends’ social networks.
iStone Travel Translation App
A translation dictionary can be a lifesaver when traveling in a country where you don’t understand the language, but it’s practically useless if you don’t know how to pronounce the words or even read the characters. iStone Travel Translation app has over 300 phrases built into the program, so it can do the talking for you. With the app, users can greet locals, ask for directions or help, and more.
Airports by TravelNerd
Maneuvering around an airport and staying up to date on flight changes can be a pain. Airports by TravelNerd helps to eliminate these common issues by providing users with detailed maps and real-time updates of dozens of airports around the world (including information about bathrooms, restaurants, Wi-Fi areas, etc.).
The best in community mapping, Waze offers the quickest route to your destination and alerts users of nearby police, accidents, road conditions and more. All map updates are based on information added by users, so it’s perfect if you’re new to the area. Waze will even conduct a cost-comparison of prices at the gas stations along your route so you choose the best one. It’s currently available in over 100 countries.
2014 Yellow Book
Every two years, the Centers for Disease Control publishes the Yellow Book, which contains information on the latest health recommendations for international travel. In it, you’ll find updated vaccine requirements and recommendations, diseases related to travel, how to prevent and treat various illnesses, and other health-related insight for travelers. Although the Yellow Book comes in print and online versions, the app is perfect for those on the go.
Most travelers don’t think about what they would do if they were suddenly in need of medical assistance—until they find themselves in that very situation. mPassport® allows users to easily locate pre-qualified medical providers, request appointments, learn more about safety concerns in destinations around the world, and more. You can even play audio translations for specific medical terms and phrases in a number of languages. mPassport® is included in all HTH Worldwide insurance plans (Disclosure: Healthy Travel Blog is a project of HTH Worldwide and the Global Citizens Association) and is also available to non-insured members through a subscription.
Photo from IQ Intel.