The 12 Of The Best Free Apps That Will Make Traveling a Breeze!

Before I purchased my Ipod Touch last month, I couldn’t give two hoots and a holler about apps.  I saw it as just another way to waste time and for someone to separate you from your money.  Now….I see the error of my ways.  It’s my new addiction and “I don’t need no cure!”  Seriously, you could literally find yourself sliding your fingers back and forth over a rectangular piece of glass for hours on end and somehow manage to not get committed! There’s something for everyone….even for morons.  There is a whole host of applications for every possible situation, especially for travelers.  After doing a littl…erm…a lot of research, I have picked twelve must haves if you are serious about traveling and staying organized and entertained and won’t cost a cent.

1) PageOnce Trip Tracker is a neat app that allows you to record all of your frequent flier program account information securely in one place.  Once that’s done, it will “automagically” import all of your flight information to your Ipod touch or Iphone automatically.  It’s a great way to keep tabs on any frequent flier miles that are earned because you will be notified via email when you do.  I’m pretty bad at keeping up with stuff like that, so this is a treasure.  Also, it keeps track of any hotel or car rental reservations that you have booked during the trip.

Best Free Apps

2)  Pulse News Mini captures a montage of some of your favorite websites.  You can literally view several news sites, entertainment sites, sports sites….all at once.  Once you tap on an article, it will pop up and allow you to read it.  You can share said article via email or social media.  It also allows you to sync stories offline, so you will never be without your latest news stories.  It’s compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.3 or late and best yet, is free!

Best Free Apps

3)  Tripadvisor is something that I always refer to when I’m planning a vacation or even activities at home.  It’s pretty much a review site that rates accommodations, activities, and restaurants from all over the world.  The reviews are written by fellow travelers who have first-hand knowledge, so you get their opinion of their experience and probably a few choice words on how things could improve if they were displeased.  The good news is that you get the good reviews too.  It’s just nice to get some insight before booking and regretting it later. Compatible with iPhone, Android, Ovi, Palm and iPod.

Best Free Apps

4)  GateGuru – is another user-driven app that reviews 115 airports’ services.  Travelers can weigh in on how long it takes to get through checkpoints at each terminal.  You can get info on the restaurants located in each concourse as to which has the best eats.  Also, reviews and tips about the airport, in general, are freely given.  One tap of your stylus gets you a view of the airport map and you can bookmark your favorite airports.  Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

5) UrbanSpoonHungry and in a new town?  Urbanspoon allows you to select a location, the type of food you want and the price that you want to pay.  What could be simpler?

 

6) Bu.mp allows you to share info with someone by simply placing your phone in your hand and bumping knuckles with the person you want to transfer information to.  You can transfer app links (you still have to pay for the ones that cost dinero), photos, contact, etc.  Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.

7) Hipmunka portable flight search engine that allows you to view results in a timeline.   This app doesn’t show you the cheapest flights first, instead, they are listed according to factors like the number of layovers and the length of the trip.  If you are more concerned with picking flights with a lower ‘agony’ factor than price, this is the app for you.


8 )  All SubwayOk, so I lied.  This is the only app that will cost you…99 cents.  But it’s so worth it and an important tool for all travelers to have!  It has the actual subway maps of major cities that you simply select, click and the map appears.  What a convenience to have them all in one place and not have to worry about toting around various subway maps.

9)  Tango Video Calls – I learned about this application from Michael at Strux Travel.    Tango allows you to make video and voice calls over your smartphone’s Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G networks. If you’ve ever Skyped from your personal computer, you’ll understand the concept. Basically, you download the app, create a free account, then launch the application. It will automatically populate with the contacts from your address book who already use Tango. Or, you can invite your friends & family to join up by sending them a text or email. Once both parties have the app, you just make a call. It’s that easy!

If you’re in your local calling area, you can call anyone in the world for free. Or, if you have access to a Wi-Fi network, you can call anyone anywhere, even when you are abroad. (Just make sure you are on airplane mode so you aren’t hit with roaming charges.)  I can see it being particularly useful to reconnect if you and your travel partner are separated in a crowd.  Currently, the app is available for the iPhone 4 and 3GS, iPod Touch, EVO 4G and Galaxy S.

10)  Gas Buddy – Finds the cheapest gas on the go – for free! In one click, locate gas stations near you and see their current gas prices. Never overpay for gas again. GasBuddy is a community of users working together to update gas prices and help everyone save on gas!

11)  MetrO The smartphone universe is chock full of public transportation apps for cities across the world. MetrO, however, covers some 400 cities, and while most individual city apps may be a bit more comprehensive, MetrO is more than adequate for most traveler’s needs. Users download the app and then add the cities they want. MetrO can plot routes for you and shows your location on a map so you can see what’s nearby.  Compatible with Palm, PocketPC, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Smartphone.

12) Currency – When traveling abroad, you need to know just how much your country’s currency is worth compared to the country you are visiting. Currency provides up-to-date exchange rate info for more than 90 currencies and 100 countries. Currency displays thumbnail flags for the corresponding currencies. All you will need to do is add your currency and currencies that you will be using during your travels and you will be able to monitor the exchange rates at a glance.  You can either manually refresh exchange rates or set the app to do so automatically: intervals range from every hour to every day.
Well, that’s my list.  What apps do you find are particularly useful during your travels?  Feel free to share them with the rest of us!

Comments

comments

Renee King
aviewtoathrill@gmail.com
41 Comments
  • Michael Figueiredo
    Posted at 19:28h, 27 February Reply

    Thanks for the “shout out” Renee! This is an awesome, comprehensive list. I just downloaded them all!

    • Renee
      Posted at 08:29h, 28 February Reply

      Fantastic! I have them all too!

  • Lorna - the roamantics
    Posted at 22:07h, 27 February Reply

    awesome renee! i’m so clueless when it comes to smartphones (although you’d think i wouldn’t be with working in film!) but am thinking of making the switch to an iphone and these are definitely 12 good reasons to do so! 🙂

    • Renee
      Posted at 13:34h, 28 February Reply

      Thanks, Lorna….yes, and new apps are created everyday….if you’re super busy, it can be a godsend.

  • Grace
    Posted at 22:09h, 27 February Reply

    I love bump it’s a great tool for networking and eliminates the need to rummage through your bag for those business cards. As for Tango Calls- I didn’t even know about this apps.

    • Renee
      Posted at 15:34h, 28 February Reply

      Yes! Thanks, Grace. I meant to mention that aspect of Bu.mp. You can actually transfer business card data from one phone/touch to another.

  • Jeremy B
    Posted at 01:40h, 28 February Reply

    Wow, great tips Renee! I had only heard of two of these. Granted, I don’t have an iPhone so no apps for me. But these are great for travelers! By the way, do you still use your Kindle?

    • Renee
      Posted at 13:33h, 28 February Reply

      Hey Jeremy,

      Yep, I still use my kindle….actually, I was going to add the kindle app on this list, but heard that the recent upgrade sucked and most people hated it. But I do still love mine very much!

  • robin
    Posted at 07:11h, 28 February Reply

    dammit I ned a smartphone don’t I? Mine doesn’t even have a camera!

    • Renee
      Posted at 15:32h, 28 February Reply

      Robin,
      Having seen your photos, a camera phone doesn’t even stand a chance.

  • Gray
    Posted at 09:18h, 28 February Reply

    Great list! I’m so jealous you can actually use apps. I still have a “dumb phone”. 🙁

    • Renee
      Posted at 13:31h, 28 February Reply

      Yeah, I foolishly dropped my zune into the cupholder of my car not realizing that water had spilled in it. So, poof….had to get something new, so I opted for the ipod..the apps are a definite bonus!

  • Renee
    Posted at 10:42h, 28 February Reply

    Oops…I know that I botched up the title, but when I corrected it, my stats disappeared….so unfortunately, I will have to leave it as is. Bummer!

  • Carla
    Posted at 10:58h, 28 February Reply

    Awesome post! I’ll get downloading right now!

    • Renee
      Posted at 13:29h, 28 February Reply

      Thanks, Carla!

  • Christy
    Posted at 16:58h, 28 February Reply

    Thank you for putting together this in depth list! I don’t have an iphone (or even internet on my phone), but this will come in handy if I get an iphone for traveling!

    • Renee
      Posted at 05:28h, 02 March Reply

      Christy….yes, please bookmark it and come back to d/l when you do get an ipod or iphone. It took me a while to get one too.

  • John in France
    Posted at 22:04h, 28 February Reply

    Thanks Renee for this comprehensive list. I am amazed how many people above don’t have a smartphone/iPhone – they have all the blogs, stumbles, and tweets, but no iPhone!!!

    • Renee
      Posted at 08:09h, 07 March Reply

      I have to admit that I had a cell phone for the first time since the 90s that I got last June. I liked it, but never really used it. It was with Virgin Mobile and I got their unlimited text/data/web deal for $25.00 a month with 300 minutes. 300 minutes was too much for me….however, I am planning on dropping my land line so I may end up reactivating my phone soon.

  • Jade
    Posted at 01:40h, 01 March Reply

    I love bump!! Also- Share-a-bill is a great one for traveling in a group. It’s not free (I think it’s 99 cents) but it makes separating a bill so easy!

    • Renee
      Posted at 08:07h, 07 March Reply

      Thanks, Jade….I hadn’t heard of share a bill. I did find an app called Split! That does the same thing….will check our share a bill though.

  • Renee
    Posted at 15:51h, 09 March Reply

    I came across this website that offers apps that used to cost you, but is now free: http://www.gofreeapp.com

  • Kelly H.
    Posted at 20:02h, 04 August Reply

    this is a fantastic list! Hipmunk is new to me, I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for this post 🙂

    • Renee
      Posted at 21:39h, 04 August Reply

      You are so welcome, Kelly! Glad it helped!

  • ElleX
    Posted at 16:35h, 05 September Reply

    I just purchased an Ipod Touch 8 days ago but was so overwhelmed with the amount of apps until I remembered your post. These are good ones to start with!

  • Travelaholics
    Posted at 18:47h, 12 October Reply

    I love the concept of Bump. Try Wikipedia on Map!

  • Abel Pardo
    Posted at 15:14h, 25 December Reply

    I really like this post, it’s really fine to find new tools, like the subway one, that keeps you alive in a strange city!

    Merry Christmas!!!
    Abel Pardo recently posted…Aigen Digital Marketing helps SenegalMy Profile

    • Renee
      Posted at 13:41h, 28 December Reply

      Thanks, Abel!

  • Simon P
    Posted at 04:34h, 08 March Reply

    Good stuff. Urban Spoon can be a little hit or miss but it sure is fun to use. All Subway is new to me. What a brilliant idea for an app! I don’t have an iPhone – just an iPod touch – but there is so much free wifi around nowadays that I can use it pretty much anywhere.
    Simon P recently posted…From Hanoi to Luang Prabang (a love story)My Profile

    • Renee
      Posted at 11:23h, 31 March Reply

      Thanks, Simon. I only have the Ipod touch too, but still got so much good use out of it.

  • Renee G
    Posted at 09:35h, 31 March Reply

    Hi Renee its Renee. Thanks for the great information on travel apps. My daughter is traveling to England and Paris with People to People Student Ambassador Program and I wanted her to find some useful apps which would make her travel experience a memorable one. We are also planning to use Trip journal. Any other ideas?

    • Renee
      Posted at 11:22h, 31 March Reply

      Hi Renee!

      Congrats to your daughter’s participation in the P2P Student Ambassador Program…it will be a life changer for sure! Have you read my followup to this post? http://www.aviewtoathrill.net/2011/08/28/11-more-of-the-best-free-travel-apps-that-will-make-traveling-a-breeze/ I HIGHLY recommend Tripit! It is the one app that I think everyone who travels should have. It’s so important to stay organized so that you will be sure to see everything that you need to and have all of your pertinent travel info like flights, hotels and car rentals at your finger tip. Thanks for coming to the blog….it’s for you and everyone who wants to pursue that beautiful thing called travel….I appreciate it and you!

  • BJ
    Posted at 20:04h, 04 August Reply

    I checked out this list for two reasons, Renee.

    1) Obviously I wanted to see what great apps you had to talk about – naturally!

    2) I wanted to see if an app that I thought – even prior to opening the post – should be high up the list would make an apperance in your personal line up and…it did!

    I LOVE Urban Spoon! If an app could have make cheerleaders then I would be the head of the Urban Spoon spirit squad! Haha! I’ve spruiked that to friends since its launch and use it on such a regular basis! Thrilled to see that you too get the most out of the nifty little app!

    BJ

  • JessieBasu
    Posted at 01:55h, 07 August Reply

    All these App are very helpful for a traveler, make life easy and save time to do some extra fun on trip. I like all of them but specially Metro – the public transportation app. Renee rocks.. 😉

  • Ralph
    Posted at 01:31h, 14 January Reply

    I love bu.mp! I know that sharing things like files and stuff is cheap/free for the most part but there is a lot of ‘fiddling around’ if you want to share something with a person in the same room. Why bother going through the motions to text/email something with you can virtually just ‘pass’ it over. I love the app – so fun to use and a great show of what the technology we have today is capable of!

  • Biff Sweetwater
    Posted at 23:39h, 30 March Reply

    Yelp – I prefer this to all other review apps.

  • Tinashe James
    Posted at 04:00h, 21 May Reply

    Yeah, Bump is a great App!

  • mainan edukatif
    Posted at 02:57h, 22 October Reply

    Thanks Renee for this comprehensive list.

  • Grant Lucas
    Posted at 03:24h, 06 November Reply

    Impressive! You got it all in one post! I do have a few of them on me but not all. I must say this really helps a lot in planning, tips, guides and even when you’re already traveling. Why not take advantage on technology and the applications you can get that will make work easier and faster.

  • Salman
    Posted at 02:53h, 21 November Reply

    Nice collection of free apps for frequent travellers… Thanks for the share Renee 🙂
    Salman recently posted…5 Best Apps for Rooted Android PhonesMy Profile

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