Tech Gear

5 Kickass Apps for Travellers

One of the annoying things about travel apps is that having too many can inadvertently turn you into one of those travellers who never fully leaves home. The sort that has no need to interact with anyone because “there’s an app for that.” On the other hand, there are some fantastic apps out there that can still let you enjoy yourself, while enhancing the experience of travel, rather than making it suck. Remember, travel is supposed to be fun! Aside from apps that are like the salt and pepper of apps, like instagram, Facebook, and twitter, here is a list of ten of my favourite travel apps:

  • mPassport
    Not to be gloomy about your upcoming adventure, but you very well may become ill or involved in an accident, and will need medical help. As exciting as it is being in a country where your language skills are limited, it can easily become a nightmare if you need a hospital and aren’t able to effectively communicate. It covers 30 cities in five continents, from Moscow to Nairobi, and lets you search for doctors, dentists, and pharmacies, for people who can speak English. The app is free, but costs 99 cents per city. Get it here.
  • FlightAware
    We’ve used many apps we initially bought mainly for the flight monitoring capability, that also had a heap of options we didn’t need, like tracking your itinerary or handling itineraries just through email. For the past few months we’ve started using this completely free app that is very simple and reliable. It doesn’t do anything fancy, like track multiple itineraries from separate email addresses, but it lets you track your flight and automatically gives you push notifications once you add your flight details. You can find out about flight delays, gate changes, and cancelled flights. A fun feature is it allows you to share your flight details on Facebook. Get it for free
  • Triptease
    This app is pure genius and aims to make travel reviewing sexy. Unlike places like Yelp or Travelocity, or any travel review site, where you write in a generic box, this is a much more exciting experience. It lets you upload massive images, where it looks like a magazine layout, with great looking fonts. Their vetting process is pretty hardcore though. If your review sucks and you don’t get at least 5 likes, you don’t get anymore. It’s still in its early stages, so the community is small, but it sounds like a great idea, and is definitely much more fun than submitting a review to any other place. This is only for the iPad. Get it for free here.
  • Longform
    If you’re even mildly familiar with our blog, you’ll know we love to write long, narrative posts, despite what everyone says about keeping blog posts short. So it should come as no surprise to you that we also enjoy reading long narratives, and this app is an absolute must. It scours the web for some great narrative journalism, so you don’t need to lift a finger going to google and gathering it yourself. It can also work with other apps like Readitlater. This is only available on the iPad. Get it for $2.99 here.
  • Pano
    I love this app. It easily lets you shoot panorama shots by aligning images either horizontally or vertically and then stitches it up for you into one seamless photo. It’s great for landscapes, especially beach shots. And it lets you share it using a variety of methods. Get it for $1.99 here.
  • Dropbox
    Fine, it’s not technically app, although you can buy something to add functionality to your iphone or iPad from the app store. Call it a bonus one. I am a huge fan of the free version of dropbox, which lets you store up to 2GB. It’s a great way to store important documents like passport numbers, itineraries, and hotel reservations. It lets you sync across multiple devices, from desktop, laptop, iPad, to iPhone, so even if there’s a theft or technical issues, you know the information is accessible through the internet or another synched device. Get it here for free!

If you want the scoop on some great writing apps, here’s Sona’s list and here’s my list.
Any other apps I’ve missed?

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