Helpful iPhone Travel Apps

As a travel aid, the iPhone is a godsend.  All too often, we find ourselves on the road lamenting, “If only I was in front of my computer.  I could handle this in a second!”  But with the iPhone, we’re now in front of our computer wherever we are.

Wi-Fi Finder/Easy Wi-Fi – Using your iPhone’s Edge and 3G networks can cost a fortune when you’re out of the country.  In fact, if you’re abroad, it’s better to just turn them off completely by opening your “Settings”, looking under “Network”, and turning off “Data Roaming”.  Fortunately, you can still rely on Wi-Fi for all of your internet needs.  With an app like Wi-Fi Finder, finding those crucial hubs becomes that much easier.  And with Easy Wi-Fi, connecting to AT&T hot spots is a cinch too!

Cheap Gas!/My Gas Wars/Gasbag – A road trip is not a road trip without gas, or a car.  Knowing where the nearest gas stations are can mean all the difference between a great trip, and a really bad plot for a horror film.  These three apps will find you gasoline that’s the nearest, and the cheapest.


Screen Shot of Urban Spoon iPhone App

Screen Shot of Urban Spoon iPhone App

Urban Spoon/Local Eats – Two great “Where should we eat?!” apps.  For eating around your home town, Urban Spoon is the clear winner.  For traveling though, Local Eats may have the edge since it only lists the absolute best restaurants in a given area.  That may be tough on the wallet, but if you want the absolute best an area has to offer it’s the way to go.

Where/AroundMe – Two general purpose applications for telling you what’s around your current exact location, whether it be a pharmacy, pub, bank, etc..  Very useful, and both apps are free.

Stanza – Books are awesome.  They also tend to take up a chunk of your luggage space, and you’re not necessarily going to carry your book with you wherever you go.  With an eReader app like Stanza, both of those problems are solved.  Your books are stored on your iPhone, so they’re in your pocket or purse whenever you feel like reading.

Trapster – Road Trip?  Speeding across the USA?  Wish you knew where all of those police were hiding with their radar guns?  Now you can.  Trapster follows your position on Google Maps and gives an audible alert whenever you’re close to a reported speed trap, red light camera, etc..  Sure you could complain that this app facilitates breaking the law, but since radar guns and red light cameras are more about generating revenue than anything else, well… go figure that one out.

Flight – If you’re flying, it’ll be a question you  ask at least once if not several times during your trip, “What’s the status of my flight!?”  There are a number of apps out there that can answer this right on your iPhone.  The best one that’s free is simply called Flight.

iBART/Subway Guides – Carrying a subway guide in your pocket?  Why?  With a couple clicks you can have the guide on your iPhone, where it won’t get torn, lost, or take up extra space.  Unless of course you lose your iPhone.  In which case your Subway Guide is the least of your concerns.  If you’re going to the San Francisco Bay area, iBART is considered one of the best.


WikiMe iPhone App screenshot

WikiMe iPhone App screenshot

Wikipanion – “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, one of the greatest books of all time.  And with Wikipedia, it’s now a reality (on Earth at least).  Find out anything about just about… well… anything wherever you are on the planet.  Wikipanion is one of the best Wikipedia apps out there. You can also try WikiMe which looks up wikipedia entries based on your GPS info.

Jetset Expenses – For some of us, we wouldn’t know an expense report if it hit us in the face.  For others, however, filling out expense reports can take up a considerable amount of time.  Fortunately, apps like Jetset Expenses allow us to handle those tasks on our iPhones at our own convenience…  Such as when you’re standing in line for a Las Vegas club (with a business client of course).

Truphone – Want to stick it to the man?  No?  Me neither, but cheaper phone calls are still cool.  If you’re abroad, utilizing an app like Truphone can save you a substantial amount of money by having your iPhone use its internet connection to make phone calls.  The audio might not be great, but hey, you get what you pay for.

Currency – Want to know the current exchange rate for where you’re going?  Easy.  With an app like Currency, all you have to do is just look at your phone.  Warning: Results can sometimes be depressing.

Taxi Magic/Rocket Taxi – Need a cab?  These app swill show you all of the nearby taxi services, and even call them for you.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

Movies – Sometimes you just want to sit back, relax, and watch a movie.  Only problem is figuring out which local theaters are closest to you, what movies they’re playing, and what are the showtimes.  The iPhone’s Movies app can answer all of that.

Lonely Planet/Babelingo – Two great translation apps with two completely different approaches.  Lonely Planet translation apps tell you what to say and how to say it.  Babelingo, however, displays the translation in big words on your screen, so you just simply show your iPhone to whoever you’re trying to talk to.

TripIt Iphone ScreenShot

TripIt Iphone ScreenShot

Zagat TO GO – If you’re going to pay good money for a city guide, then you might as well make it the staple. The Zagat guide is esteemed enough that even being rated by it usually warrants restaurants to frame a certificate by their entrance saying so.  Depending on the city, the Zagat TO GO app has ratings on Restaurants, Hotels, and even Nightlife and Shopping.

Tripit – Technically more of a mobile website than an iPhone app. Forward all of your airline, hotel, car rental and event reservations, Tripit will automatically organize them putting all of your reservation information like addresses, confirmation numbers, and times all in one spot.

Whether for business of pleasure, having an iPhone at your beck and call can take the stress out of any trip and allow you to enjoy the ride.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/ guccigeekibm