Smartphones and tablets can be an indispensable tool during your trip, whether it’s across the state or around the world.
The good news is that apps like Kayak and Skype have been helping high-tech wanderers save money for years now. The better news, though, is that there is a host of new apps out there for both Android and iPhone/iPad (iOS) users that makes traveling easier by thinking outside of the box.
Maps With Me Lite (iOS and Android; free)
So you need to find your way around, but there’s no WiFi to be found anywhere. Your map and GPS applications are rendered useless by your lack of reception.
This new app allows you to download maps before you depart and store them on your phone for just that very moment. Think of it like that old atlas that your dad keeps in his car…. but on your smartphone!
Room 77 (iOS and Android; free)
I’ve booked plenty of hotel rooms in advance and was bitterly disappointed by what I found when I arrived.
Even the most well-meaning reviews or descriptions can lead you astray sometimes. Room 77 allows you to take an insider’s peek into hotels in the area, including photos of rooms, hotel floor plans, and even info on which rooms have the best view.
If you like what you see, you can book directly through the app.
ZocDoc (iOS and Android; free)
One of the worst things that can happen while on the road is getting sick. Perhaps the only thing more frustrating is then trying to coordinate your insurance when your miles away from home.
ZocDoc lets you easily find doctors that will take your insurance when you’re traveling domestically. Although it’s not in international locations yet, it is available in over 20 metropolitan cities in the United States and expanding rapidly.
Global Tipping (Apple and Android; free)
Figuring out customs concerning tipping and gratuities can be challenging when traveling internationally. What can be expected in one area can be extravagant in another. Global Tipping allows you to see what is customary whereever you are and even helps you divide up the check between friends. Traveling should be about trying new things and meeting new people, not figuring out what the tip should be!
Fotobabble (iOS only; free)
Instagram isn’t the only photo app that’s making a name for itself these days. Fotobabble allows you to take a photo and add your own voice to make an audio postcard for friends and family.
You can even link your audio-enhanced photo to Facebook or your blog. It’s only available for iPhone users for now, but will be coming soon to the Android market.