Whether traveling for business or pleasure, smart phones make life easier when on the road. Apps available in the Android Market can make a huge difference in every aspect of trip taking, from planning and booking to eating out in an unfamiliar city. Frequent travelers can take full advantage of these apps to streamline trips and make planning them more convenient and affordable. For your downloading pleasure, here are the top five mobile apps that do just that:
The TripIt app consolidates all your travel plans in one place, so you can focus on the reason for your trip, rather than the details of it. This app organizes and shares travel information and trip details to create one truly helpful itinerary that’s on your smartphone or tablet, synced with your computer, and online at TripIt.com whenever and wherever you need it. When you receive a confirmation email from any place you book, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. TripIt instantly recognizes reservations from 3,000+ booking sites including cruises, restaurants, concerts, and more. In addition, the app can track other destinations of friends and coworkers who also use TripIt for storing travel plans and will alert you when you’ll be intersecting in the same city – a great feature for anyone looking to catch up or network while on the road.
Visiting a new city and don’t know where to eat? Urbanspoon can help by suggesting one of the more than 800,000 restaurants listed in its database. You just shake your phone and Urbanspoon uses GPS to display a restaurant near you, complete with a list of reviews. Keep shaking until you find a restaurant you want to try. If you prefer, Urbanspoon even allows you to narrow restaurant suggestions by area, type of cuisine, and price. And once you find the perfect place to try, nearly 1,000 of the restaurants in the database are equipped to take instant reservations directly from the app on your phone.
When it comes to making and booking travel plans, the Orbitz Travel app is a must have. The app is an all in one resource for booking hotels, cars, and cheap flights, as well as viewing trip plans and finding mobile-only hotel deals. Utilizing favorite features from the Orbitz website, the app also offers a simple, secure booking process and Orbitz Price Assurance protection for flights and prepaid hotels.
Travelers will find all kinds of other uses for the Orbitz Travel app, as well. It allows users to view flight status, gate number, and baggage claim information, which even comes in handy for non-travelers picking up a friend or family member from the airport. Orbitz will store your important data in offline mode, so you’ll never be without critical travel information whenever you need it.
Whenever travel means putting rubber on the road, the cost of gas is a huge consideration. With gas prices at several dollars a gallon, finding the most affordable gas prices can make all the difference on a tight travel budget. Enter: GasBuddy. When you find yourself in unfamiliar areas, GasBuddy can help you can find the cheapest gas around. The GasBuddy app relies on reports from users about current gas prices, and those who report prices can earn points that can be used for giveaway prizes, including as much as $250 worth of free gas.
One of the best parts of traveling is the experience of seeing famous locations and landmarks, but if you’re in a new place, how do you know what you’re looking at? If you have the Google Goggles app, finding out is as easy as snapping a picture with your phone. Goggles uses image recognition technology to recognize objects and return relevant search results identifying famous landmarks, storefronts, artwork, and popular images found online. The app also allows you to scan barcodes to get product information,?translate foreign languages by taking a picture of the foreign text, contacts to your phone by scanning business cards, and believe it or not, even solve Sudoku puzzles.
Amy Simmons is a freelance writer for various publications, including the Kathika travel site.