With the recent passing of June 21st, it seems Summer is officially here! That means the BBQs, seed-spitting contests, and plastic kiddie pools should be out in full force!
For many of us, that also means it’s time for summer vacations–and whether you’re packing up the whole family for an old-fashioned road-trip, or just flying down to see someone special for a few days, we can all agree that travel gets stressful. But the good news is that going by car, bus, or plane can be made much easier (and even enjoyable) with some of the latest mobile apps. They can help you get organized, be safer, or just better enjoy your well-deserved vacation. We have been searching high and low for the best, and this is what we found:
Available on Apple, Android, and Microsoft, GateGuru is perfect for those of us that prefer to travel by plane. Your flight itineraries are synced into the app, while a handy guide to the airport you’re currently in is displayed. Not only do you get the essential information–such as local weather and airport maps–but also listings of all restaurants in a given terminal with crowd-sourced reviews! If you’re in need of a rental car, GateGuru also has an agreement with Avis that can get you a car in 2-clicks (and at a reduced price)!
You don’t want to think about “the worst that could happen” on vacations, and that’s why there’s ICE. “In Case of Emergency” is available for Apple and Android users, providing one, secure place for all emergency, medical, and contact information for first responders in the event of an emergency (the information is available even when the rest of your phone is locked). If you’re getting help for someone else, ICE provides local listings of medical centers, and an “SOS” message system, which automatically includes your GPS coordinates.
We’ve all been there–driving in unfamiliar territory, relying only on your GPS or mobile maps app, when you realize you’re going in a roundabout way, or unforeseen construction is cutting you off, or that your app is just 100% wrong. But no more! With Waze (Apple and Android), real-time traffic and route information is sourced from other drivers and locals, ensuring that you stop running into unforeseen map app woes. As an added benefit, gas prices are also sourced, so you can compare before you even see a station!
Sometimes when you’re in a new city you want more than the tourist-track: you want to know what the locals are doing tonight! Goby (Apple and Android) helps you discover where the people are by location, type of event, and/or date. Whether you’re looking for a popular concert, or just a well-loved coffee shop, Goby is a great way to uncover local gems.
Avid travelers will tell you the best part about a trip is planning it–but sometimes the weeks of eager web research just leave you bogged down in pages or Trip Advisor reviews, unsure of where to start. Dcovery is an easy way to organize all of that information into clear itineraries, keeping track of links and articles as you go. With a similar concept to Pinterest, Dcovery helps you find places you want to see or go, and keep track of them based on category and/or destination. It’s a must for the modern traveler, or just those that dream of travel.
Ok, so this isn’t an app–but Applause provides a powerful, crowd-sourced guide to travel apps across Apple, Android, and Microsoft app stores, helping you discover if that travel app you’ve had your eye on is a winner or a dud (before you buy). It assigns apps a rating from 0-100, based on the millions of reviews it incorporates. Apps are judged on user-friendliness, privacy, content and performance–but most importantly, they are rated by operating system, so no more disappointment when your favorite Apple app is less-than-perfect on your new Droid.
Do you have a must-use travel app that we didn’t list? Tell us in the comments!