Over the summer, we’ve introduced you to several great smartphone apps that can be a help when you’re traveling: apps that help you book your trip, as well as apps that keep track of your schedule. As fall approaches, we’ll leave you with just a few more to think about, either if you’re planning a holiday vacation in the upcoming months or, like us, you’re already missing the long, sunny days of summer. Today we’ll look at some free apps that can help you while on the road.
TripAdvisor – Free – Available on Android, iOS, Windows and Web
TripAdvisor is a must-have travel app. This is one of the most popular apps when it comes to user reviews. Whether you’re in an unfamiliar state or visiting another country, you can find reviews and ratings on hotels, restaurants, transportation, history, architecture and attractions from people who have been there. There is nothing more powerful then learning from someone else experience. I use this app even when I’m not traveling to see if a new restaurant near to me has a good rating. This app provides easy to read, interactive maps that use your mobile device’s GPS to detect your location and point you in the right direction. The app works offline so you can download city information before you leave home base in case you don’t have WiFi or limited data usage. This app covers the most popular attractions a given area, but is not necessarily going to help you find that hidden gem on the road less traveled.
Foodspotting – Free – Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry and Web
The Foodspotting app allows you to discover popular local dishes or favorite classics. It’s like the Yelp of the food world. It provides photos of the food and rating from other users and food experts. Foodspotting allows you find a restaurant that serves unique cuisine alphabetically, by category or location, or by customer ratings. This app has interactive maps to help you find the food you desires. If you’re in China but have a craving for a good old American cheeseburger, this app can help you find it. You can even see what your friends are eating. If you’re a food lover, this is a must-have app.
Google Goggles – Free – Available on Android and iOS
Google Goggles lets you search the Web using photos that you’ve taken on your mobile phone. Looking up at a beautiful building, and have no idea what it is? Simply open up Google Goggles and point your camera at the building in question and, within moments, a list of articles will come up touching on your building: its history, ownership, materials, etc. This also works with statues, monuments, parks, fountains, barcodes or QR codes, a product, a popular image, a painting—virtually any object at which you can point your camera. Goggles can also read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, and translate it into other languages in case you’re staring at something in a foreign language. If you’re traveling outside the country, this makes looking up information on just about anything a snap.
WiFi Finder – Free – Available on Android and iOS
WiFi Finder lets you scan for wireless Internet (WiFi) hotspots near you. You can search for public WiFi anywhere in the world (you’d be surprised how many places have it). This app will give you WiFi hotspot details like location and the provider type. It provides you with call hotspots as well. The app includes a map that will also give directions to the close WiFi. It uses your GPS location to find WiFi locations that are close to you. You might think, “If I can’t get online how am I supposed to use this locating service?” But WiFi Finder has you covered, giving you the ability to download an offline database for the area you’re going to be in. So even if you don’t have a connection you’re still able to find the nearest wireless hotspot. This is a very handy app.
Google Maps – Free – Available on Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry and Web
Google Maps is easily the best mapping app out there. It features incredibly accurate maps that are extremely detailed. It can also keep you updated on traffic, construction, accidents, or anything else that might cause delays on the road. It can also provide detailed indoor and outdoor images of your destination so you can recognize it upon arrival. Google Maps offers real-time transit information like bus and train routes with timetables. It has voice-guided GPS navigation for walking, biking, and driving. The Explore feature points out places to eat, drink, shop, and sleep, and even suggests entertainment as you travel. This app allows you to save unlimited maps for use offline which can come in handy if you lose cell phone signal. Never lose your way with this app, no matter where in the world you are.
Have questions about a particular app? Or do you have a favorite travel app that has been a lifesaver when you’re on the road? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know!