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9 Essential Travel Apps

Recently released a mobile app that should make summertime road-trippers delight. Since I’m part of their blogging ambassador program I’ll periodically let you know about offerings. In addition to having the regular search functions made mobile you can snag a last minute deal in whatever city you find yourself. iphone app

As kids drive home from college (wait wait, did I just refer to 18-22 year olds as kids?) they can reserve their hotel rooms on the same day and get a great price. I know, they won’t be staying at the W unless they’re 6 to a room but that’s the special that came up in my neighborhood today.

Of course you want to use because after reserving 10 rooms through them you get one free…. which is something I should have participated in more regularly during Jane’s last soccer season when I was arranging rooms for a dozen families at a time.

But you can’t travel on alone. You’ve got to eat, you’ve got to fly, you’ve got to drive and be entertained. Here are eight more essential apps to take on every trip.

Airplanes: SeatGuru by TripAdvisor. Don’t want to get stuck without a window? Not sure if your seat reclines all the way? SeatGuru has an app that will help you pick a seat that doesn’t suck.

Airports: Airports by Travel Nerd will help you find the best food and parking at the airport. And by best, they mean “not horrible”… but hey, any port in a storm, right?

Dining: I’m a pretty enthusiastic user of Open Table. I find the app to be more useful than the website and it’s really not worth looking at reviews of restaurants you can’t get a table for anyhow, right? 

In case you’re unfamiliar Open Table reserves a table for you in the city you are in. It’s a great place to browse and if there’s a restaurant that’s totally booked for three nights running you know it’s got to be good so use Open Table to score a seat on the fourth night.

Exploration (of the urban sort): if you want to find the hidden gems of the city you’re visiting (or even your own) try Trover. One of the founders is Rich Barton of Expedia. If he doesn’t know travel no one does.

History: It Happened Here uses your phone’s GPS to let you know about interesting bits of history. Be warned though, the app is free but you’ll need to make a $2.99 in-app purchase to get it to work and there are currently only 8 cities supported. If you’re headed to NYC, LA, London, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, New Orleans or Philadelphia then it’s worth a go. $3 to enhance a vacation you’ve already spent a fortune on? Works for me.

Parking: parkopedia lets you know where you can park and how much they’ll gouge you. Most useful in big cities… I’m not sure you need to be on a trip to use Parkopedia.

Storage (the data kind): Dashlane is a secure digital wallet and password manager. Have you tried changing your trip on your mobile device? The login is painful. Dashlane stores that for you so it’s a single login and you’ll cry less. There’s a lot of other security benefits for it… just read this whitepaper. Bonus for heads of households… you can store multiple profiles which means booking airline seats for you and your 17 kids just got easier. (I’ll be talking about Dashlane more in the future. I think it’s a product we all need)

Translation: Try VerbalizeIt. Verbalize It is a free app that connects you with real live translators who will help you communicate wherever you are. Although the app is free the time with the translators is not, you’ll be making in app purchases to buy time starting at 5 minutes for $9.99 or as much as 100 minutes for $99.99. This could be worth every penny if you struggle with learning languages but love to visit new places. 

What did I miss? Which apps are your travel essentials?