25 Great Apps Everyone Should Have

Delta Airlines

Get ready to experience our completely reimagined Fly Delta app. Being on the go never again means being out of the loop. Providing you with tools that keep you connected and on course to anyplace you want to go. (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; free).

Trip It

Organize Your Travel Itinerary. Do you arrive at the airport or car-rental counter frantically searching through a manila folder of printouts for your confirmation number and other reservation details. Now the TripIt app puts them all in the palm of your hand. Forward flight, hotel, and other confirmation e-mails to plans@tripit.com, and TripIt combines them into one organized itinerary, adding information such as weather, maps, and driving directions (Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone 7; free).

FlightTrack Pro

There are several apps that promise to track your flights and notify you of any delays or gate changes, but 7 FlightTrack Pro’s alerts are faster, more accurate, and more thorough than others. On a recent United trip from Newark to San Francisco, for instance, FlightTrack Pro let me know an hour and a half before departure that the plane would be delayed. Other flight-tracking apps, the United app, and the airport’s monitors failed to warn of the delay. FlightTrack Pro provided the accurate arrival time too, long
before the other apps did (Android, iPad, iPhone; $4.99).

Seat Guru

Say you’ve arrived at the airport without a seat assignment, or they’ve switched aircraft and moved you to a lousy seat. Open the 9 Seat-Guru app, choose the “Seat Map Advice” option, punch in your flight number to pull up the plane’s seat map, and when the agent tells you which seats are still available, study their pros and cons (which have the most legroom, which don’t recline, which are next to the lavatory) so you can choose wisely. Just be warned that SeatGuru’s advice is sometimes not accurate, especially for United flights (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; free).

Gate Guru

Fire up 10 GateGuru, punch in your airport and terminal, and the app will tell you which eateries, services, and stores are nearby; how travelers rate them; and where there’s a deal. When you’re stuck at Newark, you’ll find out that a Gallagher’s Steak House is one concourse over or that there are free pretzels at the Auntie Anne’s at Gate 133. Use GateGuru before you get in the security line so you know what options lie beyond the scanners (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; free).

FlyersRights

Know Your Rights. If your flight has been canceled, you’ve been bumped from an oversold plane, or the airline has lost your luggage, FlyersRights tells you what the carrier legally owes you (if you’re in the United States) so you can demand your due. When you’re bumped from a domestic flight and arrive at your destination more than two hours late, for instance, the app will tell you that you’re owed 400 percent of the one-way fare (up to $1,300). Most of the information can be accessed without Wi-Fi, making the app easy to check when you’re stuck on the tarmac or at baggage claim, but there’s also a collection of links to airline rules that would be hard to find if you were searching for them on a computer (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; 99 cents).

Kayak

The Kayak app is well worth downloading too: Its sophisticated filters allow you to search by criteria such as preferred airports for layovers. Use these tools for researching. Find the itinerary you want, then an excellent travel agent. (Android, iPad, iPhone, Nokia, Windows Phone; free).

Hotel Tonight

If you’re in a U.S. city or London and need lodgings at the last minute, Hotel Tonight offers steep discounts at a thoughtfully curated selection of luxe and hip hotels. A recent search in London turned up Belgraves—A Thompson Hotel for $189, marked down from $529, and Blakes for $378, down from $604. Rates are announced no earlier than noon the day of check-in. Since rooms sleep just one or two people and you can’t request a specific bed type, this app works only for solo travelers and couples. Many hotels let
you stay multiple nights at the discounted rate (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; free).

Weather Channel

The Weather Channel app tells you what to expect hourly throughout the day as well as for the next ten days. Use it in Paris to - determine when to go to museums (on rainy days), when to reserve a Seine cruise, and when to hit the Eiffel Tower. Talk about time management (Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone; free). 

Local Eats

LocalEats guides discerning diners to the best independently owned restaurants across America and  select international cities. From storied steak houses and the nation’s hottest contemporary restaurants to revered roadside diners, barbecue joints and burger bars, LocalEats selects only the best local restaurants. Users can search restaurants by city Top 100 lists as well as category winners, all sortable by price, neighborhood or type of cuisine. The “nearby” feature utilizes GPS mapping to identify great local
restaurants near the user’s precise location. All selections are made by the LocalEats editorial staff, who research local media and relevant dining blogs, monitor social media, survey food-savvy locals and travelers, and take into account their personal dining experiences. There are no national chains listed, and restaurants cannot pay for inclusion.

Open Table

When you’re in a resort area with a limited number of restaurants that are in high demand, and you’ve got no concierge to call ahead on your behalf, OpenTable comes in handy. It immediately shows you which restaurants have availability for your party at the hour you want to dine. Click to reserve your table, then forward the confirmation to TripIt so that the reservation and restaurantdetails get added to your itinerary (Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone; free).

My Disney Experience

An official App from Disney! Featuring Walt Disney World® maps, official Disney Parks-provided wait times, FASTPASS® return times, and the ability to view menus and book dining reservations, manage and share itineraries with family and friends, find details about nearby Disney Characters, attractions, entertainment, park hours and schedules, and more!

Around Me

Looking for the closest gas station, parking lot, ATM, restaurant, hospital, hotel, or just about any other business? AroundMe lists your options in each category, tells you how far away each is, and gives you a map showing how to get there (Android, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone; free).

YP

Find what’s around you in a flash! Whether you’re looking for a great place to eat or to find cheap gas on the way, the YP‚Ą† app easily connects you with local businesses, deals and events to help you get things done. 

MetroO

Visiting a city that has a complicated subway system? Punch your origin and destination, as well as the day of the week and time you’re traveling, into MetrO and it will find the shortest ride. Say you’re taking the London Tube from your hotel near Kensington High Street to St. Pancras Station. There are several ways to do it, but MetrO will tell you that the shortest is to change at Paddington for an eight-stop, 25-minute ride (iPad, iPhone; free).

City Papers

City Papers connects you to more than 3,000 English-language newspapers worldwide. Pull up the Fiji Times and learn where you can catch a cricket match and where not to drive your rental car at night. Headed somewhere that has a State Department Travel Alert? The app helps you monitor local news (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; 99 cents).

City Maps 2Go

Carrying an iPhone or iPad means always having a map in your pocket . . . until you’re in a spot without Wi-Fi or a 3G signal and your map vaporizes (say, in a national park) or you’re overseas and you opt not to pull one up because of the hefty international roaming charges. These problems disappear with two must-have map apps. City Maps 2Go lets you access maps for thousands of cities, provinces, regions, and islands when you have no Internet connection (iPad, iPhone; $1.99).

Maplets

Maplets provides maps for everything else: national parks, ski resorts, subways, college campuses, rail systems, and much more. Download the maps when you have a free Internet connection so you can pull them up later when you don’t (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; $2.99).

Wikihood

Next time you’re passing through a place you know little about, open up Wikihood and you’ll get a ton of information, culled from Wikipedia entries, about the place’s noteworthy sights, culture, history, beaches, parks, university, famous people, and more (Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; free).

Yelp

In some spots, LocalEats is thin on recommendations; when you need a larger yet still curated choice of eateries, use the Yelp app (Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone; free).

XE Currency

Even when your brain isn’t fogged by jet lag, it’s easy to stumble up to an airport ATM with no clue how many pesos or rupees to withdraw. Fire up your XE Currency app to calculate dollar values instantly, using real-time exchange rates (Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone, Windows Phone; free).

Google Translate

Your Pocket-Size Interpreter. When your Rosetta Stone education falls short, turn to Google Translate. This app can rapidly translate whole paragraphs of text or even the spoken word. Simply say a phrase in English, and Google Translate will repeat your words in the foreign language of your choice.

Postagram

Who said snail mail was overrated? Postcards are the classic thinking-of-you travel mementos for friends and family. With Postagram, you can bring this tradition into the digital age by sending personalized photos and messages from your phone to relatives, which they'll receive on actual postcards for $0.99 a piece (postage is included).

Camera+

Download Camera+ and you can leave your point-and-shoot at home (don’t ditch your SLR, though). It gives your iPhone or iPad greater zoom, a self-timer, a stabilizer for sharper photos, and white balance controls, and—very helpful if you’ve been shooting - inside dark museums and churches where flash is forbidden—it can add flash after you’ve shot the photo. You can even add flash and clarity to photos you took before you downloaded Camera+. And when you can’t remember where in the world you shot that
photo, the app can tell you—and map it (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch; 99 cents).

Free Wi-Fi Finder

Your Guide to the Internet Oasis. When you’re desperate for Internet access, Free Wi-Fi Finder points you to the nearest hotspot (Android, iPad, iPhone; free). Free Wi-Fi can be slow and unsafe, though, so consider renting unlimited mobile Wi-Fi for your next trip overseas. Rent from XComGlobal.com for a flat rate of just $15 per day and you can use the all of these apps as much as you want without having to worry about international roaming fees.

GasBuddy

This app is for the road warrior. GasBuddy locates the closest gas stations and provides approximate pricing. Particularly useful when you're running on empty, GasBuddy will save you time and money.