Heading out on a great trip or in the midst of planning one? The following three are favorite travel apps for your mobile device while enjoying your bucket list-worthy trip or just exploring near your front door step. Stay tuned for a future post where we’ll cover more must-have apps for your next excursion.
TripAdvisor – free
Want to get the blunt opinions from thousands of travelers who have come before you? Look no further than TripAdvisor. This application/site catalogues the reviews of travelers and their experience or opinion of everything related to lodging, restaurants, activities, or anything having to do with an area. If it exists, there is an opinion waiting for you to read it!
There is also an opportunity for reviewers to provide tips to help you avoid disasters and maximize your experience. Simply begin your search with whatever level of detail you have for your trip – from city, to neighborhood, to specific hotel or restaurant – there will with a plethora of information that immediately pops up.
TripAdvisor is it allows you to see all the competing prices of hotels, for example, and in some cases actually book from TripAdivisor directly. If you are looking at hotels in Orlando and choose to look at one in detail, you will see several offerings from the top booking sites such as, Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Booking.com, etc.
Zomato (Previously Urbanspoon) – free
Eating good food is essential to any successful trip, and before the internet, finding consistently great food throughout your trip was often the luck of the draw. Granted, before apps and internet, relying on the word of locals and strangers was usually your best bet, and we definitely still recommend that approach. However, to aid in planning ahead for your trip, or even in the pinch when you find yourself not perfectly adhering to your Rick Steves agenda, Zomato (recently purchased Urbanspoon), is a great application to quickly look up restaurants in your area and their corresponding user reviews. These reviews are often accompanied by local columnists and food critics as well as the local foodie.
Like TripAdvisor, this application is pretty well visited and contributed to which makes this app a reliable resource – people use it and pay it forward by posting pictures and reviews about their own experience. While Zomato covers a number of cities throughout the world, be sure to see if your destination is covered as there are still spots that are not offered.
Make things even easier by reserving a table right from the application – this functionality is powered by the popular online site, OpenTable.com.
iTranslate Voice – $5.99
Will your trip not only involve a different country but a different language as well? Continue to bulk up on those essential phrases involving toilets and food, but leave your foreign language dictionary at your hotel while out and about. Gone are the days of frantically flipping through the dictionary for the right phrase, verb, or necessary conjugation which you really don’t know…I get stressed thinking about it.
There are a number of translation apps out there, including Google’s, which is definitely a great app to download. Another top option is iTranslate Voice, which has a cool voice recognition tool that allows you to speak into the phone in your own language and you can hear a reply in one of the 42 languages it offers.
There’s a feature called “Phrasebook” that allows you to save frequently used phrases, sentences or questions – making it easy for you to hear and learn what it is you really want to say so you can say it with fewer strange faces than before…hopefully.