Travel guide to best travel apps
By Maya Rock
From Ideas That Spark
You've been counting down the days to your next traveling adventure, more than ready to shrug off the binds and boredoms of your humdrum job and unleash the explorer within.
But traveler, be warned. In the movies, you can get lost in the Luxembourg Gardens and encounter your soul mate. In real life, your face will be buried in a map too long to ever see him.
What you need is a travel guide. Upgrade your travel style to the twenty-first century by putting these travel apps on your phone and get all the adventure without the headaches.
There are now numerous sites to buy airplane tickets from, but Hipmunk is fast leaving behind the old guard. Hipmunk's interface makes it easy to see how long flights actually will be and allows you to keep multiple travel site searches open simultaneously. The handy app really helps you cut down on compare and contrast time.
TripAdvisor is a much-beloved resource of customer reviews for restaurants, hotels and tourist sites. You'll get the real deal, including pictures taken by guests instead of the often illusionary ones hotels produce themselves. But read with a discerning eye -- some people might think too little free mints is enough to merit a one-star on a travel site.
You use it at home, but its powers transcend borders. Not only does GoogleMaps provide accurate street maps of far flung locales, but it also makes life extremely easy for the directionally challenged, by providing a blue line and pins that designates you and your destination, minimizing your likelihood of getting lost.
Waze is a navigation app that is especially good travel guide for those adventuring by car. It crowd sources information about roads, so that if a route you're planning to take is experiencing delays, you can find out in time to plan an alternate route. It also comes with plenty of other great features, like locating the nearest gas stations and also comparing their prices.
This weather app is renowned for its precision and accuracy, but it can also be used as a travel guide. Your traveling time is limited, and you don't want to waste hours going to the beach when it's going to rain all day. Dark Sky will keep you informed.
Armed with tons of information about your destination, you run the risk of losing track of all it. What you need is a travel guide that can multi-task. TripIt puts all your information in one place, making it simpler to access -- like many travel apps in one!
Maya Rock is a freelance writer and book editor based in New York. She's also the author of a YA novel forthcoming from Penguin in 2014. Find out more about her and her work at www.maya-rock.com.
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