'Shake, rattle and roll' when you are travelling with a fabulous range of smartphone applications that are being developed all the time from finding last-minute flights, hotel deals, schedules, virtual tours, travel advice, translation tools, ways to organise your photos and safety advice. How did we all travel in the past without these great apps.
Many of the traditional App Store favorites such as Urbanspoon, TripAdvisor and Webjet have a wide range of rivals, including those for Android Phones. Now you can book a cab in a foreign city, try virtual tours, keep track of your schedules and even verify that your travel vaccinations are up to date all with a shake and swipe. There's lot of new apps to choose from that will take the hassle out of travel.
US State Department, the American Foreign Affairs Department and other Government agencies throughout the world, offer various apps that offer travel warnings and country specific travel advice, location of embassies and visa information etc. Theses apps are very worthwhile because your home country travel advice many not be updated as quickly. In Australia, the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has developed its own Smartraveller web advice and email warning service, which is similar to US one with a similar name - the US Smart Traveler. Most countries have similar information sources on apps or websites.
Trip It Travel Organizer
This fabulous organizer eliminates all the hassles of paper itineraries. Trip It is very smart as it connects with your e-mail account and logs every confirmation number that you receive in your inbox. Any booking, flight, hotel, resort or even a dinner reservation you have made, that contains a confirmation number will be added to your organized itinerary. The apps keeps all your itinerary information in the one place. Any information about flight delays and other last-minute changes to bookings etc. that are sent to your e-mail will be used to update your itinerary automatically. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad - Requires iOS 3.0 version or later.
FlightAware is perhaps the, simplest, easiest to use, no-frills app for tracking your flight. All you need to do is to supply information about your airline and your booked flight number and this wonderful app will do the rest. It will monitor your flight provider and record updates on flight changes, gate changes, delays, cancellations or rescheduling of flights.
This app allows you to combine together as series of photos to create beautiful panoramic images. You can send the 360-degree images it produces views to your family of friends. Works on Apple Devices and requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Instagram is a wonderful photo and image-editor for simply converting your photographs into wonderful images you will be proud of. The package includes many filtering and enhancing effects providing semi-professional, artistic and antiquated looks. The app makes it easy to share photos across social media networks and it offers many file size compression options. It is compatible with Apple Devices - Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Take a photo with this wonderful app that replaces the boring conventional postcards you can buy with ones that are personalised with your own photos. Postagram uses the photos you nominate and prints it for you for a mere 99 cents and will send it through the mail to your family and friends. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
You can find restaurants and food outlets in your immediate surrounds simply by “shaking” your smartphone and being presented with a list that you can slide up and down through. Urbanspoon makes use of the GPS device built into the phone and provides information for the U.K. and U.S., as well as Canada and Australia. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later.
Kayak is one of Apple’s most popular iPhone travel apps. It is one of the easiest way to search and compare resorts, flights, hotels and car rentals providers all in the one great app that even includes a function for generating a Packing List. With Kayak you do lots of things including tracking your flights, hotel bookings, make currency conversions. You can also get information on local tours and attractions in the regional area around your destination. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Where (Blackberry and iPhone)
Originally developed for Blackberry smartphones and the iPhone, this wonderful app provides lots of visitor information about their proposed travel destination, including information about tours, fine dining, resorts, restaurants and a wide range of entertainment. It provides a wide variety of information about local weather, local movie theaters, local coupons, traffic information and fuel (gas) prices.
Trip Journal (Android and iPhone)
It another wonderful trip organizer designed for Android smartphones and the iPhones. The app helps users keep all their documents organized and to track their trip that pinpoints the places you've visited on a Google map and links with your geo-located photographs. The maps produced can be shared with friends and family through various social media sites.
Google Translate (Android Only)
Google Translate provides a great way of communicating with the locals when you are travelling. Not only does the app translate text into a huge array of languages, the app will also voice your sentences for you and even translate the reply received back into your native language.
Others include Skype, World Customs, Next Flight and HearPlanet, and lots, lots more.