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1. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1840 posts) 28 Aug '12 15:31

Well, with everyone moving off of personal computers and onto internet-capable phones and tablets, I thought I'd list some of the most travel-useful apps (after all, I do live and work in the Silicon Valley area of California, so I should have some insight on the matter). Note that every app I list here is a free one.

Every Trail--this is a site for finding and traversing upon the nature trails worldwide. Excellent built-in GPS capability as well as listing of elevation changes and suggestions on level of difficulty.

Yelp--the review site that lets you know just how good that restaurant you plan to visit is--both food and service-wise

Gas Buddy--if you are driving (and in the US, Canada and Mexico most everyone drives to get around)--this will help you find the cheapest place to get your gasoline (that's petrol for you UK and India residents)

Sit or Squat--sounds weird, I know--but this site (sponsored by a certain well-known toilet paper manufacturer) helps you find the closest restrooms--and rates them all for cleanliness

Google Translate--need to be able to speak the local language--just put it into this app and it will give you the correct phrase

Kayak or ITAsoftware--these two sites are the best for finding the cheapest trip prices (although there is a new one out called flightfox that will find you even cheaper ones using crowdsourcing if you are willing to pay a fee for the privilege)

Worldmate--world's largest travel app. Lets you keep track of all your travel plans in one place

Bleacher Reports--have to keep up-to-date on those teams both back home and at your new locations. This allows you to pick each team you are interested in and sends you the latest data on them on a real-time basis. You'll never miss that English Premier League score even when crossing the Mojave Desert's Death Valley

JiWire WiFi Finder--for those of you who have cell phones and tablets, let's make sure you keep your mobile data costs down by connecting via Wi-Fi whenever you are out on the road. This site helps you find those Wi-Fi places and tells you which are free and which have a cost; and lastly:

Travellerspoint--of course, take our site along to keep getting good advice, ask questions, share your experiences, find travel companions, and learn of hidden gems to visit.

Enjoy

2. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 28 Aug '12 16:53

I think you forgot probably the most valuable app when traveling. Skype make internet phone and video calls from your smart phone for free. Or to other land lines or mobiles for much cheaper than other providers.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Aug-2012, at 16:54 by Dodger ]

3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin, 5572 posts) 29 Aug '12 00:52

One or two on here that I didn't have installed; thanks!

Everyone also needs a game or two for long layovers/rides/flights, right? Three I play that don't need an internet connection (can be rather important!):

  • Angry Birds (haven't played much lately, but a good time killer)
  • Plants versus Zombies... yeah, my daughter got me hooked on this one...
  • Doodle Jump
4. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 29 Aug '12 06:31

Gary - I love you!

May I use your post for this Travel Unravelled request:

Travel Unravelled Q&A Series: Travel APPS

It's been up since March and I finally have 5 responses but all are very short. Your post would really be an asset added to everyone else's replies.

Sam - may I alter your reply to the TU question? You wrote "Any app that will keep the kids occupied... I mean, seriously, happy kids while travelling is happy parents!" I would list the 3 game apps you mention here.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Aug-2012, at 06:39 by Isadora ]

5. Posted by laurim (Respected Member, 259 posts) 29 Aug '12 09:42

The most handy thing I had on my trip to France & Spain last June was the standard Maps app on my iPhone. Before I left, I went back and forth on whether I would get a local data sim when I got to Europe. The smart thing I did before I left was set a map bookmark pin for every hotel/hostel/excursion meeting point I was going to need. I also chose accommodations close to the train station or a metro station so I wouldn't have far to walk. What the map bookmark pin enabled me to do is use the Maps app without getting on the internet since gps doesn't use the data plan. So, even though I had no internet and the map area was all grey when I got off the train/metro, I could still use the bookmark pin and the blue ball representing me to find my way to my hotel. I put the phone in the mode that acts like a compass (it reorients to the direction you hold the phone) and just kept walking in the right direction to make the red ball and blue ball meet up. All my hostels/hotels offered free wi-fi so I could do email, research the area, etc. there. Before I left the room to roam, I made sure the local area map was in my phone cache so I could more easily find my way back to my hotel. I ended up not spending money on a local sim!

6. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1840 posts) 29 Aug '12 12:42

Isadora,

No problem using my comment. One thing I/you should modify--the JiWire WiFi Finder is actually just called WiFi Finder, but is produced by Jiwire (there are multiple apps with the same name). Also, it is not necessary to download it for some of the newer phones with Wi-Fi scanners already built in--such as the new Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Also, you might want to mention Skype (thanks Dodger-see post 2 above) to those who don't already know to use it (along with a Wifi hotspot connection) for making phone calls on the cheap/free when overseas

And there's XE Currency for those who need to figure out the cost of things in different currencies.

As far as games, let me mention two others that I think are great:
(1) That's my fish (strategy game for teenagers and up); and
(2) Fruit Ninja (7 and up)--you slice the fruit. Good thing about this game is it supports 14 different languages.

P.S. Is there anyone who doesn't have at least some version of Angry Birds on their phone?

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Aug-2012, at 12:47 by Calcruzer ]

7. Posted by Isadora (Moderator, 13924 posts) 29 Aug '12 14:28

Thank you, Gary! Dodger & Lauri- may I use your contributions too for the blog???

Isa now returns this thread to it's originally scheduled topic. Thank you!)

8. Posted by laurim (Respected Member, 259 posts) 29 Aug '12 15:18

Quoting Isadora

Thank you, Gary! Dodger & Lauri- may I use your contributions too for the blog???

Definitely!

9. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1840 posts) 3 Sep '12 18:43

Probably should mention a couple of games that are also good ones:

Snowboard hero--also free
Sprinkle--cost is about $2

and for those who really like fantastic graphics and award-winning gameplay:
Infinity Blade--but pricey at $6

10. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator, 1840 posts) 9 Sep '12 18:30

One more free app game to mention (my son got me hooked on this one): Tiny Tower