It's officially the Holiday Season throughout most of the world. Many of our most family-centric holidays happen at this time of year and that always means travel. Whether you're going somewhere to be with loved ones or they're coming to you, here are some travel apps that no one should be without.
Available for free on the Android, iPhone/iPad, BlackBerry and Windows Phone 7, TripIt is the ultimate travel itinerary organizer. It works very simply and is an app that most savvy travelers have had in their toolkit for years.
All this app requires, once installed, is that you forward your confirmation emails (from hotels, flights, etc) to a specific email address associated with your TripIt account. The app then automatically gleans the information from the emails (flight times, hotel dates, etc) and pulls it into your phone for a one-stop spot to find all of your travel info, including confirmation numbers and more. All in an organized itinerary that scrolls by date and time.
Simple, easy, and very effective. Once you've tried it, you won't go back to the old "printouts stuffed into my pocket" option.
Although 99% of our travel plans work out just fine with only a handful of easy-to-handle glitches, with the time of year and the amount of traveling being done, the holidays always seem to include that quiet threat of being stranded. You know the feeling. Your flight is coming into an airport where you have a short layover to your next leg and the captain comes on the speakers.. "The city is expecting some severe weather, so be sure to check with the airline about any connecting flights and delays."
Hotel Tonight is an app made for finding hotel rooms at the last minute and at big discounts. You can't book until after noon and can only book for that night, but in situations where you're stranded until the weather clears, this can be your personal survival tool of choice. Not only does it find you a room quickly, it finds it at discount and can save you up to half (sometimes even more). Don't leave home without it installed on your iPhone, iPad, or Android.
Speaking of weather events, Dark Sky is probably the best (and coolest-looking) weather app you'll ever find. It displays very advanced radar and satellite imagery to show you, up to the second, what is happening with the weather wherever you are or wherever you're going. The app for example, will tell you it will rain in 7 minutes and stop in 15 minutes, followed by more rain in 20 minutes. Until you see the smooth radar animation in action, it is tough to appreciate. This is the type of app that gets bought out in the near future, and at $3.99 it is well worth the purchase.
Available for iPhone and iPad, this app is especially great on the tablet.