Cool Travel Apps I still need to download

If you talk to me about most things web-based we can have a decent conversation. But ask me anything too techie that’s mobile-related and I am likely to sound – how should I put this delicately – planted firmly circa 2002. Other than my use of basic apps like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter, I am still one of the few people who primarily will use a phone to talk or send messages to family and friends, and to snap and edit pictures.

Photo credit: www.FreeSocialIcons.com
Photo credit: www.freesocialicons.com

No, I am not a complete dinosaur. And in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, I know there are many helpful and innovative apps that are only a few clicks away. I’m just extremely hesitant to turn over “complete access to my identity” in order to join the digital party.

Yet, I keep hearing about all the great travel tools that are available for free. I reckon I may have to break down my mental barriers soon to try a few. When I do, I feel these four apps are cool enough to entice me to hit download.

Findery

Findery is like a digital compilation of detailed post-it notes from travelers (Photo credit" Mashable)
Photo credit: www.mashable.com

Findery is a user-generated guide that helps you gain insights from travelers who have been in a destination before you. Quite different from a mere restaurant recommendation or hotel rating tool, it is a compilation of tips made up of unexpected, spontaneous and personal notes that enhance your local knowledge beyond what the regular guidebook says. Anybody with the app can add his/her own notes.

Available on iOS, Android, and Windows.

Hipmunk Hipmunk

Fundamentally a flight and hotel aggregation search tool, Hipmunk sets itself apart by including accommodation listings from non-traditional lodging platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway in its results. It also allows you to bookmark searches to return to them later. Its newest feature, “Discover”, gives users the option to research your trip according to vacation themes. So, if skiing, diving, or hiking is your objective it will help you narrow things down.

Available on: Android, iOS, Web

Goby

Goby
Photo credit: Screenshot by Joel A. Fineman/USN&WR

I was in NYC for a conference in September and I missed the free Global Citizen concert headlined by Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Beyonce and others because I had no clue it was happening. Perhaps if I’d had the Goby app such a royal travesty could have been avoided. Goby goes beyond listing attractions and eateries, and drills down to the minute detail of helping you find concerts, plays, and other events happening around you.

Available on Android, iPhone/iPad

Maps.Me

appsection_bg_03
Photo credit: Maps.Me website

The feature that appeals to me most about Maps.Me is that I’ve read you can download detailed maps ahead of time and use them at your destination- even without an internet connection. That’s great news for those of us who get annoyed with spotty Wi-Fi connections and who shy away from racking up huge roaming fees while overseas. I’ve also heard their maps are more reliable than Google Maps for places on the road less travelled.

Available on: Android, Amazon Fire, BlackBerry, iOS

OpenTable

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I am a mood-driven eater so I rarely make dinner reservations well in advance of meal times. According to all reports, the OpenTable app seems perfect for persons like me because it would save us the hassle of walking and driving around a city in search of a decent restaurant to suit our then frame of mind. When I approach things that way, usually the lines spill out onto the sidewalk for the good places. With this app, I could use it to vet the hotel concierge’s recommendations before I leave the lobby and simply book my dining experience online.

Available on: Android, Amazon Fire, BlackBerry, iOS, Web, Windows Phone

Which ones would you recommend? 

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I have exciting news!! My Travel Stamps has partnered with GPSmyCity to offer 20 FREE promo codes of one of their FULL VERSION city walk apps to my readers.  For a chance to win, all you have to do is go to the comments section below to tell me your predictions for the best travel apps for 2016 (one that is not already mentioned) AND if you have not already done so, also subscribe to my blog.  Winners will be selected on November 30, 2015.

Please note that the promo codes are good for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) only at this time. [And in case, you’re wondering, I am an Android girl so that’s the only reason they weren’t included in my list.]

About GPSmyCity:

The company makes popular apps that feature self-guided city walks in over 470 cities around the world. Each app contains anywhere from a few to over a dozen self-guided walking tours per city and each one enables you to explore the best sights and attractions on foot  – at your own pace. Yes, minus timelines and without distracting group members! For a list of cities that are covered, click here.

The app has been featured in major publications like The New York Times, Marie Claire, Philly Voice, TimeOutDubai and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, among others.

Comments

  1. Marj

    TripAdvisor is hands down one of the best travel apps for finding great deals on hotel accommodations anywhere you want to travel. They are most probably a a hot favorite already and no doubt will continue to rack up more kudos in 2016.

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  2. Rochess

    Since I’m so paranoid about travelling/flying, I will say by a long shot… TravelSafePro will be the popular Travel App for 2016.

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  3. Iam Me

    Some hotels tend to put up fabulous pictures but when you get there it is nothing like what you expect. The room, the service etc. may be below par.

    This is where the app HotelTonight comes in handy. It will help you locate other cost friendly options within the area.

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  4. GV

    Field Trip (by Google)

    This isn’t new but is good. When I travel for business I usually only have a short window, if any, to see and experience the city I am in. This app helps to find places that I am interested in based on categories I select. It can either pop up on the phone or it may use the audio option.

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  5. Justin Peart

    Maps.Me will definitely prosper…. I have been a victim of lost wifi signal on numerous occasions and the feeling of driving blind is downright scary, especially at night time.

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  6. Ian

    Not a new app, but my favorite travel app is Tripit. It keeps all of your travel plans together including airline,hotel and dining confirmations. They make it as easy as forwarding your email confirmations and they consolidate it for you. Additionally, they give you reminders of upcoming trips and when it’s time to check in. I get depressed if I don’t have a trip pending in Tripit. 🙂

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  7. Richard Blades

    The apps I tend to use which have been quite reliable for me are Orbitz, TripAdvisor, and TripIt is a must have. These help simplify travel for me and those with whom I’m traveling at the time. This is because I can plan the trip and then check the actual trip as I go along at various intervals.

    Would welcome the opportunity to evaluate others but these mentioned are the go-to for me without fail.

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      globetrotter

      Thanks for sharing your go-to apps. Have you ever tried Skyscanner or Google ITA? They are great alternatives to Orbitz when you need additional search options.

  8. Chef and Steward

    I’m not into apps for travel generally… only social media apps for which I use to record elements of my experience. Not into TripAdvisor even though my husband’s restaurant is number 1 on it because it’s just not my thing. I trust the experience of people who’s opinion and credibility I can vouch for. I have never been one to be swayed by a crowd, except for Amazon and other online purchases. That said, as we explore longer trips to different places and the possibility of driving ourselves, we will explore GPS options and continue to use iMaps. Pity it doesn’t work in Dubai or the rest of the UAE. So my only interest is in Navigation. For everything else, I prefer the convenience of my desktop and publications.

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      globetrotter

      I’m being pulled dragging and screaming into the app world myself. Ha ha. But the more research I do, the more information I discover about useful ones that are good to have. Happy and safe travels!

  9. Keith Lee Robinson

    I am not sure this is in the category of Travel Apps but I use it more than any other app when I am out an about or in a new city. The name of the app is Google Goggles. Use it to search by taking a picture: point your mobile phone camera at a painting, a famous landmark, a barcode or QR code, a product, or a popular image. If Goggles finds it in its database, (it usually does) it will provide you with useful information. Goggles can read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, and translate it into other languages.

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  10. Anna

    Flightstats …I use it to see when my visitors are arriving, check on family’s flights when they are travelling it calms me to know when they take off, if the flight is delayed, when they land and finds alternate flights to my destination when my flight is canceled.

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  11. Kibret

    I can honestly say I have never heard about half of the apps mentioned here, so I must be a dinosaur myself. I have used Expedia over and over again, even though it is not new. I have booked a cruise and multiple airline tickets as well as car rentals and hotel so I am thinking it will be around for years to come.

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      globetrotter

      LOL.I’ve used Expedia too. It is dependable but thanks to rising competition, we now have more options as consumers.

  12. Frequent Flyer

    Simply travelling has become an ardent task these days, and a dollar figure (price) is attached to almost every piece of luggage that accompanies you. Packing Pro, the app that is going to be take 2016 by storm, will help eliminate over packing and excess charges by pointing out the different activaties associated with your destination travel. Therefore, making life easier by travelling lighter and keeping more money in your pocket to spend on other things.

    Travelling without clothes defeats the purpose of travelling at all. Can’t have one without the other.

    Packing Pro the way to go.

    Packing

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  13. Karyn

    TripAdvisor is a tried and true fav of mine; I check every destination, hotel, restaurant, show etc. on it before I buy.
    We also love vacations where we can hire a car and drive, and we’ve found Waze to be really excellent. The social media aspect of the app means that you get real-time, ‘inside’ information like: where the speed cameras are, police cars hiding in the bushes, approaching gas stations, traffic up ahead and alternative routes etc. Very useful when discovering new lands.

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      globetrotter

      Yes, someone recommended Waze for my after work commute too so I’ve heard it really helpful. I can see how it can be a lifesaver overseas.

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