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New travel apps for your smart phone

Becca Torres, one of Friendly Planet Travel’s reservationists, told you what she thought were the best travel apps for your smart phone back in June. The other day I saw that listed their favorite “Apps that simplify travel.”

They include some of the apps Becca reviewed and similar ones, such as Gate Guru. But there a few new apps that stand out from the crowd for me. They are
World Customs and CulturesWhere, and Tripwolf.

I’ll be downloading them on my iPhone and will let you know how they stack up as soon as I get to put them to use. Also flip back to the article to see what other travel apps made the cut. And let me know, are there any other travel apps you use that you can’t live without?

The best travel apps for your smart phone

If you have a smart phone, you probably have apps. Maybe you’re looking into some that are the best for travel. Maybe you’re using some that you just love, or maybe you found some you absolutely despise. So which ones are worth it? I can’t tell you (just yet), but Becca Torres, one of Friendly Planet Travel’s reservationists, can.

She sent me an e-mail about some travel apps she experimented with on her smart phone after reading a Conde Nast Traveller article on the topic. Read her e-mail below to see which apps made Becca’s cut.

While reading the May issue of Conde Nast Traveller, I stumbled upon an article titled, “Trip Tech: An App for That.” It listed several helpful travel applications available to smart phone users for little or no charge at all.

After reading the article, I immediately added several of the applications to my MyTouch 3G phone for a test run. What I found was so fantastic that I wanted to share it with our clients. Below is a reference guide to some of the apps mentioned in the article. I hope they work for you as well as they have for me. Happy Travels! 🙂

TripIt – I signed up at Then with one quick e-mail to [email protected], everything about my trip was uploaded to the site and available 24/7. And no matter where I was, the TripIt app on my phone made it visible. Now I can access flight schedules, hotel and airline phone numbers, terminal maps, destination maps, and lots more. The best part — it’s free. Available for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry.

FlightTrack Pro – This works in conjunction with TripIt and gives you flight updates without ever lifting a finger. You can see predicted flight issues, search flight schedules, or find alternate flights, access flight stats, share your flight status, and review your flights anytime, anywhere. Available for Android and iPhone for $10.

Gate Guru – How many times have you been stuck in an airport terminal? Knowing what’s available in it can make the waiting less painful. The Gate Guru app gives you access to 86 U.S. terminal guides that includes restaurants, shops, bars, and other services. European airports are soon to follow. Available for free only to iPhone users.

Taxi Magic – If you didn’t rent a car while traveling, you’ll need a taxi. Use this app to book a taxi from the Web on your phone, or with a text message. You can also track the arrival of your cab and charge the ride to your credit card, all from the palm of your hand. This service is available in 25 U.S. cities, and if its not available in your city, the program will send you the phone numbers for local cab companies. Available for free for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone.

Rocket Taxi – Traveling in Europe and can’t find a cab? This app will provide you a list of local cab companies in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. Even better, it can calculate the estimated fare price with its trip calculator. Available for $2 only to iPhone users.

Zagat To Go – This app will help you find a restaurant, hotel, nightclub, or shop. It doesn’t stop there. It will find reviews and ratings, and will get you there with GPS. It even lets you make reservations instantly. Available for $10 for the Android and iPhone, and $20 for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile users.

Wi-Fi Finder – I love finding free Wi-Fi. This lets you find both free and paid access to Wi-Fi in 135 countries. You can also share a Wi-Fi hotspot through e-mail or your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Available for free for Android and iPhone users.

Siri Assistant – I would love to have my own assistant. That’s not realistic, I’ll admit. But this app comes close enough. All you have to do is say what you want and Siri will find it for you. For example, tell Siri to find a particular type of restaurant in a specific location on a specific date, and you shall receive. This is a voice-activated app that is also available by typing commands. Available for free only to iPhone users.

Bieks Talking Phrasebooks – Another thing I could use is a personal translator. But again, I’ll admit, it’s not realistic. This app give you access to a translator right from your phone. A voice says the word while it appears on your phone. Hearing and seeing it will help you remember it. Available for $15 for Android, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry.

I want to thank Conde Nast Traveller for providing me with the inspiration to download and test drive these apps. Read the full article to see the other apps they recommend. With thousands of apps out there to download, I hope this helped to narrow them down.