I’m a smartphone addict. I probably haven’t made eye contact with another human being in the four years I’ve owned one, except for the handful of times when its batteries ran out. Even my kids now know that the only way we can truly communicate is by texting or through Skype. My loss of social skills is your gain, though, because I can impart my knowledge of travel apps to you. These are the ones I trust most.
The more disorganized you are, the more you’ll appreciate this app. You forward TripIt all of the reservation confirmation e-mails you receive from airlines, hotels, and car rental companies, and it automatically creates an itinerary and updates your phone’s appointment calendar. It tells you the departure and arrival gates of your flights, and will give you directions from the hotel to the airport. There even an option for it to read your e-mails and automatically identify and organize the ones with travel confirmations (that’s a little too Big Brother for me).
It’s amazing how quickly travel expenses add up. Not only does iXpenseit track and categorize everything you spend, but it also displays that information in your choice of chart, bar, or pie graph, hopefully guilting you into being more frugal. It also tracks your daily spending average, top expenses, and how close you are to reaching your planned budget limit. You can enter your expenses in almost any currency and iXpenseit will convert that into dollars, based on the most recent rates. Only available for iPhone.
You’re always best served by having a standalone flight tracking app that’s easy to access and will update often and quickly—that way, you can tap into your flight information as quickly as possible when you’re in a rush. The best of the bunch is FlightTrack. It follows domestic and international flights, telling you not only the scheduled departure and arrival times, but also when the plane actually leaves the departure gate and when it will actually arrive. A map tracking the plane's altitude and location is a geeky but nice feature. The standard version costs $4.99, but the $9.99 Pro edition will integrate with your TripIt itinerary.
This is the one must-have GPS app for adventure travelers. EveryTrail records your route as you hike, bike, run, climb, paddle, ski, or move in any other way. It works anywhere in the world with satellite reception, whether you're in a city or on the Annapurna Circuit. EveryTrail will plot your route on a Google map, and keep stats of your distance, elevation, and speed. More importantly, you can use the app as a resource to find trip reports from other people on great nearby adventures, and get directions to the trailhead. There are upwards of 500,000 trips in the database, and more are constantly being added. The app also lets you upload and share photos from your trip on the fly.
Price: Free. The $3.99 pro version includes videos and eliminates ads.
Finding the closest clean public toilet can be a matter of utmost importance when you’re daring enough to try the local cuisine while abroad. SitOrSquat helps you do exactly that. The app includes handy photos of toilets—just tap “search nearby.”