As everyone who owns an iPhone knows, the little machine is very useful, and this handiness can be expanded dramatically with all kinds of downloadable apps. Well, for those of us who travel a lot –whether it is to different cities, states, provinces or countries—some of these apps can be extremely useful for hitting the road. Let’s take a look at 5 of them.
Google Earth for Mobile
Google Earth would have been considered an absolute marvel less than 20 years ago and now it’s found on just about everyone’s home computer and laptop. Not only that, but you can download the mobile version to your iPhone. Google Earth mobile includes almost all the features found in its desktop version, as long as you can tolerate the much smaller screen size. This size aside, this is one useful travel tool.
Google Earth mobile provides navigation, 3d mapping and location finding services just like Google Earth desktop. With this app you can go ahead and perform a voice search in English, Japanese or Mandarin for your favorite bars, cafes, restaurants, or for any random street address and public location. The map location features also clearly point out places on the 3D satellite world map. Basically, if you’ve ever used Google Earth on a computer, you know what to expect.
XE.com Mobile Currency App
XE.com is a well known currency tracking and FOREX trading website that has now come up with its own mobile app, available for iPhone and several other mobile devices. This XE currency tool is pretty straightforward and very useful for anyone travelling through different currency markets. It allows you to quickly and easily calculate the differing values of any two of dozens of currencies and get a real time up to the minute exchange rate. The handiness of something like this can’t be understated for all sorts of situations, and might just be a very useful tool for keeping you from getting ripped off on a regular basis.
Kayak.com Mobile App for iPhone
The Kayak.com app doesn’t really do much more than find you the best flight deals available between different cities and countries, but what else could be more useful? This easy to use app is well designed for iPhones and other mobile devices to give you a simple yet powerful search tool that could end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on flight prices over the long run. Use the Kayak mobile app to choose from the standard flight options and seat classes to get the cheapest available booking for your destination.
Tripit Mobile for iPhone
Tripit is an app that truly simplifies your entire travel planning experience into the easiest possible interface. This application is free, incredibly useful and without a doubt vital for anyone who’s serious about travelling. What Tripit does is take all the scattered travel itineraries, plans and online documents (such as flight booking emails and hotel reservation confirmations) that you send to your Tripit account and organizes them into a single central information display that is stored for easy use. The app also allows you to add maps, weather reports, and travel directions to this same central itinerary. As an added bonus, you can also book restaurant reservations, theatre tickets and other recreational activities straight through your account with Tripit.
Cost: Free and pro versions available
Skype Mobile for iPhone
While you’re travelling, you probably want to keep in touch with both everyone back home and new friends and contacts you’ve met in the places you pass through. On the other hand, cellular roaming charges can quickly become insanely expensive and using Skype over a laptop can sometimes be impractical. The solution is in the Skype mobile app. With Skype mobile, you can talk for free with anyone else who has the same app on their own smart phone anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. Even if your friends don’t have Skype on their mobile phones or if you want to call a landline, no problem; the Skype app gives you access to international dialing rates that are still going to be way, way cheaper than any roaming charges you’re likely to find.
Cost: Free with pay-as-you-go and monthly plan extras
Author: Jeff Fields writes for Island Trader, a site that sells beach gifts and tropical-themed art and merchandise.