Are We There Yet? – Great Travel Apps

These apps are sure to keep you on track.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

Travels apps are getting more and more sophisticated and therefore making vacationing all the easier. This week I received a press release with an intro that stated: "If you’re looking for some top traveling apps to keep on hand, below is a compilation of some handy travel apps that can give a plane hopper the shortest route to a destination, a novice traveler a few tips to packing correctly and even an app to help a globe-trotter quickly find the best dishes when in another country."

So I, of course, continued reading. The apps they listed were great, and what type of a travel editor would I be if I didn't share them with my fellow travellers. So here they are, in no particular order:

Pack it up and roll out!: I'm a major list-maker, so I appreciate this. Packing Pro has been reviewed on several top tech lists as well as travel pubs and is the best for providing travelers with the ultimate in pre-populated, travel-specific checklists items that are even categorized for couples, families, business and campers.

– ‘The agony and the ecstasy’ of traveling: For some people, putting together itineraries just aren’t their forte, and choosing the best plane reservations can cause the worst frustration before a trip. Hipmunk is a great travel search app that aims to take the agony out of travel planning. Flight results are presented in a visual “timeline” that allows people to select the best flight at a glance and shows hotel results in a destination with landmarks around them.

– Have map will travel: Sometimes, the best part of traveling is discovering new places on your own, and what better way to roam than with a map app that doesn’t keep you tethered to a cell tower to transmit map images? Avenza’s PDF Maps app works anywhere that cell service doesn’t so it’s useful in mountain ranges, at sea and just about any place around world, without the high cost of data roaming fees. Features include the ability to measure distances and place placemarks on your map with images and descriptions of the places you’ve visited.  This allows travelers to email their placemarks  to any number of friends if needed.

– Airport gate-crashing: Airports are probably not known for being the happiest places on earth, but they can be easier to navigate once you know the best food options or gifts shops and deals. The GateGuru app is useful in transforming the chaotic and unfamiliar airport environment into a more satisfying experience before and after flights.

– Staying ‘current’: No matter where you go in the world, people always understand the language of money so it’s best to keep a quick reference on hand to keep current with the going rates. Convert every world currency on-the-go with the universally optimized XE Currency App, which features live currency rates and charts.

– When in Rome…or any other city for that matter: Hungry in a strange land? The social-networking-type app finds restaurants in your area using your iPhone’s GPS by filtering through the most reviewed, most popular, price, local and other criteria.

– K.I.T. -The cost of texting while traveling: Phoning and texting home can cost a small fortune if you’re not careful, especially if you and your friends aren’t on the same carrier plan, however WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging apps that allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. Available to all phones that can text, the app uses the same internet plan that one may use for email and web browsing so there is no cost to message.


Bon Voyage,



Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at