Certainly, travel today has gotten a new meaning with all the technology available – whether you’re planning to put a flag on top of Mt. Everest or get yourself acquainted with the rhinos and the hippos in the middle of Africa. When you’re out enjoying the sun or skipping through the sparkling blue water in the Fiji Islands, chances are smartphones and tablets are not far behind, getting those precious shots or giving your buddy a timely update – hundreds of miles away.
As 2014 sets in, we want to make sure you don’t get left behind preparation-wise. Below are the most sought-after apps for people who’ve already made a habit out of globetrotting. By the way, you need not worry, this article applies for legions from both side of the fence – be it an Android loyalist or an iOS fanatic. So, there’s no need to be timid, bring out those i-tablets paired to its sleek iPad keyboard case or let your fave Samsung gadgets out and let’s get it started.
1. Kayak (Free)
Getting yourself a hotel worth your money – and a good night’s sleep – or booking yourself a flight can be taxing. True. Not with Kayak. For all the delays this one single app has cut in halves or reduced to pulp, it’s no wonder why Kayak has been one of the most sought-after app available for iPhones and the rest of the iOS gang.
2. Urbanspoon (Free)
It’s awesome what shaking your device can do. Now, to get to satisfy your guttural instincts or just satisfy your sense of adventure, all you have to do is share your smartphone or that fun-machine commonly called a tablet. Voila, watch your device turn into a slot machine, with a choice of nearby restaurants slide in your screens like a parade of sorts. With GPS, you’ll never miss a fave spot anywhere in the U.S., U.K., Canada or from the land down under, Australia.
3. EveryTrail (Free)
With all its functionality, it’s easy to miss this app when you’re out exploring a city or doing a leisurely walk in a strange land. Not only do you get a street by street easy-to-read map complete with street names, you get to have a compass, POI’s and vital details on your progress (e.g., average speed, current elevation). Added to this, you get a voice guide. Yes, GPS-based. The best thing is you can share the details of your latest conquest with other travelers (400,000 journeys to date). Now, all you need to do is sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and you’ve done some justice to this wonderful app.
4. The North Face – Trailhead (Free)
True, this app can lead you to the nearest North Face store so you get access to a whole supply of equipments and gear you need for your adventure. But more than that, Trailhead gets your location and recommends to your ever-adventurous spirit all the bike routes and hiking trails available within your area.
5. Postagram (free to download)
Welcome to 2014! You won’t need to send those postcards like many tourists used to. All you need is this app. Take a shot using this app, and have your photo sent to any mailing address you choose – in print. Yeah, in print. At 99 cents a printing, you can send your personalized pictures, delivered with minutest of detail.
6. Jetsetter ( free but by invitation only)
This one comes free. Sadly, though you may not be able to download unless you’ve got an invite. Giving you crisp pictures of various exotic destinations of the world, this app has gained prominence because of the large amount of discount – 50% at times – one may get on almost every conceivable luxury property (e.g., hotels, posh hang-outs) worth a visit in the planet.
7. FlightAware (Free)
If you need to put a focus on tracking your flight, you can’t go wrong with FlightAware. Easy-to-use, all you have to do is give your airline and corresponding flight number and this app goes into autopilot, tracking your flight like no other. Avail of the push notification feature and you get your updates whenever flight delays or gate changes happen.
8. Instagram (Free)
Anyone who’ve used Instagram is bound to stick by it. Like a mini-Photoshop this app gets your pictures such stunning effects (e.g., “1977”, “Nashville”) anyone will think you’ve mastered the art of photography yourself.
9. Photosynth (Free)
This one is akin to a powerful wizard that swears to stand by you to make your pictures all sunny and bright. Photosynth via its Interactive Panorama Capture and Sharing, will wow your people at home as they view your pictures stitched into one – a beautiful panorama of wonderful memories.
10. TripIt (Free)
For getting your little adventure organized, TripIt deserves a plaque. Now, there is no need for you to scramble for those confirmation numbers, whether they be about your flight or your hotel or whatever important booking you’ve made, this app gets all organized for you. Linked to your email, you won’t even have to worry about last-minute changes or flight delays, you will get notified as soon as these reach your inbox.
Now, all you need is a destination where to.