Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Top 7 Travel Apps

Travel can be be great fun to plan and partake. Check out these great travel apps.

I begin my travel plans with the flight/hotel/auto scheduling app called KAYAK. I have tried many and this one has been the easiest to use for me. KAYAK provides an easy to use screen and the ability to quickly change things like dates of travel, number of stops you will tolerate as well as specific airlines or hotel chains. I really like KAYAK's weekly price check feature. Give it the parameters you like and you can get a weekly e-mail with the latest price. A terrific time and money saver. KAYAK is FREE and available for iPhone/iPad/Android. It has an easy to use web site as well at

Unfortunately KAYAK does NOT include fares for Southwest Airlines. In fact, Southwest isn't found on virtually any travel site. No worries as there is an iPhone*/Android app for Southwest. Easy enough to use. It has a sleek, no nonsense set of screens and easy to follow. This apps is FREE too.

Of late I have become fascinated with train travel and have now taken two AMTRAK trips and just loved them. There is an iPhone* AMTRAK app which is FREE. It is Easy to search and book tickets too. I love looking at my planned trip but on the day I am in instead of the day of travel, to see if the train is ever late/early at departure and, more importantly, time of arrival. I have been pleasantly surprised that a train might be very late a few stations before mine but makes up the time by the time it gets to me. Interesting. If you haven't been on an AMTRAK trip, please consider it. Although it is a more expensive mode of travel, the fun is the time spent on the train, not just arriving at the destination.

Once I book travel, I use Tripit (iPhone/iPad/Android) to store my itineraries. This way I always have my travel information, confirmation numbers, gates, etc, right on my phone. There is also a nice Tripit web site at Tripit is FREE as well.

An interesting app is FlightTrack (iPhone/iPad/Android). This handy little app provides updates of departure or arrival time changes, including gates. I always check FlightTrack the day of departure as well as when I land at a connection airport. Right at landing, I turn on my phone and check FlightTrack to see if my connecting departure is late. I also see the arrival and departure gates to prepare myself for a potential walk or, if gates are close, prepare for an easy snack or rest. FlightTrack is FREE but there is a Pro version with more features. I have been quite happy with the FREE version.

Once I arrive at my destination (in the US anyway) I use Yelp to find local attractions and food sites. It's FREE and very easy to use. See my previous post on using Yelp.

And lastly, when preparing for trips or local adventures, I use a service called Travelzoo. Travelzoo has a web site at as well as FREE apps for iPhone* and Android. I even get weekly deals on local fare as well as farther away destinations. Quite a nice app indeed.

A friend of mine, Joe, gave me a site and app called Smart Traveler put out by the US State Department. I have not used this app as of yet but. Joe said, when you put in your international travel intention, it will provide alerts to potential problems for your destination country. Another app I am looking at is Seat Guru.

Please send your favorite travel apps and sites. I would love to check them out and possibly update this list with your recommendation.

* iPhone apps will still work on an iPad but not optimized for the iPad's terrific screen.

NOTE: Apps mentioned are those that work well for me considering my vision disability. I need larger text.

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