Friday, December 2, 2016 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

11 Travel Apps You’ll Actually Use

The world is changing. Gone are the days where we use a travel agent to book a vacation or buy a plane ticket at the airline counter. We can now pay cab fares on our phone and repay our parking meter while we are still at the restaurant. Technology has been a game-changer in how we travel. It has given us ease and taken away the stress. I have used all of these travel applications and I suggest you do as well. They really make a world of difference.
 
Kayak

This travel app allows you to combine your hotel, flight and rental car all in one. Search for flights by inserting airport codes and the time of which you want to fly. You can also search by airline. Similarly, search for flights by location. It’ll show you a price, such as $362, and then bring up all available flights that are leaving or going to that city. It’s the same process for hotels and rental cars. When you want to compare prices, this is a terrific app to use.
kayak
 
Roadtrippers

I recently discovered this application when we took our last road trip. I’m hooked! It lets you search everything you’ll need for your road trip. Do you need campgrounds? Locate campgrounds through the application. Choose whether or not you want to take highways. The application, too, helps you to plan attractions you might want to see along the way. It leads you to national parks, museums, roadside attractions and more.
Roadtrippers
 
Google Earth
One of my friends introduced me to this application. If it doesn’t tempt your travel bug, I’m not sure what will! This travel app gives you street view of any location throughout the world. Either type in an address or find a location by zooming in on the globe. Use two fingers to zoom in and out. Then, drag the orange icon (at the top right of the screen) to go into street view. If you can’t travel much, this is going to change that.
Google Earth
 
Waze

Whenever we go a long distance, we use Waze. This travel app is going to be your number one navigation application. It speaks the directions as well as indicating hazards along the road. For instance, if you’re driving on the highway, you may hear Waze say: “Be careful! Car stopped ahead.” Or: “Speed trap ahead.” The application knows about this because other drivers have alerted the application to it. The driver ahead of you may have flagged the car within the app, but—if the car is gone, simply let drivers know that are coming after you. It’s an awesome app that you shouldn’t be without!
Waze
 
Google Translate

Are you traveling to a foreign country? Google Translate comes to your rescue. You may consider language a barrier to traveling to many destinations, but it doesn’t have to be. Have this application ready to go when you need it the most. This application offers a wide variety of languages in which to translate text, all of which must be downloaded to your phone. It allows you to translate the text into written and spoken forms. It also lets you take a picture of a sign and get an immediate translation. This is an amazing application that you must have on your phone.
Google Translate
 
Concur

Many who travel for business may have heard of this application. It’s designed to store expenses and receipts. If you’re traveling on a budget, this application may prove useful. You can see how much you have spent on food or entertainment, for example. Business travelers can create business reports directly from your phone. All you do is take a snapshot of the receipt. The application then gathers the data and imports it for you.
Concur
 
Opentable

You’ve been traveling all day seeing attractions or getting to your destination city. Everyone is starving but you don’t have the energy to go searching for a restaurant that can seat you. This application allows you to make a reservation at your favorite restaurant or try out a new place. Start by typing in your preferred cuisine and your city. It will then bring up restaurants and the available reservations. Let’s say a restaurant has a reservation at 7:15. Select how many people that you’ll be dining with and confirm. It’s that easy.
Opentable
 
Yelp!

My husband and I use Yelp! each time we go out—well, almost anywhere. This is an app and website that reviews businesses. In the beginning, it only contained reviews for restaurants but now you can find feedback about almost any business. Was the waitstaff friendly? Did the new pizza restaurant match up to your expectations? These are honest reviews that tell it like it is. Users of the app also have the option of uploading pictures to their review. This often speaks louder than anything the reviewer could say. Check out Yelp! if you’re going to a new city. It may save you money.
Yelp!
 
Amtrak

This app is so easy to use! Buy tickets or check the schedule of any Amtrak train. Narrow down what kind of ticket you need, whether it is round-trip or one-way. All you do is input the train stations and how many passengers would be making the trip. The application makes it easy by listing every Amtrak station in the country. Airline travel is so expensive and road trips often take too long. Take the Amtrak and enjoy the scenery!
Amtrak
 
Hotel Tonight

The name of this application is self-explanatory. It’s meant to find travelers hotels on short notice. Let’s say you’re driving to St. Paul, Minnesota without a confirmed hotel. When you’re not driving, pull up this application and schedule a hotel. It’s lists the price of each hotel and provides pictures of each room. There are also detailed descriptions for each hotel, such as whether it’s pet-free or if they have a morning breakfast.
Hotel Tonight
 
Yonder

Finally, Yonder is an application for those that enjoy being outdoors. Do you enjoy hiking, camping or boating? How about canoeing, kayaking, hunting or fishing? This app is for you! Find national and state parks that are close (and far away) to where you live. You can also upload photos to the application to share with others. Add your friends to the application to double the fun! This application is going to stimulate your travel bug. It’s going to make you get outdoors more.
Yonder
 

We rarely go anywhere without our phones anymore, so it makes sense to take advantage of the great free apps that make traveling easier. Go explore all these applications and be prepared next time you pack your bags for adventure!

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