Six must-try travel apps that’ll boost your tourism game

 
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People use vacation as a dedicated time to get away from all-things-work, especially when it comes to their cell phones. But as tempting as it can be to disconnect when you travel, perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to get off the grid. With all the money-saving, entertainment-finding, and directions-giving apps out there, bringing the virtual world with you can really lead to more fulfilling, lower-stress trips – even if you do ignore your work emails.

Whether your next vacation is a distant dream or you’re packing a suitcase right this minute – we’d like to share a few of our favorite travel apps to make your travels smoother and your smartphone smarter.


1.    PackPoint

 
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Every great trip starts with packing your suitcase. But for most of us, packing is a real chore. That’s where PackPoint steps in. PackPoint is a free app that will help you organize everything you need to pack for a trip based on length of travel, weather conditions at your destination, and any activities you’ve got planned when your feet hit the ground. It’s also completely customizable. So whether you’re packing for a beach vacation or a business trip in rainy Seattle, you’ll be prepared with everything you need.


2.    Hopper

 
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Buying an airline ticket is way more complicated than it should be – and that’s just what Hopper intends to fix. Hopper takes all the guesswork out of finding the cheapest, most convenient flights. Simply tell the app where you want to go and when, and it’ll analyze thousands of available flights to assemble a personalized calendar with price details for your review. You can also ask Hopper to watch certain flights for price fluctuations in real-time to make sure you’re always getting the best deal. The QuickTap booking feature also pounce on cheap airline tickets without ever having to leave the app.

Even if you aren’t interested in booking tickets with Hopper, it’s worth the download just for the price monitoring alone!

*BONUS*  App in the Air

 
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Once you get to the airport, use App in the Air as a personal travel assistant. Keep track of all your check-ins, boarding times, departures, and landings, and get the fastest notifications about any flight-related changes, even when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi.


3.    TripIt

 
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If you’re an avid traveler, you’ll be relieved to know you can throw that messy planner out the window with this next app. TripIt keeps all your itineraries and various travel plans in one, organized place—giving you access to flight details, hotel bookings, and more right at your fingertips. With TripIt, you can even adjust your personal settings so that booking confirmation emails and other update notifications are automatically incorporated into your overall itinerary. Additionally, as you move through your schedule, TripIt includes a convenient map interface to help you see exactly where you’re going.

Traveling with a group? TripIt for Teams is another version of this app that makes traveling with multiple people a breeze.


 
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Time Out has been known for a long time as one of the world’s best resources for getting insider tips on city highlights across the globe. Their latest digital venture, the Time Out – Discover Your City app, is yet another means by which travelers can quickly and easily obtain essential info on more than 50 exciting cities from local experts and experienced travel bloggers. Time Out – Discover Your City can help you find exciting activities on a whim, direct you toward the best-kept culinary secrets almost anywhere in the world, and deliver exclusive deals and discounts on just about everything.

And while this app hasn’t made its way into every city across the globe quite yet, it’s a must-download if you’re visiting a city it covers.


5.    Splitwise

 
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We’ve all been there – that moment when you and 10 of your best friends have just finished eating and the check hits the table. Between the awkward silences and penny-pinching math that ensues, nobody is happy and things can get uncomfortable. Luckily, Splitwise has a solution – their free app tool that helps friends, family, roommates, and colleagues track bills and divvy up payments.

All you have to do is get everyone you’re with to download the Splitwise app and sync up with the other members of the group. Then, you’re ready to start splitting up purchases on the fly or requesting direct cash if someone is bumming around. As an added bonus, once the dust has settled on spending, you can send friendly email reminders after the fact to remind your friends to close their tabs.

Bottom line? Splitwise will keep your group’s dinner knives on the table instead of at each others’ throats.   


6.    Backpackr

 
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Mobile technologies have made solo travel safer and more accessible than ever before. But with Backpackr, you’ll never have to be lonely when traveling alone again! This app helps you connect with other travelers based on geographical location. Whether it’s sharing your travels with friends, meeting up with fellow wanderers, or getting a second opinion in the Common Room, Backpackr opens your trip to an adventurous social network.

Be sure to set up the En Route feature before embarking on your journey to notify similarly destined users (aka potential new travel buddies) because, let’s face it, you can never have too many friends or get too much travel advice.