Our Favorite iPhone Travel Apps: Part One

It’s entirely possible that between us, we have 50 iPhone apps that relate to travel.

Here are 10 of the ones we find most useful — and hope you will, too.

Flight Check-In & Airport Navigation

Gate Guru. A brilliant tool for long layovers and flight delays, this handy app provides airport layouts, including security checkpoints and even wait times in line. Allows you to enter your flight info and keep track of your departure/arrival gates, as well as find (user-reviewed) airport facilities like airline lounges, restaurants and souvenir shops.


Flight Update. Enter your flight info – airline, date, flight number –  and this app stores it for you as a trip. On the day of travel, check your flight status at the touch of a button. Bonus, it also shows you the flight’s terminal and gate, and whether or not a meal or snacks will be served onboard.






Trailhead by The North Face. Almost entirely user-generated, this app finds local hikes and biking trails all over the world and rates them according to level of difficulty and length. Though this app is wi-fi/GPS dependent, as long as you have some idea of where you’re headed, you can run a search while you’re still connected and stockpile info in the Save to Favorites feature.




Star Walk. After ogling a clear Jamaican sky and not being able to tell Andromeda from Taurus, we’ve now used this everywhere from the African bush to our own backyard. Point it at the heavens, even in the middle of nowhere, and it’ll tell you if that glowing orange orb is a planet, create a connect-the-dots map of Orion’s Belt, and definitively find the North Star. Allows you to lie down beside each other, gaze up at the stars and play with your iPhone in one fell swoop.



ProCamera. The camera app that’s better at photography than we are. Its ProLab feature allows you to adjust the brightness, white balance and more before you even take a photo. Draggable shapes appear over an image you’re about to photograph that allow you to modify both focus and light. An anti- camera shake feature ensures that if you’re jostling the camera, no photos will be taken. There’s a grid to help you compose a great shot; a horizon indicator; geo-tagging; and even a section for photography tips and tricks. Welcome to getting great travel photos with your iPhone.




Hipstamatic. In case you haven’t played with this artsy app already, whoo boy are you in for a good time. Designed for those who actually remember Instamatic cameras and their gauzy, moody, washed-out prints, it creates photos that feel like they’re set squarely in the  now. With the ability to create round-edged shots with filters that range from sienna-tinted to crayon-saturated, this app is all but guaranteed to make anything you photograph look more romantic — and somehow, more memorable.





Week Calendar. More dynamic by far than the iPhone’s default Calendar app, Week Calendar’s robust format allows us to sync our existing schedules (through Mobile Me or Google Calendar) to see both of our schedules at a glance. Adding events is easy: Simply click and  hold on a day to enter an appointment or a trip. Rotate the iPhone and your day view automatically becomes a week view, with different colors for different users and types of events. Makes trip and social planning easier, because no matter where we are, we can find out where we’ll be.




Drop Box. Allows you to put files in a folder on your computer desktop, sync said folder to a networked server, and allow anyone access to it. A godsend for travelers who have an office back home, this means you can put your travel itinerary, in-case-of-emergency documents, shared work documents, in-process projects (and anything else that someone might otherwise need to bother you for while you’re away) in one easy-to-find place. Ahh.




Taxi Magic. Great for booking cabs and keeping track of the expense while you’re on the road in U.S. cities. While still at home, use your credit card info to create a user account on the Taxi Magic website. Then, while traveling, use the app to find cab companies in your area. Order a taxi by pressing a button to either call the company of your choice or book directly through the app. You can also use the app to track the arrival of your taxi. When the cab finally comes, voilá — they already have your payment info and you’re both good to go.




White Noise

iChillout. Years ago, we stayed at an inn in Charleston, South Carolina that was then next door to a construction site; they offered a white noise machine to help us sleep through the clattering mornings. We loved this bulky machine, but were never tempted to purchase one and haul it along on our  travels. Still, though, we sometimes have trouble adjusting to the sounds of a strange new place. Enter the weightless iChillout app, which lets you choose the soothing tones of everything from monastic intonations to a babbling brook. Our respective favorites, in sound as in life: Hawaiian Waterfall and English Countryside.


See also
Our Favorite iPhone Travel Apps: Part Two


  1. I don’t know if you guys have the netTALK app but it’s great when traveling abroad. You can make calls anywhere in the world and avoid roaming charges. Just use a wifi connection to call back to the US for free.

  2. Brilliant — thanks for the heads up! We’ve got the Vonage and Line2 apps, but netTALK sounds intriguing. I’ll try it out for a while and then add it to the next apps post!

  3. Great Post! Turbcast is a great App for fear of turbulence.

  4. Donald Lyatt says:

    Nice recommendations. I’d love to try Trailhead by the North Face. Looks like a cool app to use. Anyway, if you happen to go to Amsterdam, do try “25 things to in Amsterdam.” It’s a city guide that works offline, including the app. It also lists 25 of the best attractions in the city , so you don’t have to make your itinerary. Thanks for this round up and post some more!

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