It’s possible that between us, we have 50+ iPhone apps that relate to travel.
Here are another five of the ones we find most useful — and hope you will, too.
Travel Planning & Organizing
Trip Doc. The brainchild of family travel blogger Debbie Dubrow and her tech-geek husband, the $2.99 TripDoc allows you to create your own specific, interactive travel itinerary for each city you visit by virtually pinning attractions, hotels, shops, restaurants and more on customizable maps.
Store recommendations, notes and confirmation numbers; get walking/driving/transit directions; and email pins to folks you might be meeting up with along the way.
Another genius use of this app? Keeping track of places and things you love (or would love to try) in your own town. The next time you both have time for an excursion or a meal out together, there’ll be no need to struggle with “What the heck was the name of that place in…where was it again?” For there it will be, waiting for you both on your map.
It Happened Here. This feeds the pop trivia/history nerd that dwells within my heart, while simultaneously taking it on vacation. Break it out in a variety of U.S. cities, and it’ll tell you what famous/infamous events happened nearby, and when.
Thanks to IHH, my new guilty pleasure is wandering around different areas of my home city of L.A. and (with a little wi-fi or 3G on my side) unearthing all sorts of salacious tidbits. By zeroing in on the center of Beverly Hills, for instance, I’m informed that just down the street, Elizabeth Taylor wed for the first time in 1950, the Menendez brothers killed their parents in 1989, and Winona Ryder was nabbed for shoplifting in 2001. (I know, right? I’d forgotten that one, too.)
Click on each event and it brings up a photo, pins a map for you, and provides a written description of the event, as well as further links. And if you know of an event that you don’t see listed, there’s a handy section where you can submit it for the developers’ consideration.
There are presently six city versions of the app available, at $2.99 apiece: Boston, Philadelphia, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles. (More cities will be announced, as available, on IHH’s Twitter and Fb accounts.)
PressReader. This virtual newsstand provides iPhone- (or iPad-) sized access to 2,000 newspapers from 95 countries in 51 languages. Download papers while you have a data connection, and then you can read all you like offline.
I find the article-formatting easy to read, and am grateful for the Smart Zoom feature when I start to get that, “Huh? What IS that thing?” look on my face. I also appreciate that the “Top Stories” feature allows me to see news from papers around the globe in a variety of categories at a quick glance.
The app itself is free, and comes with 7 free downloads; a single issue of a newspaper counts as one download. Once you’ve met your quota, the 99-cent-per-download casual option is ingenious for leisure travelers who 1) don’t want to carry a lot of extra bulk and 2) have finally found the time to read a newspaper.
However, the $29.95 per month option seems more ideally suited for train-commuters and frequent fliers, promising as many newspapers as you can possibly ever read while still managing to accomplish anything else at all.
Pocket Casts. This $1.99 podcast library/player has become my obsession. A dream for plane, train and automobile journeys, this app enables you to choose from a gazillion podcasts in a range of subjects, then download them to play when you’re done talking to each other…and yet still on the move.
Use a headphone splitter or play ‘em in the car, and commence learning things together.
Our favorite podcasts through this app are The Moth, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, KCRW’s The Treatment and The Business, Slate’s Culture Gabfest, NPR’s Fresh Air, and WTF with Marc Maron.
Lingolook. You had us at “flashcards for foreign travel.” In the past, one of our recurring travel struggles has been deciding which one of us is less willing to speak in foreign languages in order to communicate our touristy wants and needs.
But we shall struggle no more: this brilliant collection of $4.99-apiece apps stores visual and audio translations of several hundred basic words and requests in a variety of languages. You can call ‘em up and show ‘em off anywhere, without the need for a wi-fi connection. Also included are menu guides, local customs, lodging suggestions, etc.
Currently available in: Chinese, Italian, Japanese, French, German, Hindi, Spanish