You already have the smart phone so why not put it to good use? There's no reason to rely solely on paperback guidebooks in this day in age when you can find all the information you seek in one convenient place. These free apps, both brand new and tried-and-true, have made the list for their fantastic tech, making your group trip so much easier - especially when you're on a budget.
Getting there apps:
- FlightAware - A handy flight tracker that lets you know, really, where your plane is, when it's going to land, and more in real-time.
- CityMapper - Billed as the ultimate transit app, CityMapper helps you travel a city in real time. You can even find out where to sit in a subway car to exit quickest and plan routes from anywhere in the app's major cities.
- Lyft - A handy car sharing program that helps you save 60% by catching rides with people going the same way.
- Hailo - Hailo alerts taxis to your location, calling them to you.
- RoadNinja - RoadNinja takes the guess work out of traveling, telling you all the amenities off any given exit. Find gas, lodging, parking, food, etc. along the way.
- Roadtrippers - Plug in your start and stop locations and Roadtrippers will plan a route for you including popular attraction stops along the way. Currently focused on the U.S., Roadtrippers does not have maps for other countries.
- Gas Buddy - Alerts you to the lowest gas prices in the area to save money.
- Fuel Monitor - Track your gas bills, gas usage, and travel routes through one convenient app.
- GonnaGo - Perfect for groups planning an adventure, GonnaGo is the only app that allows multiple people to see and edit trip planners and itineraries.
- Rove - Just open the app and go about your business while Rove collects data and logs in where you are, how long you're there, and log any photos you take into one spot without any manual addition.
- Pack the Bag - Drop the paper lists and put everything in one place so you know exactly what you need to pack.
- WorldMate - An all-in-one travel organizer that can replace your personal assistant.
- Evernote Food - Great for finding foodie reviews of local restaurants, gorgeous pictures of plates, and more.
- OpenTable - Allows you to reserve tables remotely and see where there's an open seat in real time.
- Humane Eating Project - Creates maps showing vegan and vegetarian friendly restaurants and those with humanely raised meats with colored pins.
- SplitWise - Helps friends split the check at restaurants, hotel bills, etc.
- Pin Pin ATM Finder - Self-explanatory, this helps you find ATMs.
- SitOrSquat - Very helpful, use this app to find public restrooms.
- YPlan - This spontaneous planner allows you to look into local events to find something to do on the spur of the moment.
- Field Trip - Free audio tours and walking tour info app turns touring the city into an educational adventure. Also keeps updated via your GPS on places to go while in the city with added history tidbits.
- HistoryPin - Look into the past with this pin mapping historic sites and stories - perfect for educational groups and history buffs.
Weather and Recreation:
- Surfr - Surfr tells you water and air temperature, wave height, and updated weather conditions to get you to the perfect wave.
- The Snow Report - Like Surfr, the Snow Report updates you on the best skiing/snowboarding conditions, hiking trails through snowy mountains, and where it's currently snowing.
All-Inclusive Apps: These apps have customer reviews on hotels, restaurants, and attractions so you know what people really love and where to go.
- TripAdvisor - TripAdvisor has more than just crowd-sourced recommendations, they have lists of gathered information like Best LA Restaurants for 2015, Top U.S. Destinations, and more which helps you to get an idea about what a city has to offer.
- Yelp - You know it as the site with all the customer reviews but it's a pretty handy app for finding local favorites in an unfamiliar city.
- Kayak - Allows you to book hotels, keep confirmation codes safe, monitor flights, and edit travel itineraries in one spot.