It would not be a gross exaggeration to say that technology runs nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s how we get from place to place, how we communicate with others, how we manage our finances, how we are entertained, how we track our fitness goals, how we listen to music, how we travel…the list goes on and on. That’s not to say that technology is such a bad thing; it’s moreso a double-edged sword with the power to both simplify and complicate our lives. There’s no stopping this all-encompassing wave of technology, so if you can’t fight it, you might as well join it.
The last item in my list of how technology runs our lives is travel, and I don’t mean technology like ships and planes that have been around for ages now. I don’t even mean the internet, which everyone uses to book flights and make hotel arrangements. I am referring to apps, which alone seem to have the potential to take over the world. There are apps for just about everything now and travel is no exception. These apps do everything from advising you where to eat to finding the cheapest flights, and there are so many to choose from: thousands. No one has time to sift through that many, so I’ve compiled a list of the five best travel apps that you can download for free. Here are the ones worth your time and memory space:
With FlightStats in your toolbox, you’ll never have to worry about missing your flight or going to the wrong gate again. Simply enter your flight information into the app and it will give you the relevant information you need to board your plane, including the in-air location of your plane, airport conditions, arrival time, terminal and gate.
You can think of TripIt as your personal digital travel agent. The app gives you the ability to plan every detail of your trip in advance, from transportation to meals to lodging. You have the option to either enter all of your trip details manually and create your own itinerary, or if you’d rather let someone else do the planning for you, simply forward your email confirmations for flight, hotel, rental car, etc. to the company through the app, and they will generate a personalized itinerary for you. The company’s motto is, “You handle the booking. We take care of the rest.”
Sidekix is aptly named, because it acts as a smart personalized city guide, giving you the insider’s information you crave to ensure you hit the best restaurants, shops, and attractions on your trip. In the words of Forbes contributor Alexandra Talty, it’s “Yelp meets Google Maps.” The app includes downloadable guides of just about every major city and is a great tool for locals and tourists alike to discover the best places to visit in the city based on personal recommendations. It has been recommended as a top travel app by major media sources like Forbes, Travel & Leisure, the New York Times, and Time.
If you haven’t already downloaded Uber, then you should consider it a necessity to add the popular ridesharing app to your toolbox in the event you need a ride. While Uber may be a great staple to rely on when you’re on familiar turf, the Rideways app is similar but even better for travelers. When you arrive at the airport, simply enter your destination into the app and the type of transportation you’re seeking and the app will present all of your options so that you can choose the one that works best for you.
Kayak gives users the convenience of planning their entire trips from the convenience of their smart phones. It will find you the best deals on hotels, flights, and rental cars all in one. The app searches hundreds of sites to provide you with a set of the best deals to choose from for your given destination and travel dates.