5 Free Travel Apps To Get Your New Year Moving

| Free on iTunes

Happy New Year to all.

Yes, it's a brand new year, and for many it's traditional to set new goals and resolve to see them through to completion by the end of the year. The key to realizing the satisfaction of completing a resolution is to set achievable goals.

I've always wanted to go on a six month long trip around the world, but it may not be a good idea this year since my funds and daily responsibilities can't support it, but I could set a goal to lay the foundation for such a trip next year. In the meantime I can also make a more general resolution to travel more. And I have, but as with my dream to travel the world, my funds and responsibilities will limit me. So, planning and looking for deals will help.

Last week I listed 5 apps that might help you get more focused on business endeavors in 2014. This week I'm centering on travel, because even if you don't intend to travel more this year, there may be an occasion where you'll need to travel, and these apps can help.

So let's get to it.

TravelZoo [10.6 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: TravelZoo Inc.]

travelzoo

There's no need to go far or spend a lot of money to sate your wanderlust, you just need a way to find all the travel opportunities available to you, and that's what TravelZoo will do for you.

Whether you're thinking of a month in Europe or a local weekend getaway, this app has you covered. TravelZoo checks your current location then scouts out local deals. You can also pick any location in the world and get a listing of deals. And the deals are real.

Museums, hotels, parks, shops, night clubs, pretty much any activity is listed with huge savings. You can buy the deal you want right in the app too.

There's a lot more to TravelZoo so if you're looking to get up and out this app should be your first stop.

AirBnB [27.6 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: AirBnB Inc.]

airbnbFind great places to stay with AirBnB

If you've decided where to go, then you'll need a place to stay when you get there. AirBnB can help with that.

The idea behind the app is a good one. Get regular folks with some extra room in their homes to advertise the space in the app. Travelers looking to save a few bucks or wanting a unique experience can use the app to book a reservation. Pretty cool.

There all sorts of places in almost every major city in the world so no matter where you go you're bound to find an AirBnB spot available, everything from small sparsely furnished bedrooms in Hoboken to whole villas in southern France -- and at prices few hotels can match.

Most offerings are rated by fellow travelers who've stayed in those spots to help you make a informed choice. You should definitely check this app out.

Jetsetter [14.1 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: Gilt Travel Inc.]

jetsetterWorld class hotels featured in Jetsetter

If you prefer more traditional hotels over bed and breakfast spots, then check out what Jetsetter has to offer.

World class hotel rooms with complete amenities for a fraction of the cost. Some include package deals where you can sample local activities as well.

Jetsetter gives you the full scoop too. Select an offering and scroll down to get the details about the room, hotel, the area and more including reviews from other travelers. And you can book a room right in the app as well. If you want to travel in style check out Jetsetter.

Flight+ Free [45.3 MB, all iOS devices iOS 6.1 or later, Maker: Flist Holdings B.V.]

Flight +Flight + Free helps you get to where you want to go

Who ever said getting there is half the fun never wound up sleeping on a cot in a strange airport after a flight was cancelled due to bad weather.

Air travel is an adventure in itself and knowing if your flight will leave or arrive on time can make that adventure enjoyable or not so much so. Having an app like Flights + Free can help. A lot.

You can check the status of any flight on any air line or and airport around the world. You can even see where a particular flight is and get a real time estimate of arrival.

Checking the airport status give you the weather at that location as well as the local time and the average flight delays experienced there. The app also gives to detailed info about a particular airport including a map of the airport and more. This is definitely an app you need in your travel toolbox.

Verso [5.5 MB, all iOS devices iOS 5.0 or later, Maker: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts]

Verso

Until someone invents a truly useable teleporter like those in Star Trek, you'll find a lot of time spent waiting when you travel. You can idle away those minutes to hours playing Wild West Pinball, or you can download and browse through an issue of Verso, an art magazine produced by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

This is a completely free quarterly e-zine that is stuffed full of really wonderful articles and photos.

Art doesn't just appear in museum and galleries, it's everywhere, whether it's the intricate headdress of a Chinese tribe or the haute fashion designs of high heel shoes, Verso has it covered.

The e-zine is geared for iPads and navigation is simple and intuitive. You'll get so engrossed in the articles that the time on your flight will fly by.

That's a wrap for this week. Next week I'll be looking at five collaboration apps. In the meantime please check out this week's Free App of the Week, Scanner Pro. It will come in handy. I have similar app I use a lot, but will be switching to Scanner Pro. It's that good.

Also check out this week's Free Single of the Week from Charlotte OC called Hangover. Appropriately named given the time of year.

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3 Comments

Kodac

Interesting article Vern.

I’ll check out Verso but I think I’ll keep Wild West Pinball as it lets me still listen to my Audible audiobooks at the same time.

Nop Sites

BestTravelCoupon.com offers more travel options than TravelZoo.  And the app has a useful “Same Day Hotel Booking” deal.  If you need a last second hotel you’ll save even more with special deals.

See the free app on Google Play.  Check out the description of the app with links to head-to-head rate comparisons.  For example, in 180 rate comparisons with Kayak and Priceline, BTC beat these 2 sites in 175 out of 180 searches.

See the full report in the app description.

wab95

Vern:

Great tips.

As one who travels, perhaps a bit too much (just this past weekend in fact), I can attest to lack of joy in being stranded with minimal options. I have, more than once, opted to pay my way out of sleeping in a chair at some mosquito-infested airport.

Two other apps (or categories of app) worth noting for the traveller include:

1) Flightboard: which provides real-time updates in your airport (wherever you are) on your flight status, and beats trying to go read the local flight board every few minutes to check your flight status

2) Hotels.com: to locate that hotel when you are stranded and need a place to crash (poor word choice) for the night.

It is also useful to have two other apps if you travel excessively:

1) Tripit (or Tripit Pro): to keep track of all of your travel, itinerary and realtime updates sent to you

2) Your local airport app (many/most around the world now have them) to let you know of the airport’s status, particularly during inclement weather, local civil unrest - and any other natural or manmade obstacle to travel.

Good luck with your travel plans.

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