6 Must Have iPhone Travel Apps

| Tips

Traveling cross town or cross country doesn't have to be a frustrating misadventure, especially if you load up your iPhone with the right apps to keep you organized and on top of your travel plans. The Mac Observer put together a list of the six essential apps for any traveler to help you navigate traffic, avoid missing your flight, organize your travel reservations, stay dry, and avoid going hungry on the road.

Load up your iPhone with TMO's essential travel apps before your next tripLoad up your iPhone with TMO's essential travel apps before your next trip

Waze Traveling often means hitting the road so knowing the best route to get where you're going can make the difference between a happy trip and an stressful time stuck in a car. Waze makes it easier to make it to your destination as efficiently as possible by tracking your location and giving you real time updates on traffic conditions. It works by gathering traffic and accident information from users in real time, alerts you to possible delays, and can even suggest alternate routes to your destination. The Waze app, as well as the account you need to use the service, are free.

Avoid surprise traffic hassles with WazeAvoid surprise traffic hassles with Waze

TripIt With flights, hotels, car rentals, and restaurant reservations to keep track of, it's a good thing TripIt is on the job. You forward your email confirmations to TripIt, and the service logs everything about your trip in your account. With the TripIt app, you can easily see all of your travel plans in one place, get maps and weather information for your destinations, share travel plans through social networks and email, and more. The TripIt app is free, and you'll need a free or paid TripIt account, too.

Stay on top of all your travel arrangements with TripItStay on top of all your travel arrangements with TripIt

Flight Update Pro Keeping track of your flights, as well as whether or not they're on time, is a breeze with Flight Update Pro. The app not only tracks any flight you enter, it also notifies you if departure times change, knows your departure and arrival gates, lists per-fight baggage claim locations, shows local weather forecasts, can find flights that are direct and non-direct, lets you send text messages and emails to anyone that needs updates on your travel status, can log flights months in advance, and syncs with TripIt, too. Flight Update Pro costs $9.99.

Flight Update Pro tracks your flights and alerts you of changesFlight Update Pro tracks your flights and alerts you of changes

Uber Taxis aren't the only car-for-hire option in many cities thanks to Uber. What Uber offers is private drivers that can often offer faster pickup times compared to taxis, and the service makes it easy to pay for your rides via credit card or PayPal. The Uber app lets you request a ride, tag your location so you don't need to worry about figuring out exactly where you are, see where your driver is before they arrive, and compare rates before selecting a ride. The Uber app is free, but you still have to pay for your ride.

Dark Sky Finding the current temperature and daily weather forecasts is pretty easy, but knowing when it's about to rain or snow right where you are? That's what Dark Sky is all about. The app tells you what the current and near future precipitation conditions are for your exact location, and it sends you Push notifications when its about to start raining or snowing. If you need to see where a storm is headed it can handle that, too thanks to built-in animated radar maps. Dark Sky is priced at $3.99.

Know when it's going to rain right where you are with Dark SkyKnow when it's going to rain right where you are with Dark Sky

Urban Spoon Whether you're in a new city trying to find a place to eat or at home looking for something new to try Urban Spoon has you covered. The app uses your current location to offer up restaurant suggestions, or you can enter a location to see what's available where you're headed. You can filter the results by location, food type or price, can make reservations at many restaurants, view reviews, and more. Urban Spoon is free and available in the United States, Canada, the UK, Ireland, and Australia.

You can always find a place to eat with Urban SpoonYou can always find a place to eat with Urban Spoon

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John Michael Cary

Are there any apps that allow you to download maps for offline use?  If traveling internationally, bad reception, or if you want to conserve data usage.


John, Try Galileo.  It uses resident maps.  If you want turn by turn navigation you will need something like Navigon which is quite expensive but has resident maps.  You still need GPS access.  Hope that helps.


I like Galileo but it doesn’t do routing. However, you may be able to do well enough with Apple Maps.

As an example, I was recently in Britain with iPhone and iPad Air. I got a local SIM for the iPhone but couldn’t manage it for the iPad. And the iPhone one was rejected by the carrier when I tried it.

But I did use the iPad for turn-by-turn navigation from the Cotswolds to Heathrow. How? By creating a route before I left, when WiFi was available. The iPad then cached the route and maps so that turn-by-turn worked fine.

One note of caution - don’t stray too far off the route as Maps requires a data connection to do rerouting. If you make a wrong turn and realize it and correct it, that’s OK - Maps will recognize that you’re back on the route. But it can’t help you find the way back. If you have Galileo maps then you can see where you are and hopefully figure how to get back to the track, but this doesn’t do routing.

One shortcoming in Maps is the inability to adjust a route. I had hoped that this would come with Maps in Mavericks, and allow sending of the adjusted route, but I can’t find any way to adjust the route (as you can certainly do with Google maps).


For offline trip planning I use Co-Pilot GPS from ALK Technologies.

It’s a very good trip planner.

Kyle Kai

If you’re using a Mac, there’s Road Trip Planner:
You can create a Preview image of the map for offline use.  I understand that the next release will include exported GPX data for GPS devices and many iPhone apps.

Jennifer Wall

Language is one of the biggest problem we face while travelling in another country. Get instant translation of chat with OneTongue iPhone Free App. No in-app purchases. Download the app: http://bit.ly/OneTongue

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