Fourteen Essential Apps for the Savvy Traveler


For advice about the best travel apps and sites out there, I turned to my old friend and award-winning travel writer, Clark Norton. He suggested the first dozen on the following list, many of which were new to me. I’ve also added two others at the end, including one just launching today.

  • Tripit organizes all of your trip details into one master online itinerary, including maps, directions, weather conditions, and an option to book restaurants and cultural events.
  • FlightTrackPro sends you push alerts on flights you've booked, and you can sync it with Tripit to manage your flights in real-time. It has over 3,000 airports and more than 1,400 airlines covered.
  • xe is a currency exchange service that offers easy and transparent online quotes, competitive rates, and free international money transfer options.
  • Kayak is Clark’s favorite site for booking flights, with lots of comparative cost/itinerary options. Besides flights, Kayak helps you get deals on hotels, vacation packages and rental cars.
  • TripAdvisor, the largest travel site, has over 100 million reviews, opinions, and photos of hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions by other travelers.
  • Wififinder helps you locate wifi when you’re on the go.
  • Seat Guru gives you access to airline seat maps, advice and photos of seating options, shopping, and flight information.
  • GateGuru is a source of door-to-door information on your day-of travel, including airport weather, check-in terminal, flight departure time and flight status in real time.
  • worldcustomsandcultures provides information about the customs, cultural traditions, and other relevant facts for over 165 countries.
  • Packing Pro helps you pack for your trips. (Or, in my experience, you could just ask a Japanese friend.)
  • photosynth helps you create panoramic 3D presentations of your photos and publish them to Bing.
  • Travel App Box bills itself as the "Swiss Army Knife" for travelers. It collects fifteen useful apps that can be very helpful when you’re away from home.

So thanks for those 12, Clark. Now for the final two:

FlightCar is a p2p airport car rental service at SFO that is set to challenge the entrenched airport car rental giants.

Finally, not all travel involves airplanes, currency exchange, and rental cars. Some trips can be closer to home, and as of today, there is a new SF-based startup, Mosey, geared to helping with day trips:

“Mosey is the perfect date night, or a motorcycle ride up the coast...(it's) about the perfect day, whether you are in your own backyard or on vacation...”

Note: this is the second of two posts on travel apps and services. Part one looked in depth at local startup GetGoing.

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