Get going: apps for travelers
A new year means new opportunities for adventure, both near and far. Of course, memorable trips don’t happen by chance. Making sure your travel plans go off without a hitch can take a little extra planning and preparation. Luckily, there’s a tech-savvy solution for all your travel worries. Check out these apps that will help take the stress out of your next getaway.
Trying to plan a trip for a whole group and having trouble keeping everyone on task? PlanChat is an all-in-one messaging platform that helps groups organize and plan their excursions. Not only can you share flight information so everyone can book together, but there is even a built-in feature that lets you split the bill.
Every trip on PlanChat has a private chat room so participants can stay connected while freely sharing videos and photos of their adventures. There is even an option to create polls so everyone can help plan the specifics of the trip.
Maybe you’re ready to hit the open road and simply see where your journey takes you. If you want to keep the good times rolling, you’ll need an app that helps you put gas in the tank—without breaking the bank. GasBuddy pools data from over 60 million users to provide the location of the cheapest gas stations by area.
Use the ‘Gas Price Heat Map’ to check the expected price of gas for anywhere you want to go and even calculate how much you’ll spend on your proposed trip.
For those of us who’d rather enjoy the sights without the hassle of driving, Uber is an absolute wonder. After a quick sign-up process, tell the app where you want to go and a driver will come to pick you up. Payment (and tipping) are all handled through the app so you don’t need to worry about having cash on hand. The best part? Thanks to the built-in GPS, your driver already knows exactly where you are and where you need to go.
After you’ve ordered a ride, Uber will tell you the name of your driver, what type of car they have, and even the license plate number. It’s far more reliable than frantically trying to hail a cab at a crowded airport terminal.
If your journey takes you a little further off the beaten trail you might want to include the iTranslate app in your travel arsenal. Boasting access to over 100 languages, iTranslate can help you get the conversation started anywhere you find yourself. Start speaking and the app will translate your words to text in your selected language.
The app also includes an offline dictionary so you can look up words and phrases without being locked to the availability of local WiFi. As is common with translation apps, iTranslate can sometimes struggle with more complex grammar rules between languages. Even so, it offers a quick and easy way to start understanding (and being understood) anywhere you go.
Before you make big outdoor plans on your getaway, it’s always a good idea to check the local weather. The AccuWeather app offers a MinuteCast with minute-by-minute updates for your precise location. This is in addition to easy-to-read radar maps along with hourly forecasts available in both graphic and text formats.
For $2.99 users can upgrade to the platinum version of the app. This cuts out ads and allows you to view forecasts for your destination up to 25 days in advance—plenty of time to figure out which day weather-wise is better to hit up the zoo or museum.