With the 2011 Tribute and TrulinX User's Group conference rapidly approaching, we thought we would bring you some of the best travel apps to make your trip a little easier. Here are some of the most useful apps, courtesy of this article from Budget Travel:
- Find a flight: Use KAYAK's app to simply enter your destination and travel dates, and the app spits back options sorted by price, time, or airline; a single click takes you to the corresponding booking site.
- Track your itinerary: The TripIt travel app culls flight numbers, gate information, and loyalty-program account numbers from e-mail receipts you forward. From these, it assembles a master trip itinerary you can access from anywhere.
- Make the most of a layover: GateGuru's app contains searchable directories for 98 U.S. airports and more than 25 international hubs. They take the guesswork out of finding an ATM, a decent cup of coffee, or a 10-minute massage station — wherever you happen to be delayed.
- Get a bird's-eye view: Use the Google Earth app to check out a hotel's rooftop pool deck, the size or location of various parking lots at a theme park, or anything else you want to view from above.
- Chart your course: The Google Maps Navigation app bundles all the best features of its popular mapping site — such as satellite images, street views, and traffic news — with full GPS features such as voice search, step-by-step audio directions, and speedy rerouting options after a wrong turn.
- Fill up for less: Apps like GasBuddy and GasBook use GPS to map nearby stations and frequently update standard fule prices with user-submitted data. You can also search by fuel grade or brand and bookmark your favorite local locations for everyday fill-ups.
- Find nearby activities: The Goby app searches events and activities near you — live-music shows, family-friendly outings, and outdoorsy pursuits — and plots them on a map with details and photos.
And here are a few more apps specific to the iPhone, thanks to this article by Adam Dachis for Lifehacker:
- Pack your bags: PackTM is a simple bag-packing app that will track your bag inventories for multiple trips along with a master catalog of your standard items for packing. An inventory may prove invaluable if a bag is lost or an item is stolen from your luggage. While PackTM will cost you $2, if you only need to keep track of one trip at a time, you can use the free version (Pack Free).
- Keep travel phone numbers handy: Travel #s is a free directory of business numbers that'll assist you in renting a car, booking or changing a flight, and getting a room at a hotel. You might need these numbers to change reservations or get information when you don't have access to your laptop.
- Track your flight: FlightBoard has a simple interface that offers you a lot of flight information at a glance.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also has their own app called MyTSA. It has multiple functions:
- Airport Status: Users can see what airports are experiencing general delays (not flight specific) or search for conditions at a specific airport. This information is provided by the FAA.
- ‘Can I Bring?’: Users can type in an item they plan to bring on a trip to find out if it is permitted or prohibited, and whether they can pack it in carry-on or checked bags.
- Guide: Users can get travel tips on an array of some of the most popular topics of air travel, including traveling with children, 3-1-1 rules for liquids, gels and aerosols, special medical needs, packing tips, tips for how to dress for airport security, tips for military members, and traveling with food and gifts.
- Security wait times: MyTSA gives passengers the ability to share their wait time and see what wait times other passengers have posted for U.S. airports.
- Wait Times: Passengers can also post the approximate amount of time it took them to get through security for other travelers to view.