My friend Erin Gifford is a world traveler. She knows a thing or two about family travel, as you’ll see in her blog Kidventurous. But today I asked her to share her smarts about smart phones. Get your iPhone ready; Erin has some fantastic travel app suggestions!
By Erin Gifford
It’s hard to walk down the street and not see someone clutching their smart phone, many times it’s an iPhone. They might be talking, texting, or just holding onto the device to make them feel more secure (I can’t lie, that’s been me a time or two). There are so many great things an iPhone can do, but I’ve found it beyond valuable when traveling. Take a look at 10 ways my iPhone has helped me when we travel.
1. Organizes My Trips – It’s easy to keep flight details, car rental and hotel reservations, even restaurant reservations, all in one place with the TripIt app. The app is free and it even syncs with the calendar on your iPhone.
2. Finds Great Places to Eat – Thanks to the TripAdvisor app, you can find restaurant reviews. We relied upon TripAdvisor extensively last year when we went to Puerto Rico and were really happy with the dining recommendations.
Travel app to help find restaurants.
3. Locate Restrooms – No one likes to hear, “I have to go to the bathroom” coming from the back of the minivan. Fortunately, the SitOrSquat app comes to the rescue, easily locating the closest and best public restrooms near you.
4. No More Digging for Change to Feed the Parking Meter – Thanks to the Parkmobile app you don’t need to keep change on hand to feed the meter. Just a few taps on the app and the meter is fed. It even sends you text alerts when the meter is running low.
Travel app to help pay parking meters.
5. Find Last-Minute Hotel Rooms - If you didn’t book ahead or your hotel room wasn’t up to par, look to the Hotel Tonight app after 12 pm each day for deep discounts on local hotel rooms.
6. Helps Plan Daily Tour Activities – When you don’t have time to book tours and attraction tickets, the Viator Tours & Activities app will come to your aid. It’s easy to find and book tours and activities, it even provides directions to the activity location.
7. Translates Foreign Languages - Thanks to the Word Lens app, you need only hold the video camera on your iPhone up to a street sign or a menu for an instant translation. Each language pack is $4.99, but it’s totally worth it.
8. Converts Currency - In some countries it’s easy to convert currency in your head but in others not so much. Fortunately, the XE Currency app can do it quickly and at real-time conversion rates. This app is a travel-must.
Travel app to help with currency conversion.
9. Sends Postcards of Places I’ve Visited - No need to stop in gift shops for postcards. Thanks to several postcard apps, like Postagram and Postcards on the Run, I can create postcards from snapshots that my kids or I have taken along the way.
10. Finds Itself When It’s Lost - And when I’ve misplaced my iPhone and am no longer able to do any of the above, the Find My iPhone app comes to my rescue, helping me to re-locate my iPhone by using another iOS device.
How does your iPhone come to your rescue? Let us know in the comments section below.
Erin Gifford is a mother of four who shares family travel advice on her blog, Kidventurous, which was chosen as the Best Family Travel Blog by Parents Magazine.
Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.
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