These are the Best Free Travel Apps for iPhone that I’ve found. If you’d like to suggest other free travel apps, please let me know in the comments below.
If you’re taking your iPhone travelling with you, make sure it’s unlocked so you can use it on any carrier’s network — then you can buy a SIM card at your destination and pay local rates. Also, invaluable accessories when travelling with your smart phone and tablet are a USB Power Adapter and portable battery pack. This will allow you to charge on the go – even if you don’t have your computer.
Add these apps to your iPhone before you hit the road:
xe currency converter
I use this app frequently, especially when dealing with something like the Vietnam Dong where the rate is 19,495 to 1. When you have an internet connection, you can update the rates, the rates will be stored on your iPhone and you can use the app without a connection. It can convert 180+ currencies. If you’ll be travelling to several different countries, you can save each of those currencies for easy access on the road (you can monitor up to 10 currencies at a time).
Travel Organizer. I found this app extremely useful during my 2 month trip to Southeast Asia. I had many different flights and hotels booked. Once the app was loaded, and I’d signed up for a free account, all I had to do was forward my travel confirmation emails to email@example.com. TripIt then puts together your itinerary in an easy to use interface. Each entry includes your confirmation number, contact information (i.e., hotel address and phone or airline phone) and other useful booking information. TripIt also automatically adds maps. For example, it will add a map from the airport to your hotel. As an added bonus, it will import your trip details to your calendar. The only thing that went slightly wonky was with calendar import. It didn’t know what to do with the 14 hour time change.
Hotel Reward Programs
Download the apps for each of your reward programs. SPG, Hilton and Priority Club all have apps that allow you to view your reservations and help you keep track of your reward account and search for and book new stays.
Flight Reward Programs
Download the apps for each of your reward programs. Many airlines have apps.
gTranslator uses Google translate to translate your text. You can save your favorite sayings to use offline. The lite version is free.
Frommer’s Travel Tool
Frommers has bundled several travel tools into one app. The tool includes a currency converter, tip calculator, time translator and the ability to create a packing list. It also has links to city guides which you can purchase to use off line.
Hear Planet. Take a tour guide in your iPhone. Hear Planet is an audio guide that gives information on landmarks, historic sites and more – in countless cities worldwide. Hear Planet.
MapQuest 4 Mobile acts like a GPS with voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation. You can choose either walking or driving directions. Map Quest.
Trip Advisor. Get and give trip advice on the go. Read hotel, flight, and city reviews. Trip Advisor.
FlyerTalk Mobile. Ask questions and seek help from this popular frequent flier community. FlyerTalk.
If you’ll be visiting Orlando Florida, these Disney Apps can help with planning your vacation.
These apps aren’t travel specific, but they come in really handy when you’re on a trip:
Facebook: even if you’re looking forward to getting away from it all, you might want to post some trip photos to your Facebook account. It’s easy once you’ve loaded the Facebook app.
Skype: use skype to make internet calls for free. It’s good for emergencies and it’s kind of fun to be able to call home from Cambodia. You need to buy Skype credit to use it to phone a global land line (it’s free to phone another Skype number). Skype for iPhone.
Alarm Clock: download this free app and you won’t have to bring an alarm clock with you. Color LCD display with 12 and 24 hour format. It even has a snooze button. The only downfall is that you have to have it running all night for it to wake you in the morning, which quickly drains the battery. So I left it plugged in all night. But it works like a charm.
Clock: the clock comes preloaded on the iPhone. You can add each of the cities you’re travelling to into the world clock. I find this app especially useful on travel days. For example, it was very handy when I left Houston, crossed the international date line, landed in Tokyo (half asleep) and had to catch another flight to Bangkok. I was able to program it to simultaneously show me the time for all of Houston, Tokyo and Bangkok.
Weather: this app also comes preloaded. All you have to do is configure it for the places that you’ll be travelling to.
iCamcorder: give your iPhone the ability to make movies. It’s easy and fun and comes in really handy when you’re travelling. The lite version is free. iCamcorder app.
Kindle: if you like reading on an iPhone, you can get Kindle for your iPhone for free. And there are many books available for free or for a small (and sometimes large) fee. You can even purchase guidebooks for the locations you’re travelling to.
White Noise: this app creates various white noise sounds that you can choose from. Can come in handy if you’re in a noisy hotel room, waiting room, bus, etc. White Noise Lite.
Remember to download a couple of your favorite games to keep you occupied at the airport or on the bus.
And of course, get some songs into your iTunes account so that you have your favorite music with you while you’re on the go.
Further reading: iPhone and iPad Apps for Absolute Beginners
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Let me know if you have suggestions for my list of the best free travel Apps for iPhone.