Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The best apps for travel - guest post by Michelle Blackmore

Now I’m sure you won’t remember either, but there was a time; so rumor has it; when mobile phones only made phone calls! It hardly seems possible now when there’s an app for our mobile phones so they can pretty much do anything and everything for us, bar mopping up the kitchen floor!

And our small plastic lifelong friends are essential when it comes to going on holiday too. With downloadable apps making our holidays even easier, here are the top travel apps on the market today:

‘Lonely Planet Phrase Book’ App - http://www.lonelyplanet.com/mobile/apple/iphone.php

There’s nothing worse than travelling overseas and making an embarrassing faux pas because you’ve used the wrong word for something, or you just want to say please and thank you in the native lingo. So get yourself Lonely Planet’s app which is full of useful phrases and quick references, over 600 in fact, in over 10 languages. And the best thing about this app is that the phrases you ask for are sent to you via text and come in phonics, which means you can pronounce them correctly too! You can also ask for audio recordings to make it even easier!

‘FlightTrack Pro’ App -  http://www.mobiata.com/apps/flighttrackpro-iphone

A useful app if you fly a lot, this app will give you information prior to your flight which includes your boarding gate status and any delays it might be experiencing. It also includes information on your flight’s departure time and its estimated arrival time, based, when flying, the plane’s current speed, altitude and location! The app will also allow you to share your flight information via Facebook and Twitter, as well as email, which is useful if someone is picking you up from the airport.

'StayHip' app - http://www.mobiata.com/apps/stayhip-iphone

Looking to stay in a beautiful hotel? Well if Boutique style is your thing and city hopping is your travel ideal, then get yourself StayHip which will provide you with instant listings of over 400 Boutique hotels worldwide! Select a city or location and you’ll get information on room rates, availability and the route on how to get there!

‘Know What To Tip’ App -

It’s customary to tip in almost every country nowadays. But the amount you tip is very different from country to region and waiter to the concierge. So don’t risk offending anyone whilst you’re away, and certainly don’t risk getting dreadful service the follow day as you didn’t tip properly – get yourself the Know What To Tip App. This useful app will tell you what is the appropriate tip in over 100 countries from the bell boy to the tour guide to the waiter to the ski instructor!

‘Zagat To Go’ Restaurant Guide App -  http://mobile.zagat.com/

Fancy eating somewhere really special? Need a restaurant that’s child friendly, or in a particular location? Well, for over 30 years Zagot To Go restaurant guide is considered the best! And now it’s available in an invaluable app. It rates over 40,000 restaurants worldwide and advises on menu, value for money, directions, even the decor of the restaurant!

‘HopStop’ Route Guide App -http://www.hopstop.com

If you’re on a city break and reliant on public transport it’s worth taking at look at HopStop – this handy app will map out the route from your location to the nearest underground/subway, railway station, bus stops and taxi ranks. Currently the app is available for over 15 major cities in Europe and America.

‘The Weather Channel’ App - http://www.weather.com/mobile/

Whether you want to check the weather a few days before you fly out or want to check the weather whilst you’re away the Weather Channel App, will provide you with a breakdown of the weather each day both locally and globally.

‘About Trip Journal’ App - http://www.trip-journal.com

Keep your holiday alive forever with this great app that allows you to capture your holiday whilst you’re enjoying it and keep it forever. Download images as you take them and video footage, load up blog entries and real-time updates. It’s linked to Google Earth so when your friends log in to see what you’re up to they can see where you are on your travels. It also links up to social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Michelle Blackmore is an experienced traveller and contributor to the http://www.heathrowinformation.co.uk Heathrow airport information website, which offers up-to-date information for air passengers flying into and out of the UK via Heathrow airport. 


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