There are so many excellent travel apps out there to help you find affordable airfare (here’s looking at you, OnTheFly), flight status and even where planes are around the world, but what about help planning your next trip?
Here are a handful (or two) of new(ish) apps or sites that you might not know about.
Know where you want to go but need help with what to do? Or what if you just need to be inspired? Here are some apps and sites to help you plan your next vacation.
Peek: The San Francisco-based activity planning and purchasing site, launched in Paris and London last week. The site already provides travelers with hand-picked activities, such as behind-the-scenes and personalized tours and classes, as well as deals in 15 locations. Membership is free and they even have live help to assist in planning.
Roadtrippers: Going on a roadtrip and want to see where to stop along the way? Use Roadtrippers, a free app that let’s you map out your bike or car route based on interesting sites. You can upload your itinerary and it will map out what you should see, or you can browse for ideas.
A Small World: Founded in 2004 as an invite-only social network, ASMALLWORLD re-launched in the spring of 2013 as a travel and lifestyle club with an emphasis on events, privileges, and travel tips. Once you’re in (membership remains invite only), you can browse what to do and even chat with members in specific destinations. One perk? Members are picked partly on their welcoming nature, so you can meet up with locals on your trip.
Plnnr: An online tool that can be used before you go to plan your routes ahead of time, print and save itineraries and share them online with friends. The no-fuss layout and simple steps make the site easy to use and experiment while planning. After selecting travel destination and dates, you select your trips “theme.” Options include “with kids,” “outdoors,” “the best of” and “culture.” Then you can select your trips intensity — ranging from light (“wake up late… here to rest”) to extreme (“wake up early… see everything!) An itinerary is tailored specifically to your selections, with daily schedules, maps, reviews and options to customize the itinerary even more. The site is best for travelers heading to major cities, as the site currently only offers itineraries for 20 locations — all of them popular urban destinations in Europe and the U.S.
Evernote: For the scatter-brained traveler, there’s always Evernote. The app, which can be used on both your smartphone and computer, helps keep all your ideas–notes, shared documents, URLs, etc–to help keep all your ideas in one place.
At the Airport
Smartlayover: A free app that can be used on iOS, Android and Blackberry, makes it easy to book sightseeing tours in over 14o countries. You can also find last-minute hotel rooms, check your flight status, and find things to do in airports.
Four Square: Use the popular free app in airports to help passengers avoid long TSA lines, find places to eat and even locate free WiFi, among other things.
Once You’re There
History HERE: A free app from the folks at A&E that helps you find historic spots in ordinary places. It’s a fun app to take with you in cities you’ve never explored before (as well as ones you’ve visited many times). Just turn your Location Services on and go from there.
TravelStorysGPS: A free audio-tour app currently only available in Jackson Hole and nearby Grand Teton National Park, the app uses synchronized GPS to tell you about your surroundings. The app has plans to launch in other popular Western road-trip destinations (think Yellowstone, Montana, and the Rocky Mountains).
AroundMe: The free app takes away any and all traveling anxiety as it can provide you with the closest gas stations, bars, ATMS, movie theaters, taxi stops, and on and on, and it can place the spot on a map for you so you can see just how far away you are from it.
WikiHood: Much like Wikipedia, this free app aims to compile piles of information about a given place in one location–think important sites and cultural information. You can essentially find out a ton about many locations in one city and map out where you want to go next.