How in the world did we ever manage before the advent of travel apps? How did we ever fire off directions to our hotel in Kazakh? Navigate the bowels of Shinjuku Station? Book a last-minute ferry to Sardinia? Hunt down the best pho bo in Vietnam?
Yes, indeed, the pre-travel app world was a strange and scary place. Still, not all travel apps are made equal, which is why, from time to time, we like to cover the best of the best.
Just try to backpack across Europe without these …
Hailo Free, iPhone and Android
This handy app by cab drivers, for cab drivers, is the best way to explore the streets of London by far (save for on foot).
XE Currency Free, iPhone, iPad and Android
The old mainstay currency converter has yet to cede the mantle to plucky upstarts. From dollars to dinars in a flash.
Goings On: The New Yorker Free, iPhone, iPad and Android
The foremost authority on what is on and what is hot in Gotham is part of the app avant-garde. The New Yorker is soul food for culture vultures in the Big Apple.
Google Translate Free, iPhone, iPad and Android
A lot of snarky critics take potshots at Google but the Mountain View multinational, love it or hate it, hires exceptional minds to crank out effective apps like Translate. Far from perfect but the best on the market by a maan mailin.
Street View on Google Maps Free, Android
Street View, similarly, gets the job done when you get lost in a city like Johannesburg or Bangkok and need some extra-sensory perception.
Yelp Free, iPhone, iPad and Android
Harness a mammoth database of customer reports (albeit ultra-subjective reports) on restaurants, bars, cafés, shops and more.
Next Flight $2.99 for Apple, $3.99 for Android
Tons of apps promise in-depth, real-time flight info but Next Flight trumps most with a list of more than 1,200 airlines for same day and next two days schedules. Perfect in a pinch and so worth the cost if you fly on a regular basis.
RoadNinja Free, iPhone, iPad and Android
Make the most of that Route 66 raod trip with this thoughtful directory of every interstate / exit in the continental U.S.
Skyscanner Free, iPhone, iPad and Android
The popular airline price-comparison website serves up a sleek and easy to use app for wanderlusters and frequent-flyers.
HotelClub Free, iPhone, iPad and Android
Not to brag but the HotelClub app is a powerful tool that helps users save up to 70% off hotels with exclusive mobile offers. Moreover, get up to 7% back on every hotel you book with your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android device. Not too shabby.