By now, most of us are well aware of the huge sector of mobile technology that are apps, making daily life easier.  Travel is no exception.  There are countless applications available for travelers all over the world.   Here are five apps that will make your trip to New York City (and probably elsewhere) a lot easier.


Yelp is available for most smart phones and is the mobile component of the well-known website.  The Yelp app is especially helpful for travelers visiting an unfamiliar city for the first time. The app automatically shows users businesses by category near to their current location using GPS.  The most helpful part are the user reviews, ratings, and price descriptions under each option, allowing visitors on the go to find exactly what they’re looking for while traveling.  Another cool part of the app is the Monocle option, which allows users to hold up their phone and physically see the direction and distance of nearby businesses as they move.


Urbanspoon is similar to Yelp but focuses solely on restaurants and other eateries.  Again, the app uses GPS location to provide the nearest available food establishments.  Users can search by type, price, and hours, and also make reservations online.   The app also provides reviews and helpful articles but unlike Yelp’s user submitted reviews and tips, these pieces are written by chefs and specialists.


RideonTime is the app every visitor and New Yorker should download right away.  It shows users real time subway schedules, maps, and lines undergoing maintenance to help travelers plan ahead.  Though it only updates when mobile service is available, which is rare in subway stations, the app can still be used before entering the stations or in some of the corridors leading to the tracks.


This app is particularly for the beer lovers out there.  It allows users to tag, rate, and review specialty brews and the locations they’re enjoying them in.  Highly descriptive and definitely for a niche traveler, this app can definitely be put to good use in New York’s buzzing bar and brewery scene.   


Airbnb is also the mobile component of its increasingly popular web counterpart.  This app is only for travelers, and like the website, provides an alternative to booking hotels or other accommodation.  Travelers can rent homes or apartments from individuals in the host country they’re visiting for competitive prices.   The app shows available listings and prices using GPS location.  Of course, it’s better to book ahead, but if you find yourself in a pickle this is a great alternative to the traditional travel experience.

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Photo credit: Amy Wiener


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