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I am not sure about you, but I am sort of addicted to my smart phone (for the record it is an iPhone).But whether you own a Blackberry, Android or an iPhone, you probably love their app stores.

As a traveler I also rely on certain ones to help me navigate a new location (and sometimes even my own city). Here are five free travel apps that you should be downloading as you read this.

Google Maps: I can not tell you how many times I have been lost on the streets of New York (where I live). Fortunately all I have to do is click on Google Maps and it gets me there the fastest way possible. This app even tells me when my next train will arrive (so far it has been 100% accurate predicting when the F train will roll into my station). Google Maps also works overseas, which means when I do not know how to ask for directions in Spanish or French, all I need to do is click and search.

SitOrSquat: While walking around on a Sunday afternoon with my wife who is eight months pregnant, she needed to make a few “stops” along the way. Luckily I had just downloaded the travel app SitOrSquat a few days earlier. This bathroom locator tells you the closest place that will let you use the potty in peace. Unfortunately it is not yet available for the Android phone.

MenuPages: When I visit a new city the first thing I usually do is check for the best place to eat. On a recent trip to London I arrived earlier than planned and my hotel was unable to provide me with a room for a few more hours. What to do? I left my bags with the front desk and whipped out the MenuPages app. I was able to find a great pub nearby that served a mean fish n’ chips. Currently this app is only available for the iPhone.

WeatherBug: I have to admit up front that I use two weather apps on my phone. One is a basic app that tells me my cities weather, but the other one (WeatherBug) is much more detailed. Not only can I track weather in my own location, but it can also tell me what’s up in the city I might be flying to that day. Good information I need in order to pack the correct accesories like an umbrella or sunblock. Best of all the app is available on all smart phones.

AP Mobile: Being on the road for days and weeks at a time used to mean losing track of what was going on in the world. But since the introduction of smart phones, travelers are never without alerts, updates and breaking news. While many news apps offers these features, most of them source the Associated Press. Available on all phones, AP Mobile is a must when I am on the go.

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Flickr: GiffConstable



One Response

  1. John

    Don’t forget Yelp… this is an awesome way to find the best user-ranked food, arts, entertainment and local flavor… and it’s free!


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