Today, in keeping with our Labor Day Travel Tips for a Wireless World series, I’m sending you seven of the best travel apps for your iPhone or Blackberry.
If you don’t have a fancy phone, don’t worry… many of these services work from the web, too… so you can access them on your computer.
Director, Great Escape Publishing
Best Travel Apps for Your iPhone or BlackBerry
Travel got a lot easier when you could book your flights online. Now, it’s getting lighter, too. With an iPhone or BlackBerry full of handy travel applications (apps), you can leave your guidebooks, itineraries, phone cards, alarm clock, flash light, and even white-noise generator at home.
Here are seven of the best travel apps for iPhone and BlackBerry. Don’t have an iPhone? Some of these work from your computer, too:
** 1. TRIPIT
Email all of your trip itineraries and booking confirmations straight from your hotel, flight, rental car, or other travel sites to Tripit.com. Tripit puts everything together in one main itinerary. From there, you can access all of your confirmation numbers, flight times, hotel addresses, etc., and share them with your travel partners, too.
If you sign up for Tripit Pro, it’ll also automatically notify you of delays and updates, help you track airmiles, and more. Works on the web and with iPhone or BlackBerry.
** 2. WHERE THE LOCALS EAT
WhereTheLocalsEat.com aims to deliver better, more researched restaurant reviews than giants like TripAdvisor or Yelp, who depend on public opinion. It doesn’t overwhelm you with choices and limits suggestions the 100 best restaurants in each city it covers.
You can search right on the website. Or, on your iPhone or BlackBerry, the LocalEats app uses your GPS to suggest and give directions to restaurants nearby.
** 3. FORKFLY
If you’re a coupon cutter, you’ll love this. Say you’re at a restaurant with your iPhone or Blackberry. You pull up your Forkfly app and find the restaurant on the list. It displays a coupon on the screen, which you show to the waitress… and just like that, you get instant savings. You can also find and print coupons for restaurants, bars, entertainment, hotels, and more on Forkfly.com.
** 4. GOPOSTAL
Ever look through a postcard rack and think, “I could take better photos than these?” Now you can create and send your own postcards instantaneously — from anywhere — with your iPhone. Take a photo with your phone, add a message, select an address, and GoPostal will create and send a postcard for you for $1.29, including postage. Works from computers with internet, too — PrintYourLife.com.
** 5. SKYPE
When you sign up for a Skype membership (it’s free) you can make free calls from your computer to any other Skype user. You can also buy a phone number and accept incoming calls from phones… or pay a small fee and make international calls to cell phones and landlines.
Now, with Skype on your iPhone or BlackBerry, you can make free calls to other Skype members using your Wi-Fi connection. From Skype member to Skype member, both local and international calls are free. And, if you have an iPod Touch, you can use Skype to convert it into a phone… much like you would with a computer.
** 6. SLEEP CYCLE ALARM CLOCK
Using iPhone’s accelerometer (motion sensor), Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock records your movement when you sleep to determine your sleep cycles. It knows exactly when you should wake up to feel the most rested, and wakes you up at precisely that moment. It gets rave reviews. You can try it to get over jet lag, perhaps. Or to wake up more rested early in the morning to do some writing or head out to take photos.
** 7. HEARPLANET
These days, a plain old guidebook falls short. Just open the HearPlanet app on your iPhone, and it senses where you are, finds nearby attractions for you, and even plays a Wikipedia description of places out loud.
** Best Travel Apps BONUS:
If you want to save on luggage space, or you forgot something from your list, your iPhone can double as a number of travel must-haves.
You can turn it into a voice recorder (iTalk – free); a flash light, in case you’re camping or want to read under the covers without waking your hotel mate (Flashlight – free); a bedside digital alarm clock, with large glowing numbers on the face (Night Stand – $1.99); or an ambient sound maker, to drown out the loud bar downstairs (Ambiance – $.99).
BlackBerry also has a free flashlight app, a white-noise generator, a voice recorder, and numerous alarm-clock apps.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]