Turn your iPhone into an even more versatile travel tool by installing these 5 free and useful applications. These iPhone applications will help you keep travel of flights, book hotel reservations, and connect with other travelers in real time.
For those of you who travel without a cell phone but have an iPod Touch, many of these applications will work for it as well.
This free iPhone application stores your itineraries and lets you check the statuses of all your connecting flights. Get alternate flights if you’re really in a rush and book them directly from the application itself. You can also find hotels (and reviews) near your current location or in your destination city and book them when you land.
One one the best features Travelocity TravelTools offers are security wait line estimates for airports across the US.
Similar to The Bathroom Diaries, SitOrSqaut is a detailed database of over 50,000 bathrooms all over the world. The internal iPhone GPS tells the application where you are and lets you search for bathrooms and refine the search criteria (i.e. handicap restrooms) if you want.
Those of you in the US who don’t have iPhones can text Mizpee to find nearby toilets.
An essential software for digital nomads, Skype comes in an iPhone application version. Skype, the iPhone application lets you do all of the wonderful (and money saving) things that Skype the full blown computer application does. Call or chat with other Skype users for free and make outgoing international calls for much less than your provider would charge.
Stay on top of the latest exchange rates for over 90 currencies for free. Simple and straightforward, Currency has the rates for all of the major currencies you’ll run into.
The Travel Channel GO
One thing I noticed in the Apple iTunes store was that there was a city guide in the form of an iPhone application for every city imaginable. Unfortunately not many of them were free, but I stumbled on The Travel Channel GO, which does a good job as a replacement. It comes with Travel Channel restaurant, hotel, and nightlife recommendations by both Travel Channel’s hosts and other travelers reporting from their iPhones – all for free.
If you really want a more detailed city guide for your iPhone, individual iPhone application guides run about 99 cents each.
There are a number of other useful iPhone and iPod Touch hacks for travelers and other iPhone apps for travelers that you can get on your device with a little bit of jail breaking. Many of these applications will require Internet access so brush up on how to bum a Wi-Fi signal on the road before you have trouble finding a good network connection.
Remember that you don’t need fancy hardware like an iPhone (although it doesn’t hurt) to become location independent. A cheap unlocked Nokia and a decent laptop can make for a large, but suitable iPhone replacement.
[photo by: William Hook]