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Top 10 Travel Apps for the iPhone and Android

Once upon a time, travelers carried journals, astrolabes and rolls of paper maps on their journeys. Today, however, we use mobile apps, and they are transforming the way of the traveler.

You can discover local highly reviewed restaurants, learn the pronunciation of "where is the restroom?" in a multitude of languages, and store your photos in the cloud or share them with those nearby. And, it all goes down with a simple swipe of the finger.

My coworkers at REI Adventures love testing new apps each time we travel. What apps do you use for your travels? Here is a list of our current favorites:

Tripit appTripit. This app offers an easy way to organize your travel arrangements. Simply forward your plane, hotel, car, restaurant or concert reservations to your Tripit account. The app automatically pulls the important details apart into an organized itinerary which you can access through the app, your mobile calendar or the Tripit website, as well as choose to share with your friends. In the Pro version, the app alerts you of changes or delays to an upcoming trip, searches for lower airfare and tracks frequent traveler points.

Cost: Free; $49/year for the Pro version.
Runs on: AndroidiPhone

Dropbox. Store photos and files in the cloud; a great way to clear up space on your phone for more photos while you're traveling. It also secures your irreplaceable shots, just in case something unspeakable should happen to your phone. Keep an eye out for Space Monkey, a new startup that could provide some significant benefits in cloud storage.

Cost: Free
Runs on: AndroidiPhone

WhatsApp Messenger. This offers free texting to anyone with the WhatsApp app. While traveling internationally, it is a great way to text through wi-fi with friends and family at home. It also has a group chat function that allows you to share messages, photos and videos with all your peeps at once.

Cost: $0.99
Runs on: Android, iPhone

Gogobot appGogobot. Founded on the idea that "almost any place you want to go, you probably know someone who's been there." Enjoy discovering restaurants, hotels and activities near your current location or where you'll be traveling. You can see where your friends have traveled, what they enjoyed and get tips from other travelers like you. Use this information to plan and map out your upcoming trip and then post your own reviews and photos. The app even has a feature to create digital, geo-tagged postcards from your photos and share them with your friends and load into Flipboard. The idea is similar to TripAdvisor but with more of a social focus, giving you recommendations from your friends, not strangers.

Cost: Free
Runs on: iPhone

Camera+. Most people travel with a dedicated camera, but taking pictures directly on your smartphone can make sharing photos with friends at home a lot easier. With Camera+ you can set exposure separately from focus, and use a stabilizer, self-timer, photo flashlight and a 6x digital zoom. You also have access to many editing features such as creative effects, scene modes, border options, cropping, adjusting brightness, etc. Did I mention it's fun?

Cost: $0.99
Runs on: iPhone

HearPlanet appHearPlanet. A talking guidebook. Plug in your earbuds and listen to audio guides for hundreds of thousands of attractions and locations worldwide. Find what's nearest to you, or search a specific spot in the world. It's a great way to learn about a new location and interesting sights to explore while you're visiting.

Cost: Free; $3.99 for the full version.
Runs on: Android, iPhone

Google Translate. Don't let language be a barrier to travel. This app knows 63 languages and many can be spoken directly into the phone to hear a corresponding translation. Plus, who knows, you could even save someone's life using it.

Cost: Free
Runs on: Android, iPhone

GateGuru appGateGuru. Layovers can be a drag. Have you ever waited for a flight without noticing the gate has changed? Have you ever gone through security only to realize all the good restaurants were before you went through? GateGuru is here to help. It offers real time flight status, push notifications and a well-organized database to airports' restaurants, shops and other services.

Cost: Free
Runs on: Android, iPhone

GlobeMaster. This offline app has a wide range of information from Wikitravel, conveniently categorized within 260+ countries and 1,400+ cities. Interact with maps, a currency calculator and travel guides, plus get information on culture, transportation, food, safety, etc. It's your all-in-one travel app for a buck.

Cost: $0.99
Runs on: iPhone

Kayak appKayak. One of the most popular travel search engines has an app to match. The intuitive interface makes finding the best deals on flights, hotels and car rentals incredibly easy and fast. The app also has tools to track your flight status, manage your trip itinerary and notify you of price changes to a saved search. A recently added feature allows you to book a reservation right in the app, making this a must-have for all travelers.

Cost: Free; $0.99 for the Pro version
Runs on: Android, iPhone

Curious about other great mobile apps for your adventures? Our reviews of general outdoor use apps, camping apps, hiking apps, kayaking apps, cycling apps and ski and snowboard apps can help you play outside.

What travel apps are at the top of your packing list?

Posted on at 12:32 PM

Tagged: REI Adventures, Travel and mobile apps

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StevenE

HearPlanet's a winner. Great piece.

Just a quick mention that HearPlanet lets anyone add content about locations via the website. Just register for an account at www.hearplanet.com (moderator approval required for wide distribution of content).

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