Since the release of the App Store, users of the iPhone and iPod touch have seen a virtual flood of new applications that are useful for the traveler. Some of them are aimed at a particular city, while others are useful virtually anywhere. A few applications aren't aimed at travelers in particular, but can be invaluable when you're on the road.
To help you sift through the mountains of apps available, we've selected some that we'd gladly take with us on our next trip.
Foodspotting is one of the best apps I can recommend for traveling foodies (or even just hungry travelers.) Not only can you share photos of the delicious food you find, but you can also browse through photos of food nearby. How better to pick a place to eat than by hunting for the most appetizing photo?
Have you ever wanted to take more than one camera with you when you travel, but don't want to carry them on your back? Or, are you a camera nerd and love your old film cameras, but can't spare the room in your luggage? Hipstamatic is a fun camera app that lets you take old-school photos without bringing film, or having to use complex sets of filters in Photoshop. Pretend you're visiting Rome in the 60s, or just make your regular vacation photos a little more interesting. As an extra nerdy bonus, you can buy different packs containing different styles of lenses, film, and other cameras to give yourself even more ways to look cool.
How many times have you been driving on a trip and run into nothing but frustration and wasted time? Sure, rental car companies rent GPS units, but why spend the money when you can get it, with waze, for free?
Waze, in addition to being a GPS/direction-giving app, also collects driver's information (anonymously) and traffic & accident reports. They then distribute this information to other drivers in the area, so that they can take advantage of the information (to avoid traffic jams, accidents, and police traps.) Use waze on your next trip and stop wasting time on traffic instead of enjoying your travels.
Have you ever been driving along on a road trip, and wanted to know what cool, odd places there were nearby? Roadside America is a great resource in general for this purpose, but now they've got an iPhone app that lets you find these places while you're on the road.
When I'm traveling I love to find local book stores to check out, it's a great way to check out local culture, events, and personality. Local Books clues you in to local book stores and literary events, so you won't miss a thing.
Spend is an easy to use budgeting & finance tool that allows you to keep track of how much you've spent. Want to know if you can keep traveling or if you have to wire home for moola? It's easy with Spend. (We use it on our Ipod Touch for keeping track of our regular spending and it's awesome.)
We all know it's important to be aware of holidays wherever you're going, especially if you're going to be in a foreign culture. Holiday can help you know what important dates are coming up, in over 60 countries worldwide. Don't be caught unaware!
Drunk at a bar in New York? Lost in London? Calling a cab is just what you need. This app will show you all the cab companies in over 10,000 cities in 10 different countries. This app gets bonus points, as all the data is stored on your phone/ipod, no internet access required.
Oh so much more than just a GPS-based compass app, this little app lets you store up to 30 locations, which allows you to find your way back to use the compass to find your way back "home." Now, you won't have to wonder how to get back to your hotel...
There's nothing crazier than having to use the bathroom in an unfamiliar place and not knowing where to go. SitOrSquat will allow you to find bathrooms close by, all over the world. No more frantic searching...
Take advantage of all the great features of Yelp, in the palm of your hand. Find the best food, coffee, beer, or shopping nearby, at least as long as you're in the US or Canada.
A great app for finding great places to eat in the US and Canada. If you're feeling indecisive, you can just shake your phone for ideas.
Discover allows you to manage all sorts of files on your iphone/ipod, which means you can take your pdfs and images of maps, etc with you when you go. No internet access required. Goodbye guidebook!