Want a Better Travel Experience? Try These 7 Apps

Have App, Will Travel

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love apps that make my travel experience easier.  You can see some of my favorites here and here. But travel is one of the fastest-growing sections in the iTunes store (sorry Android users – I’m an Apple girl), with dozens submitted a month. So below are seven apps for your consideration.

 

  • 01 of 07
    Flio app
    Flio

    Nothing is worse than being in a new airport and you’re wandering around looking for things like restaurants or an electronics store. Flio calls itself the first global airport app, covering 30 airports for Wi-Fi and content for another 80. It connects travelers with an airport’s official Wi-Fi, offers guidance on things like kid’s play areas, restrooms or outlets to recharge electronics, helps get access to airport lounges and pushes deals and discounts for food, shopping, lounges and ground transportation. The app is available in the App Store or Google Play.

  • 02 of 07
    Plane Lives app

    This App Store app is a great tool for pilots, travelers or people wanting to track flights to make sure they pick up their loved ones on time by keeping users up to date with flights around the world in real time. It tracks planes online all over the world, in real time; allows users to receive notifications about flight schedule changes with alerts on flight status, canceled flights and new departure and arrival times; lets you search for specific flights, airports, and locations; provides detailed information on any flight, from aircraft characteristics and a picture of the aircraft model to its route and schedule; helps find up-to-date airport information for accurate departure and arrival schedules, airport time zones and local time, its location and weather forecast; and tracks planes and airports near them.

  • 03 of 07
    VCalc app

    Technically, this is not an app, but a mobile-friendly website that offers travelers a simple calculator to measure carry-on bags. You choose an airline and the website provides several options regarding the size of one's carry-on bag.  The default, All Info, will provide a quick summary of the size limits for your carry-on luggage (e.g. Delta: 22" x 14" x 9" and 40 lbs).  Other options provide the specific dimensions such as max weight and lets you convert the answer to various units (e.g. kilograms from pounds or centimeters from inches).

  • 04 of 07
    Lug Loc app

    We’ve all been there. The airline has managed to lose our checked bags. But the makers of Lug Loc have created an app that tracks your bags around the world. Founder Nicolas Keglevich says that every year, around 30 million people stare at the traveler’s black hole - an empty luggage carousel - waiting for belongings that never show up. “We created LugLoc to bring peace of mind, so every traveler could take control of their luggage and know where it is at all times,” he said. It’s pretty simple. After downloading an app, you drop the Lug Loc in your suitcase, tap the app for tracking and know exactly where it is.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Firechat

    When I went on a cruise with a group of girlfriends, we refused to pay the exorbitant rates for Wi-Fi, so we used our cabin phones to communicate. I wish we had the free FireChat app. FireChat, available in the App Store and Google Play, allows for live communications between people, even without an Internet connection or cellular network. The app is ideal on airplanes, subways, cruise ships, festivals/concerts and when traveling in groups -- anywhere where a Wi-Fi connection might be limited.

  • 06 of 07
    Freebird app

    In a past post about my favorite travel apps, I wrote about NextFlight, which helps you find alternate flights if your current one is delayed or canceled. Another alternative is Freebird, a mobile rebooking tool. In situations like bad weather, irregular airline operations, and maintenance issues, you sign up for Freebird before departing on a flight. For a fee, it will track your itinerary and if there are any disruptions -- like a canceled or delayed flight, or missed connection -- you'll receive a text linking you to a page of new flight options - on any airline at no additional cost. You just select which one works for your schedule, confirm and you're back on your way again.

  • 07 of 07
    Beanhunter app

    I’m a big fan of trying local alternatives to Starbucks, and this coffee and cafe discovery app is a great way to find a good cup of coffee from a local favorite. The app, available in the App Store and Google Play, is easy to use. You enter the local postal code and Beanhunter will provide a variety of cafes close by, along with reviews on the customer experiences and what’s best to order.