The Best Travel Apps Used by Travel Gurus

appsIn 2013 I spoke at the New York Times Travel Show and the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, and my colleagues and I chose these apps to share with you. 

Trip Planning Apps

Money App  XE- Currency

Food Apps


 Lost? To Find My Way:

Maps by Google to get directions, distances, time for travel and even traffic conditions.

Around Me to find gas stations, restaurants ATM machines hospitals, hotels and more.

To Help me Pack

Packing Pro: This app is fantastic to help you prepare for your trip. In addition to helping create multiple packing lists, it also helps you create “to do” lists. Check out my packing tips too.

To Know What the Weather Will Be

Weatherbug is a great app to save, and track, the weather conditions in up to 20 locations throughout the world and offers live webcam views of the weather in action.

To Stay Safe:

An App to help you out of a tight spot

Emergenseeapp transforms your smartphone into a free personal security system (aka personal bodyguard). With just a click of a button, you can transmit video, audio and GPS to your selected friends and family so that they can hear, see and track what’s going on. They can alert authority if you can’t.

Call A Taxi: This app finds the closest taxi companies in your area. Let’s say you are stuck in the middle of a city that you are not familiar with and can’t find a taxi, this app will connect you to the closest taxi station.

To Stay Informed:

PressReader: With PressReader, you browse and read full digital replicas of over 2,200 newspapers and magazines from 97 countries just like you would in print regardless of where you travels take you. You can download, disconnect and read the world’s most popular full-content newspapers on your favorite Android operated device, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone or Smartphone.

To Stay Organized:

Tripit:  Tripit helps you consolidate all your travel reservations (hotels, air, car rentals, etc). Simply forward all your travel reservations to and Tripit builds an itinerary for you. In addition to being convenient, we like it because you can share your itineraries with your friends and family members who will know exactly which flight you are taking, where you are staying, etc. It’s great in case of emergency.

To Stay Fit And Healthy:

Calorie Counter Pro by MyNetDiary: It’s always so difficult to eat healthy while traveling and to stay in shape. This app is so far the best one on the market. It tracks everything you eat, how many calories you lose exercising, and gives you advice to reach your fitness goals. It also syncs with the website If you are trying to shed a few pounds or just stay motivated, it is a must have!

MindBody: This app lets you find a gym class near you. Many of us miss our usual yoga, spinning, or Zumba classes while traveling. Mindbody is an app that finds the closest classes based on your location. Unfortunately, not every fitness center or gym is listed, but it’s a start.
Gym Finder: This app will help you find a gym or fitness center near you! If your hotel gym is too small you can see which fitness centers are near your hotel.

To Travel Like A Local:

All Subway: This app contains subway maps from hundred of cities around the world!

iMetro: is a handy app that provides metro/underground transport maps for 28 cities throughout the world. Each map is scalable and you can manipulate the screen to zoom in and find your way.

Google Translate: This app will not just translate your sentences, but it also speak them so you know how to pronounce the word as well. One word of caution:  some translations are not perfectly accurate — particularly long sentences — but this is one of the best apps in its genre available.

Just For Women:

Period Tracker: This app reminds you when you will get your period, the moods you may be feeling, and when you are the most fertile. It will also help you not to forget to pack tampons for your next business trip as finding them in other countries can prove difficult.
The Pill: This app reminds you when to take your birth control pill. It’s really convenient, especially when you travel in a different time zone.

To Stay in Touch with Friends and Family with Free Phone Calls

Skype of course.

There’s a wide range of apps out there that offer travelers an opportunity to keep in touch with their friends and families back home. One such example is Viber, an application that allows iPhone users to make free phone calls to fellow iPhone users no matter where in the world they are. Providing you and the call recipient both have iPhones, then international calls using Viber or Wi-Fi are completely free of charge.

To converts measurements

Can’t quite get used to the measurement systems in place abroad? HiConverter is a very handy app that quickly converts measurements from one system to another. Temperature, shoe sizes, distance, currency; you name it, it can convert it. The app also has the added advantage of being integrated with Tiptulator, an app that allows you to calculate the tip on a restaurant or bar bill.

To Convert Foreign Currency

XE Currency
XE Currency is a very popular app because it allows for very quick currency conversions and is capable of performing multiple conversions at the same time. The currency rates can refresh every 60 seconds meaning that you have the most up to date rate available at your fingertips. You can also program the app so that it automatically tracks the performance of a number of different currencies over time, great for expats who are investments in a variety of locations.

 For Audio Walking Tours, Places of Interest Nearby

 Tourcaster Walking Tours
For travelers who are interested in exploring on foot without being armed with an attention-grabbing tourist book, the Tourcaster audio walking tours app offers walking tours in popular destinations throughout the world. Load your virtual map and follow the onscreen instructions to explore the city and learn more of its history. Each tour is categorized according to difficulty, length and distance so you can fit your tours in around your schedule and explore at your own pace.

Triposo Do you still pack a bulky guidebook? The Triposo App offers you a way to find places of interest nearby.  The app automatically takes in to account the time of day, the weather, your location, and the opening hours of nearby places, and then suggest a plan for you. For example, if open the app at 10:00 a.m. on a rainy day, it may suggest a nearby museums that are open as well as cozy cafes. Find it on Apple, Android; Free.

* Thanks for my colleagues who presented their best tips at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, Feb. 2013.










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Category: Best Travel Apps, Featured, Packing Pointers, Travel

About the Author ()

Marybeth Bond, National Geographic author, writer. Twelve books, explored overed 100 countries on 7 continents. Featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to National Geographic, Yahoo Travel, Travelgirl Magazine, CNN, CNN Airport Network. Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked 3,200 miles, two months across the USA, traveler to over 100 countries. Media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.

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