8 Sep

It’s almost a given that savvy travelers today are packing technology, and there are plenty of helper apps, ready to take you here and there, find you hotels, airport limousines, taxi service, restaurants, dog parks … it’s all there. Here’s a roundup of some of the most useful apps currently available, many with versions compatible with the new Apple Watch. So travel lightly, fellow jetsetters, and carry a lot of apps:

Lounge Buddy: Got a layover but unsure whether you’ve got a place to hang in the airport? Lounge Buddy connects you with every airport lounge, anywhere, and in many cases you can explore the interior, browse the amenities and decide whether it’s worth spending your money on. Once you’ve decided, the app will take you where you need to be. GPS and search activated, you’ll never have to nap at the gate again. Free.

Foursquare: A pretty nifty little tool for finding destinations you will definitely want to check out. The more you use the app, the more it gets to know what you like – restaurants, nightlife, goods and services, it will connect you to the places most interesting to you, based on where you’ve been before. An added tip: check out the forums and comments, as often there will be information about WiFi passwords and valuable insider tips. Free.

Trip Advisor: If you have never used Trip Advisor, you are among as select few. Since Trip Advisor has been in business since the turn of this century, and since then they have managed to collect intel on just about every destination, restaurant, hotel and attraction that exists, anywhere. Invaluable if you’re looking for the down-low on pretty much anything you might encounter. Free.

TravelSafe Pro: A nifty little database of all emergency numbers that you might need while away. Auto detects your location and connects you with the services you need with a single touch. Works in fifty countries, and can be accessed in as many languages. It’s a paid app ($1.19 on the Canadian App Store) but worth it if the unthinkable were ever to happen.

Hostelworld: Say you want to get with the people. Save the money that you’d spend on the five-star and check out how the other half lives. If that sounds like you in your current state of mind, Hostelworld is the app for you! It’s the only travel app that specializes in global Hostel accommodation, and you’ll find listings for more than thirty-five thousand locations, complete with customer reviews – some in places you might never have heard of before. On with the adventure! Free.

Airlift Limo: Airlift Limo is like having your own personal limo driver. This Toronto and Mississauga limo and private taxi service operates directly through the app, eliminating the need for awkward exchanges of language and the doubt cast upon dubious taxi operators. It’s always suggested to book ahead for airport limo pick up and drop off, but when you’re out and about in the Greater Toronto Area, Airlift Limo is definitely your friend. Available for iOS and Android; just search Airlift Limo in the App Store or on Google Play. Free.

Google Translate: Probably needs no deep explanations, but the coolest aspect of this translation app is that you can take pictures of signs and it will translate the captured text. Which is most excellent when you’re driving around say, Amsterdam, and you have no idea why people are honking at you. Will receive input via text, voice or camera. Free.

Tipulator: If you’ve ever tried to leave a tip in Germany, Japan or the UK, you’ll know what kind of strange looks you can get from your servers. Ditto if you haven’t left one in the Americas. But how does one know what to leave? Tipulator takes the guesswork right out of it, eliminating any potential faux pas. You can localize your settings to anywhere you might be, any currency and any level of service and satisfaction. Problem solved! Free.

We’re always on the lookout for ways to make your travel easier, smarter and more fun! Visit often to see what we’ve discovered lately!