Dec. 30, 2011 at 4:53 PM ET
For travelers who received a new tablet or smartphone over the holidays, it's time to begin finding and downloading apps that will be of use on the road.
In addition to a few basics such as Google maps for driving directions; Gas Buddy for finding the cheapest places to buy fuel; and TripIt for organizing, tracking and sharing an itinerary, here are some others to get you started.
Forgot to pack underwear?
No matter how well you plan, chances are you’ll discover you’ve forgotten to pack fresh underwear, a camera battery or something else you’ll really need on your trip. Goodzer helps locate — and price — pretty much anything you’d want or need and includes stores of all sizes throughout the U.S. in its database. Goodzer is available online and as a free iPhone app.
Where to go when you have to ‘go’
Tourist bureaus load their websites and brochures with lists of art, history and cultural attractions, but visitors often find themselves flummoxed when they simply need a place to ‘go.’ The Sit or Squat app (you laugh now…) is a free online and mobile database that helps you find the nearest public restroom based on a zip code, address or intersection. In many cases, the site shares information about the hours a restroom is open and includes user ratings.
Other road-tested apps for travelers
Sommer Cronck, a Bellingham, Wash., executive director at Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington and a mother of three, favors the free MapQuest GPS app with spoken navigation and, for families planning their 2012 Disneyland trip, the free Disneyland wait times app “and a free flashlight app in case they get lost along the way.”
“Concierge is full of insider recommendations from [Intercontinental Hotel Group] concierges around the globe,” said Lesemann. “I like the videos that show you around the destination and [the] interviews with locals. It’s also divided by things to do in the morning, afternoon and evening.”
Lesemann finds Goby useful for filtering and finding local attractions — “especially the offbeat ones” — and Foodspotting for getting tips on bars and restaurants. “What I like about Foodspotting is that it is curated by real people, not just food critics. People take pictures of their favorite dishes so you can see what they look like before ordering. And that’s very useful for exotic and unfamiliar dishes.”
Have a favorite travel app to recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.
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