Now, more than ever, technology plays a huge role in booking, planning, documenting, and navigating during your travels. Gone are the days of carrying around printed guidebooks and wind-and-snap cameras; now we rely on crowd-sourced travel and sharing our photos via social media. There are a ton of cool apps out there that help make traveling the world better. We did some research and scouted out some must-try tech tools that will make your next trip that much better. The best news? All but one of the apps are free!
Here's the thing: No one wants to get sick on vacation. But sometimes it happens. Don't get caught unprepared and have to make a very expensive and unnecessary trip to the emergency room for the flu or an ankle sprain. ZocDoc connects patients to doctors with open appointments ASAP. Think of their online and mobile scheduling system as OpenTable for doctors. According to a travel study, ZocDoc says "63 percent of travelers get sick on vacation" and "an estimated 35 percent of patients who seek help in an ER could go to a doctor’s office instead – and at an 80 percent discount." Search by doctor specialty and insurance. Generally, patients can find day-of appointments or one within 24-48 hours from the time of search. Available on iPhone and Android.
With a roster of chefs, sommeliers, and bartenders that include the likes of Wolfgang Puck, Joshua Skenes (named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs), and Gavin Kaysen (executive chef at Cafe Boulud in New York), you know this app has something going for it. The concept is simple: Experts give their top places to eat and drink in their area. They go directly to the local pros so you can eat and drink like they do on your next trip. Whether its Malaga, Spain or Charleston, S.C., this iPhone app is growing in popularity. Available on iPhone.
If you haven't tried out TripIt yet, you're seriously missing out. Imagine a world where you don't have to dig through countless confirmation, ticket, and reservation emails. What if they all magically appeared in the same place, all organized for you?! It's no longer a dream – TripIt organizes your itinerary for you, adds in maps, charts weather in the area, and you can even book restaurant reservations and check into flights from the app. Available on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7, Blackberry.
If you're an avid jetsetter, Trevi is a great way to keep track of all your travels. In essence, it's like a passport on your iPhone. The app creates albums and maps of your travels so, if you want to quickly look up a photo to show a friend, you don't have to scroll through your hundreds of other photos. Check out a timeline of all your trips or look at everywhere you've been on a map. You can even create a photo postcard to share with your friends who couldn't make it. Available on iPhone; cost: 99 cents.
With a tagline like "6 million things to do. everywhere. everytime." this app promises a lot. Though it's still in beta, it's definitely worth a look. Download the app and start exploring local festivals, nearby restaurants, and cool sightseeing tours – Goby does all the work for you. You can search by interest and type of activity, location, and what times you're looking to get out and explore. The app is quite handy when you're walking around in a new city. Now you can see it like a local. Available on iPhone and Android.
This award-winning app allows you to "See More." Want to learn more about the city you're in? With Wikitude's huge community, you'll find out about restaurants, activities, history, and more about the area. The app is basically like having Wikipedia super-imposed onto the world around you. You can get real-time information about things to do and see just footsteps away from where you stand. The app is constantly updating so your user experience improves each second! Available on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7, Blackberry.
Which apps did we miss? Tell us your favorites in the comments!
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