It's hard to remember traveling without having access to the internet and a mobile device while on the go. Why not reduce the hassle and stress of traveling by checking out these iOS and watchOS apps you can use on your iPhone or Apple Watch to help with airline checkins and even make sure you know when to have an umbrella handy.
SEE: Travel and business expense policy (Tech Pro Research)
Planning a trip down to the itty bitty details can be a headache—fortunately, there's a service that makes this process much easier. The service is TripIt, and if you haven't tried it, once you do, you'll wonder how you ever survived a trip with your sanity intact without it.
Here's how it works: When you make a reservation for an airline, hotel, train, bus, etc., forward the email reservation to firstname.lastname@example.org (you can also enter the information manually if you didn't use email to get booking details). TripIt will automatically put your travel dates, locations, and reservations into an itinerary (Figure A).
TripIt has an iOS and watchOS app, which makes it easy to look up your airline reservation number while at a check-in kiosk at the airport.
TripIt is free, and includes access to iOS and watchOS apps. A TripIt Pro plan costs $49 USD per year; it provides real-time flight alerts and gate change/cancelation notifications, coupled with the ability to track your loyalty points amongst many different providers.
Visit TripIt's site to sign up for an account, and begin building your next trip itinerary with ease.
Getting around in major cities sometimes means that you'll be deciding whether to use public transportation or taking a costly cab ride. Many people opt for public transportation, but if you're not used to riding public transportation, it's easy to get lost, especially if you're in an unfamiliar location.
This is where an app called Citymapper comes into play. This free service and iOS app helps you learn about the public transportation available to get from an origin point to a destination. Simply enter where you need to go, and Citymapper will figure out the most efficient way for you to get there.
Citymapper is available for numerous cities around the world (find a supported city). To use it, open the app, type in a destination, and the route that you should take will appear, along with the trip fare and transit schedules (Figure B).
Download Citymapper on the App Store today, and give it a try the next time you need public transportation while traveling.
SEE: The top 5 travel tech essentials (TechRepublic video)
Uber and Lyft
Lyft and Uber are two of the biggest ridesharing apps that can provide rides to/from many destinations across the country and around the world. The best part about these apps is that you can choose how you ride: a smaller car for cheaper rates (you can even share a ride with someone in the Uber app), a black car for riding in style (think personal limo service), or an SUV for transporting a lot of bags or a large group of people.
Transactions for Uber and Lyft are secured inside of the apps, meaning that you never have to exchange money or swipe your credit card in an unfamiliar location; this feature might particularly come in handy if you accidentally leave your wallet at your hotel.
SEE: Uber's driverless rides in Pittsburgh: What's happening and what it means (TechRepublic)
Apple Wallet and airlines' apps
One of the most overlooked apps on the Apple Watch and iPhone is Apple Wallet (renamed from Passbook in iOS 9), which provides access to Apple Pay on supported devices and Passes (digital cards that can be added for various services).
Most major airlines support Apple Wallet for Passes for airline tickets. This means that your boarding pass can be placed in Apple Wallet, and it will automatically show up on your Lock Screen whenever you arrive to the airport, making it a breeze to get through the lines.
Here's a list of airlines' apps that support Passes inside of Apple Wallet:
Check for your preferred airline on the App Store to see if they support Passes in Apple Wallet. Most major airline apps support digital boarding passes in Apple Wallet, and some even offer passes for clubs via the Wallet app.
When you're traveling, you'll want to keep up with the weather conditions where you are and where you're headed.
Dark Sky is an app that reports local weather conditions to you via push notifications, including when the forecast calls for rain to start and stop. The app's notifications go out in plenty of time for you to plan your schedule accordingly based on the forecast (Figure C). The app also provides detailed weather statistics, which does not come with the weather app built in to iOS.
The push notifications stating that it's about to rain are worth the $3.99 USD alone. Check out Dark Sky on the App Store to keep dry while traveling.
- 10 tips for traveling IT workers (TechRepublic)
- Five translation and language learning apps to make international business easier (TechRepublic)
- Do you need a smart suitcase? 5 things to know before you buy (TechRepublic)
- Five apps for staying entertained on long flights (TechRepublic)
- Google Trips: This iOS, Android app gives you all your travel data plus offline access (ZDNet)
- Best travel-planning apps (CNET)
Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.