10 Travel Apps for Your Every Vacation Need, from Finding Flights to Food

By Summar Ghias, dealnews contributor

When it comes to traveling, rifling through guidebooks and foreign language dictionaries may be a thing of the past. Whether it's booking airfare or last minute accommodations, scouring for the best of the best in local food options, navigating a new city's subway system, or conquering would-be lost-in-translation moments, these 10 travel apps make vacationing easier for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7 users alike.

Scoring Deals
For travelers looking to book budget airfare and hotel accommodations, Kayak tops the charts of free travel apps by aggregating flight deals, setting price alerts, tracking flights, and managing your itinerary. Competitors like Skyscanner have some similar capabilities, but none are as comprehensive as this.
Free Downloads: iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7

Master Planner
If you're a stickler for organization, the TripIt app is for you. Not only does TripIt provide users with the interface to organize vacation details like flight numbers, gate information, and loyalty-program account numbers into one master online itinerary, but you can include maps, directions, and weather as well as have the option to book restaurants, theater tickets, and activities all from one place. The app is free to boot, or you can pay for an ad-free version for select platforms.
Free Downloads: iPhone/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7
Paid versions: iPhone/iPad, Android ($3.99)

Compare and Contrast
TripAdvisor has long been a go-to forum for travelers looking to compare lodging, restaurants, and attractions worldwide, but the website's free travel app also helps you peruse through the more than 60 million reviews and opinions more efficiently by neighborhood and price. That's not all: The app offers interactive walking tours and in depth info on neighborhoods, history, culture, and transportation without a data connection, sparing you expensive roaming charges.
Free Downloads: iPhone/iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7

Getting Around
AllSubway may only be available for iPhone and iPad users, but the app is too helpful to leave out. Not only is it armed with subway maps from 137 cities, but no WiFi is necessary to use it – making it all the easier to navigate through your destination-of-choice while underground.
Download: iPhone/iPad (99 cents)

Strategic Sightseeing
Need a personal tour guide? mTrip's detailed city guides, which include destinations such as Bangkok, Sao Paulo, and Istanbul, suggest sightseeing attractions from resident experts based on your personal preferences and will guide you there with directions too. The app organizes your entire trip to reflect your travel interests, trip dates, and geographic location and is available entirely offline, making for a smart choice for travelers looking for an easy step-by-step navigation tool.
Download: iPhone, Android ($5.99 each)

Bathroom Break
It's not usually the first thing to think about when on-the-go in a new locale, but finding the nearest bathroom while in the midst of sightseeing is no easy feat. The SitOrSquat app finds the nearest loo for you in popular cities around the world and currently has a working database of over 100,000 toilets. The listings are separated into user ratings of either "sit" or "squat" based on comfort and cleanliness. You can search by city, ZIP code, and the most accident preventative of them all, geolocation, especially helpful for those of us with small bladders.
Free Downloads: iPhone, Blackberry

See it, Taste it
Foodspotting is the drool-inducing visual guide to good food. The free travel app lets you search for your latest craving, highlights recommended dishes nearby, suggests which dish to order when you get there, and allows you to share photos of the items you end up eating. Foodspotting is just two years old, but it already has spotted over 1,353,754 foods around the world.
Free Downloads: iPhone/iPad, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7

Food for the Gourmand
Suspicious of user submissions on Yelp and UrbanSpoon? LocalEats gathers expert reviews from food bloggers, dining critics, and the like to compile top 100 lists for a wide range of cities both domestic and international. You can view these reviews, look at menus, search for deals via BiteHunter, and make reservations. The only drawback: The $1 app is only available via iPhone or iPad.
Download: iPhone/iPad (99 cents)

When Plans Go Awry
It's likely to happen. The rain upsets your outdoor activity for the day, and suddenly, you're left with nothing to do. When it comes to plan Bs, Goby comes to the rescue by searching for activities and events nearest to you. The app has yet to go international, but with 6 million things to do in the U.S. including museums, live music, plays, and even sporting events, we can't wait until it goes global.
Free Downloads: iPhone/iPad, Android

Learn the Lingo
Language barriers be gone: The Lonely Planet phrasebook in over 25 languages allows you to learn key phrases in categories such as transport, shopping, and sightseeing by tapping on the words you need to know. Over 600 audio and phonetic pronunciations ensure that you'll know how to vocalize phrases like "where is the bathroom" before trying them out on your own. Although the app itself is free, the individual guides and phrasebooks are available as in-app purchases for each. It's not as enticing as free, but the ability to effectively communicate may be worth it.
Download: iPhone, Android ($5.99)

Whether or not you're currently guided by wanderlust, travel apps will better prepare you for your next vacation by offering traditional guidebook help with all the convenience of modern technology. A seamless vacation lies in the palm of your hands, and how can you say no to that?

Front page photo credit: Mobification

Summar Ghias is a freelance writer who attributes her love for big cities to the diverse cultural, artistic, and food-centric experiences that can be had in them. A former assistant editor at Budget Travel, Ghias has freelanced at several other titles including Girlfriend Getaways, Discover, People, In New York, Spinner.com, and AOL Travel, among others.

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DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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