The home of the brave and the land of the free has an almost endless list of useful locative apps to help you tour the vast landscapes, cultures and cities of the United States of America. Home to Silicon Valley and the ideal setting for epic road trips, the USA is the perfect playground for combining tech and travel.
Booking & Packing
To be used before or during your trip, Hipmunk is a comprehensive flight and accommodation search platform that also includes flight deals specific to certain departure cities. Like competing apps such as the fantastic SkyScanner, Hipmunk is able to serve up the best prices on the web, but also has a ‘flight deals’ search function. Just enter your departure airport and see which discounted deals appear. It’s great for last minute travellers or those with open itineraries.
There’s so much to see across the USA with each of its 50 states offering something unique. This can mean that you’re often on the go, living out of a suitcase, visiting towns for just a few days if not hours. Zuji Packman is here to help organise your holiday packing with just a few taps and swipes. You can create packing lists, save itineraries, assign lists to other users (if you’re meeting someone along the way) and set reminders on pending items. Zuji Packman is perfect for travellers who love to be organised or those who need to be!
Beating the Airport
Gate Guru’s main objective is to make travel fun again. By condensing all of your travel details, itineraries and airport tips, the app works to get you through the airport as quickly as possible. You can also hire a rental car, view a near-by amenities list and even see travel stats including distance travelled, airlines journeyed with and countries visited. The app was developed by TripAdviser so you know you’re in experienced hands.
Another app by Trip Advisor, Seat Guru is all about helping travellers pick the best on-board seats for their specific needs. Listed by airline and aircraft, users can browse flights and seat maps with detailed information about each seat. For example, parents can book seats close to change tables, people who need the bathroom regularly can find seats close by and those who want extra leg room can identify which rows are near the emergency exits. You can also book flights with available seats through the site.
If you’re heading across North America by road, this app will keep your trip interesting with all of the best quirky and one-of-a-kind roadside attractions. Roadside America uses your smart device’s GPS system to notify you when you’re passing by a particularly interesting destination. This is a similar service to Field Trip by Google, however RA also has dedicated road trip itineraries that will take you to the “crazy places you’ve read about.”
Everyone needs a great camera to document a great adventure across America, but sometimes Instagram just doesn’t cut it. Cymera has an expansive range of filters and camera lenses to choose from including fish eye, supersampler, lomography and photo-booth styles. Another recommended app for those with an eye for an aesthetics is VSCO cam. Check them out if you’re a traveller with a visual taste!
Regarded the world over as being one of the best weather apps, AccuWeather has detailed information for most cities in America including current conditions, forecasts, a ‘video wall’ broadcast and interactive radars synced to time of day. Because of the app’s global nature, it’s easy to get an accurate reading no matter where you are in the world.
This ground breaking app comes out of a research centre at the University of Michigan and monitors your circadian rhythms using your smartphone. Entrain helps you overcome jetlag by gradually changing your body clock. All you have to do is enter your destination and let the app know when you would like to start switching your circadian clock to the new time zone. It produces a lighting plan and schedule so that you won’t need to miss a moment of sightseeing once you touch down.
Travel is a time when we’re most inspired. We see the world in new ways thanks to new experiences, people and landscapes so it’s a time when we’re often at our most insightful or creative. Byword is a simple text-editing app that allows you to quickly write down your thoughts using your phone or tablet, with live word counters and keyboard shortcuts. A great feature is that you can sync to iCloud or Dropbox and export and publish to PDF, Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress. If you’re a thinker, writer or journalist, this is a great app to keep track of your thoughts.
TimeOut New York
Whilst not relevant for all travellers, TimeOut NY is still a great starting place for those bound for the USA. TimeOut is a global publisher of food and lifestyle articles and reviews which offer top suggestions of things to do and places to go in various cities around the world. Even if you’re not headed to New York on your visit to the States, TimeOut still has a website where you can search for things to do in individual cities.
One of the biggest cultural faux pas in the US is to be a bad tipper. It’s a little bit different to what we’re used to, but the Tipulator will ensure that you’re leaving a respectable amount of money on the table when you leave after a meal. Simply enter the amount of your bill, tax and the percentage you wish to tip and the app will work out your total and even split the bill for you. Great if you’re travelling with friends or meeting travel buddies along the way!