Mon, August 16th, 2010 - By

Top 10 Free iPhone Apps for Holidaymakers

If you’ve not gotten an iPhone yet, you really should think about it, for no other reason that the bulging array of apps that you can download and run on your phone. Apple made a great move opening up the app marketplace to the public, so it seems now the phrase “there’s an app for that” has moved from cliché to reality.

The problem is choosing an app – go to iTunes and try any keyword, and you’re bound to find a list longer than your arm with choices. The great thing is that many apps are free – often supported either with advertising or an option to purchase a premium version. It’s hard to choose the best travel apps, because not every app is ideal for every country. Regardless, here are Sunshine’s top ten free iPhone apps that any holidaymaker shouldn’t leave home without.

1. Yelp


I rarely research restaurant recommendations anymore; I just pull up Yelp on my phone and search for places that are nearby where I’m staying or where I happen to be when I’m feeling a bit peckish. Yelp pulls in user reviews from their online site, so the only downside is that some countries the listings are a bit sparse, but most cities have quite a lot of data. You can filter listings by ratings, cuisine, and even filter out venues that aren’t currently open. A lifesaver for the lazy foodie.
iTunes Link

2 Urbanspoon


Urbanspoon is another great tool for finding food while on the road. Urbanspoon takes a different approach, in that you choose your criteria (location, price, cuisine) and then it will randomly select for you a choice. It’s kind of like playing the foodie lottery, but you can check the reviews before you decide your final answer.
iTunes Link

3 LocalBooks


Localbooks is a shout out to bookworms, or anyone who appreciates a good old fashioned bookstore. Localbooks has a massive database of booksellers of all shapes and sizes, and the app makes it quick and easy to spot them in both large cities and small towns.
iTunes Link

4 Sit or Squat

Sit or Squat

The cynic might say I’ve chosen this app based purely on the buzz factor – what a great name and logo, eh? – but the reality is that if you’re faced with the dire need for finding a toilet and fast, you’ll be thankful to have this app loaded on your iPhone. Download now – you don’t want to be waiting for it to finish installing over a slow Wifi connection when you need to go.
iTunes Link

5 Flashlight


Another opportunity to roll your eyes here with one of my personal app favourites, the Flashlight. Yes, there really is an app solely designed to turn your phone into a mini torch. I can’t tell you how often I’ve used this to help get a key into a foreign lock, to double check directions, or to look up the bus timetable on a stop without good overhead lighting. It’s just one of those things that becomes far more helpful than you realise. Just make sure it’s on your main screen of icons for handy access in the dark.
iTunes Link

6 Shazam


Believe it or not, Shazam was one of the first iPhone apps I ever installed – I saw it about a year ago on a friend’s and was so blown away by how cool it was, I knew I had to have it when I finally got my phone. The app basically ‘listens’ to whatever tune is playing and then looks up what it is. It doesn’t work on live music, but otherwise, I’ve had very good results. It’s perfect for when you’re in a foreign pub and dying to know who’s playing.
iTunes Link

7 Triptracker


There are dozens of itinerary and tracking apps out there, both free and paid. In the free realm, triptracker seems to be the best – it’s simple and effective. You can add flights, car hires, hotels and the app does the rest, highlighting weather and any potential travel troubles. What’s also nice is that it links up contact information, so if you need to get in touch with the hotel or airline, the details are right there.
iTunes Link

8 Skype


If you aren’t using Skype to make International calls while abroad, you’re paying too much. Skype’s “Voice over IP” (VoIP) makes it really really cheap to call anywhere in the world for just a few pence a minute. The app loads on your phone and in my experience, you wouldn’t even know that you’re using the Internet to make the connection. Skype is not free on 3G, so I’d suggest you only use the app if on a Wifi connection.
iTunes Link

9 iTranslate


Similar to flight tracking, there are hundreds of translation tools for your iPhone, in all shapes and sizes. I’d suggest you look at a language-specific app if you plan on spending quite some time in a country where you’re going to expect language difficulty (rural Russia or China, for example), but for a general purpose app, iTranslate does the job perfectly. You put in what you want translated, choose the language, and ping – it’s done. The only snag is special characters which you might have trouble entering on your phone.
iTunes Link

10 Currency


Personally, when I travel I just figure out an ‘estimate’ number on the local current to Pounds, such as just dividing it by two or something simple so I can keep track. But if you’re on a strict budget or a little more worried than me, you should try the Currency app. You choose your home app and then you can look up the most recent currency rates for where you area. The app also has a calculator, so you enter the price of the item and it will tell you what that means in your home currency. A must for the frequent travel shopper!
iTunes Link

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not criss-crossing the world to have his next travel adventures, he is spending time hanging out on his own website, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, August 16th, 2010 at 11:39
Category : Top 10
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3 Responses to “Top 10 Free iPhone Apps for Holidaymakers”

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