Between pricey flights, hotels and foreign shopping sprees, travel may be one of the best indicators of consumer confidence. And with unemployment going down, and even real estate seeing a modest comeback, that confidence seems to be rising.
Last summer, one in five Americans said they planned on taking a vacation, according to a survey by the market research firm Harris Interactive. And almost half of them, 42%, said they planned on taking two or more trips. This year, the numbers are even higher. Now nearly one in four say they’re planning on packing their bags, according to a survey conducted by TD Ameritrade. ‘Tis the season.
Before you book your flight or room, or even decide where you’re going, check out these five free iOS apps made by the Appcelerator mobile platform. If you’re the type that can’t leave the office back home, using these tools might even improve your productivity.
SEE ALSO: Travel Tips: How To Work and Relax While You Fly
If you live spontaneously, ReallyLateBooking lets you make last-minute reservations at hotels in a slew of international cities, offering detailed room info and options should you find yourself out of town, and without a room.
Sure beats sleeping in the airport should you miss your flight, get rerouted or decide the hotel you booked just isn’t up to par.
No one wants to admit it, but with jetlag and even culture shock, getting lost in an airport is embarrassingly easy. Especially when all the signs are in a foreign language. Stall that with AirportChatter, which gives you detailed info on airport amenities, nearby restaurants and real-time reviews, and a geo-location radar from people around you. It’s almost like a Facebook-Yelp hybrid for your terminal.
Comment allez-vous? Come vai? ¿Cómo estás? What, you say?
You don’t need a Star Trek universal translator to figure out what everyone around you is saying. TripLingo gives you everything from basic phrases, a live translator, and a country-by-country guide to customs and cultural taboos. There’s even audio files to help with your pronunciation.
You made it. You’re in your destination city. But you don’t know where to go for drinks. Craft beer, to be exact. And you don’t want to spend time trolling through Yelp or bother your friends on Facebook with incessant postings.
There’s an answer for your night-life woes, and it’s called TapHunter. The app shows you were to find your favorite brews as well as nearby, hip bar spots based on your drink preferences. Now there’s no excuse not to drink.
If you’re staying behind the wheel on your journey, TripBridge is the app to use to push your travel plans from your smartphone or tablet to an in-vehicle navigation system. You need a car that supports NaviBridge, an app that allows you to remotely browse maps or set a destination on your car. TripBridge offers navigable itinerary, complete with points of interest highlighted by Foursquare. So now you can make your trip both collaborative and social, without having to look down at your mobile device.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, lisegagne