When I was in Boston last weekend I had my iPod Touch with me that was loaded with several free travel applications. During the trip, I tested the applications to find out just how useful they were.
Several of these apps are designed to help track flights and airport delays. Airport Status is a one-tap app that pulls up delays for major airports in the US and Canada. Travelocity’s app can pull up flight schedules, security wait times and locate hotels nearest to your location.
Other apps are designed to help find various locations of things. Yelp is useful for finding not only nearby restaurant’s, but gas stations, banks and drugstores among several other categories. UrbanSpoon is a quirky app that will choose a nearby restaurant at random. SitOrSquat helps find the nearest public toilet and includes reviews on the cleanliness of the facilities.
For the most part, all the apps worked as advertised and are easy to use. Yelp is particularly useful since it has listings for nearly any business that the typical traveller would need. Because Yelp has a restaurant directory, it makes UrbanSpoon a bit redundant. SitOrSquat can be a bit hit-or-miss at times since all the information is provided by users, but it’s better then no info at all especially when you really gotta go.
One new app that has come out since my trip is TripIt, from the website of the same name. I haven’t tested out the usefulness of this app, but if it’s anything like the website, it’s a great way to keep all trip itinerary info like flight and hotel reservations in one spot.