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7 iPad apps for beating the travel planning blues

by Derek Walter

June 22 2013

While traveling can be an enjoyable and mind-expanding experience, keeping track of the details that go into planning a trip can be tedious. An itinerary can quickly grow into an unmanageable flow of hotel, flight, conference and dinner reservations.

 

Fortunately there are several excellent iPad apps that will help you create a polished, clutter-free itinerary that will impress coworkers, friends and family. 

  • 1 TripIt
    Slide 1

    TripIt seeks to organize all of the various reservations amongst your travel plans and organizes them into an itinerary. After setting up your account just forward any travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and they will show up inside the app. TripIt will also send this information to a Google Calendar if you enable this feature. There are some different options depending upon how much you want TripIt to power your travel plans. An annual fee is available for individuals and businesses. The business plan supports shared itineraries, so one member of a company could arrange and keep straight all of the elements of a travel schedule.

     
  • 2 TripIt
    Slide 2

    TripIt seeks to organize all of the various reservations amongst your travel plans and organizes them into an itinerary. After setting up your account just forward any travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and they will show up inside the app. TripIt will also send this information to a Google Calendar if you enable this feature. There are some different options depending upon how much you want TripIt to power your travel plans. An annual fee is available for individuals and businesses. The business plan supports shared itineraries, so one member of a company could arrange and keep straight all of the elements of a travel schedule.

     
  • 3 Kayak
    Slide 3

    Kayak claims to offer “one and done” search for booking travel. It largely lives up to that promise, offering many filters and tools for drilling down to the right flight or hotel. Its iPad app is well built and has powerful search tools. Along with Kayak’s excellent search capabilities, its iPad and Android apps can also organize all of your travel into a streamlined itinerary. While not as robust as TripIt, it is a nice add-on for those who do not want to pay for a TripIt account. After setting this up in your account, send all of your travel emails to Kayak, which will then save them in your account and any related apps. While the main Kayak app is free, iOS offers a Pro version that kills the ads.

     
  • 4 Kayak
    Slide 4

    Kayak claims to offer “one and done” search for booking travel. It largely lives up to that promise, offering many filters and tools for drilling down to the right flight or hotel. Its iPad app is well built and has powerful search tools. Along with Kayak’s excellent search capabilities, its iPad and Android apps can also organize all of your travel into a streamlined itinerary. While not as robust as TripIt, it is a nice add-on for those who do not want to pay for a TripIt account. After setting this up in your account, send all of your travel emails to Kayak, which will then save them in your account and any related apps. While the main Kayak app is free, iOS offers a Pro version that kills the ads.

     
  • 5 Hipmunk
    Slide 5

    Hipmunk rivals Kayak when it comes to being the top travel search engine. It excels at going beyond price by aggregating results based on “agony,” which is an algorithm that accounts for layovers, number of connecting flights, and other elements that make travel unpleasant. The iPad app compiles this information into a favorable interface, allowing you to determine how much weight to throw behind the Hipmunk algorithm. It has added hotel search in the last year, offering a similar formula for finding the optimal sleeping quarters.

     
  • 6 Hipmunk
    Slide 6

    Hipmunk rivals Kayak when it comes to being the top travel search engine. It excels at going beyond price by aggregating results based on “agony,” which is an algorithm that accounts for layovers, number of connecting flights, and other elements that make travel unpleasant. The iPad app compiles this information into a favorable interface, allowing you to determine how much weight to throw behind the Hipmunk algorithm. It has added hotel search in the last year, offering a similar formula for finding the optimal sleeping quarters.

     
  • 7 The Layover
    Slide 7
    The Layover
    Free

    The Anthony Bourdain-inspired app has a substantial amount of recommendations for filling time in top international cities. While the premise is that users can select a few things to do while awaiting their next flight, The Layover has a good collection of information to guide one for a full-blown visit. You can create a specific itinerary for any of the included cities and then save it to your device.

     
  • 8 The Layover
    Slide 8
    The Layover
    Free

    The Anthony Bourdain-inspired app has a substantial amount of recommendations for filling time in top international cities. While the premise is that users can select a few things to do while awaiting their next flight, The Layover has a good collection of information to guide one for a full-blown visit. You can create a specific itinerary for any of the included cities and then save it to your device.

     
  • 9 Ask a Nomad
    Slide 9
    Ask a Nomad
    Free

    While travel sites and guidebooks can offer great information, the hidden gems and secret spots are typically the domain of locals. Ask a Nomad offers a way to get this kind of information without needing to scour travel forums. Search by city to find what others have to say about the best happenings or places to visit. These can be saved to your iPad to pull them up later. Some cities have more contribution than others, so the experience may vary depending on where you are visiting.

     
  • 10 Ask a Nomad
    Slide 10
    Ask a Nomad
    Free

    While travel sites and guidebooks can offer great information, the hidden gems and secret spots are typically the domain of locals. Ask a Nomad offers a way to get this kind of information without needing to scour travel forums. Search by city to find what others have to say about the best happenings or places to visit. These can be saved to your iPad to pull them up later. Some cities have more contribution than others, so the experience may vary depending on where you are visiting.

     
  • 11 Triposo
    Slide 11

    Triposo is another excellent alternative that features downloadable guides and maps, which can be helpful for international travel where WiFi could be spotty or expensive. Many international cities and U.S. states contain travel guides, with recommendations about things to do, hotels, tours, and a stream of what others have shared through the application. Much of the data can also be synced across with the Triposo iPhone app.

     
  • 12 Triposo
    Slide 12

    Triposo is another excellent alternative that features downloadable guides and maps, which can be helpful for international travel where WiFi could be spotty or expensive. Many international cities and U.S. states contain travel guides, with recommendations about things to do, hotels, tours, and a stream of what others have shared through the application. Much of the data can also be synced across with the Triposo iPhone app.

     
  • 13 Hotel Tonight
    Slide 13

    Sometimes advanced planning just isn’t possible. Whether the cause is procrastination or a last-minute meeting, the best option for finding a hotel on the fly is Hotel Tonight. The iPad app features a very attractive interface and has a good selection of last-minute hotel deals.

     
  • 14 Hotel Tonight
    Slide 14

    Sometimes advanced planning just isn’t possible. Whether the cause is procrastination or a last-minute meeting, the best option for finding a hotel on the fly is Hotel Tonight. The iPad app features a very attractive interface and has a good selection of last-minute hotel deals.

     


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