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  • Writer's pictureJoe Gulino Jr.

Top Travel Apps - 2016


Unlock your Full-Potential & Get the Most from your Travels

Apps make traveling easier; be your own travel agent and experience it like a "local" as you explore & conquer new and exciting cities around the world. Impress your guests with fine-dining and luxury experiences in their very own backyards.

You'd like to know how? By harnessing the power of connectivity in the palm of your hand.

Astoundingly, telephone communication is a task of the past; you can think of modern day dial-tones as a last-resort or even a potential liability. Corporate America is adopting the mobile-friendly world with open arms; where every B2B partner you use should and eventually will have a user-friendly mobile application to simplify & glorify their beloved services.

How can a telephone conversation turn into a liability? We live in a connected, global melting pot; language-barriers have become extremely common, especially with outsourced calling centers that we all happen to love so much. Correctly implemented mobile apps and website portals are the most efficient form of business communication; "Our App connects our clients with Gem Limousine's core technology, every booking is made by our clients themselves," Says Joe Gulino (President of Gem Limousine Worldwide) "The new generation of business travelers avoid verbal communication; our clients want quick, efficient, streamlined and on-demand service and that’s what we provide,” Says Barbara Chirico (Founder of Gem Limousine Worldwide - 1976). Comparable to the amazon app for example: a frequent purchaser can get everything accomplished by the push of a button - saving account information like credit cards, addresses and even personal information.

You are your own travel agent and it's time to become familiar with apps that will save you time & money.


HotelTonight: The gold standard for same-day hotel apps, HotelTonight's user-friendly interface summons a vetted selection of deeply discounted rooms. Time-pressed travelers need just 10 seconds (three taps, one swipe) to make same-day reservations at fill-these-rooms markdowns. The app rates hotels ("hip," "luxe," "basic," "charming") and offers room descriptions. Favorite feature: express check-in. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

Kayak: Beloved by one-stop trip shoppers, Kayak has become the Swiss Army knife of search-and-reserve apps. Find good deals on flights, lodging, and use it to track flights, manage itineraries, and receive price alerts. Flight searches can be filtered to suit your tastes, for instance, in flight times (no red-eyes, please). Favorite feature: explore budget-based vacation options. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon, Kindle Fire)

Hipmunk: The cool kids' flight-and-hotel aggregator, Hipmunk is famous for its Agony and Ecstasy indexes. The former ranks flights by painfulness, flagging "ugh" factors like multiple layovers and sky-high prices; the latter rates accommodations by desirability, highlighting value and amenities. Travelers can then book through the app. Favorite feature: searches integrate with iPhone, Google and Microsoft calendars. (Android, iOS) Extensively critiqued lodgings, discount rates, and a pay-later feature make this app a hit. Not all of's hotels, B&Bs, villas, and other properties let you lock in a rate sans credit card. But filters help users find the right room at the right price. Favorite feature: 24/7 customer helpline. (Android, iOS)

SeatGuru: Fed up with bruised knees and no laptop outlet? SeatGuru lets fliers consult 700-plus airline cabin maps to determine where they do (and don't) want to sit. Designed to suit the pickiest passengers, this app offers seat-by-seat descriptions (width, legroom, reclinability, window alignment, and power availability), plus reviews by fellow fliers. Favorite feature: Guru-rated flight searches. (Android, iOS)

Gem Limousine Worldwide: Looking for a world-class, corporate transportation service? Gem Limousine Worldwide is one of the most experienced chauffeured transportation companies on the globe. Possessing the most detailed and heavily-vetted network of partners in the transportation industry, assuring a perfect transfer in every major city on the globe. Efficiently integrate and organize your travel needs with Gem's headquarters from their user-friendly mobile app. Never worry about being stranded again in an unfamiliar area. Plan your transportation in advance and ensure your being driven by a licensed, heavily insured, trained & professional chauffeur. Your Gem Chauffeur, trained in the Art of Chauffeuring will be at your location 15 minutes before your scheduled pick-up time, every time. (Android, iOS)

Plan Accordingly

TripIt: The efficient traveler's go-to app, TripIt organizes flight, hotel, and other confirmation numbers and reservation information into a unified itinerary available instantly on your mobile devices. Forward travel e-mails to your free TripIt account or have the app automatically cull items from your inbox. (Auto-importing is not available for all e-mail domains.) Favorite feature: supplies maps and weather forecasts. (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone)

PackPoint: Part valet, part mom, this packing-list generator uses your travel information to customize your checklist. Tell PackPoint your gender, where you're going and when, and what you're going to do (fancy dinners, hiking). The app does the rest, suggesting clothing, gear and gadgets you can't leave without. Favorite feature: syncs with TripIt to obtain personal travel info. (Android, iOS)

The Weather Channel: This popular app puts television's favorite weather broadcast into your pocket or purse. Easy to navigate, TWC app supplies travelers not only with current conditions at their location, but hourly and 10-day forecasts, local airport, beach, and boating conditions, radar, UV indexes, and weather news. Also searchable for weather forecasts/conditions at your destination. Favorite feature: customizable weather alerts. (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon, Kindle Fire)

Yapta: Nothing sours a trip like discovering—too late—that you've overpaid for your flight. This price-tracking app alerts frugal fliers to airfare reductions so they can book with peace of mind or claim a refund/travel credit for booked flights. Yapta also tracks hotel prices, allowing users to reserve when the rate is right. Favorite feature: easy-to-use interface means you don't need to log in for updates. (Android, iOS)

Travel Tools

FlightAware: This omniscient flight tracking/airport status app keeps tabs on just about everything aviation. Track commercial and private flights worldwide by airline, flight number, or route. Consult airport arrival/departure boards. Monitor gate/terminal changes and weather. Get airport delay information and receive automatic alerts. Favorite feature: airport delay "misery map." (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

Google Maps: No other map app comes even close to competing with Google Maps. This ubiquitous tool offers voice-guided GPS navigation for drivers, pedestrians, transit riders, and cyclists, supplemented by conventional, street-view, terrain, satellite, and 3D images. Search nearby dining, shopping, and attractions to see reviews and hours, make calls for reservations, and let Google guide you there. Favorite feature: faster-route traffic alerts. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

OpenTable: Employ this mobile concierge to make dinner reservations anywhere. Search for restaurants by location or name, browse top and trendy dining spots, and then let OpenTable search for available dates and times. When you've chosen one, book it with one tap. The app instantly confirms the reservation and sends you a reminder in advance. Favorite feature: invite your dining companions. (Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon, Kindle Fire)

Entrain: Smartphones readily adjust to new time zones; not so your body. Developed by University of Michigan researchers, this app develops a personalized lighting exposure agenda to help your circadian clock quickly adjust as you travel. Input travel plans, wake-up and bed times, and Entrain formulates optimal hourly light exposures. Favorite feature: metrics page graphs your body's progress. (Android, iOS)

Instagram: Postcards for the 21st century, Instagram lets you take travel photos (and videos) with your smartphone, enhance and caption them, then share them instantly on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social-media sites. The app's filters make even ho-hum vacation pics look professional. Favorite feature: display photos on personal map. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

Get the Scoop

TripAdvisor: When TripAdvisor predicts Wildwood, NJ, will be the hottest under-the-radar destination in the country this year, believe it. (We swear, this is not a joke about Jersey.) The app provides access to more than 200 million reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions by travelers like you. Download its City Guides for top picks and maps of your intended destinations. Favorite feature: Guides can be accessed for offline use. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Nokia)

Yelp: Looking for a wine bar near your hotel? Yelp can find the closest, display customer reviews, and offer directions. This popular business-locating app integrates each establishment's basic info with maps, photographs, ratings, reviews, menus, and more. Search by category, price, proximity, and rating. Favorite feature: messaging lets you query locals directly. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Amazon, Kindle Fire)

AroundMe: Do you really need two local-search apps? Maybe not, but devotees of AroundMe prefer this thoughtfully designed, graphic-oriented app to Yelp. Choose a category icon (e.g. banks, coffee shops, movie theaters), tap, and AroundMe swiftly lists options and pinpoints them on a map. Selecting one provides detailed information and reviews. Favorite feature: uses GPS to give you directions. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

GateGuru: This handy travel-day companion stores your flight info and provides live updates on delays, cancellations, and gate changes. But GateGuru's genius is its local intelligence about airport amenities and maps, particularly those in your vicinity. Use it to find restaurant options and see how fellow fliers rate them. Favorite feature: in-app discount car rentals. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

On the Road

Waze: This app provides real-time, driver-sourced traffic and navigation advice. Waze's legion of local eyes on the road will alert you to traffic jams, road closures, and speed traps before you're ensnarled. Also provides step-by-step navigation. Favorite feature: closest and/or cheapest gas station locator. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

iExit: Traveling I-95 with two kids clamoring to eat at Olive Garden? This app's for you. Pinpointing your location/direction via GPS, it tells you what lies ahead exit by exit (up to 100 of them) so you can plan gas stops, bathroom breaks, meals, lodging, and other road-tripping necessities. Use for pre-planning or en route. Favorite feature: favorites list for quicker searches. (Android, iOS)

Tired of Excessive Phone Bills?

Skype: If you're traveling outside the US but don't want to return home to a crazy big cell-phone bill, rely on Skype's mobile phone app, which allows you to make low-cost calls over the internet instead of using your cell-phone provider's costly per-minute international plan. Pair Skype with free Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby or café of your choice, and you can phone landlines or other cell phones for just pennies and other Skype customers for free.

WhatsApp: A cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media message. (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows)

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