Having an Android with you on a trip can make everything a little easier. Track your flights, find things in strange cities, and even translate that cool-looking restaurant sign with the powers granted by these great travel apps.
On its own, TripIt’s app doesn’t do anything. But if you sign up for a TripIt account, forward your flight, hotel and rental car confirmations to [email protected], or let TripIt automatically scrape your Gmail, your whole travel life is tracked, tidied up and organised, as if by one of those old-fashioned, you know, travel agents. Check into your flights, check their status, see the weather where you’re going and the distance to your hotel, and get much more. Premium TripIt users get a few more benefits, but the basic TripIt plan, and app, is way better than carrying around 20 print-outs.
TripIt [Android Market] [imgclear]
You know Kayak, and you dig how it combines and hyper-customises your flight search. On Android, Kayak remains a great way to find the cheapest prices on any flight you’re taking to just about anywhere. And like the iOS app, it might be a bit more pleasing to those who find Kayak.com’s checkboxes and buttons a bit too much.
Kayak Flight and Hotel Search [Android Market] [imgclear]
When you’re travelling overseas, Google Goggles comes in handy — really, really handy. Beyond identifying brands and works of art, Google’s app can translate foreign text inside a picture. So if you’re unsure whether a sign is pointing you toward a restroom or a fire department, ask Google, and you’ll be relieved (one way or another).
Google Goggles [Android Market]
The gold standard for flight tracking, if you’re willing to pay, is FlightTrack, which runs $5.14, but has its detractors. FlightView, which offers a free (ad-supported) version, along with one or two upgrade levels, provides a similar service: if a flight gets delayed or cancelled, you hear about it. It seems to be as accurate as the other flight-tracking tools, and the free version lets you decide if it fits your needs.
FlightView Free Flight Tracker [Android Market] [imgclear]
Places is actually a built-in feature of Maps on most up-to-date Android phones, and it has its own icon in your app list. It’s basically like locating yourself on Maps, then running a search for something nearby, but much faster and convenient. Places’ default categories are helpful in most situations, but adding your own categories to search for is really helpful, especially if you’re reliant on one certain bank or other brand name while you’re wandering about.
Google Maps (with Places) [Android Market] [imgclear]
Skype internet calling is the glue that holds together any international communications scheme. It allows you to make international calls to other Skype users for free, and to mobile phones and land lines back home for much cheaper than the rate you’ll get by buying another SIM card or prepaid calling card.
Skype [Android Market] [imgclear]
What travel apps for Android have gotten you through your trips? What’s the best way to prep for a trip using Android? Tell us your favourite travel apps in the comments.