Fifty Mobile Travel Apps You Should Know


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This is the third edition of the Lucky Fifty, our annual look at the most interesting travel/tourism based digital sites. The first two years we focused on Web sites, this year we are focusing on mobile apps. To learn more about Luckie, please visit

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Fifty Mobile Travel Apps You Should Know

  1. 2. BEFORE WE BEGIN <ul><li>This is our third year publishing the Luckie Fifty . The first two years focused on interesting and engaging travel-related websites that we felt offered a well-rounded representation of what the online travel world had to offer. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>This year we decided to focus our 50 on the rapidly emerging world of mobile apps, which were first introduced for the iPhone platform in June 2008. There are now at least five viable mobile app marketplaces in addition to the original Apple App Store. These include Android Marketplace, Nokia Ovi Store, BlackBerry App World, Palm Pre App Catalog and Windows Mobile Marketplace. Several of the bigger mobile carriers also have their own app marketplaces. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>As of early April 2010, the Apple App Store had 185,546 apps available (181,780 for the iPhone and 3,766 for the iPad), with nearly another 30,000 approved, but not yet launched. Of these, roughly 11,000 are classified as travel apps. The rapidly growing Android platform is the second largest app marketplace and should surpass 30,000 total apps by the end of April and is seeing a solid surge in the development of travel apps as well. </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>Research from eMarketer and Compete finds that “40% of smartphone users would find trip planning apps useful if they notified them of schedule and rate changes, consolidated itineraries or helped manage loyalty programs.” This research also found that “nearly two-fifths of smartphone owners reported doing at least some of their leisure travel research on their mobile device, and more than one-quarter completed at least some of their bookings on their phone.” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>A separate study from Hospitality eBusiness Strategies found that nearly 25% of global hoteliers are planning to create an iPhone app in 2010. </li></ul><ul><li>Our own Ten Trends to Watch in 2010 predicted an explosion in the app marketplace. Based on what’s happening in the travel app space, we won’t be let down. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>With all of that said, The Luckie Fifty 2010, will focus on a wide range of travel apps in variety of categories. Some of these apps will be well-established and known, while others might still be in their beta-testing stage or just emerging. Either way, we find them interesting and wanted to share them with you. Enjoy! </li></ul>
  3. 4. CATEGORIES <ul><li>Destination Information </li></ul><ul><li>Augmented Reality </li></ul><ul><li>GPS Based </li></ul><ul><li>Itinerary Tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Booking </li></ul><ul><li>Useful Tools </li></ul>
  4. 5. Destination Information Loopt Where Traveler Unlike City Guide LonelyPlanet Guidebooks LocalEats Roadside America Mobile Magic Amsterdam At Your Fingertips Adidas Urban Art Guide to Berlin Trazzler Expedition Timberland Useful Tools OpenWays Flying Without Fear SodaSnap goPostal Postino Wi-Fi Finder Room InnTouch Frommer’s Travel Tools Babelingo mPassport GasBook Cheap Gas! GasBag eCurrency Converter My Vacation On The Road World Customs and Cultures Jetset: A Game for Airports Augmented Reality RealSki True City Discover Anywhere Transit UrbanSpoon Scope buUuk Layer Wikitude Of the thousands of mobile travel apps out there, these are the 50 or so we think are the most useful, interesting or engaging Itinerary Tracking TripTracker TripCase WorldMate TripIt Booking Airfare Wanderlust CarRentals OpenTable Kayak GPS Based EveryTrail HotelsByMe Next2Me Have2P SitOrSquat AroundMe Happy Hours Super Twiddler
  5. 6. DESTINATION INFORMATION <ul><li>Loopt lets users peruse their friends’ comments and recommendations as well as local content from more than 20 sources like Zagat, Eventful and CitySearch </li></ul><ul><li>Where Traveler shows you what’s nearby, from Starbucks to movie theaters and show times. Lets you keep track of favorites and share with others. More than 53,000 entries/reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike City Guide finds the cool, hip spots where the locals hang out instead of the tourist traps </li></ul><ul><li>LonelyPlanet Guidebooks gives users hundreds of reviews, striking images and interactive maps – all searchable, portable and easily personalized. Browse guidebook chapters, discover neighborhoods and plan your itinerary. Also has augmented reality features for eight selected cities and offers a translation phrasebook </li></ul><ul><li>LocalEats gives users the best 100 restaurants in a given city as chosen by the locals. Currently only available for the top 50 U.S. cities </li></ul>continued
  6. 7. DESTINATION INFORMATION <ul><li>Roadside America gives maps, driving directions, photos, stories, tips and real-time updates for unique, must-see roadside attractions </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Magic provides Disney visitors with information such as attraction wait times and Fast Pass return times, attraction and character locations (with GPS-enabled maps) and tips on what’s happening in the parks </li></ul><ul><li>Amsterdam At Your Fingertips , from the Netherlands Board of Tourism, features images of Amsterdam’s museums, restaurants, bars and hotels, with information updated regularly, allowing travelers to explore Amsterdam from their mobile device. Features including Google Maps and the GPS “Near Me” function can navigate travelers in real-time through historic canals and shopping districts </li></ul><ul><li>All City is a global guide to street art and graffiti. Adidas Urban Art Guide to Berlin is a similar app focusing on Berlin’s best graffiti </li></ul><ul><li>Trazzler helps answer the question “where should I go?” Offers a searchable database of 10,000+ hand-picked trips to choose from </li></ul><ul><li>Expedition Timberland shows trails and outdoor activities in New York, LA, Chicago, Boston, Denver and Minneapolis </li></ul>
  7. 8. AUGMENTED REALITY <ul><li>RealSki has augmented reality views of more than 80 North American ski resorts (including Vail, Aspen and Whistler). Users can point the phone anywhere on the slopes to get trail maps, lifts, restrooms and restaurants </li></ul><ul><li>True City is an AR app from Nike that employs local tastemakers to “make the hidden visible.” A top curator in each city (London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Milan, Paris and Barcelona) acts as the host, offering real-time, hyperlocal content for a wide range of news and attractions </li></ul><ul><li>UrbanSpoon Scope UrbanSpoon is probably one of the best known apps for finding a nearby restaurant in the U.S, U.K. and Australia ( buUuk is a similar app that focuses on Asia). Users shake their phone, getting a slot machine look which lines up neighborhood, food type and price until the user finds something they like. When the phone is held to the horizon, the Scope feature switches on Google Maps Street View to show an AR overlay of the users’ location and nearby restaurants </li></ul>continued
  8. 9. AUGMENTED REALITY <ul><li>Discover Anywhere Transit uses AR to overlay digital information on an iPhone, making it easy for the traveler to find their way around an unfamiliar city’s transit system </li></ul><ul><li>Layer displays real-time digital information on top of the real world as seen through your smartphone camera. Wikitude offers a similar experience with restaurant and nearby landmark recommendations </li></ul>
  9. 10. GPS BASED <ul><li>Have2P determines your location and finds nearby restrooms with user ratings, pictures and comments. SitOrSquat offers a similar tool with more than 60,000 rated restrooms </li></ul><ul><li>AroundMe allows users to locate banks, bars, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, theaters, restaurants, markets and more. Users can see their destination’s location on a map and view the most direct route to that destination </li></ul><ul><li>Happy Hours shows all of the food and drink specials going on near you. Offers photos of the bar or restaurant, and details such as the menu, location, amenities, and what other people have to say </li></ul><ul><li>Super Twiddler is similar to UrbanSpoon, but for everything else. The app uses a roulette-like wheel to suggest events or activities based on the users’ mood, location and timeframe </li></ul>continued
  10. 11. GPS BASED <ul><li>EveryTrail is a global GPS platform and user-generated trip-sharing service which lets users track and share routes and visual experiences along those routes with other travelers </li></ul><ul><li>HotelsByMe uses the mobile device’s geolocation services to help travelers find nearby hotels. The application sorts the list by distance from the user’s current location and plots the hotel location on an integrated Google map </li></ul><ul><li>Next2Me pinpoints your current position using GPS and gives a listing of attractions in your area, based on what you’re looking for (30 categories to choose from) </li></ul>
  11. 12. ITINERARY TRACKING <ul><li>TripTracker automatically finds users’ flight, hotel and rental car information and posts it in a one-glance format on their iPhone. The app also keeps track of weather, traffic and maps, and flags changes in itinerary </li></ul><ul><li>TripCase provides details from our connected travel partners and offers security wait times, baggage claim info, car rental information, hotel description and photos, flight status, delays, cancellations and gate changes </li></ul><ul><li>WorldMate focuses on the business traveler by synchronizing all their itineraries and their calendar </li></ul><ul><li>TripIt users can e-mail their itinerary to and the app automatically stores their entire itinerary, giving them flight updates, confirmation numbers, etc. and allowing them to share their information with friends </li></ul>
  12. 13. BOOKING <ul><li>Airfare searches multiple airline and flight finder websites all at once to find the best deal on flights all over the world </li></ul><ul><li>Wanderlust searches millions of airfare combinations from 400+ airlines worldwide with savings of up to 60%. This includes more than 20 million consolidator fares and more than 40 low cost carriers in Europe and Asia with fares starting at just $10. Features a simple user interface to easily find great flights and book them from within the app </li></ul><ul><li>CarRentals enables users to search and book domestic and international car rentals at more than 15,000 locations without leaving the application. Claims to offer “the first comprehensive car rental search and booking application for the Apple iPhone” </li></ul><ul><li>OpenTable allows users to search nearby restaurants for available reservations and filters results by time/date, type of cuisine, price range, party size and by location nearest to the users current location. Users can then make reservations right on app and view menus </li></ul>continued
  13. 14. BOOKING <ul><li>Kayak is the mobile app version of the hugely successful Kayak Web version for booking hotels, flights, rental cars, full trips and reading fellow traveler reviews </li></ul><ul><li> helps users find and book rooms at more than 75,000 properties worldwide by typing in their destination and stay dates. Full property descriptions, amenity information, photos, location map and guest reviews are available </li></ul>
  14. 15. USEFUL TOOLS <ul><li>OpenWays uses a series of ringtones designed to act as a hotel room access key. When a pre-assigned tone is played, a microphone identifies the guest and unlocks the door </li></ul><ul><li>Flying Without Fear an offering from Virgin Atlantic airlines, seeks to help fliers overcome their anxieties, whether it is the unfamiliar aircraft, the noises a plane makes, or the fear of losing control </li></ul><ul><li>SodaSnap turns a vacation picture into a digital postcard that is e-mail ready for friends/family back home. goPostal is a similar app that goes a step further and actually allows you to mail a physical postcard from your mobile device (for a $1.29 fee). Postino also offers a snail mail option </li></ul><ul><li>Wi-Fi Finder helps find nearly 300,000 free and paid Wi-Fi hotspots in more than 140 countries </li></ul><ul><li>Room is a simple app for those constantly on the road and frequently check into hotels. Simply type your hotel room number in and it is displayed with the app logo until you change it </li></ul>continued
  15. 16. USEFUL TOOLS <ul><li>InnTouch locates and gets detailed information on thousands of bed and breakfasts and boutique inns across the U.S. Also access recipes from some of these destinations </li></ul><ul><li>Frommer’s Travel Tools is an all-in-one app that offers city guides, a tip calculator, packing list, currency converter, unit converter, time translator, travel trivia, postcard function, flashlight and recommendations for other travel apps </li></ul><ul><li>Babelingo provides more than 300 useful phrases and words in 11 languages. Translate to and from English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Russian, Czech, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese </li></ul><ul><li>mPassport helps world travelers find doctors, dentists, hospitals, pharmacies and specialists wherever their travels take them. Includes maps, equivalent medicines and the ability to make an appointment </li></ul><ul><li>GasBook offers the latest information on gas prices at thousands of gas stations in the U.S. Cheap Gas! and GasBag offer the same thing </li></ul>continued
  16. 17. USEFUL TOOLS <ul><li>eCurrency Converter provides up-to-date exchange rate information on more than 190 currencies </li></ul><ul><li>My Vacation is a vacation journal that allows you to plan, blog/tweet/journal and share photos/videos in real time. On The Road is a similar mobile travel journal app </li></ul><ul><li>World Customs and Cultures lets users look up quick tips and cultural differences by country so they will not offend anyone or get themselves in trouble. More than 165 countries represented </li></ul><ul><li>Jetset: A Game for Airports is a game where users play a frazzled TSA worker trying to process passengers as they stack up in the inspection queue, while their superiors throw a barrage of never-ending rule changes. Users can select to play in one of more than 100 airports, winning virtual prizes specific to that airport </li></ul>
  17. 18. A SPECIAL THANKS AND SOME LINK LOVE <ul><li>For providing insight and inspiring us, many thanks to our partners at Iconoculture . </li></ul><ul><li>And friends at TrendHunter , Trendcentral , Trendwatching , Springwise , Mobile Marketer , Gizmodo , Engadget , Wired , Mashable , Media Post , eMarketer , USA Today and Travel & Leisure </li></ul>
  18. 19. CONTACT AND MORE INFORMATION <ul><li>If you are interested in learning more about Luckie & Company and how we think, please visit our website, . </li></ul><ul><li>We publish five monthly newsletters: </li></ul><ul><li>Four “Trend Tracker” newsletters that take a quick look at what’s new and interesting in the Banking , Snacking , Telecom and Tourism industries </li></ul><ul><li>One “ Generational News & Views ” newsletter that takes a quick topical look into the lives of Gen Y, Gen X and Baby Boomers </li></ul><ul><li>If you would like a complimentary subscription to any of these newsletters, please e-mail [email_address] and mention your newsletter of interest in the subject line. </li></ul>