Digital Lifestyle: 4 Essential Mobile Travel Apps

You don’t reach Platinum Medallion status on Delta by sitting on your back porch. I got there by schlepping all over the country, from one airport and hotel to the next. And technology definitely plays a major role in making my trips more manageable.

I swear by the following apps:

Tripit is a free app that keeps your itineraries easily available on your smartphone and gives you instant access to any information you might need on the road, even when you can’t connect to the Internet. (Flight times, confirmation numbers, and even maps.) Email your receipts from airlines, hotels, and rental cars to your TripIt account, and this highly intuitive app organizes the information by date and time.

FlightTrack costs $5, and it’s the best app out there for tracking flights, with beautiful, zoomable maps and real-time departure schedules, delay updates, and gate numbers at a glance. FlightTrack will alert you to cancellations and even help you find an alternate flight. Full international coverage means you can track flights worldwide. FlightTrack works in tandem with TripIt.

AroundMe is a free app that quickly provides information about your surroundings. How many times have you needed to find the closest gas station? AroundMe identifies your position and shows you a complete list of all nearby businesses in a selected category, including banks, bars, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, supermarkets, and taxis. Each listing includes distance from you, a map, and directions, plus you can easily add the information to your contact list or email it to a friend.

Yelp has a free app for your iPhone that can help you find whatever you need when you’re on the road, whether it’s a burrito joint that’s open right now, the closest Irish pub, or a gas station that you can drive to before your tank hits empty. You can search for places to eat, shop, drink, relax, and play, and read reviews from an active community of locals. The iPhone’s built-in location finder makes it easy to search for places nearby. This is similar to AroundMe, but I always use Yelp for restaurants because of the detailed user commentary.

There are thousands more in this category. Some work better than others. What travel apps do you use?

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses mobile phone spyware on Good Morning America. (Disclosures)