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Worthwhile vacation iPhone apps

Updated on August 21, 2011

Packing Pro

Packing list

Lets face it, in the fast paced world we live in, it is easy to forget to pack an essential for vacation. When this happens at my house, of course it is Mom's fault! Not any more. I found this great app that will ask you several questions when you start a new list. How many adults, how many kids, where are you going, what is the climate, how long will you be there, ect... then from the information you provide it will build a suggested packing list. From things to do prior to vaction, like refilling prescriptions to things to do mid trip, like repacking the cooler. You can add more from a master list or add your own. You can email the list to others and you can check off the list with a flick of your finger. It is a great app!

National Mall in Washington DC
National Mall in Washington DC
Guide includes photos and maps
Guide includes photos and maps
Pa State Parks and Forests. Check for your state in the app store
Pa State Parks and Forests. Check for your state in the app store

Vacation Specific Apps


It is becoming more and more popular for destinations to create apps to aid tourists. Do a google search, go to the app store directly, or even ask a local business while you are there. Many places have location specific apps. Some include maps and directories for local attractions and many include coupons! (those apps are my favorites) From your National Parks to the Ski towns and many places in between, go ahead and check, you may be surprised what you find.

Estimate your fuel costs quickly with Trip Cost
Estimate your fuel costs quickly with Trip Cost
Easy to operate with simple input fields
Easy to operate with simple input fields

Transportation Aids

Have a flight to catch or want to know how much to budget for fuel? Here are two apps I have used that work well.

iFly is an app with most of the major airports listed. You have the ability to check your flight status and gate information. A must for unfamiliar airports.

There must be a hundred or so apps available for download from the app store. My advice is to read the reviews- especially on the apps that are not free. I deal primarily with the Atlanta Airport for layovers and flight changes so I got the ALT app that specifically deals with Atlanta. If you have a primary airport or airline you prefer- check for your own specific app so that you can get the best and most accurate information.

Trip Cost is an easy to use, no fuss app that will give you a figure to budget in for fuel costs. With the sharp rise of gasoline prices the last few years, it has become increasing difficult to wrap your head around the idea that a trip that you made 3 years ago for $250 may now cost over $400.

Trip Wallet for budgeting vacations
Trip Wallet for budgeting vacations
Input projected spending then update along the way with actual amounts
Input projected spending then update along the way with actual amounts
Great graph field lets you know if you are on budget throughout the trip
Great graph field lets you know if you are on budget throughout the trip
iPiggy Lite is a free app
iPiggy Lite is a free app
Easy to use- just put in the amount you want to save and the date you need it.
Easy to use- just put in the amount you want to save and the date you need it.

Trip Budgeting

This is an awesome app! Planning an itinerary will definitely help the vacation spending. I was able to input the dates we were on vacation as well as the costs I was expecting to occur at some of the sites we were planning to visit. I went online and got ticket information, menu prices, ect from different places to make sure it was as accurate as I could get. Throughout the trip I updated the actual costs to determine if we were still on budget with a flick of the finger. No more sitting down and counting dollars at the end of the evening- I knew exactly what I had left. The graph feature gave me a snapshot of how things were going. Well worth the download.

Vacations can be a great time to get out and do some fun things. Once you have decided what you want to do on your trip, it is time to figure out how much it will all cost. Seeing the bottom line can sometimes be discouraging if the piggy bank does not hold enough to cover it. iPiggy is an easy app to help you see how much you have to save daily, weekly, or monthly to meet your goal. Just plug in the amount you need and the day you need it by and it will give you the breakdown. If you are saving for next years vacation it is comforting to know that you are just a few bucks away each day from your dream trip...


It is free- so need I say more?
It is free- so need I say more?
Star Walk is like taking a trip with your own personal Astronomer
Star Walk is like taking a trip with your own personal Astronomer
Real time night views
Real time night views

Weather and the Sky


The free app from the Weather Channel should be on everyone's iPhone, vacation or not! This powerful little app will give you up to date conditions hourly or a projected 10 day forecast. I use the hourly quite often - should be wait to go to the beach now or this afternoon? Let's check the app.. ok- isolated thunderstorms at 3pm, so we go to the beach now and shopping at 3. Easy to use and a great planning tool. Even when you at home you will find this app useful. Want to know when should you mow the grass, walk the dog or go jogging? Check your app. It is surprisingly accurate (especially the hourly forecast- much past the 3 day forecast and I think your guess is as good as theirs!)

Many times I have gone on vacation and marveled at the night sky. Sometimes in a more remote area with less light pollution it seems you could almost reach out to touch the stars. Depending on how far you vacation from your home, you may even see some stars you are unfamiliar with. Star Walk is a great app for checking out the night sky. With GPS built in and a directional compass it is an educational experience that young and old will enjoy. Want to know where the Hubble telescope is at that moment? It can tell you and as you hold up your iPhone and turn in a circle, it can even show you. Find your favorite star, planet location, find out where the moon will rise, even other galaxy locations. If you have ever looked into the night sky with wonder you will love this app.

A virtual bagful of camera equipment
A virtual bagful of camera equipment
Spin and shoot- create your own panoramic photos
Spin and shoot- create your own panoramic photos
An iPhone full of photos? Put them in folders for easy access
An iPhone full of photos? Put them in folders for easy access
Add some fun to your pics
Add some fun to your pics

Picture taking


WIth so many apps dedicated to photography in the app store, it is easy to see that this is a huge interest for a great deal of people. I decided to just include a couple in this Hub to get you started with a short blurb on each. I will go more in depth in future Hubs about these and other great photo apps that I have found.

Hipstamatic, probably one of the most downloaded app for photography. It is a virtual camera bag in your iPhone. Like the classic feel of film cameras but the ease of digital- then this app is for you. Choose your body style, lens, film, and flash for many different types of photos. It comes with a few to get you started and then you can in app purchase others that catch your eye.

360 app allows you to shoot a series of photos as you turn and then stitches them together for a great panoramic view. It's as easy to use as turning in place!

So you have taken all these great photos while on vacation and want to show them off. Photo sort is a great app to organize your collection. Arrange them in folders by trip, by date, even by event or person... Which ever way you choose you will be able to find those photos quickly and easily.

Vacation FX is a cool little app that allows you to save overlays on your photos in your photo album on your iPhone. Add a little seashell to the corner of a beach pic, a tent to a camping photo or maybe a title. Lots of fun things to choose from and you can resize and reposition them as you like to save the new photo for sharing.


Kindle is a free app and books are purchased from amazon.com
Kindle is a free app and books are purchased from amazon.com
Nook is a free app and books are purchased from Barnes and Noble online
Nook is a free app and books are purchased from Barnes and Noble online
Creepy Campfire Tales is a free app from Coleman
Creepy Campfire Tales is a free app from Coleman

Remember a good book


Waiting in the airport, sitting on a deck, at night winding down from the day, ... there are times when a good book would be nice to have. Save the suitcase for the soveniers and load your books on your iPhone. Whichever format you prefer the app is free to download. Like the classics such as Treasure Island or Dracula? Those are free as well. Want to read the Bible? Yes, guess what it is free too. How about the latest top seller on the New York Times List? You can purchase those from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or the app store. A great way to pass the time and relax, you are on vacation after all.

Going Camping? Be sure to grab the free Creepy Campfire Tales from Coleman. It is divided into different sections for children, teens and adults so there is something for all who have gathered around the fire. A great American tradition continues in a digital format. What is a camping trip if you are not laying awake all night in your tent scared to death as you listen to the night sounds?

That's all for now...

Hope you liked the Hub

Until next time....

"may you always have a seashell in your pocket and sand between your toes"

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