For most, a 1 to 2 week vacation is just enough time to be annoying lugging a 3 lb. laptop and the perfect time to carry the iPad. The iPad marketplace is loaded with travel apps that can do everything from describing the local scene to translating a phrase for that overzealous haggler on Khao San Road.
Here is our recommendations for must have iPad apps while on the go.
Tripadvisor – Hands down the largest travel community on the Web, Tripadvisor packs its apps with more than 45 million recommendations and reviews from a community of travelers who refer to Tripadvisor for hotel advice, things to do, rants & raves, and trip ideas. A 2 second search on Bangkok pulled up more than 1400 hotels and restaurants alone, both categorized by a ranking system based on the average number of stars across the highest number of reviews. Its ranking system alone is sure to guarantee a decent 2-day itinerary.
Kayak – Kayak is the largest online aggregator of flights and hotels on the web. Its app is a solid extension, with the ability to view past searches, discover hotel deals, and vacation packages. Its interface is smart, with one screen displaying your flight search, matching hotel recommendations, and a hot searches section which pulls up the lowest fare for any period within the month.
Google Translate – No real time voice to text translation app is as fast or as accurate as Google Translate. Speaking "I would like to go to the bank and deposit money and take out change for currency in Bangkok" pulled up a written and voice translation in less than 2 seconds. Although not meant to replace actual language skills, Google Translate is fast enough to hold a conversation – man vs. computer.
Skype – Get rid of that $3.99 a minute hotel phone and go with Skype to connect with Skype members for free using a wifi connection or for 2 cents a minute to landlines. A subscription will earn you unlimited calls to landlines for less than $15 a month. Be careful – calling to certain cell phones is not eligible for unlimited calls under your subscription, instead drawing from pre paid credit. The first choice for placing VoIP calls.
Wifi Finder – With more than 545,000 records in 140 countries, this app uses the iPad's built in GPS to track where the nearest wifi hotspot is. With international data rates sky high, this app will help you save money.