Top apps for travel on iOS

If you don’t have your flight for Thanksgiving by now, you’re probably out of luck, but check out these apps to make your travel day much easier.

There are tons of apps at the App Store for booking flights, but with Thanksgiving only two days away, I decided to make a different kind of travel collection.

The first app will help you get packed and ready for your trip, the second will help people picking up family at the airport, and the third helps you keep your holiday memories with a convenient blogging tool.

Packing ProPacking Pro lays out pre-trip preparations and your packing list to make it easy to check things off.

Packing Pro ($2.99) gets you ready for your big trip before you leave by making sure you have everything you need while away from home.

If you like to make lists, this app is a dream come true for planning a vacation. You start by creating your trip, then add everything from pre-trip preparations to every item of clothing you’re going to need — all by choosing each item from an exhaustive pre-made list. If your particular item is not already included (I couldn’t find Q-tips, for example), you can add items to the database that will be ready for every trip list thereafter.

What makes this app especially useful is the way it automatically organizes different items. The pre-trip planning section, for example, reminds you that you might need to update your passport, buy travelers insurance, and other odds and ends that might be easy to forget without them waiting to be checked off your trip list. Your baggage list is also organized by category, so you have a section for clothes, a separate section for toiletries, and another for the gadgets you need to bring. All of these sections and categories are broken down using an intuitive hierarchical interface, and you can select from several themes to give your list a personalized touch.

Like every good list-making app, you can tap the screen to check off a list item, showing that you have it squared away. iCloud support also checks it off your shared lists with other devices so you’ll never be confused about what’s on each device.

For all its complexities, Packing Pro is mostly a simple list-making app. But with tons of pre-made common travel item listings already available for you to add, and eye-catching interface elements, you can make sure you have every detail covered, saving you time and stress when you’re about to travel.

Just LandedJust Landed uses an elegant interface to show you the vitals on your friend’s flight. By the way, you’re late.

Just Landed (99 cents) is not exactly an app for the holiday traveler per se, but instead uses your GPS location and current flight schedules to help you pick the exact time to go pick up your friend or family member from the airport. So rather than the traveler, this app is for the person at the destination.

Just Landed sports a well-designed, minimalistic interface with only the tools you need for picking up a person at the airport. The way the app works is, once you’ve gotten your friend’s flight information, you can enter the flight number into the app to get the latest info about their flight on travel day including whether the flight was delayed or will arrive early. From there, you can simply go about your day until the app notifies you (you’ll need to keep notifications on) when it’s time to leave for the airport in time to pick them up.

An added bonus feature is that Just Landed uses your GPS location and traffic data to show you the best route to the airport and figures out how long it will take you to get there. The app notifies you taking these factors into account, so you don’t have to worry so much about what the roads will be like getting there. When you start your drive, the Maps app takes over, showing you the best route to get to the airport quickly.

While this app isn’t for the holiday traveler, it will definitely come in handy for those who are picking up people at the airport. If you have a relative coming in for the holidays, check out Just Landed.

HipGeoSnap a picture and say a few words and HipGeo adds it to your blog automatically with location info.

HipGeo Travel Blog and Trip Journal (free) lets you tell the story of your holiday with images, videos, text, tags, and more, all tied to your geolocation. You start by signing up through Facebook or Twitter, then you can choose people to share your travels with.

Once signed up, you’ll have your own personal blog on HipGeo where all your posts will live. When you’re ready to start, you can either touch the camera button to take a photo or video, or choose the Post option to write a text blog. After hitting Post, your photo, video, or text blog will show up with a time stamp and your location automatically, along with whatever message you want to send to your followers. Essentially, it’s an easy-to-use geotagging blog tool, but what it means is that you can go about your holiday vacation snapping pictures of family and writing a few words while HipGeo does all the hard work for you. What you get is a way to remember your Thanksgiving (or any holiday or vacation) that you can send to friends and family with pictures, locations, your thoughts, and more.

There are a number of extra features that will make HipGeo even more useful as you record your year-round adventures. When taking a picture for example, you get a full-fledged photo editor with several effects to choose from, color balance controls, cropping, saturation, red-eye correction, text captions, and tons more. The extra photo-editing controls make for great-looking pictures that make your blog as interesting to look at it does tell the story of your journey.

HipGeo is free at the App Store and is a great way to document a trip, whether it’s out of the country or just going home for Thanksgiving. If you’re about to go somewhere and want a neat history of your travels, you should check out this app.

You can also get HipGeo for Android.

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