Top 5 Travel Apps

Written by Danielle Gruden.

Technology is the light to my dark – especially when I’m lost in the woods, literally speaking. My iPhone has become part of me, a metamorphasized appendage that is not quite right. Although my addiction may seem like a sickness, perhaps even a problem, let me share five simple apps that will convince otherwise.

Summer travels are upon us, whether they are taking you across the world, trying a new restaurant in a new city, or on a hike in the terrain that is your backyard. From the novice to the expert, no one is perfectly prepared for what path you may cross. Lucky for us, technology is our guiding light home (you can also download a flashlight light if your guiding light has disappeared). For those of you who are trail bound, the following apps are my current favorites. Enjoy.

Nike + GPS
I love my backyard: the Boise Foothills. I adore every path that leads me into a new direction; getting lost for miles, then somehow always exiting on 8th Street – looping me home. However, as thrilling as the Foothills can be, sometimes my motivation lacks and getting lost is the last thing on my to-do list. This lil’ app not only maps your way, and has an installed GPS system, but cheers you on too – and allows for your Facebook friends to help motivate you on your way. It calibrates your pace – letting you know how far and how fast you are going.

The Northface Trailhead
A friend introduced me to this app – and  since our paths crossed, I now believe in love at first sight. This app marks your trails – then allows for people to view, use, and rate your trails. Also, they can leave comments for tips, tricks, and warnings. You can also search for new trails in your surrounding area. If you are up to purchasing new gear, you can do that too, all from your phone.

Google Maps
I do not leave my house without Google maps. Google maps, in my opinion, is the best mapping app out there. It targets your exact current location then provides you with precise directions to your destination. If you are lost – let their advanced mapping systems find you, then map your way home. It also remembers your most recent locations, and allows you to “drop pin” to mark areas of interest.

Although spring is a beautiful time of year, it also has a bi-polar temper. One minute it is smiling sunshine through the cumulus clouds, next – it is a downpour of hail, snow or rain. Weatherbug offers live, local weather conditions and forecasts, National Weather Service alerts, live weather cameras, time-lapse weather camera animation, “drop pin” current weather conditions, and severe weather warnings. So now, I can go for a run, and know that I need to pack a winter parka because spring is about to have an episode.

Yelp is a great app for a traveler that needs to eat – and needs to eat NOW. This app offers a search that pinpoints price, location, and type, while also delivering directions (with varying modes of transportation offered) and provides ratings and comments. Yelp offers pictures and links. All-in-all a great app for someone that needs to get some grub to refuel and re-energize.

You can find these apps on itunes, check back for future travel apps to help you get geared-to-go.


  • Karen Jensen Fitch Ballard

    I love this article Danielle. Are these apps just for iphones or do any work for Droids?

  • VIadmin

    The first two (Nike & Northface) are currently only iPhone compatible – however the rest can be used on a Droid.