By Allison Davis
Need help finding your way around an airport with eight terminals? Can’t remember the fabulous restaurant you ate at on your last trip? Destination-based apps are great for exploring cities, but these can help you with everything from booking the best flight to locating the nearest bathroom. The bonus: they’re all free.
FLYsmartWhat it is: FLYsmart is a user-friendly airport directory that places the knowledge of a veteran traveler in your hands. The location-based app automatically populates the nearest retail shops, restaurants, and bathrooms of airports on an easy to see map. Plus, the app has real-time flight information alerts.
Best for: Navigating labyrinth-like airports in a hurry—and to figure out if you can make it to Terminal B and back before your flight boards.
Hipmunk Flight SearchWhat it is: Enter your travel criteria and Hipmunk spits back a colorful timeline of flight options. You can clearly see price, airline, and departure and arrival times. Users can then e-mail themselves flight options or book directly from the app, via Orbtiz.
Best For: Finding the cheapest, shortest, most convenient flight.
TourWristWhat it is: The world in a box—no, seriously. The photo-driven TourWrist offers 360-degree, panoramic views of hotels, national parks, cities, vineyards, and more. See everything from a hotel room before booking to the waterfall you want as a backdrop to your family photo.
Best For: Getting the lay of the land before you land, and providing visuals for daydreams about future vacations.
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MatchbookWhat it is: Matchbook, put out by Foursquare, allows users to find and flag a destination, and add personal tags like "Best Burrito" or "Good DJ". It also syncs with computers and saves the data there.
Best For: Collecting and remembering favorite spots so you can return on future trips or pass on recommendations.
SitOrSquat: Bathroom FinderWhat it is: Like the Yelp of bathrooms. Use SitOrSquat to easily find the nearest loo to your location in all major cities, as well as user reviews and photos to suss out which are cleanest.
Best For: Finding a clean bathroom in unfamiliar cities in a pinch.