Speaking from experience, the primary concern of most of us travelers without VIP access to airport lounges is to make connections and trips overall as painless as possible. For that matter, I found 10 free tools that will help you navigate through airport security, find food and WiFi spots, keeping your dream vacation from prematurely turning into a tiresome nightmare.
Start with Hipmunk, the service that let you find the best prices on flights. The plus is that it filters deals according to an “agony” index making sure that you plan the smoothest trip possible.
The next step is to put together your vacation. Feed TripIt all your confirmation emails – ticket receipts, hotel reservations, tours, etc. This travel organizer will smoothly manage your plans, lay out the best itineraries along with essential information.
MyTSA is a crucial app to add to your favorite app collection. It delivers crucial TSA information, from what safe items permitted through security to real-time updates on wait times at security checkpoints and other airport statuses.
Once on the “road”, keep GateGuru close. With an exhaustive list of airport restaurants, stores, and other services, it provides journey details such as flight numbers, times and terminals, delays, changes and security queues.
Interested in WiFi hotspots? Try WifiFinder. It will shows you available free and paid services available in Terminals. This app can be particularly useful once you exit your data coverage zone and want to avoid roaming. Complementary apps are Instapaper or Kindle. The former is perfect for saving webpages in readable format for offline availability. The latter, is an excellent e-book service which let you access your downloads on almost all your devices. Also consider downloading Viber or Skype or any other WiFi-only communication tools so valuable for keeping roaming fees at bay.
International travelers would probably appreciate the usefulness of Word Lens, an app that reads and translates most foreign languages via a phone’s camera. It’s not always perfect but it does the job (most of the time).
Uber doesn’t need introduction anymore, neither does Hailo. Both are popular taxi services that make finding and paying for a lift easy and convenient with support for many European, North American, Asian and Middle East countries. They are surely worth a trial.
If you have other apps, tools or strategies to navigate through airports and make trips smooth and easy, please share with us in the comment section below.