Posts Tagged ‘iPhone’

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CityMaps 2Go

When we were in Italy in 2008 I found my iPhone to be an invaluable traveling companion. My one disappointment was the fact that even though the GPS was working, the app needed a connection to display the maps. So in anticipation of our upcoming trip, I began poking around for an offline solution.

I looked at a number of different apps, and almost ended up buying one for Madrid. They also made some for other cities, and even though they were only $.99, that would have meant having five or six apps for one need.

Then I found City Maps 2 Go. It costs $1.99 and even though it doesn’t come with any maps built in, there are hundreds of maps to download for free. I found maps for all of our major stops and they seem to add new maps fairly frequently. I originally couldn’t find one for Seville, but when I checked again a couple of days later, it was there.

I downloaded a map of Seattle make sure it worked and it had no trouble locating me on the map. The maps aren’t as clean as those provided by Google, but these work offline. The maps also have varying levels of zoom as well. I couldn’t drill down as far on the Cordoba map as I could on say, the Madrid map. But I have found this to be true on Google maps as well.

Another feature that I really like is the ability to bookmark locations and to see them all at once on the map (something I wish the standard map app would do).

I’m looking forward to trying it out on location. I’ll report back on how it preforms.

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I’m constantly on the look out for new tools to help me organize our travels both before and during a trip. And I’ve posted about my love of the iPhone and the many apps that make it useful on trips (here and here). Not to long ago I came across the site and instantly knew I would be adding it to my arsenal.

It’s great for organizing all the different pieces of information that go into the make-up of a successful trip. And the best part is how much of it is automated. For example: after booking a flight, I forward the email confirmation from the airline to and it formats it and adds it to my itinerary. The same with hotels if you are staying at a somewhat major chain (which we rarely do), otherwise you can add reservation information using a template. You can add notes, web site links, articles, events, car rentals maps, directions and more.

They also have a free app for the iPhone so you can access your itinerary on the go. And if you don’t have an iPhone, you can print out your itinerary at home.

So if you are planning a trip, I recommend checking it out.

Update: I meant to say that as much as I love the web site, for viewing your itinerary, the iPhone app is actually better. It’s easier to see where one day stops and the next starts. The web site could do with a little more definition between days.

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iPhone: Best Travel Accessory Ever — Part 2

In the last post I covered all of the apps that come pre-installed. This time I’ll be covering applications that I downloaded from the App Store. These range in price from free to $9.99.


Cost: Free. I can keep track of all my bank accounts with one glance so I will know when I start to run out of money.


Cost: $4.99. Allows me to keep track of my day to day spending. I can set up different categories such as lodging, transportation and food. And then I can see reports on how much we’ve spent so far.


Cost: Free. Keeps me up-to-date on the current exchange rate.

Lonely Planet Italian Phrase Book

Cost: $9.99. The usefulness of this one should be painfully obvious. The bonus is it not only shows you what the phrase is, it speaks it aloud for you so you can here the proper pronunciation.


Cost: $4.99. Allows me to upload PDFs and other files to my iPhone. I can keep handy maps to the various Rick Steves’ walking tours, hotel reservation confirmations, and train schedules.

I know there are a lot of reports out there right now about people experiencing problems with their iPhones, but I haven’t had any of these issues. Mine works perfectly.


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iPhone: Best Travel Accesory Ever — Part 1

Is the iPhone the greatest travel accessory ever? I’m pretty convinced it is thanks to the iTunes App Store. There is an application to cover just about all your travel logistic needs. Here are the ones I think will be particularly helpful and how I plan to use them both before and during our trip to Italy.

I’ll start with the built in applications and in another post I’ll cover ones I’ve gotten from the App Store (both free and purchased).


I plug in the address of our hotels and bookmark them for later referal, then I take a screen shot of the maps and organize them into their own photo album (to take a screen shot hold down the home button and then press the power button). When I need to see where we’re staying I can call up the Photos application and voila! Now if only I could access my customized Google Maps and view all of my bookmarked locations at once it would truly be perfect.


In Contacts I’ve entered all of the phone numbers and addresses of the hotels where we’ll be staying and organized them into a separate group. I’ve done the same thing with emergency contact numbers, like credit cards, banks and our pet sitters.


In Calendar, I’ve entered our itenerary including flight and train information, and which hotels we’re staying in on which days. Plus any reservations we have for tourist attractions (like the Last Supper in Milan, and the Uffizi and Acadamy in Florence).

Safari and Mail

The usefulness of these will depend on the prevalence of free WiFi, but lots of hotels include that so I should be able to check email, and post to the blog on a fairly regular basis without having to hunt down and pay for an internet cafe.


This one is really self explanatory. But I will say I don’t know how anyone survived a transatlantic flight before iPods existed.

That’s all for now, check back later for part 2.


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