Travel Essentials App Is Pretty Essential. For Travelers

On our recent Cult of Mac outing CES in Las Vegas, I introduced a few of your favorite writers to TripIt the fantastic trip organizing app/service. But sometimes you just need to know a little bit about your flights, your hotel, or where to eat. Enter Travel Essentials, an iPhone app that does just that, and does it beautifully.

There’s one thing wrong with Travel Essential, and I’ll get it out of the way now: you need to input all your details manually. TripIt, on the other hand, requires only that you forward your flight confirmation e-mail to (sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address), whereupon they’re added to the app.

But if we figure that we’re using Travel Essentials for vacations, then the excitement of the trip will outdo the tedium of data entry.

On launch, you are prompted to add in your origin and destination, your flight numbers and your hotel name. You can also choose to book any of these through the app, and you’re whisked off to Expedia or Hotels.com to do so.

Once that’s out of the way, you have a handy one-stop-shop for all your info. You can see – at a glance – the planned and actual flight times, the address of your hotel, maps, weather and more – even the services the hotel offers.

The location data is powered by FourSquare, which means that it covers pretty much anything you’ll need. You can also browse FourSquare places to find a restaurant, or somewhere to dump the kids. In fact, in some ways it’s easier than using FourSquare for this.

If you could forward your flight and hotel details to the app and have it parse and add them automatically, the Travel Essentials would really be essential. As it is, the app is merely very, very useful, but still worth the $2 asking price. I’ll totally be using this on my next trip.

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About the author

Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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