Travel simplified in the palm of your hand TOP 10 Travel Apps

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by Carlos Melia

Celebrating the release of the new iPhone 5, I will share with you this week, my TOP 10 Travel Apps out there. As you all know, I travel extensively, crossing time zones, continents and cultures. While on the go, I like to be connected, get the best images and videos using my smartphone, explore destinations by the advice of locals, always make sure my flights are on time and why not get the best seats available… Well today all these rests on the palm of your hand…”¨”¨

I have personally travel with each and every of this Applications, which have saved me in more than multiple occasions. So as usual based on my own travel experiences as an OUT Gay Traveler, here is my list of preferred Travel smartphone Apps:

WhatsApp Messenger / USD 0.99″¨
Avoid roaming and international data plans when traveling. Exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger runs on WiFi same as email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

Camera+ / USD 0.99
Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or someone who’s barely touched a camera, Camera+ will make you love taking photos. Everybody has a creative side… Camera+ will help bring that creativity out in you, all with a fun, innovative, and beautiful design. Touch Exposure & Focus for the ultimate control, photo Flashlight to brighten up your photos, highest quality zoom, scene modes and flash, dozens of amazing effects and share options are only a few of the amazing features of this camera.”¨”¨”¨

Grindr / FREE
No, don’t be shocked, Grindr is not only a Hook Up App, it can also be your best ally and local travel body ever. Some of you know Grindr as the forbidden word, others as the leading global dating and/or hook up site, but more and more people are finding Grindr to be the best way to connect with other locals, when traveling around the globe, to get the expert inside take, recommendations and tips on where to go out, dine, hang out, what is hot and trendy…etc. Find out about that hidden restaurant, last minute event, new expo at a museum among many other recommendations by locals at the destination you are visiting. Location-based app that goes beyond meeting other gay, bi and curious guys for dating, socializing or friendship. All depends on what you are looking for. If you go for the XTRA version the cost is USD 0,99

XE Currency / FREE “¨
Convert every world currency on-the-go with the universally optimized XE Currency App for iPhone and iPad. It features live currency rates, charts, and even stores the last updated rates, so it works when the Internet doesn’t.”¨”¨

OpenTable / FREE
I like to plan my or my customer’s dinners in advance before arriving to the destination. Restaurant Reservations – Free, Instant, Confirmed. With OpenTable for iPhone you can make free restaurant reservations at more than 20,000 OpenTable-enabled restaurants. Unfortunately it only works for the United States and Canada and UK for now, hopefully soon they will add more destinations worldwide.

FREE WiFi Finder / FREEӬ
This App will help you find Free WiFi Hotspots in more than 50 countries around the World. Find an updated database of WiFi Hotspots near you. Also help others, by adding new hotspots you discover. The best feature about this App is that you do not need to be connected to the internet to find the nearest hotspot, all the locations are stored locally on your device. It is for FREE on the App Store by iVanya. You may also get the WiFi Finder Pro to visualize the hotspots on a map for USD 1,99.

FlightTrack Pro / USD 9,99″¨
On your way to the airport, connecting flights, or checking on a friend or loved one ? with this App you will be able to track a flight in seconds. See flight details on beautiful, zoomable maps or get real-time departure info, delays and gate numbers at a glance. Full international coverage means you can track all your flights worldwide. We’ll even update you on cancellations and help you find an alternate flight.

Seat Guru / FREE
I am very particular with my seat selection, and although nowadays not always you can get what you want for free, due to the fees some airlines charge for the luxury to choosing where you will seat for hours, now you at least can have a better idea of the best seats in the house, and maybe approach a gentle gate agent and bed for the seat of your choice. I prefer Window for long flights and Aisle for short flights. Powered by TripAdvisor, whether you’re at the airport or on the go, your ultimate source for airplane seating, in-flight amenities, and airline recommendations,”¨”¨

MetrO / FREEӬ
Some cities have very easy and simple subway systems like Buenos Aires, others like New York or London, can become a problem once underground. MetrO helps you find your way in the public transportation systems in more than 400 cities around the world. One application for all your trips: download the cities you need and search your route by subway, bus, tram, railway… (depending on cities). NO network connection is required after you have installed the cities. Find the best route from your current location and check the map of the surroundings from within the program (in main cities).

Google Translate / FREEӬ
Life saver. More times that I can recall, I have been stuck in Asia or Africa without any idea where I was, how to ask and what to do. Google Translate, managed to get me by even having my phone pronouncing the the words for me. Translate words and phrases between more than 60 languages using Google Translate for iOS. For most languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations.

Travel simplified on the palm of your hands, this brings me back to my first visit to Asia over 25 years ago, and I realize we have come a long long way, and how easy would have been then. But who know, also maybe we have lost the excitement of the unknwon a bit too right… Hope you enjoy my recommendations. Want to read more about my recommendations based on my own travel experiences worldwide as an OUT Gay Traveler, check out Carlos Melia Recommends Enews. Bye.! Till next adventure in full luxury. Carlos Melia

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Carlos Melia is a Travel Expert, Blogger, Niche Marketing Consultant, Jetsetter, and Bon Vivant, who travels around the world discovering what’s new and cool in Luxury Travel and Hospitality. His reviews on hotels, restaurants, destinations, and attractions, based on his own experiences as an OUT Gay Traveler can be found at www.carlosmeliablog.com

About The Author

Carlos Melia
Travel Agent
Luxury Travel Curator & Blogger
Wedding Planner
Public Relations & Marketing

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Shameless BIO

Carlos Melia (38) Bespoke and Luxury Gay Travel Expert, Blogger and Tourism/Hospitality Niche Marketing Consultant.

For the past 20 years, I have been an independent travel agent with my own company CM by Carlos Melia – www.carlosmelia.com – and have travelled and lived extensively all over the world.

I have international travel experience, both as a traveler and professional, specializing into Luxury and Bespoke Gay Travel worldwide.

Experiential travel perfected is my mojo. My firm commitment to you, and main reason of my following is – Been There Done That. All travel services and products to be offered and featured, have previously been experienced, tested and approved personally by me.

At CarlosMeliaBlog – www.carlosmeliablog.com – I speak Gay, but I am also fluent in Straight. Everyone is welcome, everyone. There you will find reviews, tips and information on hotels, restaurants, tours, destinations, among other travel related services and products.

Former Mr Gay International 2008, and member of the Board of Directors at Mr Gay World, I work along the main LGBT organizations worldwide, in pro of our rights and to assure everyone, that indeed It will be Better.

I have partnered along the leading lifestyle, travel and hospitality PR firms, media groups and corporations, implementing creative and effective targeted outreach to the LGBT community. Narrowing the existing gap in between mainstream travel/hospitality services and the LGBT community worldwide.

Been called, awarded and recognized, by peers, press, and customers, as a gay travel guru, jetsetter, influencer, broadcaster and globe trotter, with known as the little Marco Polo.

Bachelor degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, tree times around the world, going for the forth, more destinations, air miles and room nights that I can keep track of and recently have added gay wedding planner to my curriculum.

Regardless of your sexual orientation or preference, travel should always be a memorable, unique and unforgettable experience, and not just a destination. For this, I work closely with clients and suppliers to assure that this happens.

Hope you enjoy the ride, and look forward hearing your feedback and comments. Sincerely, Carlos Melia

(*) Proud and active member of two of the most relevant and influential organizations within the Travel and Hospitality Industry, which are IGLTA – International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, TZELL Travel Group and Signature Travel Network.

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