Pack Your Virtual Guidebook: Top Sightseeing Apps

Gone are the days of lugging around your worn copy of Fodor’s guidebooks. For both domestic and international travel, there are a host of apps and digital tricks to help plan your trip and sightsee on the fly. But which ones are the best ones?

To get the inside scoop, we tapped PCMag writer and recent author of The Get Organized Guide to Travel, Jill Duffy for her top travel tips and tricks on how to be digitally savvy while exploring. Here we go…

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Going the Digital Distance

Staying organized and comfortable is essential for a fun trip. Going digital can help make moving from A to B to C that much more seamless, which is why digitally saving all confirmation numbers and travel details is very valuable for easy searching on-the-go. With the fluidity of cloud services, you can always be sure there is a reliable backup, just in case you get caught at the airport with only thirty minutes until your flight and are in need of a quick boarding pass print out.

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Our smartphones are usually treated with care and if all of our travel details are in one place – like the iPhone’s Passbook – you’ll be sure to keep it close at hand as opposed to easily mislaid pieces of paper. Be sure to keep your smartphone extra protected with the Logitech case+, which also acts as a wallet, case and stand for your phone.

Trip Prep Apps for Booking and Packing

When it comes to trip prep, there are several options for getting smart and efficient before boarding the plane. Jill Duffy’s all-time favorite app for booking is Kayak. Jill noted, “Kayak is a site and mobile app that searches for flights, hotel reservations, car rentals, and packaged travel deals across multiple sites.” She values Kayak’s great filter system that scours deals from across all travel platforms and aggregates them to bring you only the best. Kayak also has a handle price predictor tool (below) for easily comparing the best deals.


Looking at ways to maximize packing efficiency, Kayak also offers a handy mobile app complete with a packing list feature. However, Jill’s favorite to-do app is actually Awesome Note, which helps her remember what her packing list looks like.

Jill’s Expert Travel Tip: “I’ve also been known to layout everything I’m going to pack on my bed to snap a few photos of it all with my phone’s camera. That way, if my luggage is lost or stolen, I have a visual reference I can use to account for every item that’s gone.”

Best Sightseeing Apps for the Traveling Eye

Getting the most out of each city you travel to feels overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, there are apps to help keep things nice, neat and less, “Where do I start?”

Start with friends. Ask them for advice on what to see and where to go and then save the notes in Evernote, a cloud-based note-taking app.

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Looking at the mobile app side of the sightseeing digital puzzle, check out Gogobot. An app focused on organizing and sharing top places to visit, based on people in your network. Jill uses Gogobot to find gems in New York City, and saves them in the apps, as places she’d like to explore.

Top Gadgets and Features for the Ultimate Trip

Gadgets that help make travel as fluid as possible are the best companions. Try buying travel bags that prevent you from over packing. Some top picks are a Camelback backpack for the day-to-day commutes and a Crumpler bag for longer stays.

If your iPad needs a travel companion that will protect it from all the many adventures one has when travel meets tech – liquids, rocky pavements, late nights – check out the Logitech Big Bang. Durable, shock-absorbent, and water repellent, this case will make it through any number of “crazy travel stories” you’ll have along the way.

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For more tips on how to get travel ready, check out Jill’s newly released book The Get Organized Guide to Travel on Amazon and reach out to us on Twitter with any more tips or tricks for the digital traveler!

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