Spring into your vacation with these mobile apps

Feb 29, 2012
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It’s spring break season, which hopefully means a vacation and some time away with friends and family. Make sure to pack a few mobile apps with you wherever you may travel. Whether you are planning a flight or road trip, hoping to hit the beach or want to see how much snowfall your favorite ski […]

It’s spring break season, which hopefully means a vacation and some time away with friends and family. Make sure to pack a few mobile apps with you wherever you may travel. Whether you are planning a flight or road trip, hoping to hit the beach or want to see how much snowfall your favorite ski resort is getting, we have some app recommendations for you.

So spring into upcoming travels with these five mobile apps.

Hipmunk Flight & Hotel Search (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android: Free)

While flying to an exotic location can lead to exciting adventures, delays are a real pain. Hipmunk sorts flight options by a proprietary “agony” index that accounts for factors like layovers, flight delays and price. Once you decide on the least painful approach, the app connects you to either a third-party airline booking site like Orbitz or the desired airline itself. A new update to Hipmunk now includes hotel bookings, where options are mapped and color-coded by price. Reviews from TripAdvisor are published in the app, and when you are ready to book, you are taken to Hotels.com. The design and interface are clean and Hipmunk’s concept makes travel planning more fun (or at least a little less painful).

RoadNinja (iPhone, iPod Touch: Free)

If the interstate is your preferred route of travel, make sure to bring this handy app along for the ride. RoadNinja publishes information about what can be found in approximately 30,000 highway exits throughout the United States. Using your iPhone’s (or connected iPad’s) global positioning system technology, RoadNinja can inform you ahead of time about where you can exit for a bathroom break, bite to eat, or entertaining roadside destination. Have something good or bad to say about a particular stop? Share your thoughts through the app on Facebook or Twitter.

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2012 (iPhone, iPod Touch: Free with subscription)

The annual and iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition comes alive with this free app, which does require a one-time $6.99 subscription to view every page. So, if you are interested in getting a new suit or more likely are an enthusiastic follower of beachside fashion, this is the app for you. The 2012 edition comes equipped with nearly 70 videos from exotic locale’s across the globe. Not only does it contain every photo in hi-resolution, but you can also rotate each image 360 degrees, take advantage of pinch and zoom features, and even watch on Apple TV if you have Airplay set up with your devices. And iPad 2 owners hoping for a piece of the action take note. There is a separate free “viewer” app available for this year’s swimsuit edition (also applicable to iPhones 3G and above) that invites you to hold the iDevice above of marked pages on the actual issue to automatically view videos of whatever model that appears in front of it.

Ski and Snow Report (iPhone, iPod Touch, Android: Free)

While snowfall is a little low this year, there is no shortage of skiing information available in this free app for iOS and Android devices. Pull up-to-date info including open trails, recent snowfall, trail maps and more from participating resorts all around the globe.

HipGeo (iPhone, iPod Touch: Free)

Part social network and part trip journal, this app lets you chronicle all the locations and experiences you enjoy on your vacation. Don’t feel like tapping into the app to document any action? No worries. Let HipGeo’s auto-record feature do the work for you. The app also lets you view “streams” posted by other travelers in your vicinity.

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Brad Spirrison

Brad Spirrison is the managing editor of appoLearning and Appolicious Inc. In this capacity, he has sampled and evaluated thousands of iOS and Android applications. He also holds an M.A. in Education and Media Ecology from New York University.

Spirrison worked in concert with appoLearning Expert and Instructional Technology Specialist Leslie Morris while curating and evaluating educational applications.

A longtime media and technology commentator and executive, Spirrison is also a regular contributor to ABC News, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Bloomberg West and The Christopher Gabriel Program.

Spirrison is married and lives with his wife and young son in Chicago. As his son was born just weeks before the debut of the iPad, Spirrison takes his work home with him and regularly samples and enjoys a variety of educational applications for young children.

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