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You Can Take It With You

Five iPhone travel apps that just might change your life-or at least your vacation.

SURE, THE POCKET COMPASS WAS A HANDY ITEM IN ITS DAY. But there’s a new indispensable travel tool on the scene. When armed with its array of travel-friendly applications, the iPhone, that little black box of wires and wonder, becomes your new must-have travel companion. Take FlightTrack, an airport monitor in your hand. It’s the easiest, most portable way to get updates on your flight’s status and find up-to-the-minute gate and baggage claim information on the go. Want to track a plane as it flies across the sky? FlightTrack does that too. Once you’re on the ground, fire up HearPlanet, an exhaustive audio guidebook packed into your iPhone. It’s not bulky or heavy, and its pages won’t get smeared with sunscreen. Want to ask the locals for some Pepto-Bismol? Fret not. Lonely Planet’s audio phrase books are a lifesaver. Packed with hundreds of phrases, the apps allow you to choose a preset utterance; they then read the words aloud, preventing embarrassingly mangled pronunciations. One question you won’t have to ask is where the nearest bathroom is. SitOrSquat, a lavatory location app, solves that problem. The iPhone’s GPS calls up your location and highlights the nearest public restrooms along with—get this—user reviews. GasBuddy applies the same technology to an even more vexing problem, hunting down cheap gas. The app taps into the constantly updated database at www.GasBuddy.com to show you the nearest gas stations and what they’re charging. Now, if only the folks at Apple could do something about that rock-hard hotel pillow…. —Adam K. Raymond

Lonely Planet Audio Phrasebook
Like having a translator in your pocket.

SitOrSquat
Find a sanitary spot to… you know.

HearPlanet
The best kind of travel guide—one that requires no reading.

GasBuddy
Find the nearest gas station that won’t bust your budget.

FlightTrack
Like an airport monitor (flight status, gate info), only right in your hand.

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