With the holiday season just around the corner, most of us can’t stop glancing at the clock. We’re just itching to get off of work and onto a plane headed for someplace exotic. Regardless of where you’re going and what you have planned, the iPhone is the perfect travel companion: compact, fun, and full of features. If you’re thinking of making some holiday travel plans, be sure not to miss these essential travel apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.TripAssist
Developer: Expedia, Inc.
Before you can get into the skies, you’re going to need to book some plane tickets. Fortunately, Expedia, along with the undisputed experts of finding cheap airfare, has come to the rescue with TripAssist. This app performs a lot of the same services you will find on Expedia’s website: users can compare prices and book flights, hotels, or even rental cars. The utility of TripAssist doesn’t end there, however. This app will also send alerts to remind you of your flight or to inform you of any delays or schedule changes. If you’d like to change your reservations, TripAssist can do that, too, often without an additional fee.TripIt - Travel Organizer - FREE
Developer: TripIt Inc
Keeping track of itineraries and other miscellaneous travel documents is often a headache. Travelers have enough to think about without having to worry about finding the connecting flight or find an alternative route if they have, heaven forbid, missed the plane. This is where Tripit, the critically acclaimed itinerary app, comes in. No matter where you book your flight, all of your travel info can be easily imported into Tripit by simply forwarding the confirmation e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tripit will keep it all organized, including frequent flyer miles.Lonely Planet Travel Guides, Phrasebooks and Maps
Developer: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd
Finding good travel guides on the iPhone can be tricky. Lonely Planet has simplified the process by making their entire library of travel guides and phrasebooks accessible as in-app purchases from within this single, free app. This means users don’t have to search by city name and wade through the long list of results. Plus, Lonely Planet is arguably the most trusted name in travel. Known for their insider information and clever, accessible writing, these guides will tell you exactly what you need to know.Yelp
Developer: Yelp, Inc.
If everything has gone as planned, you are in a faraway city, you are checked into your hotel, and you are hungry. Where should you get a bite to eat? Yelp, the iPhone app and restaurant review social networking site, is sure to have a few suggestions. What makes this app great for travelers is the integration with the iPhone’s GPS and native maps app. Yelp will give you turn-by-turn directions to a particular restaurant, or show you a list of nearby restaurants that fit your search criteria. Best of all, Yelp comes with an “augmented reality” mode: just point the iPhone’s camera towards a restaurant, and Yelp will tell you what you’re looking at and what star-rating it has.iMovie
Developer: Apple Inc.
It wouldn’t be vacation without home movies and the always sentimental family fun montage. The iPhone 4 can even shoot video in HD, so the traveler’s camera needs are set. Even better, with iMovie, it’s now possible to shoot, edit, and share movies, all on the iPhone. iMovie lets the user cut and arrange the footage, and even add a music soundtrack before uploading to YouTube or e-mailing to friends and family back home. Being away from home has never been easier or more fun.