Tools for troubled tourists

Mar 1, 2011

When I travel to a new city, I always bring a map, but I also always seem to have overlooked something else: I forget my shampoo, or don’t bring enough cash, or just run low on caffeine. Here are five apps that’ll help tourists who’re lacking something besides a sense of direction.

Coffee Finder

I can always use a good cup of coffee… but I can’t always find one. This app not only shows you where the nearest ten Starbucks shops are; it also tells you when each location opens and closes. Plus, you can filter your search to bring up only locations that offer certain extras, like drive-throughs or twenty-four-hour service.


Rain Alarm

This rain alarm app does just what it says: alerts you to imminent rain or other precipitation. You also get a visual of the storm system and its movement. Really helpful if you don’t want your day out on the town to be a wash.


MasterCard ATM Hunter

I never, ever have enough cash on me, and often find myself just wandering up to any old ATM and getting hit with withdrawal surcharges. This ATM-finder app can be a lifesaver, especially because it allows you to search for your own bank’s ATMs.


Store Finder

Confession: I’ve been known to forget to pack necessities like toothpaste when I’m traveling. I use this app most often to find places like Walgreens and CVS–drugstores have everything!–but it can also direct you to a range of other stores, from Banana Republic to Big Lots and Target to McDonalds.


ZAGAT for Android

Discovering restaurants is one of my favorite parts of exploring a new city, and Zagat is a pretty reliable indicator of quality meals and cheap eats. This app is just like carrying the guidebook around with you everywhere; you have access to all the Zagat ratings, themed Best Of lists, and diner reviews you could ask for, plus GPS directions.

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