Ian Philpot

Two weeks ago, I made a trip to Washington, D.C. for #BestofSMS. Traveling normally stresses me out, but I realized that leveraging a few great apps can make things much easier.

Here are the 5 apps that I won’t travel without:

1. Passbook

Passbook AppWhen Passbook was announced with iOS 6, it sounded great. But the adoption rate of the app fell a little short.

With that said, Passbook makes is very easy to keep all of my travel information together. When I get to the airport, Passbook has my boarding pass. When I get to the hotel, Passbook has my hotel card along with my reservation info. When I get up in the morning and go to the Starbucks in the hotel, Passbook has my Starbucks card. It’s a perfect traveling companion.

2. Podcasts

Podcast AppI’m the king of motion sickness, especially when I’m flying. The Podcasts app is a perfect distraction from the increasingly uncomfortable airplane seat.

Now for my list within a list—my 4 go-to podcasts:

  1. This American Life
  2. A Prairie Home Companion’s News from Lake Wobegon
  3. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!
  4. The Moth

3. Uber

Uber AppI’m not a big fan of taxis. On the other hand, I’m a HUGE fan of black cars.

Uber allows me to order a black car from wherever I am.

It came in handy when I arrived at Reagan Airport in D.C. after midnight. I just opened the app, told it what kind of car I wanted to be picked up with, and I immediately got the name of the driver, his estimated arrival time, and I could call him if I needed.

After that, I used Uber three more times in D.C., and each time was a great experience.

But the best part? The first ride was absolutely free! Uber is giving away free rides for people who are referred to them, and you can get a free ride here.

4. You&Me

You&Me App

While I’m traveling, it’s important to me that I keep in touch with Erin.

I heard about You&Me a little while ago, so I had both of us download it to give it a try.

First, it only allows you to connect with one person, so Erin and I only send messages to each other. This is a great feature because I will know that every notification I get from the app will be from Erin. (No offense friends, but sometimes I’m a little disappointed when you text me and I was hoping it was my wife. #honesty)

The app also has some neat features like the ability for us to send songs to each other or I can send Erin a group of photo booth style pictures or a “halfsie”—a photo where I take the top half and she has to take the bottom half.

Overall, it has a sharp design and makes sending messages to Erin very easy.

5. Buffer

Buffer AppStaying on top of my social networks on the road is tough. Buffer is the only good way to do that.

Even better than the ability to keep my social networks updated when I’m on the go, Buffer just launched a new app called Daily that finds great articles that I can easily push to my social networks.

While that’s something I normally do without help, I didn’t have time to read through RSS feeds while I was in D.C. Instead, I just opened daily, read the suggested articles, and made some quick decisions about what I was sharing that day.