One of the best things about using an iPad is the great apps that we can run on it. There are excellent apps for just about any purpose you can think of. Better still, there are lots of great free apps for the iPad. Our Best Free iPad App of the Week posts celebrate these apps.
This week’s pick is TripAdvisor Hotels Flights Restaurants, which I’m just going to refer to as TripAdvisor for the remainder of this post. Here’s a bit of an intro to the app, courtesy of its App Store page:
Plan and have your perfect trip with TripAdvisor. With over 60 million reviews and opinions by real travelers, you’ll find the best places to eat, sleep, and play, wherever you travel.
TripAdvisor is free and easy to use:
•Find hotels, restaurants, and attractions in any destination
•See millions of candid photos by travelers
•Use Near Me Now to discover options near you or any address you enter
TripAdvisor has a light and friendly sort of interface – so it’s easy to explore and find all the travel information you’re after.
The app’s main start screen prompts you to start exploring via its main sections – Near me now, My Saves (where places you’ve chosen to save as favorites will go), Forums, Hotels, Restaurants, Things to Do, and Flights – or you can just type something into the big search bar in the middle of the page.
The Near me now section is a great one if you’re looking for new places to check out in your own hometown. I also just find it fun seeing what the reviews are like for places I’ve been too often. I find the quality of the reviews is generally quite good too – which makes the app so much more helpful.
You can write reviews from within the app – assign one to five stars, title your review, write a minimum of 50 characters with your thoughts on it, tap to say when you went (month/year), and who you went with (solo, family, friends etc) and submit away.
The Near me now section opens to a screen with a maps view in the center with points of interest highlighted. There’s a left sidebar that lets you browse and select individual places and switch easily between looking at hotels, restaurants, and things to do views. The same layout is offered when you search by city.
When you’re looking for restaurants you can filter by cuisine, recommended for, or price range. Hotels can be filtered by price per night, property type, neighborhood, hotel class, traveler rating, or amenity type. Filters for Things to Do are attraction type and neighborhood.
When you look for Flights you get a nice popover that prompts you to enter your from, to, departing, returning, number of travelers, cabin and other details – and then tap to find available flights.
This is a universal app and a recently added feature syncs your saves across iPad, iPhone, and PC.
If you’re a frequent traveler TripAdvisor is a great tool to have around to plan and get the most out of your trips. Even if you’re not a big traveler, it’s a handy resource for finding more places to enjoy in your local area.
If you’re after more great free iPad apps, be sure to check out our previous choices for Best Free iPad of the Week. We’ve been doing these for over a year now.