5 Free Travel Apps Actually Worth Downloading

Take a minute to count the number of apps you've downloaded to your phone. Now take another minute  a few seconds and count the ones that you actually use on a regular basis. I'm willing to bet that there's a big difference between those two numbers. (Don't worry; we're all guilty of app hoarding.)

If you're an avid traveler, then you know the importance of being organized and prepared. No one wants to be that guy; you know, the one holding up the whole security line because he accidentally packed an ice axe in his carry-on. (See: 8 Unexpected Things You Didn't Know You Could Pack in Your Checked Bags)

So, instead of wasting your free gigabytes on apps that never get opened, free up some space and download a few digital travel tools that will actually come in handy, both when you're away from home and even when you're in your regular domain.

5 Free Travel Apps Actually Worth Downloading

1.) Waze

Waze crowd sources traffic and gas price data to help save you time and money. Users contribute real-time traffic updates so you can plan alternate routes in case of a back-up and community-shared gas prices let you know which close-by stations are most affordable. Other features include: alerts about accidents, hazards, police traps, and road closures, voice-guided navigation with automatic re-routing,  and the ability to save frequent destinations, commuting hours and regular routes.

iTunes App Store reviewers say: "I avoided a fatal accident on interstate 81 the other day and saved myself at least three hours of being stuck in traffic while state police did their investigation."

2.) AroundMe

Forget Google Maps, when you use AroundMe finding nearby local businesses of any kind is as easy as pie. This simple navigation app searches your surroundings to help you find the closest café, bank, movie theater, super market, or really, whatever it is that you're looking for. Conduct a search within in one of 20 categories and AroundMe pulls up a list of every nearby business in the chosen category including the distance from your current location. It also provides maps with route information and outside links that can connect you with more information about a listing.

iTunes App Store reviewers say: "Very helpful, especially when on the road in unfamiliar areas! I was having car troubles and was able to locate a dealer quickly with this app since I was 700 miles from home and had no clue about the area."

3.) SkyScanner

A top flight-finder app, SkyScanner helps you quickly compare airfare across hundreds of different airlines. Useful for both on-the-fly-explorers and deliberately-destined travelers, you can use this app to discover new destinations by exploring featured low-priced flights or compare fares by searching for specific itineraries. Features include the ability to filter results by categories like cabin class, airline and departure times, chart views that display prices across weeks or months, and "spin the globe," which lets you see how much money you can save by flying to certain destinations from airports nearby your departure location.  

iTunes App Store reviewers say: "Very slick app design, great layout and features. Much better than larger competitors like Kayak. Nicely done."

4.) FlightView
FlightView makes you a more organized and up-to-date traveler by helping you track both upcoming and in-air flights. With updates about gate assignments, flight cancellations and delays you'll always be in the known while you're on-the-go. You can also use it to view flight paths and weather information for both your departure and arrival cities and check terminal and baggage claim information. And if you ever get stuck, FlightView will help you search for alternative flights, too.

iTunes App Store reviewers say: "I've been using FlightView for 6+ months. It's consistently accurate, sometimes more accurate than the flight data posted in the airport!"

5.) Connect

Connect meshes with your social networks to generate an up-to-date map of your contacts around the world. It syncs with everything from Facebook to Twitter and LinkedIn to Google Contacts so you can easily keep tabs on the cities that all of your friends live in. Use it to search your network by factors like name, location, groups and even relationship status and get updates when out-of-town friends travel to your area or let friends know how long you'll be in a certain location.

iTunes App Store reviewers say: "So far it's been incredible. Traveled to ATL for an event, pulled up the app and quickly saw all my linkedin connections that were in the area so I could make the most effective use of my time!