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Top Free Summer Vacation Apps for iPad or iPad Mini

Vacation all I ever wanted. Vacation had to get away! It’s almost Summer in the city and time to start planning vacations, whether they be to tropical isles, or your college roommate’s condo in another city. Before you take off for your trip, curious which are the absolute best apps and games to take with you on your much deserved summer vacation? Odds are you’ll want to share your adventures, brush up on local attractions, and stay connected while you’re having fun. Luckily there are tons of apps available in the App Store that makes organizing and sharing your vacation from your iPad or iPad mini super simple.

Trip Advisor

If you’re an avid traveler, you know a good hotel can make or break your travel experience. And chances are, you’ve checked out a rating or two on travel review site Tripadvisor. Now, with its app you can easily search the same ratings directly from your iPad. From the app, search cheap flights, along with restaurant, hotel, and attraction recommendations. It’ll work regardless where you’re at so this is a great one to have on board for virtually any type of trip. And don’t forget to write reviews for future travelers as well!

Free – iTunes Link

Flight Aware – Flight Tracker

The Flight Aware – Flight Tracker is a free app that lets users keep track and watch arrival times for their flight in real time. The search function is embedded with a radar overlay and includes push notifications for arrival times, departure times, and cancellations. Flight Aware – Flight Tracker app is easy to use and free to download.

Free – iTunes Link

Dwellable

Not everyone likes to stay in hotels when they’re on vacation. Renting a house or finding a condo can be a task if you don’t know where to look, though. Dwellable can you help you with that task by aggregating a huge list of properties for rent near many popular vacation destinations including Hawaii, Vail, Orlando, Palm Springs, and more.

Many of the listings on Dwellable will also have reservation calendars showing when properties are available along with contact information. This way you know while looking whether or not something is available the dates you need to travel. If hotels aren’t your thing and you’re traveling to one of the spots Dwellable supports, make sure to check out what properties are available. You may just be surprised how many you’ll find.

Free – iTunes Link

Instagram

I use Instagram on almost a daily basis but it’s especially cool for sharing pictures on vacation. Not only does it upload your images to a plethora of services (Twitter, Facebook, etc) – you can also add all kinds of cool filter effects to your photos before uploading them.

I’ve always found uploading photos directly to Facebook to be hit or miss. I always use Instagram now. It’s fast and connects to all the services I want to share to. The user interface is simple and uploading a photo only takes seconds, which is great when you’re constantly on the go and just want to share a quick snapshot.

Free – iTunes Link

Trip It

TripIt is a helpful mobile and desktop application to get everyone on the same page. Users can plan trips on TripIt privately or in tandem with co-travelers. Creators can choose to share the itinerary by email or link with anyone. Here, you can discuss flights, car rentals and other transportation options. Plus, add additional details about lodging, restaurants and activities.

TripIt is available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7. It’s an easy way to turn all the confirmation emails from airlines, hotels and restaurants into an easily sharable itinerary. If there are any flight delays, cancellations and gate changes, TripIt will conveniently email real-time updates to the group’s phones. Plus, it conveniently syncs to your mobile or desktop calendar.

Free – iTunes Link

Travel Channel Layover Guide

There’s nothing worse than having a ridiculously long layover or dealing with a canceled flight, especially if you’re on vacation. Instead of sitting in a hotel or wandering around an airport, Travel Channel’s Layover Guide can help cure boredom and irritation by giving you lots of local spots to hang out at that you may have never decided to visit. Everything from breweries to pubs to five start dining and local attractions.

Layover Guide specializes in helping you find the things that locals treasure, not your typical tourist attractions, even though there are some of those included. You can also become more familiar with an area’s musical culture and download music from those countries directly via iTunes links provided to you. Whether you just want to know more about the area you’re traveling to or simply want a better experience when traveling in general, you can’t go wrong with Layover Guide.

Free – iTunes Link

You are now equipped for a great start to your upcoming summer vacation!