One of the Best Travel Apps for iPhone – From the US Government?

by brian on July 16, 2011

This post is sponsored by Tours4Fun.com.

Government in general is not known for doing much right. The layers of people and bureaucracy mean that the best plans usually never come to fruition because of how big the government machine is.

But there are always exceptions…

Case in point: The US State Department released a great free app called SmartTraveler. It condenses the State Department’s travel information someone who is actually on the road with their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Sorry Google fans, I don’t see the app for Android powered phones or tablets.

SmartTravelerTitle 333x500 One of the Best Travel Apps for iPhone   From the US Government?

One benefit of the app is the ability for you to register for with the State Department before you arrive in a country, or even when you get there. In case of emergency, say the earthquake/tsunami in Japan or riots in Egypt, the State Department can find you, help you evacuate or give your other resources you may need if you’re in trouble. Many people don’t register, but I think its an important service that is wrongly ignored.

STEP – Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is something you pay for with your tax dollars as an American, so certainly take advantage of it.

TravelEnr250x5001 One of the Best Travel Apps for iPhone   From the US Government?

The app covers everything you would need to know for any country you plan on visiting in the world. Can’t decide where you want to go next? The app allows you to shake your iPhone and it gives the info on a random country. If you don’t have a world map on a wall, a blindfold and a dart, this just might do to pick your next destination.

Know250x500 199x300 One of the Best Travel Apps for iPhone   From the US Government?

The app lists the latest travel warnings as deemed appropriate by the US State Department. There is always the debate about whether the State Department is too conservative in their warnings, but you can never be too careful.

TravelWarning2 333x500 One of the Best Travel Apps for iPhone   From the US Government?

Travel Alerts are similar to Travel Warnings, but are shorter term in nature.
TravelAlerts333x500 One of the Best Travel Apps for iPhone   From the US Government?

The full list of what you may want to know before you go to a country is listed here. Safety & Security and Crime are big ones but some of the other categories can be just as important.
Know250x500 One of the Best Travel Apps for iPhone   From the US Government?

The app is not flashy, and that in my mind is what makes it great. Simple, orderly information for you to process and decide whether you should go, or whether you should get out if you’re there already. Check it out – Smart Traveler app

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

claire July 17, 2011 at 7:31 PM

That’s a very cool and handy to have app. Thanks for sharing it, Brian!

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brian July 18, 2011 at 6:13 AM

It is pretty cool. Travel.State.gov on the go and updated in your hands. Thanks for reading!

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Kris Koeller July 18, 2011 at 3:49 PM

These travel advisories are really handy, but don’t show them to your parents. They’ll be freaked out by the candor…

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brian July 19, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Yeah I would avoid showing the travel advisories to anyone who is going to worry about you…

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Andy April 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

This looks like a great app to have if you’re on an extended trip, where conditions could change drastically. I suppose if you’re just on a 1-2 week trip like most people take conditions wouldn’t change too much (except natural disasters). Since I’m planning on doing some extended travel next year, I think I’ll pick up this app.

Thanks much!

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brian May 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Why not pick up the app? It’s free! And it really works well. Much better than searching the website. It being a mobile app forces it to be more efficient in getting you the information you need. You may be on a slow wi-fi connection or have limited time with a data set up. There was some real thought put into this app.

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