We’ve shrunk the world to fit within a two-inch wide screen, and it seems that these days there isn’t anything a mobile app can’t allow us to do through our mighty little lightsabers, be it Facetime from Sao Paulo to San Francisco, search for a place to pee, or hunt for a ghost and a hookup.
You may like to vacation without guidebooks and Google maps, but don’t let the thrill of discovering a destination on your own keep you from checking out these 12 social travel apps. Your next adventure will be all the more memorable, affordable, and inspiring because of them:
Photosynth | Free | iOS | http://photosynth.net/
This photo app stitches together full-sphere panoramic pics and allows users to share their spanning views of the world on Facebook, Windows Live, and Bing Maps.
Gowalla | Free | iOS, Android | http://gowalla.com/
Like Foursquare for travelers, this app lets users browse popular tourist locales to view where their friends have been, local recommendations, and expert advice. Gowalla also integrates guides from National Geographic and other popular travel adventure companies.
EveryTrail | Free | iOS, Android | http://www.everytrail.com/
In addition to tracking your own trek, EveryTrail connects hikers to their network by sharing maps, audio and video memos, and vitals like speed, distance, and elevation for each trail. After planning your own trip, you can view more than 400,000 trips from other users.
1,000 Places To See Before You Die | Free | iPad | http://www.1000places.com/
This iPad app features images and descriptions of the world’s must-see destinations, from Morocco to Martha’s Vineyard, and includes an interactive map for users to give tips about places they’ve seen, or mark locations they plan to see.
AllSnow | Free | iOS | itunes.apple.com
Before hitting the slopes, skiers and snowboarders can check a trail’s conditions, view open lifts and runs, and download offline maps. Afterwards, users can share all their run info, including any reviews, with others.
Trip Journal | $2.99 | iOS, Android | http://www.trip-journal.com/
With the help of geo-tagging and an automatic route tracker, Trip Journal is the perfect app for documenting every aspect of travel. Users can leave notes about locations, log distances and times, add photos or videos at check-in points, and then share their entire trip through e-mail or social network sites.
Strava | Free | iOS, Android, Garmin | http://www.strava.com/
Cyclists and runners can track and visualize their workouts with their GPS enabled device. Users can see how they stack up against other athletes when competing on climbs and ride segments. Use the Explore feature to discover and plan new rides at home or at your next travel destination.
HipGeo | Free | iOS | http://www.hipgeo.com/
Users consumed by wanderlust can upload their adventures and watch as the app creates your very own blog. HipGeo also groups content such as photos, tags and comments, so you can more efficiently research the places you’re interested in visiting.
Trip It | Free | iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry | http://www.tripit.com/uhp/mobile
Forward your various travel confirmation emails to email@example.com and the app will make one, cohesive itinerary for your trip that you can share with friends and family.
Off Exploring | Free | iOS | http://www.offexploring.com/info/iphone
Off Exploring gives you a unique web address so people can follow you as you mobile blog your expeditions. Users can upload pictures and geo-tag their blog posts, as well as research and book accommodations.
Trippy | Free | iOS | http://www.trippy.com/intro.html
Rather than sifting through numerous travel websites for answers about your upcoming trip, Trippy allows you to poll pals for advice via your social networks. Tell Trippy where you’re going and discover which trippy-ed friends have been there so you can ask for travel tips.
Gogobot | Free | iOS | http://www.gogobot.com/
It has never been easier or more fun to create a travel itinerary. Gogobot encourages users to capture and share adventures with personalized “postcards.”
Now get traveling and let us know which apps are your favorites. Then, check out offMetro.com for great getaway ideas near your city.