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Top Five Must-Try Travel Apps

School is back in session. And though we’ve just completed the traditional end of the summer season with the celebration of Labor Day, some of you lucky ones have fall vacations on your radars.

But with the hectic nature of the “back-to-school” season, it seems like your vacation-planning time is sorely lacking. (Ideally, you’d have vacation time to plan your vacations, right?)

Don’t fret. Check out this list of five apps useful for planning your fall trips. Save some much needed time and give ‘em a look:

1. Kayak
A trip starts with a location and unfortunately a pricey plane ticket. Not only will Kayak compare multiple travel sites at once (Priceline, Travelocity, Bookit.com, Expedia, CheapOair), you can also book car rentals and hotels using their same unique comparative interface.

Browse vacation destinations based on interests such as “family,” “golf,” “island” or “romantic.” And be sure to check out “Today’s Top Deals” for awesome packages.

2. TripIt
You already get what seems like several hundred emails a day. The last thing you need is all of those confirmation emails from hotels, airlines, car rental places, etc. Forward all of them to plans@tripit.com—after you signup for an account—and TripIt will generate a digital itinerary you can access on your smartphone.

Planning multiple trips within the next few months? No problem. You can create multiple trips to keep everything organized.

It sounds unusual, but TripIt won the Best Travel Mobile App in 2011 at the Webby Awards (think the Oscars, but for geekier things). So it’s well worth a look.

3. Dropphox
If you’re like us, you snap uhh, a lot of pictures on a trip. And if you’re lacking space on your smartphone for said pics, Dropphox is just the ticket.

Dropphox is an app that sends your iPhone photos to a designated Dropbox folder, giving you needed storage on your phone. And, bonus, if you’ve shared a Dropbox folder with friends or family back home they’ll get notified of any photos added in real time. (Slightly creepy, but pretty cool).

4. Highlights for iPad
Foursquare or Gowalla allows people to check into locations as they visit them. Highlights took advantage of those platforms and compiled the most checked-in locations on a browsable map. So if you find yourself in an unfamiliar part of your vacation destination, pull up the map and check out reviews and photos of nearby hot spots.