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I realized that my iPhone addiction had spiraled out of hand when I checked it repeatedly on an expedition cruise through remote sections of the Alaska Inside Passage, searching futilely for enough bars to receive service. My attempts at a digital detox were not successful.

My situation may be extreme, but there's no denying that smartphones have changed the way that we travel. Apps can be used for everything from booking flights and hotels to finding cheap gas and translating signs -- and that's not including all of the interactive guidebooks now available as apps (disclosure: I've written my own Philadelphia iPhone app).

I would feel lost on the road without my iPhone (and more recently, my iPad). Here are some of the iPhone and iPad apps that I can't live without.

Many apps are also available on Android phones, and new versions and updates come out all the time. Remember that when traveling overseas, roaming charges (and data charges) can get expensive. Need apps that work offline? Check out these Best Smartphone Apps for Offline Use.

Skype (www.skype.com, free) Without a doubt, the Skype app has saved me the most money when traveling. As long as you have Wi-Fi, you can call any phone for mere pennies -- and if your family or friends also have Skype, your calls are absolutely free. No time to talk? Use Skype's chatting feature to send free instant messages.

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Instagram (http://instagr.am, free) If you've ever looked at Facebook and wondered why your friends' photos look cooler than yours, it's likely because they're using a photo-editing app on their phone. Instagram sets the standard for its old-timey feel and sharing capabilities.

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Tipster (free) How hard is it to figure out a tip? Well, if you've ever seen a table of writers try to split a bill, you'd know it's not pretty. The app figures out percentages, helps divide tabs between parties, and includes some guidelines for international tipping, although this section could be improved.

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Find it in the Android Market

Kindle (www.amazon.com, free) Sorry, Amazon. I never bought a Kindle device. But I'm loving the Kindle app on my iPad. The pages are easier to read, and the app has most of the features that the device has. And I'm not filling up my suitcase with books anymore.

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GasBuddy (www.gasbuddy.com, free) I don't drive much during the week, so when I take a road trip, I'm always surprised by the price of gas. Earlier this year -- when fuel neared $4 a gallon -- Gas Buddy helped locate stations with the best prices.

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GateGuru (http://gateguruapp.com, free) At the suggestion of travel blogger Chris Christensen of The Amateur Traveler (http://amateurtraveler.com). I just downloaded this app, which shows the shops and services within each airport terminal. Christensen used GateGuru recently in Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) to suss out options when he and his wife were craving different meals (she chose pizza, he went for a burrito). Some shops or restaurants offer check-in specials or discounts.

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Evernote (www.evernote.com, free) Christensen also recommends this app, which allows you to keep track of almost anything -- photos, notes, websites, projects -- in one program that works across computer and mobile platforms. "I keep a copy of my hotel reservations, a copy of my passport, and notes about places I want to see," Christensen says. Bonus: You can share your notes with others. Sure beats hauling around stacks of paper.

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Yelp (www.yelp.com, free) While I've tried other food and restaurant apps such as Urbanspoon (www.urbanspoon.com), I keep coming back to Yelp when I'm on the road. Why? Because Yelp still has the most comprehensive reviews. Checking Yelp was probably the only way that I would have found The Buttered Biscuit (http://thebutteredbiscuit.net), a restaurant in tiny Sumner, Washington, that dishes up French toast made from cinnamon buns. After a day hiking at Mt. Rainier, nothing could be better.

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Travel journalist Chris Gray Faust dishes up travel tips on her award-winning blog, Chris Around The World. She's also the author of the Philadelphia Essential Guide, an app for iPhone and iPad.