In today’s digital age, traveling is rarely done without a smartphone. With the ease of information at our fingertips, there’s a wide range of apps out there that can the process of travel less stressful, and enhance the experience of your trip. While we’ve rounded out our favorites here to keep you digitally savvy, be sure to also research niche apps that may be more specific to your next travel destination or specific needs.
At this point, I’m sure everyone under the sun knows what Instagram is. And yes - it’s common knowledge that the app is a great photo sharing app which allows users to document and share visual experiences. But our favorite uses for the app are actually for research and community building. By researching hashtags, locations, and accounts that are dedicated to a specific destination, you’re able to get real time information and visuals on any given location. It can also help you connect and build relationships with people local to the area(s) you plan on exploring.
Mint is probably the best money management app out there and can be used beyond just travel purposes since it identifies your spending habits and keeps you in check. Use the Money Box app to set a goal of how much you need to save to book a trip. You can also enter the goal amount and it will calculate how much you need to save based on the frequency of your contributions and the target date. (Note that this app is only available through the Apple iStore).
A really important part of travel is the ability to communicate. With Google translate, users are able to input words or phrases to be translated. You are also able to take images of words to get be translated, which is especially helpful when translating from languages that do not use the Roman alphabet. Download languages online before you travel, so that you are able to use them offline if/when you do not have service.
If you plan on spending an extended period of time in a country, Duolingo is a great app that will help you to learn the local language. Meet your daily goal by completing lessons, and earning points. To make sure you keep practicing, Duolingo will automatically dock points from past lessons – forcing you to go back and brush up on what you have already learnt.
Google Maps is a savior when traveling. Search for locations and directions to any address in the ever expanding Google databases. Download specific areas of the map when you are online, so that you will have access to them when you do not have access to a network.
Uber is another one of those apps that we would be very surprised if you weren’t already aware about since it has now revolutionized how most people use transportation globally. Be sure to download this staple before you travel just in case you find yourself in need of a ride (and a potential guide if your driver is open enough!).
Ever found yourself in a new country and overwhelmed by numbers when converting currencies? I know my math skills are not always up to par when travelling, so XE Currency makes it all that much easier. The app allows users to easily compare exchange rates for up to 20 currencies and has a great feature which allows users to check rates offline - fantastic for times when you don’t have network or access to WiFi.
This app is for the traveler that wants an organized and well ordered suitcase by giving you the option to create lists of what you need to pack before you leave on your trip. A bonus feature of this app is that it is so easy to personalize not only items to pack, but also things you have to do before go.(Note that this app is only available through the Apple iStore).
This is probably the most useful travel app in our arsenal because of its key features that allow users to text, call, or video chat with all friends, or contacts that have the app globally. All you need is a phone number and a wifi connection and you can stay in touch with anyone, anywhere.
This app is actually most useful before your actual trip. Similar to Skyscanner, this flight app helps you to find the lowest price available for your upcoming trip as well as notify you when the perfect time to buy it is. Once you input your travel dates, the app helps to predict the trends surrounding your destination for those dates to help you book for the lowest price.
Once upon a time, hostels were among the only options budget travelers had for accommodations when traveling. All that has changed with Airbnb, which allows you to not only have a range of options according to your budget, but now a unique local experience with their newly released features. Definitely a must have in your travel arsenal.
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