If you’re like me, you sure want to have all the practical information handy way before you land in a new country. And even though you might have visited it before, you certainly didn’t get the chance to see all the places that are to be seen. Unless you’re Chris Guillebeau. Travel apps are always your best friend in this case.
Want to go to a certain restaurant because one of your friends tweeted the picture of the most perfect, yummiest dish you’re craving? Or check out that gallery that’s running a timely exhibit of your favorite artist? Or maybe there’s a particular running route you want to cover within the next few days after you reach your destination? All of them are on these high-tech apps whenever you need them.
So, before you pack your bags and see the world, check out this list of travel apps that should anticipate all your on-the-road needs.
Making a checklist of everything you need to pack can be useful, but what if one’s already made for you? PackPoint looks at the weather forecast for the dates and location of your trip. It will also ask you to select activities you may participate in during your trip, like a meeting for business, a swim at a pool, or a fancy dinner. It will then offer up a list of items you should pack based on these activities, along with general items you’d need on any trip. You can remove items you don’t think are necessary. You can share lists with others, in case your friends need some help, too. (Free on iOS and Android)
Your mobile trip planner, Trip It shows all your trip details at a glance: flights, hotels, car, map, directions—all in one place. You can sync your travel plans with your online or mobile calendar, share itineraries and post travel plans on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. (Free on iOS and Android)
As well as its abundance of crowd-sourced reviews, TripAdvisor has a nifty feature that offers offline city guides that include all of the reviews and tips listed on the Web version. Using the guides you can navigate a self-guided tour and pick out places to eat and drink along the way, even if you have no data connection.
TripAdvisor is a catch-all app when it comes to travel. You can quickly peruse millions of reviews, opinions, videos, and photos pertaining to just about anything related to your trip — bars, restaurants, hotels, airlines, and more. You can use TripAdvisor’s Near Me function to find well-reviewed places close by, but the best feature the app has to offer is the number of countries it supports — it’s just everywhere, making it a necessary guide for every traveler. Furthermore, you can ask specific travel questions in the app’s forums or add your own reviews in a similar fashion to Yelp. (Free on iOS and Android)
This translator can be a useful tool to support your own, more serious language learning, but realistically, it’s most useful on a practical level quickly translating day-to-day words you come across on your travels. For example, you can hold your camera up to text – such as a sign, or a menu – and Google will translate it for you instantly. It’s an essential app for any traveller.
You won’t feel completely lost at your destination if you have access to Google Translate. You can either type into a word box or use the speaking option to translate a phrase. You can translate 58 languages in text and hear 23 languages worth of converted phrases. (Free on iOS and Android)
TripVerse is an itinerary sharing social network that lets travellers create, view offline, share, and explore genuine trip itineraries created by their friends and other travel enthusiasts. (Free on iOS and Android)
PayPal is the fastest and safest way to send and receive money here and abroad. If you’re an online/ digital nomad entrepreneur, Paypal is your best choice to receive payment from your customers same as when you’re an online freelancer. (Free on iOS and Android)
Stay in touch with your friends and family while you’re on the road exchanging real-time messages without paying for SMS. All you need is a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. (Free on iOS and Android)
For a long time, whenever I was spotted using Google Maps to navigate London’s public transport network a friend would look over and prod: “Oh, don’t you use Citymapper?” Eventually, I relented.
Comprehensive, easy to use and also playful, Citymapper offers more detailed journey planner information than Google, including real-time departures and disruption alerts, as well as Uber integration and cycle routes. It is available in around 30 cities worldwide, with all the obvious city-break destinations covered. It even tells you how long your journey will take by jetpack – useless information really, but hopefully something to cheer you up when your train is cancelled. (Free on iOS and Android)
With Mint you can easily organize your finances, keep an eye on your travel budget and track your expenses during your trip. It’s absolutely safe and secure. That because it’s a “read-only” service, which means that you can’t move funds between accounts, and neither can anybody else. (Free on iOS and Android)
XE is the go-to site for currency conversions on the web, so it’s no surprise that its app is so popular: with over 20 million downloads since launch. It has lots of business-oriented features, such as rates for precious metals and historic currency charts, but for the traveller it is most useful for the simple fact that it’s able to convert every world currency. It also functions offline by saving the last updated rates, which is great if you’re in a place with limited connectivity or trying to save on data. (Free on iOS and Android)
What is your favorite travel app? How it helps you to be more efficient on the road?
I would love to hear your experiences! Leave your tips, suggestions, insights, violent reactions on the comment box below!
This post might be helpful when you’re looking for travel apps that will help you while on the road.
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Do you need to purchase travel insurance? It’s always a good practice to get travel insurance for your trip. To avail, I would highly recommend WORLD NOMADS (the travel insurance that I personally use ever since I started traveling abroad) since they offer the best price, coverage and support.