After 4 months of non-stop travel and constant downloading and deleting of unnecessary travel apps, there’s 10 that have made the cut every time and that I couldn’t live without. These 10 apps facilitate smooth transitions into a foreign country, keep you organized while on the move, and overall, make life easier while traveling to an unfamiliar place! So if an international trip is in your future, make sure you have these 10 apps downloaded on your phone!!
For Getting Around/Directions: iPhone Maps/Google Maps
Sounds obvious right? But, there may be a function you didn’t even know about! Maps works without service, meaning it will track your location and even verbally guide you even when your phone’s on Airplane mode. You only need service to plug in your destination and receive the route. So make sure to complete this first step before you leave a WiFi zone or turn off your cellular data, then proceed to the guided route! No more getting lost in a foreign place?
For Money [and other] Conversions: GlobeConvert
If you’re bad at simple math like I am?, you NEED to download this app for international travel! It’ll help know exactly how much you’re paying in your home currency, it’ll help you haggle in foreign countries, as well as quickly assess if you’re ever getting ripped off. Too many times I failed at all these things simply because I couldn’t convert currencies fast enough in my head or because I converted wrongly. As an added bonus, you can also use the app to convert distance (which is great for Americans…why haven’t we adopted the metric system yet!? lol), temperature, weight, etc.
For Meeting Other Travelers: Travello
If you’re a solo or long-term traveller, this one’s extra awesome! The purpose of the app is to help travelers in the same locations meet up and become travel buddies! Whether it means finding a friend to have a drink with or join you on an adventure, it makes meeting friends in a unfamiliar place incredibly simple. To use the app, just enter in your location or travel itinerary, and see who matches up with your travel plans- it will show you which travelers are closest to you in km and you can message them from there! Or you can also post on your location’s chat board and let people know you’re looking to make friends. Not trying to expand your travel circle? You can still use the app to ask for destination-based tips and recommendations in the “Noticeboard” section ?
For Language Barriers: Google Translate App
I think we can all agree- being unable to communicate in a foreign country is stressful! Especially when trying to get to the correct destination in a taxi, find the nearest bathroom, or just order the right dish on the menu. For these situations, it’s a life-saver to have the Google Translate app for effectively communicating your needs and avoiding getting lost in translation.
For Deciding Where to Eat/What to Do/Where to Stay: TripAdvisor App
TripAdvisor is my go-to when planning out my travel itinerary. It’s the best for finding honest reviews for the best restaurants/activities/hotels in your destination, and it can truly elevate the quality of your trip if you take the time to read through them. If you don’t have time to read reviews though, you can still want to find quick recommendations for your area! Just click the “Near Me Now” option after entering in your city, filter the list by distance, and instantly access all the top-rated places closest to you. You can even click on the address to map out your route on Google Maps!
For Budgeting and Managing Your Money: Banking Apps
At this point in time, I’m almost positive all banks now have their own mobile apps, which are great for checking on your account while traveling. Use it to keep a good eye on your budget/spending, notify the bank of your travel plans (My banking app just added this function, but may not be available to all banks), stay aware of international purchase fees, and easily communicate with your bank in case of any abroad theft, fraud, etc.
For Bookings: Expedia App
I personally use Expedia to book all of my hotels, and many of my flights 1) Because they usually always offer the lowest prices and 2) They have an amazing rewards program, especially when booking on the app! To be specific: You’re rewarded 3X the amount of member points when booking on the app, which later turns into travel money (I currently have $275 to my name in Expedia points!). Plus, it sends your phone notifications of when you can check in, whether your flight is on time or delayed, and which baggage carousel to find your checked bags after you land!
For Managing Travel Plans: Apple Wallet (only for iPhone users)
This app isn’t just for Apple Pay! It also acts a place where you can organize all your travel itineraries. There’s been several times while traveling that I book a flight with Expedia, but book accommodation with AirBnB and find myself constantly switching between these 2 apps to mentally organize my travel plans. However, if you add all your bookings to Apple Wallet, you can view your itinerary in a cohesive, continuous feed.
For Making International Calls: Skype App
This app helped me survive my recent 4 months of non-stop travel without either an international data plan or an international sim card because it allows you to make calls using WiFi! This was super handy for keeping in touch with family and friends back home, international calls in my local destination, as well as toll-free calls to my bank and Expedia, etc. It seemed to have the best connection/fewest amount of call-drops compared to WhatsApp and FaceTime, plus, it saved me a ton of money!
For Storing Travel Photos & Documents: Dropbox App
While traveling internationally, you’re bound to need more phone storage for 2 reasons: you’ll most likely be taking more photos than usual and you’ll need a safe place to store your important travel documents. To make more room in my photo library while traveling, I simply transfer my photos to my Dropbox app, where I can then also access them online on my laptop. Additionally, I use it to store copies of my passport and travel insurance in case of emergencies, and also because it’s a safer place than my photo library to store confidential documents!
Do you have any other favorite travel apps to add that make your life easier? If so, please comment them below!