Something that should be joyous and relaxing, when you make the decision to go on vacation you hope to have a wonderful experience. A lot less fun, if you go on a business trip it is likely to be imperative that things play out as planned. As such, no matter what inspires you to hit the road, anything you can do ahead of time to make things go off without a hitch is going to be worth it.
Technology that has become a much bigger part of our lives than we ever would have expected, there are endless apps out there that can help make parts of your life better. Even more applicable when you go to a land that you are not used to, there are many apps that you can install on your devices to make trips run a heck of a lot smoother. Realizing that inspired us to put together this list of the 20 best apps that any world traveler should have on their phone.
In order for an app to be considered for possible inclusion on this list, it first and foremost needs to be quite useful for someone that finds themselves on a jaunt away from home. For the purposes of this list, it makes absolutely no difference what operating system the app works with which means you could find android or iPhone exclusive products here. On the other hand, if an app costs money it could still appear here but its ranking on this list may be affected. Finally, we’ve excluded apps that have nothing to do with traveling even though you are likely to use them on a trip, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or others of that ilk. Please keep in mind that some of these apps fail to work in some regions, as a result, it would be advisable to look into that before installing them on your device.
Applicable only to those that like to travel in groups, Splitwise is the perfect app to put to rest arguments about who should pay and how much. Able to take in a great deal of financial information, the core concept of Splitwise is that you input all of the expenses incurred during a trip and how many people will be splitting those expenses. Then you have one person pay until it comes time to settle up, at which point the app will let everyone know how much everyone else needs to fork over.
Shockingly under-promoted, AirHelp is an absolute must for anyone that flies regularly but is not comfortable fighting with the airlines. That’s because it is just a fact of life that for any number of reasons airline customers regularly are severely inconvenienced by some kind of error outside of their control. What you may not realize is that there actually are legal protections in a lot of those situations and you may be owed a refund. That is where AirHelp steps in, as it allows your ticket to be scanned and if you are owed a refund the company will fight on your behalf to get it.
Something akin to a search engine for those looking to book the cheapest flights, hotels, and rental cars, Kayak is designed to bring together information from many different travel websites. Gaining access to all of that information is a pretty powerful thing and could be a great way to save a great deal of money. That seems so appealing that you may be wondering why this app doesn’t appear higher on this list. There is one simple reason for that, some users that have had bad experiences with the app so while it seems mostly reliable there is still an element of rolling the dice involved.
Potentially one of the worst parts of taking a trip, ending up in a foreign land where they speak a different language than you can be an intimidating thing.
While there is only so much you can do about that, if you have the time and are willing to put in the effort, then learning to say some basic things could make your trip go a lot smoother.
Far from free, as a one-month pro-subscription cost $11.99, Memrise is said to be fantastic at teaching the previously uninformed to say a few pivotal things in a long list of different languages.
16 XE Currency
A far too common occurrence, the number of people that have made a purchase in another country thinking they’ve got a great deal only to find out they are wholly mistaken is way too high.
Often taking place because the person in question does not understand the exchange rate between the money from their homeland and where they are visiting, this error could now be a thing of the past.
All you need to do in order to eliminate this possibility is download XE Currency and then you can easily track the exchange rates between all of the world’s currency as it updates daily.
Something that a lot of people leave to the night before they hit the road, packing for a trip actually deserves a lot more attention than that in our view. We feel that way because it is far too easy to pack too much or too little and find yourself paying the price for that the entire time you’re away from home. Fortunately, Packpoint is the answer to all of those troubles. All you have to do is give the app info like where you are going, how long you will be away, and what you plan to do. In response, the app will give you a list of exactly what to bring with you.
14 Hotel Tonight
An app that hopefully you will never need to use, you will be really happy it's there if things go awry. Hotel Tonight is the app to turn to if your accommodations unexpectedly fall apart.
Able to develop relationships with a long list of hotel chains and individual businesses, the app claims they get discounts on otherwise empty rooms.
Also said to be extremely easy to navigate, they claim that it is as easy as “three taps, one swipe, you’re booked”.
The second app on this list that aims to teach people basic phrases from other languages, Duolingo has one major thing going for it that Memrise does not, it is entirely free.
Designed to seem like a game while it teaches its users, its interface is also meant to help keep people motivated to come back and learn more.
As such, if the more professional app that is Memrise doesn’t appeal to you then we think that Duolingo is the answer.
Incredibly expansive, TripAdvisor brings together an unbelievably large amount of reviews to give a pretty fantastic picture of what if feels like to use any number of services during trips.
For instance, if you are wondering how you will be treated at various hotels, airlines, car rental businesses, or restaurants this app is a great place to turn.
Actually, the only problem is that you can find yourself exhaustively comparing all of those things for hours on end if you are the type of person that likes to meticulously plan everything.
The major problem that comes along with flying across the world, traveling by plane means that your personal vehicle has not come with you. While the easiest answer to that issue is renting a car, if you like to travel on the cheap that can be a huge expense to undertake. As such, you may find yourself looking for the best public transit options where you are, but simply going to Google with that issue can be frustrating and confusing. That is not a problem at all, though, if you are in an area covered by Citymapper as it showcases all public transit options in your vicinity.
10 Mobile Passport
While some apps have gimmicky names, this one has foregone all of that and is named after exactly what it provides for its users, a mobile passport. If you are wondering why that is advantageous to the paper kind, which you also need to carry with you, it's simple — it can be scanned. This allows you to entirely skip the lines at customs which can take far too long. Sadly only usable for citizens of America and Canada as of yet, if you fall into those categories and travel into the United States regularly, this app can save you from a lot of irritation.
9 Google Translate
Earlier on this list, we looked at a pair of apps that help you learn a few basic words and phrases from other languages, but let’s be real, many of us really aren’t going to put that work in. If you agree with that sentiment but still plan to go to lands you don't know the language, then we highly suggest you install Google Translate on your phone. That’s because it can translate 103 different languages while online and 59 without the Internet, and there are multiple methods to input words into it, including taking pictures of words and speaking.
Meant for those that like to go off the beaten path, if you travel to a city that supports Detour, then you will be really missing out if you don’t give it a whirl at least once. Created to serve as a digital tour guide, it has brought together a lot of information about things outside of the typical tourist traps to do in several major vacation destinations. Featuring audio that guides you along as you make your way to many fascinating and easy-to-miss locations, it feels like you are being shown the sights by an old friend that knows his stuff.
A pivotal part of any given trip, sadly, when you go on vacation, you have no control over the weather and it can make or break your getaway. For that reason, if you are planning a last-minute jaunt, it makes all the sense in the world to check with the Accuweather app to get a really good idea of what kind of weather you will be dealing with. Of course, most people make their vacation plans far in advance so that is not an option. However, if you check out the weather in the lead up to a trip or even while you are there, it can help you plan around Mother Nature to the best of your ability.
Consistently becoming a major part of a lot of people’s everyday life, Uber can be even more useful when you are in a strange land and without the car you use to get back and forth at home. An easy-to-use app that helps you get from here to there, if you aren’t 100% certain of the best route to travel, you can turn to Uber and let that stress go. Of course, whenever you are relying on strangers, there is always the possibility that things can go awry, but in all likelihood getting from A to B with the help of Uber will go as you hoped.
A combination of websites like Craigslist and Kijiji with the world of hospitality, Airbnb allows you to gain access to the home, apartment, cottage, or hostel of a complete stranger. While that may not appeal to some people that are used to enjoying the amenities that come along with renting out a hotel room, there is still no doubt that Airbnb can be fantastic.
For instance, it can cost a heck of a lot less and it also gives you a far more unique experience than staying in a cookie-cutter room at the local hotel chain.
Of course, you still have to be aware that some Airbnb stays are quite disappointing.
4 WiFi Map
Something that didn’t even exist for previous generations, having to put thought into how you will gain access to the Internet while on the road is a relatively new issue when it comes to travel. Despite that, the fact of the matter is that it is a major concern for most travellers and for a long time solving it could cost a pretty penny. Thankfully, that was before an app like WiFi Map existed. A database of hotspot locations, WiFi passwords, and information about the quality of the connection, it can be your guide to Internet access.
3 Hotspot Shield Free Privacy and Security VPN Proxy
By far the most common method of accessing the Internet while traveling the world, now that WiFi connections are available pretty much everywhere it only makes sense to use them. However, there are very good reasons to be wary of how exposed connecting your devices with these networks can make you.
After all, while you gain access to the Internet, you could be exposing whatever info is stored on your device to hackers.
That is why we suggest you employ Hotspot Shield Free Privacy and Security VPN Proxy as it makes it much harder for the unwelcome to steal your private information.
An app that can help you with virtually every element of your trip, Yelp is where people go to review pretty much every business around these days. As such, if you are considering going to that restaurant or shop down the street but are curious if it is worth the trek, then you can turn to Yelp to get an answer from other people like you. Sadly, like all things, there have been people who’ve tried to pervert this system with fake reviews but it has to be noted that for the most part the information found on the app can be relied upon.
1 Google Maps
Imagine this, you plan to go on a vacation and you make all these plans that will lead to fun and relaxation. Then you make it to your destination and are met with the reality that you have no idea how to get to all of the places where you want to go. In the past, you could turn to a concierge or ask a local, but then you’re relying on your memory of their instructions and the assumption they know their stuff. In the modern world, it makes a lot more sense to turn to the Google Maps app which will tell you in real time how to get exactly where you need to be at any given moment.