Friends, in case you haven’t noticed, we are living in an era of technology. I personally rely heavily on my phone when I am traveling – it helps me navigate, entertains me on long flights and train rides, and keeps me connected to family and friends when I am away from home. And I do almost all of this with apps.
Apps for pre-trip
Hopper (iOS and Android ). Hopper is a nifty little app that will alert you when the flights you’ve been craving are at their lowest. You enter your flight details as you would on any flight booking app (departing airport, arriving airport, date, time, etc.) and Hopper will start tracking the fares for your flight. When it gets low enough, Hopper will send you a notification alerting you to go ahead and book. It also lets you know when the prices are predicted to go back up just in case you don’t have the means to book the flight immediately. The perfect app if you know where and when you’re going but need to go on a budget.
Hostelworld (iOS and Android) I absolutely love hostels. Not only are they cheap accommodations but they’re also usually full of other like-minded young travelers who are probably looking for friends. The Hostelworld app comes in handy when you’re planning your trip thanks to the reviews of past travelers. People review hostels based on security, location, price, etc. which makes picking the best hostel for your wants and needs a total breeze. Hostelworld can also save your ass if your other accommodation fell through for some reason. Hostels usually have last-minute bookings available and depending on where you’re at, you can expect to spend as little as $10/night.
Tripcase (iOS and Android) Tripcase is the perfect companion for helping you keep your plans all in one place. Often when planning a trip, we book a flight with an airline, a train ride with a company, a hostel through a third-party app, a tour through a group, and make a dinner reservation through an app. Tripcase will arrange all your reservations and present them to you in one easy-to-navigate timeline. Brilliant! Plus adding the different bits and pieces of your trip is super simple. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails to Tripcase and they’ll automatically add them to your timeline!
Pack Point (iOS and Android) Pack Point is an over-packer’s dream! It will also help, though, if you’re like me and love to see how small you can make your packing list. Simply enter your destination, the dates, and the activities you plan on doing while you’re there and Pack Point presents a personalized packing list for you. You can remove any items you don’t think are necessary and afterward you’ve got the perfect packing list! No more overpacking!
Apps for navigating and exploring
Wifi Map (iOS and Android) As travelers, we all know how important WiFi is. Many of our handy apps rely on it, not to mention that we use it to keep our family and friends updated to our whereabouts. WiFi Map is great because it provides WiFi passwords to hot spots all over the world. And yes, it’s available offline!
And in case you didn’t know, you can download a city’s map before leaving WiFi to use offline so that you’re never without a map. Good stuff.
Currency converter. I don’t have links for you for this one because there are so dang many on the market. Just pick one that appeals to you – they all basically function the same but are so essential. Knowing the currency conversion in whatever country you’re visiting is crucial so you’re not overspending. I use these apps to figure out how much money I should pull out of an ATM so I know I’m not overdrawing my account. They’re also great for figuring out how much your dinner was in your home currency so, once again, you’re not blowing your budget.
I emphasize the not going over your budget point so much because I have been the victim of this situation. I (stupidly) forgot about the fact that the UK Pound is way more than the dollar and screwed myself when shopping one time. Oops. Don’t be like me. Track your currency.
Apps for language
Duolingo (iOS and Android). Duolino is my number one recommendation for trying to learn another language. The app is set up in a game-like way and sometimes doesn’t even feel like learning at all. The app emphasizes listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities so you’re not boxed in by only knowing how to speak a language but not being able to read a menu. The ultimate goal of Duolingo is to translate the entirety of the internet so as you learn, you can translate articles from all over the world (don’t worry, people check your work before it’s published so you’re not at fault for screwing up an informational article). My personal best Duolingo streak is 164 days in a row – can you beat it?!
Google Translate (iOS and Android). Another staple for any traveler. Google Translate is more instantaneous than Duolingo and is super handy for trying to communicate with locals. Like many of the apps on this list, the language you need can be downloaded onto your phone for use even when you’re offline. This is especially useful when you’re attempting to have a conversation with a local. If you don’t feel confident enough to tackle the pronunciation, you can simply type it into Google Translate and show them your phone. Most people are pretty familiar with this app and for good reason.
So there you have it, folks! These are some of our must-have travel apps but there are hundreds more on the market. They make our lives so easy! What are some of your favorite travel apps? We’d love to hear about them so leave them in the comments and we’ll be sure to download them!
-The Wayfaring Photographer