Ready to hit the road for business or pleasure? The best travel apps will help you save time, money, space and energy. But with hundreds of options available on the market, which ones lead the pack in terms of value and ease-of-use?
To find out, we asked dozens of different travel experts worldwide two simple questions:
“What are your most frequently used travel apps, and what do you love about them?” Eighty nine professionals who take frequent business trips or make a living as full-time digital nomads pitched in with their go-to favourites.
Read on to discover each expert’s top picks, with apps covering everything from flight and accommodation booking to communication, dining, recreation, documentation and everything else in between.
Check out the list below to see tried-and-tested travel apps by category. Otherwise, cozy up and have a blast scrolling through!
Travel Apps Arranged by Category
- Booking and Trip Management
Airfare, Airline Facilities, Flight Tracking: SkyScanner, MakeMyTrip, Seat Guru, Flightview, FlightTrack, Clear, OnTheFly
Accommodations: Expedia, HotelTonight, Airbnb, Hostelworld, Hotels.com, AllStays Camp & RV, Hotel Coupons
Trip Management: TripIt, TripDo, Todoist, Google Now, TripCase, WorldMate
- Information and Entertainment
Attractions and Activities: TripAdvisor Offline Cityguides, Gogobot, Trippy, Trover, Instagram (just check the entries labeled with the hashtag for your destination), Foursquare, Triposo, RootsRated, Wikisherpa
Local apps from tourism boards or residents of your destination – much like WhatNow?, British Street Food, Roadside America and Hip Marrakech – showcasing the best that their city has to offer
Time: Time Buddy, World Clock
Entertainment: Kindle, Spotify, Hulu Plus, TuneIn Radio, Shazam, Apple Podcast, Sudoku, rdio
Fitness: Nike Training Club
Meditation: Lucent, Headspace
Online: Google Maps (saved routes available offline), Waze, City Mapper, Motion-X GPS, Citymapper (saved routes available offline), Metro MX Apps, Apple Maps
Offline: City Maps 2 Go, Maps With Me (also Maps.Me), OsmAnd Maps and Navigation
Compass Apps: Compass, Command Center Compass
Transportation: Taxi Finder, Uber, RoadNinja, Tube Map
- Conversion and Money Management
Currency Conversion: XE Currency, Currency FX, Currency, Oanda Currency Converter
Expense Trackers: Trail Wallet, Receipts Pro, Share-a-bill, Expensify, Money Journal, Mint, Cash Journal
- Communication and Connectivity
Communication: Whatsapp, Skype, MagicJack, Viber, GV Phone
Translation and Language Learning: DuoLingo, Way Go, Word Lens, Jibbigo, iTranslate, Tourist Language, Google Translate, Word Reference
Connectivity: Gogo Wireless, Coverage, SpeedTest, Boingo Wi-Finder
Photography and Image Editing: Instagram, TriggerTrap, The Photographer’s Ephemeris, Snapseed, LightTrac, Camera+, Pro HDR, Food Note, Stuck in Customs
Dining: Open Table, UrbanSpoon, Yelp, Foodspotting
Data Storage: Dropbox, Box, Google Drive
Time Management: Todoist
Documentation: Evernote, JotNot Pro, ColorNote, Groovebook
News and Social Media Management: Hootsuite, Byline
E-signature: SignEasy, DocuSign
Password Management: LastPass
Board Meeting Application: Convene
Responses listed in the order they were received:
Tom Ellsworth — President of Globanet
- Weatherbug – seems to be the best and fastest from a phone
- FlightView – I go there 4 hours ahead and check on destination airport status – it has helped me more than once avoid flying into a winter storm / delay. We get to busy we forget about weather at the OTHER END.
- The Cloud – I use several cloud-based business tools that sync to the laptop: Dropbox, BOX and Evernote.
Jay Berkowitz — Ten Golden Rules
A booking tip, I always use Google Maps to find a hotel location close to my business destinations, and I use Open Table to find highly rated restaurants and make reservations. I also do a quick search for deals before I book, for example, I was looking for a hotel in downtown Detroit, I searched for a deal and found a birth year offer form The Westin, pay one night and the second night pay only your birth year, e.g. $70 if you were born in 1970.
Barry Maher — Motivational speaker, author and consultant
The apps I use most frequently while traveling are Dropbox to access my data; Tripit to keep track of all details of my various trips; Seat Guru so I don’t end up on a six hour flight in a non-reclining seat next to the rest room; various airline company apps so I can keep track of flight delays and rebook when a problem is developing; Google Maps and Wayz, get me where I need to be; SignEasy gets documents signed; Skype for calling overseas; Translate when I don’t know the language; and Trailhead when I want to take a hike. It used to be I’d come back from a trip and have to spend two or three days catching up on all I’ve hadn’t been able to do. Now I come back and not only have I kept pace, often I’ve even been able to get to some things, like writing my newsletter, that I can never seem to get around to at the office.
David Barrett — Expensify
We are living in a golden era of great services for business travelers, such as Clear for skipping security lines, Uber for getting where you need to go, Expensify for scanning receipts and managing your itinerary, Airbnb for feeling like home while on the road, Gogo wireless for staying connected in he air, etc. Make a point to really give them a shot, even if it means developing new habits to go with them.”
Marc Anderson — TalktoCanada
Check out travel advisories issued by the Canadian government and the US > If we’re traveling more for pleasure and just want to find a destination that’s on for a reasonable price I always visit the Kayak Travel Explorer which allows you to put in your home airport and find fares all throughout the world > In order to book a place, we use VRBO and I start with pinpointing my specific travel dates and area where I’d like to be and email all those rentals that fit our criteria. From this, I’m always able to knock 20-60% off the rates for those who can’t rent out during the travel period (don’t expect any savings during the highest of travel periods for that particular location).
Teju Owoye — Tusodo
Prepare for your trip by downloading important travel apps ahead of time. Some of my favorites are: HotelTonight, City Maps 2Go, WhatsApp, and Trippy are all apps that will save you a ton of time and stress on the road.
Gary Arndt — Everything Everywhere
- TripIt – I use this all the time. I don’t even consider a flight or hotel actually booked until it is in TripIt.
- Gogobot – I use this to find out what to do and where to eat wherever I am around the world.
- Google Maps – I use this app almost every day to get from A to B all over the world.
Adam Groffman — Eating Europe Tours
- Foursquare – I love using the Foursquare app when traveling because you can search by keyword or topic – so if you’re sitting in your hotel room and looking for a great place for brunch, you just search for “brunch” and see what comes up. The app will show you if any friends of yours have been there or recommended other places, so it’s a great way to come back home with more interesting stories.
- Instagram – Instagram isn’t probably an app you think about for traveling, but it’s actually super useful. Before going to a new place, I usually search the name of the city/country as a hashtag to see what types of photos people are putting up. You can use it to find cool things to do or even cute cafés and restaurants. I think the search feature on Instagram is hugely underrated.
- Local apps like ‘British Street Food’ – I love searching for local apps before visiting somewhere as well. For example, before visiting London, I found and downloaded an app called “British Street Food” which shows all the food trucks across the UK and how to find them, plus includes ratings & reviews. If you’re looking for something specific, it’s almost guaranteed that at this day and age, there’ll be an app for it. So just search beforehand and download a few trials to see what works for your holiday!
Jennifer Miner — The Vacation Gals
My three favorite travel apps work on iOS and Android, have location flexibility, and are free — so there’s nothing to lose by downloading them, not even $1.99!
- Waze – this GPS navigation app helps alter routes while you’re driving, with up-to-the-minute reports on slowdowns and traffic accidents. Users give tips in real time. Full voice guided nav (like on Google Maps) completes this app’s usefulness.
- UrbanSpoon – one of the apps I’ve had for the longest time, and still very useful for travelers. Over 800,000 restaurants all over the world are rated on UrbanSpoon; turn your location on to get recommendations near you wherever you are. Want to see different recommendations? Shake your phone for new results.
- Word Lens – You know how music app Shazaam will name whatever song you’re listening to after you hold your phone up to the music source? Word Lens is similar: hold your phone up to a printed word and it translates into whatever language you wish to read it in. It’s a relatively new app with some limitations (only available languages are English, Spanish, French, German and Italian) but it is really handy for translating those languages.
Lisa Lubin — LL World Tour
- Trip it
I love Trip it (especially Trip it Pro). It keeps all my travel plans organized and even ‘detects’ itineraries that have been emailed to me and adds them. Plus, I love that I often get an email from Trip it before the airline if I have a flight delay.
I love traveling and getting more local. And to do this the best way is to meet locals. I’ve been a host and a guest on Airbnb. It’s really a great way to see the world more authentically and instantly have a new “friend” on the ground who can offer help, advice, and a warm, friendly place to stay.
I love this flight tracking app. It shows me arrival and departure times, plus a map of where a flight is in the air. And it has a lot of other fun, nerdy travel stuff that I enjoy seeing. It also has an amusing (but not so fun if you are traveling) “Misery Map” showing the average flight delays times at airports across the U.S.
Alex Berger — Virtual Wayfarer
I’m actually a fairly low-tech traveler when it comes to apps. Most of the apps I use are for photography and social sharing to go with my blogging. Others are news and articles of interest apps which also aren’t much different from my normal day-to-day apps. The following apps are ones I use that have direct travel utility:
- My phone’s camera – I use it to take photos of maps, advice, directions, importance places, key street signs…you name it. It helps me tackle exotic names and language barriers while supplementing my memory and works (if I have battery) even when wifi or signal is no longer available.
- TripIt – With a lot of apps and sites like this they get less useful over time. TripIt has managed to go in the opposite direction. It’s a great resource and a nice backup to compliment using your email as one giant messy file folder. They’ve also got a few nice perks which are worth looking into.
- Podcasts – Travel, especially if you have large transit legs, always has a lot of downtime. I find most podcasts painfully boring, but the right podcast can not only be useful and engaging it can also be quite educational. Right now i’m loving the use of historical podcasts such as The History of Rome, or Hardcore History which not only keep me entertained but also educate me about the history, background and people of the place I’m visiting.
- Airline apps & passbook – Finding a printer is an epic pain in the butt. Apps that help me track my flight, check in, confirm it, and act as a ticket are huge headache savers and definitely make traveling a lot easier.
Nora Dunn — The Professional Hobo
I currently have a windows phone (the Nokia Lumia 1020) which I love as a phone and a camera, but as a Windows phone it has some faults – not the least of which is that many of my former favourite apps from my iPhone days simply aren’t available. However, here are some of my favourite apps, including some that aren’t (yet) available for Windows phones, but are available on iPhones, and in most cases Android phones as well:
- Trail Wallet – When I had an iPhone, this was my favourite and most-used app, which allows you to track all your travel expenses in multiple currencies with ease.
- Whats App – Available on all phones, this is a great app for instant messaging family and friend around the world.
- DuoLingo – If you’re eager to learn a new language, DuoLingo is a fun and friendly language-learning app that feels more like a game than a hard-core learning experience. But rest assured, it’s very helpful in learning a new language!
It’s hard to pick just three favourite apps! Here is an article with 25 excellent smartphone apps for travel.
Erin McNeaney and Simon Fairbairn — Never Ending Voyage
Here are our most used apps:
- Trail Wallet – We created this app as we wanted a quick and easy way to track our travel expenses. It converts between over 210 currencies, and groups our spending by trip/month and category. It helps us to stay on budget so we can continue travelling.
- Yelp – A great app for finding restaurants and other businesses. We love being able to type “vegetarian restaurant” or “sandwich” into the app and it’ll tell you the nearest places with comprehensive reviews and menus. It works best in the US although there is content in other countries.
- Pro HDR – You can take some stunning photos with this app, much better than the iPhone’s built in HDR feature.
Dave — The Longest Way Home
I’ve used many travel apps over the latter half of my 10 year journey. Many have come and gone. However, here are the one’s that have stood the test of time and I used frequently.
- Google Maps & OsmAnd Maps & Navigation: There’s no doubting Google Maps usefulness however the updates often remove the best parts. During one such even I switched to Osm Maps which had great offline support. Yes they don’t look as nice, but they won’t let you down if your internet breaks.
- Currency FX – Exchange Rates: There are lots of currency exchange apps out there. But very few that will show me a list of currencies. I travel a lot and constantly like to compare prices between countries. This app helps considerably and with speed.
- SkyScanner – There’s no better app for checking international flight prices. It doesn’t always show the local budget carriers but it will give you a good idea of what’s available.
Worth a mention.
- ToDoist – the best todo manager.
- Speedtest – to see if it’s worth connecting to a network
- HootSuite to link with Twitter to let me read tweets a lot easier.
Leif Harum — The Runaway Guide
- Jibbigo – It’s a translator app that has really good voice recognition and translations. It’s great if you get really stuck and can’t communicate at all. Unfortunately it doesn’t work offline.
- XE Currency – This might be the most important travel app I use. If you know the proper exchange rate you’re in a better position to haggle for the best price when changing your money.
- Skyscanner – Although sky scanner doesn’t always display the cheapest flights, I love it’s “To everywhere” feature, which shows you the cheapest flights from your current location to everywhere.
Kristin Addis — Be My Travel Muse
- Spotify because, while not directly aimed at travelers, it is amazing to be able to listen to my music offline while on a long boat or bus journey. With the premium version I can listen to the music lists I’ve created anywhere, any time. I’ve been stranded for upwards of 12 hours before without WiFi or anything to do, but having music makes everything a lot more enjoyable and bearable.
- City Mapper is super helpful with finding the best route in various major cities around the world, of which Berlin is one. I’ve used it heavily in both Berlin and London as I spend a lot of time in those two cities. Contrasted with Google Maps and I can usually find the best route anywhere. I love the convenience.
- Foodspotting is also amazing because I’m a big foodie and I want to eat well everywhere I go. Foodspotting finds your location and brings back suggestions based on proximity. It works better in big cities and western countries, but here in Europe it’s usually a great way to find good eats.
Tim Leffel — The World’s Cheapest Destinations
I’m not as app-crazy as a lot of travelers as I prefer to put the phone down and be in the moment and place when I’m actually in a destination. In transit though, these are the ones I use the most.
- Tripit Pro – for keeping track of all my flights, hotel reservations, and car rentals in one place. I especially like how it still works when I’m offline, which is important for international travel.
- SpanishDict – I live in Mexico and travel a lot in Latin America, so this is my go-to app to quickly look up a word I don’t know.
- Google Maps – Asking a local for directions will lead to more interesting encounters, but when you’re wandering around lost in a strange place, having this on the phone can be a godsend.
Christy Woodrow — Ordinary Traveler
I get lost (a lot) when I travel solo, so I can’t live without Google Maps — even when walking in a city. For restaurant recommendations, I use Yelp to find spots nearby and I always read a few reviews. I started using Trip It for keeping track of my flights and hotel bookings about a year ago and I can’t believe I didn’t try it sooner!
Dariece and Nick Wharton — Goats on the Road and Credit Walk
Our three favourite travel apps:
- Trip Advisor App: We love using this app for looking up good restaurants and hotels in the area where we are travelling. We especially like it for completing reviews immediately after a stay, tour or meal.
- Expedia App: While this one only works if we’ve booked our flight through Expedia, it is a really handy little tool. It gives us up-to-the-minute info about our flight and saves our itinerary in an easy to access screen.
- Google Drive: We use Google Spreadsheets to do all of our trip budgets and we use Google docs for blogging. The Google Drive app allows us to access all of these, even if we’re offline. One flaw in the system is that we can’t edit the files offline, but we’re usually connected to the internet anyways so it’s not a big deal.
Donna Hull — My Itchy Travel Feet
- Evernote is like my memory on steroids. The app’s robust capabilities allow me to save itineraries, emails, notes, photos and Internet research all in one place. Tags make it easy to search for what I want and folders allow for organizing information in a way that makes sense to me. Not only do I use Evernote for travel but also to organize my business. The paid version allows offline access and I especially appreciate that Evernote syncs across all of my devices.
- Byline allows me to keep up with industry blogs and websites even when I’m offline. The free app — a paid version removes the small ad at the bottom of the page — uses my Feedly account (free) to sync RSS and Atom feeds to the Byline app. Automatic synching allows me to read the latest developments in the travel industry as well as some of my favorite travel blogs while I’m on the go. It’s great for catching up on reading during a flight.
- When I’m on the road, RoadNinja tells me exactly what I’ll find at each Interstate exit. The app includes restaurants, gas stations, parking and more within a 3-mile radius of the exit. RoadNinja alerts me to the cheapest fuel prices. And the discount coupons are an added bonus. Because RoadNinja works across my devices, I can map out the trip ahead of time at my desktop computer. That’s a big step forward in reducing driver distraction.
Annette White — Bucket List Journey
Though there are about a dozen different apps I use while traveling, the three that have been the most helpful are XE Currency Convertor, Snapseed and Compass.
- XE Currency Convertor
The XE Currency Convertor app makes it easy to find out how much my dollar is worth wherever I am in the world. There are times that I am in 3 different countries in a week and it can be difficult to keep track of how many rupees or dongs equal a dollar. There is no need for me to worry about that with this app.
As a travel blogger, being active on social media during my travels is imperative. Sometimes there is no time to download and edit photos from my DSLR camera, but I want to make sure to be putting quality photos out on social media. That’s were Snapseed comes into play. It is perfect for editing and enhancing my iPhone photos to make them look more professional and visually appealing.
The simple Compass app has saved me from complete disorientation on many occasions. It’s amazing how helpful it can be to just know which direction you are headed. Recently in Hanoi, Vietnam I knew that my hotel was located at the south end of the Hoan Kiem lake, so whenever I was feeling lost while exploring the north ends old streets and needed to return to my lodging, I pulled out the compass.
Michael Turtle — Time Travel Turtle
Here are my three favourite travel apps and why:
- Google Maps: It’s a pretty obvious choice but I really don’t know how I ever travelled without it. In particular, I really appreciate being able to cache the map and I will keep an eye on it on a long distance bus trip, for instance, to see how far away I am from my destination. I also use it for planning, so I can see how far things are before I decide when and how to get there; I use it when I’m trying to find something in particular; and I love the public transport option in cities where there’s a good network. On that note, I also want to give a big thumbs up to another app called Citymapper which has fantastic coverage of public transport but is only available in a few cities at the moment.
- TripIt: I only started using this app recently and can’t believe I was foolish enough not to get it earlier. I used to search through emails for reservation numbers or worry that I had got the time or date wrong for flights. Now, however, all that information is in the one place and available offline.
- MotionX-GPS: This app is particularly useful for me as a travel blogger but it’s a cool feature for all travellers. When I’m doing something like going for a walk through a city or a long hike in the wilderness, I turn it on and it uses GPS to record the path that I take. Afterwards I can then do a few things with that track, including syncing it with my photos and automatically giving them all geotags so they can be viewed on a map. It’s a great way to remember what building you took photos of, for instance, or see how far you hiked and things like your maximum speed.
Barbara Weibel — Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel
I use a variety of apps when I travel, but the three that I absolutely could not do without are the following:
- Maps With Me: This free plugin allows iOS and Android users to download detailed maps of countries on their phones, so no wifi or cell connection is needed to use them. Once downloaded, users can zoom in on any city or area of the country, right down to the smallest street or attraction. The quality of their maps is so good that I am able to follow along as I ride trains through remote areas, to make sure I don’t miss my stop in countries where I don’t speak the language. There is also a paid version that allows searching, but the maps are the same in both versions.
- Receipts Pro: I use this app to track all my travel expenses. It allows me to create multiple accounts (charge card, checking, cash expenses, etc.), into which I enter date, vendor name, category, amount, and a variety of other information for each purchase. Once the information is entered, the app allows me to take a photo of the receipt, which is attached to the record. I generate a report for each account once a month and email it to myself in an Excel format (PDF, CSV, and HTML are also available) with the photos attached, after which I can throw away the paper receipts. At the end of the year, I simply generate an annual report for my accountant. Not only has this app simplified my life of travel immensely, it has eliminated the need to keep paper receipts for tax purposes. Available for iOS and Android, $9.99.
- Kindle: As a lifelong reader, I never go anywhere without reading material, but carrying books adds unwanted weight to my luggage. The free Kindle app (available on iTunes for both iOS and Android) allows me to read ebooks on my iPhone. A little known fact about this app is that it can be used not only with books purchased from Amazon, but with the thousands of free ebooks in the public domain that are available through sites like the Gutenberg Project. In the case of my iPhone, I download these free books on my laptop, connect my phone, and launch iTunes. Once my phone shows up in iTunes, I click on the phone icon, then on apps, scroll all the way down to “File Sharing,” where I click on the Kindle icon. I can then drag and drop any book in a .mobi format to the app, which will be available to read on my iPhone. For books in .epub or .pdf formats, I use a free program called Calibre to first convert the books to mobi. I currently have nearly 600 books on my phone, which take up only 66 MB of data space, and weigh nothing!”
Agness Walewinder and Cez Krol — eTramping
One of 25 lessons we’ve learnt while traveling across Asia is to use various travel applications that can help you out a lot on the road. Here are top 3 we’ve been using a lot and we would like to recommend to anyone who plans to travel the world:
Thanks to this application, you can follow the path of thousands of international flights on slick, zoomable maps, with detailed information on departure gates, delays and (heaven forbid) cancellations. It’s a perfect choice for those anticipating the arrival of loved ones, or particularly nerdy train-spotters looking to up their game.
- XE Currency
This application allows you not to bother paying up for one of the many currency conversion apps out there in the digital hinterland – this freebie is slick, easy to use, and – best of all, since it uses live currency rates – completely accurate. It’s been downloaded more than five million times to date, so don’t even think about hopping on a plane without it.
Skyscanner aggregates fares from airlines and the big travel sites to bag you the best deal. For those really keeping an eye on the purse-strings, there’s also the option to pin your search to your start screen and keep an eye on price fluctuations. Very neat.
Kiersten Rich — The Blonde Abroad
Kiersten shares 3 of her favourite travel apps for this round-up:
- Packing Pro
Packing Pro is amazing for both organized and forgetful travelers. The Expert List Assistant feature creates packing lists based on the number of travelers and days of travel. You can also pack based on temperature, destination and even laundry preferences. You can also use the app to create, edit and check-off customized packing lists.
How much should I tip in Spain? Is it customary to tip in Dubai? GlobeTipping is a currency calculator that provides advice for 200+ countries on how to tip adequately in specific situations. It’s also useful for calculating how to split a group bill between individuals.
- Taxi Finder
The Taxi Finder app is a must have for anyone who travels. Whenever you arrive in a city, the GPS feature links to the best taxi services and shows the rates for the trip. You can also estimate your cab fare ahead of time by entering your starting and final destination (such as the airport to your hotel).
Mark Wiens — Migrationology
Here are my 3 travel apps:
- Google Maps – I use it because it’s extremely useful for finding my way around a new city, and for pinning restaurants and other places I visit.
- Evernote – It’s a great app for taking notes, and also for taking photo notes for information to remember.
- Kindle – When traveling, there’s always down-time, riding a bus or plane, or just sitting and waiting for something. Instead of just sitting, I try to read, using books downloaded onto my phone using the Kindle app.
Kach Medina and Jonathan Howe — Two Monkeys Travel
- The first app is easy; it has to be the Kindle app on our tablet. We can’t always be jumping off cliffs into rivers or hiking up mountains; sometimes you just need to chill in your room and submerse yourself in an awesome book, not to mention the 20 to 30 hour bus journeys! A book can give you that feeling of alone time, even in the most crowded of spaces and although real books are great to hold in your hands, they’re a lot heavier than an app!
- Second is the translator. We don’t have a multi-lingual app for translation, we simply download a new one when we need a new language. I currently have the Spanish Dict app on my iPhone. While we always to try to learn some of the language before we arrive in a new place, you can’t learn everything and sign language will only let you communicate so far!
- Command Center Compass – This is probably not very exciting to some people, but I always like to know which way is north! It’s a weird little habit that I probably picked up from my dad or a Scout Leader when I was a kid. When we get to a new place, I like to know which way is which so I can note landmarks like tall buildings or mountains to help us get our bearings. Plus we always know where the sunset’s going to be!
Rachel Jones — Hippie in Heels
I don’t use many apps in general, but do love Instagram for sharing all my travel photos, Make My Trip for booking flights and hotels in India, and Tripadvisor to check out what dishes are the best at a restaurant I’d like to try.
Jack and Jill — Jack and Jill
Our Top 3 travel apps:
- TripIt, because without it I would have ended up in the wrong places or at the wrong times more often than I already do.
- TripAdvisor Offline Cityguides, because this allows me to leave the guidebooks at home. It provides me with suggestion of where to go as well as background information on places I’m visiting, all from the comfort of my phone.
- Airbnb, truly my fave way to find an accommodation. When traveling as a couple, often renting a room at someone’s house can be cheaper than staying in a hostel. PLUS we also get the advantage of having a local host that can provide us with individualized insights into the area.
Jasper Ribbers — The Traveling Dutchman
Experimenting with local foods and delicacies is one of the things that makes traveling an enriching experience. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find authentic restaurants, specifically when traveling to a popular area. This is where Foursquare comes in. Reading some of the comments and looking at the pictures will give you a pretty good impression of what to expect from a restaurant.Bonus tip: Foursquare’s search function includes the content in the comments. If you are in need of an internet connection, search for “WiFi” in the application. Often the password is mentioned in the comments, so you can even just stand closely the establishment to use their internet.
Printing and scanning documents can be a great hassle when traveling. First you have to find a printer and a scanner. Then you have to hope that it connects to your device. If not, you need to email it to the owners and hope that they’re helpful enough to help you out. Enter Docusign. Sign any document on your mobile device and directly email it back. Takes two minutes. Problem solved!
We all know how expensive it is to make international phone calls. Hence, the cheaper option is always to get a local sim card. I think I have about 30 of them by now. Great, but that means 30 different numbers. Bottom line, no-one knows my number. With Whatsapp, you can keep the original number that you signed up with. In any given day, I can communicate with people all over the world, regardless of where I am. Added cool functionalities include group texting, broadcast lists and location sharing.
Corinne McDermott of Have Baby Will Travel
- My Disney Experience
We love Disney and their mobile app (plus the fact that all the parks and resorts have free wifi) means we can make the most of our vacation and keep track of everything via our smartphones. You can track ride and character greeting wait times, set alerts for your FastPass times, and keep track of any dinner reservations.
Depending on where we’re going, we can enter our “must dos” for that destination, plus any recommendations we get for restaurants and attractions. You can search for places by name or by typing the address, keep everything on one map, get directions, and share places or entire guides with family and friends. You can organize up to 100 places for free, or unlimited places for $4.99.
My kids LOVE Scribblenauts. I like that they’re using their brain to play, and it’s a game that they can play together. My daughter (9 years-old) does most of the work because she’s the one that can read and spell, but I’ve really noticed that my son’s reading and spelling is really improving as they play. We just did a ten hour road trip, and they played Scribblenauts for at least half of it.
Justin Carmack — True Nomads
It’s hard to say what my 2 favorites are, but I guess I use Skyscanner and Hostelworld apps the most. I use them a lot, even if I don’t need a flight or room right away and just want to know prices. It’s great I can do that without getting out the computer.
I also use the Instagram app a lot now, because I like that I can take a photo and post it right away. If the photo needs help I have Google Snapseed editing app, which has to be the best out there. All these apps are free too.
Melvin Böcher — Travel Dudes
My top three travel apps are:
- Twitter: Actually I use Seesmic on my phone, but I’m using it all the time. It starts with travel preparation and of course also during my travels. I share travel experiences all the time and use it to get inspired, too. OK, now I’ve got a huge amount of followers, but even years ago I was so amazed by the results you get, when following the right folks. You tweet something and most times you get replies and not just that, but with good tips!
- Google Maps: It doesn’t have to be that one, but I love a map and using the GPS to navigate through town. It works offline, but it’s of course far better online. If my son wants to play, I zoom in at that park and check if I can spot a playground. Then I’ll head there. Or let’s have a coffee and someone tweeted me the name of that place. A quickly check it on the map and I’ll start walking.
- Currency Converter: I love Europe! There are no borders and it’s all in Euro. Awesome! But what if I travel elsewhere, like Great Britain or Denmark? I just do want to know what that coffee costs in Euro, which is my currency. What about lunch? Shall I choose that yummy 5 course meal, each course with another glass of wine? Does it fit in the overall budget I had for the trip or shall I just choose that sandwich from the supermarket around the corner? Others might change the currency rate easily in their mind. Math never really fascinated me. I’ve got that calculator in my phone and the currency converter, too.
Brendan van Son — Brendan’s Adventures
- I’m a travel photographer, so I really like apps that help me with my photography. For photography on my mobile, I love an app called TriggerTrap. Not only does it turn your phone into a timelapse capable device, but you can also get a cable for it and attach it to your dslr turning your phone into an intervalometer.
- My second choice is The Photographer’s Ephemeris which is fantastic for judging the direction of light before you go out shooting. It’s saved me a couple times in terms of getting the most out of a shoot and predicting light conditions.
- Finally, for a little bit of travel photography inspiration, I love an app called Trover. You input either your current location or a location of your choosing, and it will show you images other “Trovers” have taken in that area. It’s awesome
Jessica Festa — Jessie On A Journey
One of my favorite apps when traveling is Pro HDR, which allows you to take High Dynamic Range photos on your phone. This can be an especially fun app for photographers looking to add some drama to their shots. Another app I love is the Couchsurfing Travel App, not just for free couch crashing — I actually usually stay in hostels and Airbnbs — but for meeting locals through the city forums within the app. Lastly, Skype is an app I never leave home without, as I can make cheap calls to anywhere in the world as long as I have wifi.
Laurence Norah — Finding The Universe
My favorite travel apps are:
- TripIt – if you travel a lot, this app is just incredible for managing your itineraries across all modes of transport and accommodation providers. I’m not sure I could travel without it any more!
- Google Maps – ok, it’s a bit of a classic, and you need the internet to make it work properly if you don’t preload the maps, but this is still the way I find my way around the cities and countries I find myself in without having to cart around a paper map
- Convertpad – until the day comes where there is a universal currency accepted by all, I have to deal with a lot of currency conversions. This app handles all those with ease, as well as converting nearly any unit to nearly any other unit.
Geert Leysen — Inspiring Travellers
These are my top 3 most used apps on my last trip to China. ( most used apps sometimes change depending on the destination and if I’m travelling in group or on my own)
- Evernote – Evernote is my go-to app for keeping all my documentation in one place, both for a personal and a business use. Normally I have a basic account, but I upgrade my account to premium during the months that I travel so I can store documents locally. That way I always have everything handy when I need it even if I don’t have WIFI nearby
- Share-a-bill – This app is a godsend when travelling in group. In certain countries, you don’t want to show off your money all the time and then it’s easier if one person pays for the whole group. With Share-a-bill you can split the bill virtually and keep track of all the finances. At the end of the trip, you can easily resolve everything and send a report by email to all members so they know who and what to pay.
- Waygo – This app was a lifesaver when travelling through China. When you get outside the tourist area, the restaurants don’t have English menu’s and it gets difficult to know what’s on the menu if you don’t know how to read Chinese. Waygo to the rescue! You just hold your phone over the menu, the app reads the Chinese words via the camera and it translates the dishes on the spot.
Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll — Uncornered Market
Here are our top 3 apps for travel:
- Instagram: This is our top app for sharing our photos and experiences from our travels in real time. The Instagram community has really grown in the last few years and it’s a great platform for discussion and travel dreaming. You can follow along with our adventures on Instagram here.
- TripIt: All you travel plans and logistics in one place. This basic app is great for storing all your travel details, including reservation numbers and all the details that are easy to lose. If you are avid traveler then opt for the TripIt pro version as it does a much better job than the airlines to send reminders to check in online, updates on delays and cancellations, changed gates and more.
- Google maps: We get lost all the time, which often leads to unexpected adventures and experiences. But when we need to get somewhere at a specific time, we use Google Maps to guide the way on foot, bicycle, car or public transport so we actually arrive on time. Often we’ll try to take different routes there and back so that we can see new neighborhoods and streets.
Heather Cowper — Heather on Her Travels
- Flipagram – I’m always experimenting with the latest photo and video apps and my latest favourite is Flipagram which converts a few photos on your phone into a mini slide show which I use to tell a quick story or show off my hotel room.
- Hip Marrakech – When I’m planning a trip I always check what free apps are available for that destination. Quite often they’re just a boring list of hotels and tick list sights but I was really impressed with this app that shows all the cool places to go in Marrakech. The best thing is the interactive GPS map which is indispensable for finding your way through the souk and avoiding all the touts who try to show you the way (for a small fee).
- Touchnote is my favourite for creating postcards from the photos on my phone which I send to the family and especially my parents – they always take pride of place on the mantlepiece.
Sebastian Canaves — Off The Path
Here are my 3 top travel apps:
- TripIt – Tripit not only reminds me about my flights, tells me when there is a change or delay, it organises them according to different trips and what I really love is the ability to see all my Frequent Flyer Points in one overview.
- Swapp-App – It’s a great app to remember things. I use it on the road to send myself and others quick notes into the email inbox since it’s the only place we all check multiple times a day!
- Trail Wallet – A cool app by fellow travel bloggers that let’s you track all your expenses. It really cool to see every day how much money you’ve actually spent and for what. Since I often do budget reviews, it’s great to keep track of the expenses to show them in my posts later!
Benny Lewis — Fluent In 3 Months
- TripIt – they have my full itinerary for hotels, flights, car rentals and points tracking in one place, and I never have to manually enter the data – it pulls it all from my emails. Use it consistently!
- Boingo – free wifi in countless places. Paid membership is necessary, but I am always connected at airports.
- Google Maps – I star locations on my computer and then can get to where I need to go. Almost taken for granted, but an absolute essential.
Clelia Mattana — Keep Calm and Travel
Let’s start by saying that I usually repel technology, but it’s obvious that due to the nature of my job, I have to deal with it and it’s now a real time saver.
I don’t use many travel apps but here are my top 3:
- I love the XE currency app: It gives me an instant idea of the cost of the life in a country. I use it mostly when I’m out shopping. Useful to compare the prices and sometimes avoid scams. When you jump from a country to another you need to adjust to the new currency as fast as possible to avoid spending too much money and find the best deals: this app is simply fantastic. Easy to use, clear and handy.
- World Clock: A very simple yet useful app. I have friends, colleagues and business partners all over the world and sometime I get confused with the time zones. I couldn’t live without it! I never plan a Skype session or a hangout without first consulting that app.
- Last but not least: the very simple Google Maps. That app is a life saver for me. I don’t like to plan too much when I travel and I usually avoid travel guides, so for me it’s pretty easy to get lost in a new city. If I need to go somewhere and I know that I won’t have any internet on the way, I can still upload the itinerary before leaving my hotel and the GPS will still tell me exactly where I am on the road. Simply fantastic!
As you can see I don’t like to use the latest fanciest apps around. I still believe that technology, to be really useful, must be kept at a minimum, otherwise we just end up spending more time by using apps that are supposed to make our life easier and save our time, instead of actually LIVE life. So I say yes to travel apps, but as for everything, my advice is to find the right balance and don’t get too lazy!
Turner Barr — Around the World in 80 Jobs
- Airbnb to find apartments then negotiate longer term stays.
- Hotels.com for discount hotels last minute.
- Triposo to find out things to do in a place and maps to them. Included is a nice map feature.
- Also iTranslate, as it is pretty good depending on the language and you can speak into it. You can have some pretty funny conversations with it, Iike saying “Please don’t rob me” to a taxi driver.
Erin Bender — Travel with Bender
- Money Journal – I use this app on a daily basis. It keeps track of all of our expenses as we travel. We use to do this for budgeting reasons and now I just love it for so many more. I love checking where we spend most of our money and it has a great option to make a pie chart so it’s easy to view. I use it regularly to write articles about how much things were or a roundup budget of a country. My favourite part is at the end of the month seeing just how much money we save by travelling the world.
- Tourist Language – Basic phrases in different languages. There have been times, usually in a pharmacy, when we struggle to have someone understand what we are saying. This app is great for that, plus we love to value the place we are visiting by learning a few simple phrases. We find the locals appreciate that.
- XE Currency – As nomadic travellers we use this app quite a number of times. Keeping track of currencies can be a nightmare, but this app stores the conversion off line so that when you are out and about you plug in the amount and you can still get valid conversion. Just remember to upload the currency before you go!
Angie and Jeremy Jones — Living the Dream RTW
- Duolingo is great because it helps us pick up a language in our spare time, and really boosted our knowledge of Spanish in addition to the immersion learning we did in South America.
- The RoamRight app is a comprehensive travel app which includes a significant amount of data like travel alerts, translations, drug equivalencies (names), and more.
- TripIt is a great organization app that helps us stay on track with our dozens of reservations we have scheduled at any given time.
Victoria Watts and Steve Kennedy — Bridges and Balloons
- TripIt is brilliant for keeping track of all your plans. You can forward any travel or hotels you book straight to the app and it puts it into a handy itinerary for you. This is revolutionary for someone like me who is constantly searching through their email for booking references and times!
- Steve and I are rubbish at keeping track of our budget so Trail Wallet is perfect for us. You put in your monthly budget and then log everything you spend in the app. It breaks it down into various categories and helps you stay on top of your spending.
- Finally Four Square is great for finding recommendations in the local area. We use it a lot for finding cafes, restaurants and wi-fi. I also like that it’s social so you can see if anyone you know has been there.
Nicole and Cameron Wears — Traveling Canucks
- Instagram – When we research a travel destination we like to search hashtags to learn about interesting things to see and do. It also helps us gain a better perspective on some great spots to take photos.
- XE Currency – We use this app to understand currency exchange rates. Very helpful when we first arrive at a destination and we’re not quite comfortable with the rates. It’s simple and easy to use, especially at restaurants.
- Kayak – we use Kayak as a starting point for researching flights. It’s easy to navigate and gives us a good understanding about flight options, prices and departure times.
Christa Thompson — The Fairytale Traveler
- Skyscanner – They are super user friendly. I love the month charting tool. I cross reference it with Kayak Explore all the time to find the best times to fly for the best deals.
- Momondo – They have a nice design and very user friendly app. I love that they scroll through photos of the destination while you’re waiting for the rates to load. It’s very fast and easy on the eyes.
- Hulu Plus – While this isn’t a “travel app” I would die without this in airports and on public transport. As a travel blogger I do a lot of waiting for planes. I use Hulu Plus to keep up on all the latest in pop-culture so the Fairytale Traveler can be hitting the most sought out places. I watch shows like Once Upon a Time, the Walking Dead, and Vikings so our content is in line with what’s hot.
Megan and Mike Jerrard — Mapping Megan
- Triposo – Love this app because it is an amazing guide which includes a map overview of the country you will be visiting, and also provides detailed city maps. Guides for major cities are included with information about all major sites and attractions, as well as a database of restaurants and different options for nightlife. And, it’s free!
- MoneyJournal – The only way we manage to keep up with the money which is flying in and out, because going through receipts when you return home is generally a nightmare! Stay on budget by tracking your daily budget and checking your purchases easily against your credit card statements. Best part of the app being that it is on your phone, so you’ll never forget to add even the slightest purchase!
- Skype – The only way we communicate when overseas. Our phone remains on airplane mode while abroad so we don’t run up ridiculous roaming charges. Skype is a fantastic way to call home for free, and even if you wish to call a landline, you can easily add credit and are usually only charged at a rate equivalent to 3c per minute.
- Tripit – Keep all your trip details in the one place and access the info without even having to be online. Keep maps from the airport to your hotel, booking confirmations, trip timing, you name it!
- World Lens – A fantastic app for those spending a lot of time in a foreign country: Open the app and use it as a magnifying glass over foreign text and World Lens will instantly translate the sign. Languages are downloaded individually.
Anton Diaz — Our Awesome Planet
- City Mapper – I love this travel commuting companion which provides adequate information how to go from point A to point B in major destinations in Europe and in the US. Most of the time I love to walk and explore the city on my own and the app helps me plan my walking time specially when you are enroute to a meeting.
- Time Buddy – Living in Asia, you get confused with the time of the day when you travel to European and North American destinations. The app helps you visually map out the times of days in your head. For travel bloggers, this is very helpful on planning the time you post on Instagram and your social media.
- Trip It – For monitoring your flight schedules, hotel bookings, and itineraries. It’s very helpful for having all the information in one place and being a good buddy by reminding you of specific milestones in your trip.
Annabel Candy — Get In The Hot Spot
- Google Maps – Of course!! Because even though I love travel I get lost just about everywhere I go. Apart from finding my accommodation and places to eat I like to use it to plan walks.
- TuneIn Radio – WiFi permitting, I love this for in hotel workouts so I can listen to any type of music from disco to zen.
- Snapseed – For editing my iPhone photos and making them all look great and Instagram ready.
Kathryn Burrington — Travel with Kat
I have recently started using Trover. It’s a place to share your photographs with fellow travel enthusiasts and I’ve found it generates traffic to my blog which is great. An unexpected bonus though is that it is an excellent tool for planning things to see and where to eat when visiting somewhere new. Search for photos of a partiular place, pickout the ones you’d like to visit and Trover adds them to a map for you. I’ve found it a great planning tool.
As a photographer I love LightTrac. It not only shows you sunrise and sunset times but also the direction of sunlight and the length of shadows at any given time and place, helping you plan the best time of day to visit somwhere to get great photos.
Alyssa James — Alyssa Writes
I’m a big fan of Skyscanner when it comes to booking flights! I love their ‘flights to Anywhere’ option, which helps you find the cheapest place to fly to from where you are. It’s great when you just have itchy feet but no attachment to where you go!
Brendan Lee — Bren on the Road
- Kindle – As you know, travellers don’t have room to carry a lot of stuff, so with this app my phone also doubles as my Kindle. It’s perfect for those long bus rides, airport waits, and lonely nights in desolate towns.
- Skyscanner – Turns flight searching on the road into a breeze!
- Shazam – When out in cafes, shops and bars in an unknown city, you’ll often hear foreign songs you love but you’ll have no idea what it is or who it’s by. Let Shazam listen to it, and you’ll know the name, artist and album in a few seconds. Some of my all time favourite tracks were discovered this way!
Diana Edelman — D Travels ‘Round
- Skyscanner – This app lets me look up flights and deal anywhere in the world, in the palm of my hand. Even if I don’t book, it is a nice launchpad for travel ideas.
- MagicJack – Wherever in the world I am, I can call home to the US so long as I have WiFi. Unlike Skype, I don’t need to pay for a subscription, and unlike Voxer, the person on the other end does not need to have the app installed. I can call landlines, etc. It has proved very useful on numerous occasions, not just to call home and say “hi.”
- Google Translate – With this app, I don’t have to worry (as much) about not being able to speak the language where I am. Google Translate lets me type in what it is I want to say, and then provides me with the pronunciation, phonetic spelling and actual spelling (in the local alphabet). I have had many a conversation using this tool.
Mike Richard — Vagabondish
- JotNot Pro is a mobile scanning device that allows me to digitize and save copies of all the extraneous paper bits I would otherwise accumulate while traveling. Receipts, plane tickets, itineraries, whatever – I scan them all into a PDF version and scrap the physical copy. Keeps my laptop bag nice and light.
- As a blogger, I’m constantly taking notes and writing while I travel. For this, Evernote is indespensible. It’s an obvious choice – one that every savvy nomad is aware of these days – but that’s because it works flawlessly and saves everything to the cloud.
- For quick photo editing on the road, I love Camera+. The interface is extremely intuitive and the app provides clever filters and endless adjustment possibilities (for brightness, exposure, saturation, etc.).
Kim Dinan — So Many Places
- My favorite travel app is called Trail Wallet and it’s a great way to track spending while on the road.
- I also like Viber for texting with friends and family from anywhere.
Yvonne Zagermann — Just Travelous
- Skype – Cheap and easy way to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
- Instagram – I just love this app! Love sharing my travel pics there and get wanderlust while checking out the pictures from other people travelling.
- Currency – As I travel often it’s the best app for not getting confused with new currencies.
Sherry Ott — Otts World
- Google Maps – I used to buy guidebooks just for the maps – but I love the ease of using them on my phone to determine location and what public transportation I can take in a foreign city. It’s also great for downloading the maps offline for hiking and GPS
- Google Now – Part of the google bundle of apps. I love it becuase it automatically knows where I am and give me the weather info, things nearby to do, currency conversion, and my flight times and I didn’t have to lift a finger. It does it by going through your email and using your GPS coordinates to determine where you are, and where you are traveling to.
- Expensify – I use this to keep track of expenses as I travel and organize into expense reports or just track against a budget.
Jo Fitzsimons — Indiana Jo
- The Metro MX Apps – Whenever I land in a city that has a mass transit/metro system, I download the relevant MX map. You can search routes, zoom in and out, use it offline and, best of all, they’re free. From London to New York to Dubai to Tokyo, these are the best metro maps I’ve found and are great for helping you get around a new city.
- Uber – As someone who hates to hire cars, I’m so happy Uber has arrived. Not only can you track where your driver is and when she or she will arrive, the cashless system takes the hassle out of your ride and reduces the risk of rip-off fares. I’ve found Uber to be much cheaper than taxis and the drivers all seem to have interesting stories – one guy told me his wife wouldn’t let him buy a new Macbook until he earned the extra money. Another was saving for a cruise.
- TripIt – I’d be lost without it. When you move location a lot, keeping on top of flight and train times as well as hotel bookings can be a challenge. TripIt does it for me. I forward all booking emails to TripIt and it magically keeps all my travels organised way better than I can. Bye-bye excel itineraries.
Nastia and Illia Strikhar — Crazzzy Travel
- Our favorite apps for travel are Google Maps, TripAdvisor and Couchsurfing, each serving for different purposes.
- Google Maps is the most convenient navigation app. It not only precisely calculates the travel time, but also gives options of public transportation, available in the region, together with accurate schedules. But our favorite feature is that it works without Internet access!
- Tripadvisor offers great lists of attractions with users’ recommendations. In such a way while choosing what points of interest to visit in the city, we do not have to prioritize on our own. In addition, it allows getting a clear idea about accommodation. For example, in many parts of the world, bedbugs might come as a huge surprise, unless you’ve read reviews on TripAdvisor.
- Since we are budget travelers, we mainly couchsurf, so it would be unthinkable to travel without Couchsurfing app. In addition to finding free accommodation, it also allows to track the routes of fellow nomads, thus, being a perfect service to meet like-minded people!
Caroline Eubanks — Caroline in the City
- Maps.Me – I love this app’s premium version because it allows you to download country and city maps onto your smartphone and zoom and search while disconnected from the Internet. I used it to find out where I was during an overnight train through Vietnam.
- Mint – I keep track of my travel budget, bank accounts and credit cards on one handy app. It lets me know if I’ve spent too much and how much I have between combined accounts.
- Trover – I recently downloaded this app, which allows you to search for places to go by images. It combines the best aspects of Instagram and Pinterest with an added mapping feature. Plus you can only upload pictures you own, so you don’t have those fake images that circulate on other sites.
Andrea Anastasiou and Ankit Rawat — Scribble, Snap, Travel
- Google Maps – Not so great in remote areas, but when we’re trying to find a restaurant or museum in a big city and have no idea where on earth we are, Google Maps is what we turn to. It’s been a life saver on more than one occasion!
- TripAdvisor – We like to be guided by our noses or to go on recommendations from locals when it comes to finding a good place to eat, but sometimes we get to a new town and we have zero idea of where to go. Enter TripAdvisor.
- XE Currency – I think we’ve used this application the most. If, like me, you’re a dunce at numbers this is a useful tool when you need to convert something from a local currency into what it’s costing you in your own money. It’s a good way of quickly checking if something is reasonably priced or not!
Alex Saint — Saints on a Plane
- Whatsapp – Essential as the one thing I always wish I could pack is my friends and family and this way I can share photos and stay in touch wherever I am.
- Evernote – I have an extremely disorganised mind – it’s a wonder I make it anywhere! This handy app keeps everything safe and sorted like packing lists, confirmations, reviews and syncs with my laptop.
- XE Currency – Because I never know how much anything costs and need to make sure I don’t blow my budget on cocktails in the first 3 days.
- 4) And obviously Google Maps!
Sharon Gourlay — Where’s Sharon
- My most used app is TripCase. I just love it! It stores all my flights, hotels and other bookings for my travel. All I have to do is forward any booking confirmation to a TripCase email address and it is added to the app for me. It is so useful for storing all the details and I have found the map functionality especially useful when I arrive somewhere new and don’t know where to go.
- My second most used travel app is Airbnb. We love staying in Airbnb holiday rentals and the app is super easy to use with lots of filtering, so we can find great options for us quickly.
- My third most used app for travel would have to be Google Maps. Perhaps it is not a traditional travel app, but I am always working out where everything is in relationship to each other and using it to work out how we might be able to get around. It is very handy!
Naomi Todd — Todds Travels
- Top of my list has to be Word Reference, as I need to look up words that are more than just a simple Google Translate job. It’s my go-to resource for anything to do with languages.
- TripIt is brilliant as I constantly forget where my flight details are so this app does all the hard work and puts them together in one place.
- Nike Training Club app is great as I like to keep fit but sometimes when on the road, it’s hard. NTC app has lots of exercise routines (aerobics, light weights or yoga) that you can do on the move.
Nienke Krook — The Travel Tester
- WhatNow? – With this app, you plan your itinerary online, the app curates and downloads data from the best local resources about those places and the route between them and you can then use the app offline to explore the city. No more high roarming costs!
- Vivino – If you are a wine lover like me, this app will let you scan the label of any bottle and tells you exactly which one it is and how much it costs.
- WhatsApp – Wherever I am in the world, I want to stay in touch with family and friends back home. With WhatsApp, I can send them photos, quick messages and even video and voice recordings, so we’re never too far apart!
Deia B — Nomad Wallet
- TripAdvisor City Guides — This app has reviews of attractions, as well as a map that shows where they’re located. I use this app when I’m exploring a new city. I love that this app lets me download its content to my phone so I can use it when I’m offline. This means I won’t have to rely on Wi-Fi or pay a fortune to use data service while roaming.
- Yelp — This is not strictly a travel app, but it helps me find the restaurants that locals frequent. Food is a big part of traveling for me and Yelp has helped me discover hidden gems that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.
- Airbnb — I’m a big fan of Airbnb, but sometimes I find that the prices on the website and on the app are different, so I always check both to make sure I get the best rates.
Susan Shain — Travel Junkette
Three of my favorite travel apps are Pro HDR, Lucent, and RootsRated. Pro HDR allows me to take amazing photos with my smartphone; Lucent allows me to meditate while on the road; and RootsRated helps me find outdoorsy activities wherever I am.
Chris Richardson — The Aussie Nomad
- Foursquare – Long before I set off to travel I was using Foursquare to find unique places to eat and explore. When abroad it became my locals guide to seek out amazing paces to eat, things to see and do and provide my own feedback. It’s one of the few apps that’s outside the usual travel niche so you will only find locals from different parts of the world using it and leaving tips on the various listings.
- Tube Map – I lived in London for a long time and while I had a good understanding of the tube network working out the quickest way to get around and what lines to take to get to a certain destination was always a bit of effort. This app made life so much easier with its built in map and route planner. A perfect app for those new or not so new to London. I’ve also used similar transit apps for Dublin’s bus network and the London bus system and swear by them to save on the confusion of getting around a city.
- Google/Apple Maps – Perhaps the most boring option but still just as important is a good old map to get around. While they do need internet access to work you can lookup routes and directions and then take screenshots for future reference while out exploring. Especially useful when looking up out of the way locations where street signs and small alleyways can be confusing.
Laura Williams — Laura the Explorer
Here are my top 3, I’m a practical kids girl so they are all fairly basic!
- Number one has to be Google Maps, I use it all the time for finding the exact location of places, checking out what’s around me and getting home when I’m lost!
- Second is Oanda Currency Converter, whether it’s checking out prices before I go or converting prices on the go while I’m on the ground! Such a useful app!
- I change occasionally but having a good photo effects app on your phone is always good, you can always take the best photos when the moment arises while you’re traveling. But touching them up with a app can make a whole world of difference.
Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy — Technomadia
As full time RVers in the US who travel around the country while working remotely, our favorite apps are focused on road tripping in the US. Here’s the top three we use:
- Coverage? – Shows us where we can expect to get a cellular data signal as we plan our routing and stops. If we can’t get online, we can’t work. So this is essential to us. (Disclaimer, we wrote this app – link:http://www.twostepsbeyond.com/apps/coverage.)
- AllStays Camp & RV – This app shows us where there are campgrounds and RV services like dump stations, trucker friendly fuel stations as well as gives us warnings about steep grades and low clearances up ahead.
- Roadside America – Tells us about quirky tourist attractions to stop and see along the way – from the largest ball of twine, to the interesting museums and art sculptures. It helps keep our adventures.. adventures!
Rain Campanilla — Words and Wanderlust
- TripIt – A huge help when organising flights. I am a chronic sale-finder and often, it gets difficult to dig up flight confirmations from my email. TripIt has an auto-import feature which pulls flight confirmations from my emails. It then creates simple and easy-to-load itineraries.
- Cash Journal – It is an underrated app that keeps track of expenses when traveling. It also categorises expenses, which makes it convenient to identify chunks of expenditures. Alcohol takes the top spot in mine, no contest.
- Food Note– Being a proud foodie, I take snaps of everything I eat when traveling. This app is easy to load, very convenient, and keeps my food photos separate from selfies. It also is a very helpful reference when writing about a trip later on.
Gareth Leonard — Tourist 2 Townie
My top three favorite apps for traveling are: Duolingo for the free language learning platform, WhatsApp for easy internationally communication and Tinder for meeting new people. For me, it’s all about connecting with locals.
Matt Gibson — Xpat Matt
- GV Phone – Any time that I’m online I can make calls on my US Google Voice phone number using GV Phone. Calls and texts within North America are free and international calls are very cheap. So, I’m able to keep in touch with friends and business associates seamlessly and consistently no matter where I am in the world.
- SpeedTest – I work online so the first thing I look for when I arrive in a new destination is a fast Internet connection. There’s nothing worse than showing up in a cafe, ordering food and coffee, and then opening up your laptop and finding out that the Internet is unusably slow. So, before I ever sit down to work, I pull out my phone and use the SpeedTest app to check the connection.
- Boingo Wi-Finder – Since I am in constant need of a good Internet connection, I subscribe to Boingo. Boingo not only sets up it’s own WiFi hotspots around the world, but also partners with other providers. Their coverage is amazing, but figuring out if a local WiFi provider is a bit difficult. Instead, I can just open the app and it scans all the available WiFi networks for a partner — usually with success.
Lauren Metzler — The Wandering Orange
- Skyscanner – I love checking for cheap flights and planning out my route for my Round the World Trip next year!
- Hostelworld – My budget for my Round the World Trip is pretty tight, so I will be using this A LOT to find cheap hostels and accommodation!
- Foursquare – This is a great app to check in and let my followers know where I am, and also see where others have traveled. Plus the perks of using the app frequently are nice!
Raymond Walsh — Man on the Lam
- ColorNote – For me the best note-taking app out there. Great for taking notes, making lists, and adding calendar events. I’ve even written entire blog posts on this app, then used the send functionality to fire it off to email or even WordPress.
- Word Lens Translator – I’m currently living in Portugal, but I don’t speak Portuguese. This app allows me to aim my smartphone camera lens at anything — signs, menus, whatever — and it will translate it to English for me. It really helped me at the Visa office where all the documents were in Portuguese. It currently works for six languages.
- Google Maps – Great for even when you don’t have a local data plan since you can save maps to use when offline.
Frankie Thompson — As The Bird Flies
My favourite travel apps are TripIt for having all my travel plans in one place, Google Translate for quick and easy translations and XE Currency.
Another one I use a lot living in the Netherlands – and I recommend it for anyone visiting NL – is Buienrader – more a website than an app – which tells me the weather for the next 3 hours, or more importantly the rain!
Laurel Robbins — Monkeys and Mountains
- Oanda Currency Converter – It can be used offline and converts between two currencies. Before using this app, I used to research the exchange rate prior to traveling and write down how much €1, €5, etc. were in the local currency and bring the piece of paper with me. This app makes it so much easier!
- TripIt – I used to be in a mad scramble the night before a trip digging through emails trying to find confirmations for flights, hotels, trains and then printing them out. Now I avoid the last minute panic by using Tripit which stores all of your confirmations in one easy place and is accessible on or offline. There’s also the option to upgrade to the paid version to receive real time notifications about your flight.
- Headspace – Not a travel app per se, but one that helps you keep your cool when things go wrong while traveling – delayed flights, the hotel loses your reservation and is full etc. It’s a series of 10 minute guided meditations that gradually progresses through 10 meditations at which point you need to upgrade. It’s amazing how much better and more calm you feel after 10 minutes of stillness. It would also be great to do before a flight if you’re a nervous flier.
Tonya Prater — The Traveling Praters
- I’m an avid road tripper in awe of the fun and quirky so my most frequently used app is Roadside America. It helps me track down unusual roadside attractions that I wouldn’t always find on my own. You can find attractions by searching near you or by browsing specific locations.
- I don’t always plan ahead when I’m traveling. I like to be as spontaneous as possible so I use Hotel Coupons to help me save a bit of money on lodging. In the past, I’ve found some pretty good deals and it saves me from picking up all the lodging coupon books at gas stations and rest stops.
- My third favorite isn’t really a travel app, but goes hand-in-hand with travel. I take a huge amount of pictures with my phone, but I was really bad about doing anything with those photos until I found Groovebook. This free app allows me to upload 100 photos a month, which are printed into a small booklet and sent to me each month for a shipping charge of $2.99. This allows me to easily show off some of my favorite photos with friends and family.
Erica Ho — Map Happy
- Google ITA Matrix (OnTheFly) – I like going straight to the source. This is the software where all the airlines and Kayak use for the basis of their software and my thought is that if it is a good enough for them, it should be good enough for me! The main downside is that you actually can’t book anything through it but there are workarounds for that.
- WorldMate – I travel like crazy! This means I forget things like flight dates (it’s actually happened), flight times and numbers and WorldMate takes care of all of that for me. I just forward an email to the service and I get email, calendar and mobile reminders. Basically, I just go when my phone tells me to go. The second best part of it is that the paid version offers real-time alerts like if your flight gets delayed, the gate changes, etc. I prefer WorldMate over TripIt because it is a lot cheaper for the same functionality.
- Wikisherpa – I use Wikivoyage as my main source to figure out where to go, what to see and what to eat. Sometimes I’ll Google stuff on the internet but Wikivoyage is pretty much the Wikipedia version of Lonely Planet. It’s also usually more current and completely free. Wikisherpa downloads all info for a particular destination for offline access.
Alex Jimenez — Travel Fashion Girl
- XE for easy and accurate currency conversion in any destination around the world
- Skyscanner to search for the best flight prices and routes
- Amazon Kindle it transforms my smartphone into a Kindle allowing me to ditch one more gadget and pack lighter
Max Hartshorne — Go Nomad
- Google Maps, in the US at least.
- XE Currency to convert money abroad.
- Apple Podcast for long waits or trips.
Deb and Dave Bouskill — The Planet D
- TripIt – It automatically organizes and amalgamates all of our flights and travel plans by scanning our emails. We don’t have to input anything. When are travel dates approach it sends us up to date alerts. It will even tell us the gate we are leaving from at the airport and if there are any delays or changes.
- Expedia – We like the immediacy of getting the best deal possibly without having to scour the Internet. It’s easy to navigate and I have reviews right at my fingertips. We can easily browse flights and hotels in the city we are going to or nearby hotels in the place we are currently at. We tend to book a lot of hotels last minute and this makes finding them easy. Plus we love their rewards program.
- Stuck in Customs – We always see photos of places and wonder where that shot was taken. This app allows you to pinpoint exactly where and when the shot was taken by the photographer. It has thousands of photos from sites around the world submitted by people from their travels. Each photo is geotagged with coordinates and time and date of where/when it was taken so you can recreate some of the best angles and images on the net for your own portfolio.
Caroline and Josh Eaton — Traveling 9 to 5
- TrailWallet – We use this to manage our day to day budget when we travel.
- LastPass – While this isn’t a travel app directly, when we travel we want to ensure we keep our passwords safe and always have them nearby. We never have to remember a password, and recommend this app to anyone who travels often.
Lindsey Hodder — Chasing the Wild
I love Trail Wallet, for expense tracking, because it’s useful and has a great interface; XE, because I can never remember what the currency conversion rates are for where I am at any given time, and a random Sudoku app I have, because it’s a great way to pass time when waiting for transport.
Macca Sherifi — A Brit and A Broad
- Duolingo – We’ll admit it first – we needed a lot of help with our Spanish before heading out to Central and South America, and Duolingo was the app we used; it is without a doubt one of the best language apps out there. It focuses on the basics, vocabulary you will find yourself using every day, and most importantly on verb conjugation. There are different activities which test memory, pronunciation and quick thinking. Using Duolingo certainly helped us out in more than a few situations!
- rdio – Having new music on the road is priceless and rdio is a good way to get up to date on albums and the latest releases. rdio is a bit like Spotify but less reliant on WiFi. You can listen to anything while connected to WiFi or, better yet, download full albums to your phone and access them anytime, and it’s incredibly cheap for what you’re getting too.
- Triposo – This app has comprehensive guides to wherever you’re going around the world. Triposo amalgamates Wikipedia, WikiTravel, WikiVoyage and a few other open source websites to create their guides. They are all accessible with WiFi, but the best part is that you can download them to your phone and have access to images, maps, information on sight-seeing and restaurant suggestions while you’re on the go. It’s the perfect app for researching your next destination while on a long bus ride.
Jeremy Scott Foster — Travel Freak
- Trail Wallet – I have never used a more comprehensive app than this one. Every aspect of trip budgeting has been laid out from start to finish, and I use this to keep track of every dime (literally) for my articles on the cost of travel in countries around the world.
- Foursquare – When I’m in a new city, this is my go to app if I’m looking for coffee shops, restaurants, bars, tacos, or dumplings. I feel like I never have to decide on the best places to go, because Foursquare decides for me!
- Camera+ – When it comes to editing photos on my iPhone, I always use Camera+. Their clarity/HDR option is gorgeous, plus they have all the sliders to fine tune every aspect of my photos. I’ve tried plenty of photo editing apps over the years, but this is always the one I come back to.
Dave Dean — Too Many Adapters
Some of my most frequently used apps are as follows. Added bonus: these all work offline – handy when you don’t have cell data overseas.
- WikiSherpa – It’s a crowd-sourced travel guide that pulls information from WikiVoyage, Wikipedia and elsewhere, so can sometimes be highly detailed and accurate, and sometimes neither of those things. Still, it’s usually a good place for an overview and history of a destination, often with accommodation and food recommendations that you won’t find in the big-name guidebooks.
- Google Maps – Since an update earlier this year added the ability to save an unlimited number of offline maps, it’s become more useful for international travellers. Since GPS doesn’t rely on the Internet, that magic blue dot will still show me where I am even when I don’t have data. An even better offline option is Here — it’s only available on Android and Windows Phone at the moment, but lets you download entire countries for proper offline use, including searching and route finding that Google’s version won’t do without being connected.
- Podcasts are a great way of whiling away the hours, while drowning out screaming kids around you at the same time. There are plenty of free apps for listening to podcasts, but I much prefer Pocket Casts. It costs a few dollars, but has many more features and is just general much nicer to use than anything else I’ve found.
That’s a wrap! Please share if you found this round-up useful, and make sure to visit our blog for more management and productivity tips for business leaders, board members and senior-level directors.
Got a favorite app that wasn’t included here? Don’t forget to pay it forward and sound off on the comments section below.
Your turn: What are your most frequently used travel apps, and what do you love about them?
EDIT: This was originally 39 Travel Experts, but we added fifty more since the first publication of the article. The more the merrier!