While Wi-Fi may be limited on some trips, the amount of information available from your phone is plentiful. Whether domestic or international, below you will find 15 of my favorite apps to use when traveling:
Trip Advisor is always my go-to before booking hotels and when creating my travel itineraries. On this app, you can read reviews, find highly ranked tours and attractions, get advice from other travelers on forums, and even compare prices to book hotels. It’s truly a one stop shop to help you create your ideal trip.
P.S. Don’t forget to leave reviews to help guide other travelers as well.
When it comes to finding the perfect bar and/or restaurant to fit my taste palates and budget while traveling, I almost always turn to Yelp. Whether you want to search by location, price, food preference, etc, Yelp is the place to find reviews from other travelers about their food experience or lack thereof. You can even make reservations for your restaurant selection directly from this app.
As much as I love my IPhone, I’m no stranger to the inaccuracies of Apple Maps, making Google Maps my usual go-to, especially when I’m out of the country. And on my recent trip to Bali, I found out that I had not been using Google Maps to its full capacity. On international trips especially, Wi-Fi can be extremely limited, however, if you use Google Maps to navigate your directions before you leave your Wi-Fi zone, this map will continue to direct your path, even without being on a network. The map might not update your directions if you change your course, but it will stay up to date enough to help you reach your location by following the original path.
Sidenote: You can also get public transit routes and/or request services like Uber from Google Maps.
Depending on your travel needs and preferences, AirBnb is often the perfect alternative to a hotel for those travelers that may need more space and additional amenities. You can click here to read more about choosing the perfect AirBnb for your travels.
For last minute hotels, Hotels Tonight is the app to score a room last minute at a bargain price. Just be sure to check out the reviews of that room by using a trusty site like Trip Advisor to make sure it fits not only your budget, but also your taste preferences.
Even though I use XE for my currency conversion needs, there are many apps to choose from when it comes to making sure that you know just how far your dollars can stretch while out of the country. And as some added tips to help you minimize your currency conversion fees:
- Withdraw money from the ATM versus exchanging money at a currency conversion center. The fees are significantly less.
- Exchange money at your home bank before you leave for your vacation.
- Use your credit or debit card as much as possible.
If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you know that I can be a very picky eater. Yelp and Trip Advisor might be my go-tos for restaurant reviews, but I use Zomato to be able to see actual restaurant menus before making a final selection.
Hotels.com and Booking.com
These websites are equally beneficial to finding the perfect hotel for your travels at the best price.
Many travelers swear by this site to find the best travel deals. And their nifty price forecast feature gives you advice on whether you should purchase immediately or wait until later.
If you’re looking for the cheapest airfares, you can use Hopper to not only search for the best dates to get the lowest rate, but to also set reminders for the best time to buy your ticket.
This app searches for the best rates for your travel needs from airfare to rental cars. You can also set alerts to be notified when the fares change, similar to Google flights.
The same way that Uber is one of our favorite apps in the US, it can also be used in many countries across the world, and usually at a cheaper rate. Just be careful, in some places like Bali, as taxi drivers can be resistant to Uber in some cities.
This is one app that I learned about not having the hard way. While standing in line after a trip to Mexico, starving and super tired, the TEA agent tending the customs line, made the announcement that we could skip the line by downloading mobile passport and following the steps. While everyone around me downloaded the app and begin their hasty departure towards the shorter exit line, I realized that I had not taken my phone to the Apple Store to be repaired and could not download any new apps. That was one mistake I vowed to not make ever again. Download this app to skip the line at more than 20 airports across the US.
Since it can be pricey to use your cellular data when out of the country and to stay connected with locals and other travelers that you might meet, Whats App allows you to communicate with both local and international numbers from the comfort of one app while avoiding fees.
This is the newest travel app that has been added to my repertoire, and I look forward to using its nifty features for my next trip. Using your email address, Google Trips compiles your travel information, like reservations and boarding passes, and stores it in a central place along with making recommendations of places to go and things to see while on your vacation.