Traveling. It can either be an exciting experience or a nightmare waiting to happen. Luckily, awkward situations can be avoided with a little bit of pre-journey preparation. On a day to day basis, apps make my life a lot easier and the same can be said when I’m on the road. Need to book a last minute accommodation? Hotel Tonight’s got you covered. Trying to find the best sushi in town? Yelp has the answer! From booking flights to finding your way around town, here’s a list of some of my favorite travel apps that I think you should download before your next trip! Your future self will thank you for it.
Before you board the plane and head off to your next adventure, Hopper is the app to download to book your flight. Not any flight but the cheapest flight. Put in your destination and your travel dates and Hopper will tell you when is the best time to make the purchase. The reason why I like it so much is that unlike other price monitoring websites, it tells you right off the bat if you should book it now or wait, in which case it will proceed to monitor the prices and send you an alert when the time has come. Make your wallet a service and use it next time you book a flight!
2. Hotel Tonight
Staying on the saving wagon, let me introduce you to Hotel Tonight. If you’re the spontaneous type and regularly don’t know where you’re going to spend the night when you travel, this one is for you. Hotel Tonight features everyday some hotels’ last available rooms at a discounted rate. Forget about paying extra for booking last minute! (Even if you’re more organized and want to book your accommodation in advance, the app still has really good deals).
Ha maps.me… If you only had to download one app, it would be maps.me. A friend of mine introduced it to me back in 2015 when I was solo traveling in Indonesia and I never stopped using it ever since. What makes maps.me special compared to other similar apps is that it works offline. You read well, you do not need an internet connection to be able to use it. All you have to do is download the map of the country you’re going to when you have wifi and then wander the streets carefree knowing that the days spending hours trying to find a museum are behind you. Pro tip: You can also pin your favorite places so that when you’re back home, you can look back to the sites you’ve been to and recreate your itinerary!
4. City Mapper
City Mapper is another app that, as it name suggests, will help you get around a city. It doesn’t work offline but is a good one if you plan on taking public transportation as it gives you live departure time and duration. If you fancy pedaling your way around town, you can also select the bike option which will give you the best biking route. Bonus: uber is integrated.
Talking about the devil. When traveling abroad, Uber can come in very handy if you can’t find a local taxi or are traveling in a country where services like Uber can be safer than taking a regular taxi. I’d say download it even if you don’t plan on necessarily using it, just in case you ever need a last minute ride.
I used to be skeptical about podcasts but that was before I had found the right programs for me. On an international flight or long drive, listening to music can get a little tiring after while, and that’s usually when I like to listen to a podcast. Some of my favorites include How I Built This from NPR and Kalyn’s Coffee Talk. If you want more recommendations, please let me know in the comments down below and I’ll share my playlists with you all!
7. XE Currency
Managing money in a different currency can be tricky. I remember in Bolivia, I would bust out my phone every time I wanted to buy something to do the math and convert the price in bolivianos to euros. Then I heard about XE Currency‘s app. I had been using the website to check the exchange rate for a while but the app is a game changer as it converts whatever amount of money from one currency to the other on the spot… No maths required.
I will credit a friend of mine for this one too. I used to just google good restaurants around town but on my last trip to the US, a friend kept researching places on Yelp and the ratings proved to be pretty reliable. We discovered so many nice places thanks to the app that on my next spot, when another friend started googling places to eat, I opened Yelp and convinced her to use the app as well. If you can choose between the best, don’t go anywhere that has a lower rating than 4 stars.
9. Google Translate
Does it even need an explanation? Google Translate can be your bilingual friend at a restaurant when you’re trying to figure out the menu or when you’re negotiating at a local market. Avoid a lost in translation kind of situation by translating words with the app and not phrases (the translation isn’t always the most accurate… Don’t blame me!).
10. [ Insert your favorite app ]
There you have it, those are some of my all time favorite travel apps. I hope you discovered new ones and most of all, I hope that they will make your next trip better. Now I’d love to read about the apps you use the most when you travel. Please share them in the comments below and let’s keep the conversation going!