Traveling is fun, but it’s even more fun if you have some idea of where you’re going. Thanks to handheld technology, you no longer have to worry about bumbling your way across Europe, trying to find a hotel, an attraction, or a landmark. When you’re on the go, your smartphone is the tool you want by your side. Resources abound on it that are incredibly beneficial for travel – resources that go beyond standard maps and directions, but that really get the job done in terms of ensuring you get around cities effectively, efficiently, and have a great time doing so. Here are some of the best apps to travel with, and the best part is that all of these are absolutely free!
Travel prep is a huge part of traveling efficiently, and having the right app in your pocket is pivotal in planning a trip that doesn’t break the bank. We love the fly.com app because it shows the cheapest fares from a flexible fare calendar, so you can hand pick travel dates based on the cheapest days to fly.
Want an airport directory for your handbag? The Airports app is your tool for that. This app has a worldwide VOLMET station list, NOTAMs, SNOWTAM decoder, METAR and TAF reports, favorites, tools and the ability to save your own notes. You know, so you can jot down which Concourse your favorite airport bar is in.
Bloom by Brian Eno
Need your mind to travel elsewhere when you jump on that plane? Bloom is a trance-like music app that allows you to compose and create a music/art combination through touch. Create patterns and melodies unlike any other simply by tapping the screen. It’ll transport your brain from a place of travel anxiety to calming creations.
Yes, Yelp everywhere you go! Yelp is the app that gives real life business reviews to businesses all over the world. Simply stated: it takes all the guessing out of travel. Is that restaurant overpriced? Does that store sell quality handbags? Does this bar serve watered down liquor drinks? What does that hotel actually look like? Yelp has helpful customer reviews and actual customer photos so that you don’t have to guess what you’re walking into.
Sometimes it’s fun to leave some travel plans in the air. If you’re flexible and like to go wherever the wind blows you, consider holding off on making a hotel reservation. Instead, download the Hotel Tonight app, which refreshes every 24 hours with hotels near you that are trying to fill vacancies at the last minute. This means amazing deals on otherwise incredibly expensive places.
Dealing in different currencies while traveling often leaves people frustrated and confused, and if they’re not careful, they often make mistakes in transactions. The XE Currency app is your solution: it converts every world currency and offers proprietary currency rates and charts. Best part? It works even when the Internet doesn’t, so you’re never stuck without that calculator.
Speak & Translate App
This app is a voice and text translator that will allow you to communicate effectively anywhere via real-time voice/speech recognition software. The app allows you voice to voice translate and text to text translate, so you can both hear and read the correct way to speak.
Google’s latest software release is par for the course, at least when it comes to Google. The application automatically syncs with your Gmail account and provides you with reservations so that you know exactly where you’re going, and what you’re going to do when you get there. On top of that it offers plenty of suggestions for hotspots to visit, including those that are less of a tourist trap.
Guides by Lonely Planet
If you’re visiting a new city, use Lonely Planet guides to plan your trip. You can download any of these guides for free before you jump onto the street, meaning you aren’t going to be using any data while traveling abroad. You and I know very well how much data some applications can use and if you’re out of the country, well, you could end up with a hefty bill when you get home.
Lonely Planet is also able to help you travel within your means by offering budget locations, sightseeing locations, and various hotspots that you’ll want to take a look at. There are guides for plenty of popular cities including Cape Town, Beijing, and even Rio Di Janeiro.
Now wait a minute, you’re probably wondering what a dating app has to do with travel, and the answer is quite a bit. Tinder can be used to meet up with people to make the first visit a little less scary, or you can use it to feel out the type of people that you might be encountering on your visit to a new location. In other words, it’s a good way to scope things out before you immerse yourself in the social culture.
Because seriously, you are going to want to share your travels, and what better way than to “snap” your way across the globe?! Yea, you want to be present and in the moment when you travel, but you also want to take a moment to immortalize and share your moments. Sure, the Eiffel Tower, Grand Canyon, and tropical beaches are all amazing all on their own, but they become even more fun when it is bunny you trotting the globe on SM!
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