Travel apps provide an easy way of getting the answers you need to create and pull off an incredible adventure. Start using them now ’cause they’ll only make your life easier!
You never expect to be in a position where you’re stuck in a new country, no mobile signal or data connection, and you have no idea where your next destination is. Well, that’s what happened to us during our latest trip to Taipei. We were in the middle of a busy street, with no idea which direction the MRT was, and we didn’t speak a lick of Mandarin (at least I didn’t and Jobe’s not exactly any better than I am at it).
Now before you start thinking that we didn’t prepare for the trip, we did. I prepared a huge itinerary that plotted out a play-by-play of what our day would consist of. The problem was that we didn’t have a Wi-Fi connection (no idea where to find a local hotspot either), and we couldn’t find the MRT (local train system). The street was also devoid of anyone, and the stores were a little sketchy, to say the least.
We were about to start hammering on doors and asking for directions in broken Mandarin when I had a thought.
I’m an idiot.
I distinctly remembered that Google Maps on the iPhone can save a section of your map for Offline use. It even keeps your favorite locations and bookmarked spots. I whipped out my phone and it was right there, clear as day. For some reason, my first thought strayed towards frantically waving my arms around to see if the locals would understand me before looking at my actual “navigation” apps on my iPhone.
The point to all this? Apps and technology are AMAZING for travelers, especially for the silly forgetful ones like me.
In this day and age, technology has rapidly developed so that you can have access to ANYTHING you want. It doesn’t matter what it is, you can find an app that’s specialized towards a specific need.
For travelers, these travel apps are hugely popular because of how easy they can make your trips feel. Here’s a list of 12 travel apps based on their function that we’ve tried and enjoyed.
Hopper is a great app for figuring out the best time to purchase flights! You can set the destination and the timeframe for when you want to go on a trip. Hopper will then let you know the best time to purchase the most affordable tickets. If the app tells you to wait a while before you buy the ticket, take a breather and hold out for a bit longer. The app will automatically send you a notification when it’s reaching that time where your flight ticket is cheaper. The app uses an archive of trillions of flight prices, which provides the service with a 95% accuracy on its predictions, according to the makers of Hopper, so make sure you check this one out!
If you’re navigating through a new city on your own and you have to take public transportation, it can be a very hectic and daunting experience. Rome2Rio has route information of over 4,800 transport operators in over 158 countries, offering a very comprehensive view of flight, train, bus, ferry, and driving options and their estimated travel times and fares. Stay in the loop and know where you’re going with Rome2Rio.
Waze is a favorite for taxi drivers and commuters, and for good reason. The app provides up-to-date live traffic, accidents, construction, and more, ensuring you get to your destination in the quickest time. This is definitely something we’d recommend for people who are going on a road trip, as it could save your butt when you’re driving in a busy city or town. The app is updated by the community of users who can input their own information as it happens and unfolds. Pair this with Google Maps and you’ve got all the navigation you’ll need!
Hotel Tonight is a great app to use if you’re booking a hotel for the last minute. Gain access to the latest deals for over 15,000 different hotels in 35 countries across the globe. You can book up to a week in advance and it only takes 10 seconds, according to the app. You can search by city, attraction, nearby locations or on a map, and you have access to different ratings, reviews, and photos from other travelers and bookers. This is the perfect app if you’re in a rush to book a decent hotel without going through the trouble of searching and looking up information. Hotel Tonight will get you the best deal in a jiffy!
Oasis is an app that works in similar ways to AirBNB, but it’s a little bit cooler. This short-term-rental company provides a curated list of coveted luxury apartments and homes in about two dozen destinations. Guests can use the app to book these listings or to access a 24/7 concierge service that can help with dining reservations, movie or theater tickets, tour bookings, and more. It’s a great alternative if you’re going to one of their offered locations to live in a glamorous setting.
If you were hit with an extra long lay-over during your transit to a new city, try Dayuse. It’s a great app that allows you to book a hotel room for a few hours so that you can freshen up, use the shower, take a nap, or just hang out in a comfier setting. Dayuse offers a variety of hotel rooms for up to 75% off their regular nightly rates at up to 3,000 hotels around the world. It’s a great app if you don’t want to look like hell after your flight!
1. Cool Cousin
If you’re looking for a good list of places to visit that are off-the-beaten-path, you can check out these recommendations from locals and savvy residents in 14 destinations. The destinations include places like London and Paris, for example. These suggestions are usually the type of places that you won’t find on your commercial guidebooks. Therefore, be prepared for new and local spots in emerging neighborhoods that will definitely interest you.
2. G. Spotting
We are not making this up. This app is from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop and is better known as G. Spotting. It will help you find the best spots in over 25 destinations, all of which are curated by Goop editors, Paltrow, and her friends (who are all very in-the-know). The app focuses on things that foodies, hipsters, travelers with kids, and art lovers might enjoy, so if you fall under these categories, definitely check this out! You’ll love it.
Sidekix is a great travel app to have in your arsenal when you’re visiting a new place. Sidekix plans out the best way for you to get to your destination, but that doesn’t mean they guide you to the quickest route. Sidekix discovers the best walking directions based on your interests and preferences. If you’re looking for something to do during your travels, Sidekix will navigate you to a course that will allow you to try things on your way to your final spot. It’s available in over 100 major cities and provides a great glimpse into what the city offers, beyond what you originally planned
Though TripAdvisor is known for more than just food, we can say that it is without a doubt one of the more comprehensive apps for foodies around the globe. Not only can you find restaurants in your area, the reviews on it will give you a better idea of what to expect if you do decide to dine somewhere. Even if you don’t want to know exactly what you’re going to get into, TripAdvisor is a great source to look up different spots to try.
For all of the gamblers out there who love to travel, Urbanspoon might be a great way to get both fixes all at once. Set your parameters for what you want to eat or what cuisine you’re craving for, and hit spin. From that point, the app will provide a great restaurant recommendation that comes with reviews, directions, and photos for your liking. Once you find a good choice you can then visit it and voila, bon appetit!
Sometimes eating out isn’t the best idea when you’re traveling, especially if you’re on a budget. Maybe you feel like dining in and still want a taste of the local cuisine. GrubHub is a great app that gives you a list of all the restaurants in your area that delivers. You can then order through the app and even give them special requests. Have your food delivered to your front door, all from a simple app!
Well, there you have it! 12 apps that we’d highly recommend travelers to download. If you have an app that you LIVE by while you’re traveling, make sure to let us know in the comments below! We’d love to keep this list updated and useful for people!