When we traveled throughout Europe last year and the year before, we relied heavily on smartphone and iPad travel apps to guide us to top tourist sites, restaurants and pubs. We also used apps to check flight status, convert currency, help with common phrases, and to find public transportation. Here are a few of the top travel apps I can’t live without:
1. TripAdvisor (Offline City Guides)
I love this app! We just arrived in Boston last Wednesday but I’ve already scoured TripAdvisor for must-see attractions, tours, shopping, and nightlife. You can also check in to places and view them in your trip journal later, and you can send postcards to people with messages like, “Greetings from Boston” etc. If you need help with public transportation, the transit option in this app is awesome. It shows you the nearest metro stop, metro system maps, and other information about each line.
Download the maps when you have Internet connection and use them offline while you’re walking around. Convenient!
Triposo is similar to TripAdvisor and has trip guides for different cities. You can go to the map option, click on a tourist attraction in a specific area, and read a description while viewing photos. We used this app a lot when we were traveling in Europe.
When we were in the Athens airport trying to fly back to Aberdeen, Scotland, our gate changed five or six times in a row. After basically making laps around the entire airport and being glued to various departure screens, I finally connected to the Internet and checked FlightView for updates. I’ve found that apps are sometimes more accurate than the screens at the airport. How insane is that? This app will definitely make travel a little more stress-free.
4. Packing Pro
I tend to make mental lists as I’m packing for a vacation and this doesn’t always work out. I’ve forgotten to pack face wash multiple times (and day-um face wash expensive in other countries!), and sometimes I even forget chargers and converters. Packing Pro allows you to create your own packing list to check off, or you can view sample lists for a quick reminder.
5. TripAdvisor (Hotels, Flights and Restaurants)
Since we always read hotel and restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor before booking anything, downloading this app was a no-brainer. It’s easy to search for a restaurant or hotel in a specific area and price range, and reading about other people’s experiences is always helpful. I also like the flight search feature.
Are you wanting to plan a big trip without having to hire a travel agent, but the thought of it overwhelms you? Then this app is for you. Simply connect your email to the app and TripIt will pull all of your flight, hotel and rental car information to create an itinerary. It’s an easy way to manage a lot of information.
SpeakEasy is basically a compact phrasebook for your phone. The app contains phonetic translations and audio to make traveling in non-English speaking countries easier. You can search for phrases by category, which I think is a great feature.
Cost: Varies (some languages are free)
8. XE Currency
The best thing about this app is that you can use it offline. It stores updated currency rates so you can convert prices without access to the Internet. Quick, painless, and useful for when you’re souvenir shopping in a different country.
Do you use travel apps on vacation? I’d love to hear about your favorites!
Filed Under: Travel, Travel Essentials