What was travel like before apps? In my case, a whole lot of Google searches, and pages upon pages of printed MapQuest directions! We made it work (because we didn’t know any different) but let me just take a second to appreciate the fine men and women that create and maintain apps that make our travel lives easier, and luggage lighter. I wanted to share some of my favourite travel apps (plus a few that I want to try) for different aspects of travelling.
Apps to Figure out Where to go & What to do – Trip Planning Apps
Tripadvisor: I’ve been using Tripadvisor for six years mainly for reviews on accommodation, to read recent trip reports from people that have been to my destination, and to look up activities at my destination (things to do and reviews of tours and sights). You can call me a tripadvisoraholic!
Apps to Find Flights
I’m ‘steady’ looking for cheap flights whether I have a trip planned or not because you never know when you’ll score a great deal. Here are the apps that support my obsession:
Aggregator Apps: Skyscanner, Momondo; Kayak
Apps to Get You Up In the Air – Mobile Boarding Passes
Airline Apps: I have the Delta and British Airways apps. Checking in on the app and using the mobile boarding pass makes flying a breeze. An added bonus is that I typically book any reward flights directly using the app.
Apple Wallet: I love how this bad boy keeps my boarding passes for any airline. I can whip it out and go back to older boarding passes if I need to. It also holds Airbnb bookings as I only found out recently. Do you use it? I reckon it probably does more that I’m giving it credit for (travel-wise). There’s an android equivalent!
Apps That Organise your Travels – Trip Organisers
I’ve been putting this off for a while, but no more! I’m ready to try a trip organizer out let me know which you’d recommend of: TripIt, or Googletrips if you have used either.
Apps That Help You Keep Your Money Straight
Splitwise: Hands down best app for group trips and shared expenses. This app is so smart! Make a group for your trip, and each person that has incurred a costs puts it in and selects if the cost should be split amongst everyone. The app calculates not only how much each person owes but also how much Person A should pay Person B considering all the transactions. Amazing!! A friend introduced me to this a year ago.
XE Currency: When travelling abroad and you want to have an idea of how much that beautiful painting costs in your currency, XE currency is the app you want to have on your phone.
Venmo: This currently only works in the US but it is great to pay friends instantaneously whether it’s for dinner, or accommodations, or a show.
Dream Days: There’s a free and paid version of this app. I use it to countdown to the next trip (plus other things like weddings, birthdays, anniversaries etc). Its nice to open it up and see what’s next. Otherwise you can get reminders based on your settings. The free version is adequate.
Been: Best discovery ever! Been app is where its at to have a current list of where you’ve been by continent, as well as to track US states visited. I simply update when I go to a new country, and Been keeps track. It tracks the countries of countries as well as the percentage of the world you’ve seen/been.
Apps to let Mama Know you’re Okay and to ‘stunt’ on Social Media
Whatsapp – this is the app I use the most. Period. I rarely send normal texts anymore. I’d pay for whatsapp, it’s that important to me. Since whatsapp got the calling feature, my use of Skype and viber have gone to 0 because I much prefer one app that does everything I need! Whatsapp groups for friends, family, and travel buddies make communicating with several people at the same time so much less time consuming.
Instagram/Snapchat: The ‘IT’ app for sharing your perfect (or not perfect but beautiful images) from your travels if that’s your thing. Plus, I still have Snapchat out of respect for the snap peeps but I struggle to do both snapchat and Instastories. I hadn’t use snap in months and posted something when I was writing this 🙂 I can’t personally handle all of that ‘sharing’, but some can!
Apps to help you get around
- Google Maps – Need I say more?
- Uber – see above
- City Maps: This is an alternative to Google maps but I haven’t used it yet. Have you?
Apps to help you find a place to zzz
AirBnb: Airbnb is Bae. Before you actually book a place, you can create a list for the city and can save all the options onto that list. This list can be shared with a group of people if you’re trying to make decisions as a team. You can communicate with the host, book, write reviews, and get directions to the location via the app.
Hotel Chain Apps: I use this only for hotel chains that I stay at fairly regularly and I’m a part of their loyalty programmes. I have SPG and the Accor apps. Gotta track those points somehow!
Booking: This one’s quite popular , I’ve used it online but I’ve actually never used the app. Thoughts from fans?
Hotel Tonight: I literally just used this for the first time yesterday as I found myself at the train station in Paris without a hotel. After setting up an account, I had a hotel booked near the Eiffel Tower at a great price. Sign me up!!
That’s all I’ve got for now. What other apps do you use that I haven’t mentioned? What apps are new to you that you’d like to try out? Please share in the comments below, and together we’ll make our travel lives easier!