Guest post by: Nicole Tegge (Follow on Spotted Places here)
Long gone are the days of travel agents, travel brochures and travel cheques. Today with just our phones we can do almost everything from searching for flights, finding the perfect place to stay, and booking that jaw-dropping tour.
But, with so many options, comes the double-edged sword of noise and information overload. It can be difficult to weed through the myriad of apps which overpromise or are difficult to use. Some apps are riddled with bugs or aren’t very encompassing in their features or locations. Some apps are too general in their focus or perhaps aren’t niche enough.
To help you decide which ones are this year’s hits and which are best left in the app store, we’ve compiled this list of our top 10 Best Travel apps.
These apps are differentiated in their scope and mission meaning that they cover most aspects of your next travel adventure. Using all ten will cover almost all of the most important travel necessities.
Traveling with friends is awesome until it comes time to split the bill. Keeping track of who owes what is only complicated by the problems of additional currencies and life on the road. With Splitwise, sharing expenses just became simple. Friends can keep track of pending balances, email out reminders, and more! The app will also consolidate the balances within a group making it extremely handy when everyone owes everyone something.
We all understand the stress that comes from making the big-budget airline purchase. We hesitate before booking unsure of whether we will rejoice in joy as it jumps in price within a few days or cringe in regret as it lowers in price. Hopper takes a lot of the guessing out of booking flights as it’s able to predict with huge accuracy (they claim 95%) how ticket prices will fluctuate.
3. Trail Wallet
Trail Wallet is a budget tracker app specifically made with travelers in mind. It’s flexibility in transferring between different currencies sets it apart and allows you to easily enter in your expenses while on-the-go. It’s simple and easy to use and allows you to divide your expenses by month, country, trip, and more providing you with a handy log of interesting statistics and information on how much your trip is really costing.
Even experienced travelers struggle with packing (take it from someone who arrived in Bogota expecting tropical weather). To help make sure that you pack everything you need, for every activity and temperature, Packpoint offers up a great list from which you can then customize to your needs. You can even share your lists with friends and sync your lists to Evernote.
5. Hotel Tonight
When it comes to booking a place to stay, options abound! While we can’t recommend Hostelworld, AirBnb, and Couchsurfing enough, we wanted to include a lesser known alternative. Hotel Tonight is great for when you need a last-minute option. The app specializes in same day reservations usually at huge discounts!
Probably the most intimidating aspect of an international trip is the language barrier. This little hiccup makes even the simplest of tasks gigantic. However, you can prepare beforehand by learning on your phone as you kill time between meetings, take the train to work, or wait for a lunch date. Duolingo is our pick because it’s easy to use, offers an array of tasks, and focuses on several aspects of language learning (speaking, listening, vocabulary). It’s game-like teaching style helps pull you into the app and make you forget that you’re actually studying.
As my credit card will verify, I’ve booked my fair share of international flights. Finding the best price on such a huge portion of the overall travel expense is key to keeping your budget in the black. It’s for this reason that I trust Momondo. Momondo is great at finding cheap flights, both last-minute and months in advance. It isn’t a booking site but rather a search aggregator that compiles the data of over 1,000 airlines, booking sites, and travel agencies. With these unbiased methods, Momondo offers up lesser known airlines that are often significantly cheaper while remaining impartial. Without trying to steer you into over-purchasing expensive add-ons and frills or purchasing from a partner company, it’s transparency and trustworthiness is refreshing.
Staying organized is key to staying safe while traveling. And one of the most important things you can do to this affect is making sure your documents are all in order. This includes having easily accessible copies of your passport, health insurance, flight and hotel information, receipts, notes, and more. Juggling all these documents while on the road can become a nuisance while leaving yourself open to the opportunity for theft, loss, water damage and more. Keep these documents safe by scanning them as a document or PDF that you can access from anywhere with WIFI.
While we encourage losing yourself in a place to really get to know it, it’s always helpful to have a map handy, just in case. But even today when WIFI is prevalent, it’s not always available or reliable. That’s why we suggest Maps.me. This app doesn’t require a working connection; simply download the map while you have data or WIFI and it will continue to work without them. It’s not a huge drain on battery life and the maps are very detailed! There are even navigation and routing options helping to ensure that when it’s time to stop the wandering, you’ll always know exactly how to get where you’re going.
10. Spotted Places
We couldn’t write our list of our favorite travel apps and fail to include ours. But before you think we’re biased, hear us out. When you join Spotted Places, you’re joining a community. A community of other travelers who offer up support, recommendations, and inspiration. Our app allows you to get all that from people you trust and people you know. Find hidden gems while traveling, connect with others in the area, or simply upload your favorite spots and see a virtual photo map of your trip! This is an app that you definitely don’t want to leave out.
So there you have it. Our list of our 10 Best Travel Apps. What do you think? Which ones have you used? Did we leave off any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments how apps affect your travel experiences and which are your favorites.
Guest BloggerAfter a study abroad trip in college sparked the love of traveling, Nicole has called home Taiwan, Colombia, and, currently, Peru. In between exploring foreign cities, she’s taken on a variety of work including copywriting, blogging, social media management, and more!
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