A few years ago, when my sisters and I decided to take on Europe, traveling with a plan meant an entire folder full of destinations, printed out street maps, and phone numbers to contact. Later on, I ditched all of that and decided planning only required knowing where I was going and where was I sleeping. However, that proved even more stressful and worrying. So I found the right balance with my phone, and using mobile apps to get most of my trip planning accomplished. I can still have the planning but also with less worry and less paperwork to tote around.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 mobile apps for the savvy traveler!
I love using the Hopper app to search for flights. You can sort through flight times and schedules with filters for basic fares (that is, those low-cost fares that usually have additional fees for seats, baggage, and more) and layovers. The colorful interface allows you to easily see which dates and prices match within your schedule and budget—and the app has a flight price predictor feature, so you can start your trip planning without actually booking anything up to a year in advance, and Hopper will notify you when the price is right to buy. Get Hopper on Android or Apple.
2: World Around Me
Use the Virtlo World Around Me mobile app to learn more about the place you’re visiting using augmented reality! Hold up your phone in your travel destination, and it’ll tell you all about excellent places to dine, shop, and explore. Get the Virtlo World Around Me app on Android or Apple.
Feel like a doughnut or just need a place to sit and read? The Yelp app makes finding whatever your heart desires simple. You can search certain foods or activities and get locations nearby that serve those needs. Read reviews for cafés or restaurants, get an idea of pricing, and receive directions. Personally, I use this app to find new bakeries nearby, and I look at the reviews for new baked good suggestions. Get Yelp on Android or Apple.
I know that when I travel with friends, it’s sometimes just easier to have one person handle the restaurant bill or ticket purchase. Mobile apps like Splitwise make it easy to the savvy traveler keep track with divvying up the costs, so by the end of the trip it’s all even and fair. Get Splitwise on Android or Apple.
I used this app when I first moved to a new city and found it super helpful in exploring. For those regions with public transport—from large U.S. cities and a wide spectrum of countries around the world—Citymapper should be your go-to. It’s an absolute lifesaver when looking for stops close to where I’m going, and for planning out the best route (and best method, like taking a bus, metro, or even a city bike) to get there. Get Citymapper on Android or Apple.
6: Gratitude Tipping
From restaurants, the porter, or the cab driver, this handy app shows the right percentage to tip for each in certain countries. Along with providing information for tipping customs country-by-country, the app also has some language tips and mini travel guides to give you the best experience while dining out and traveling from place to place. Get the Gratitude Tipping app.
7: Currency Converter
It’s really easy to lose track of your finances while traveling, especially with converting currencies and keeping up with ATM rates. Currency Converter is a free app that has the rates for tons of currencies around the world. Set up to 15 different currencies on your home screen, with a base currency to work from (for example, USD, CAD, or EUR), and type in the amount you want to convert—the app will show the conversions for your chosen currencies in realtime. Get the Currency Converter app on Android or Apple.
When you book for a hotel, flight, or tour online, your inbox just gets buried with confirmation mails. Try forwarding your plans to your account with TripIt. It creates a master itinerary with all of your confirmations. You can share it with the rest of the group or sync it with your calendar. Bonus: the app gives you directions and provides a map for locations. Get TripIt on Android or Apple.
9: WiFi Finder
This is exactly what it says it is. While you may be exploring a new country to get away from work e-mails, you might still want wifi to connect with those back home or to even blog about your experience. This is a free app that displays wifi hotspots, which you can filter by source like cafe, hotel, restaurant, or store, and its crowdsourced database keeps hotspot information up-to-date. Get the WiFi Finder app on Android or Apple.
This is a great app to document everything for your trip, from passports to tickets. Not only is it great for travel writing, but it’s a good app to keep all of the addresses or basic information you’d get from guide books or suggestions from friends. Plus, you can map out where you’ve been, take photos, and save receipts. Get Evernote on Android or Apple.
Featured image via Unsplash.