Modern technology makes it easier than ever to travel the world. Here are some of my favorite travel apps that I use regularly, so I can move about the globe with effortless ease.
1. TripIt - This is a free app that will track all of your upcoming trips, storing your itinerary details for your flights, hotel reservations, scheduled transportation, and even excursions. It’s super easy to use, and there’s a simple free version that works just fine.
2. World Clock - This free app allows you to quickly track the time difference between different locations around the world. And you can preset those locations you check often for easy reference.
3. XE Currency Converter - A currency conversion app that allows you to get live market exchange rates. It’s easy to use and very reliable. However, the conversion rate you get at money exchangers and banks might differ based on the exchange rates offered by those institutions.
4. Google Translate - This allows you to easily translate up to 133 different languages. Simply type or speak into the microphone and the app will automatically translate into whatever language you select. You can read the translated text, and/or listen to it audibly. You can also hover the camera over text (for example, a menu) and it’ll translate it for you.
5. Rome2Rio - This is a wonderful free app that allows you to type in a beginning location and a desired destination, and tells you exactly what transportation options are available on a given date (for example, bus vs train vs ferry vs self-drive, etc.), how far it is by each mode of transportation, a price range of how much it will cost, and even provides easy links for booking. It’ll even make suggestions on what mode of transportation is recommended, and also the cheapest option. It’ll also make recommendations on hotels, but I usually prefer to research hotels using the next app, Trip Advisor.
6. Tripadvisor - This is one of my favorite go-to travel apps, as it lets me research hotels based on the amenities that are most important to me, the location, and traveler reviews. It’s also great for researching restaurants and things to do in each location. The traveler reviews are invaluable and I take the time to read through the good and the bad ones to get a feel for a place. You can’t make everyone happy no matter how hard you try. But if I see several bad reviews saying the same thing, that’s when I start to pay attention. There’s even a forum where you can see what travelers to a specific location are saying. Can’t recommend this app enough.
7. CBP MPC (Mobile Passport Control) - This secure app allows you to expedite the re-entry process into the U.S. It’s free and, unlike Global Entry, does not require pre-approval. Save time and avoid the lines upon arrival back in the U.S. Simply open the app and submit your passport and customs declaration info to streamline the entire process. You’ll thank me later.
8. Uber & Lyft - Sometimes you just can’t beat Uber or Lyft when it comes to easy and affordable transfers. They’re not available in all locations so do your homework ahead of time. I also like to grab copies of my hotel’s business cards so I can simply hand them to my taxi driver, especially if there is a language barrier to overcome.
9. Maps.me - Another great, free app that offers detailed and entirely offline maps with “turn-by-turn” navigation. Simply download the map for your location. Save mobile data. No internet access is required. Next time you land in a new city, give it a try. This may become your new go-to navigation app when traveling overseas.
10. FlightAware - This free app is the one pilots and flight attendants use to stay on top of flight changes and updates. It allows you to track yours or any other flight. Simply enter the flight your want to track and you’ll get real-time, active status updates of any changes or delays. I often get updates from FlightAware before I get them from my airline.
11. Airline apps - Of course, you should always download the app for your airline and make sure you turn on notifications so you can be alerted of any changes. This also makes online check-in easier and, if you can avoid checking a bag (here’s a video I created on how to do that), you can usually download your boarding pass and skip the check-in line altogether.
There are an almost endless number of travel apps out there, with more being developed every day, so this list is by far complete. However, these are my go-to apps that I use all the time and have found to be most helpful. Got a travel app you love, let me know at [email protected].
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