With the touch of a finger, today’s travel apps can do everything from find you affordable airfare, comfortable accommodations, overcome language barriers and keep you connected to friends and family when traveling. Below are some essential travel apps you may not have heard of, to help you from the planning phase of your trip to when you’re abroad!
Priding themselves on smarter hotel booking, Agoda is a great resource to discover accommodations. Dying to book that gorgeous hotel room but short on the cash? One of the greatest features of Agoda is that it allows you to tap into deals, book now and pay later on select properties so that you can reserve your accommodations ASAP.
Although I’m a big fan of hostels, Airbnb is one of my favorite go-to apps when looking for an apartment to rent while abroad. If you haven’t heard of Airbnb yet, it is a community where people can post their homes as accommodation options for visiting travelers. If wary about having someone stay in your home or getting ripped off, Airbnb will not release any payments until 24 hours after check-in to ensure that travelers get exactly what they paid for. Similarly, Airbnb insures renters up to a certain amount to cover any theft and/or damage.
A great resource for the hostel search, HostelWorld shares ratings and reviews on hostels around the world. While hostels can sometimes get a bad reputation, apps like HostelWorld take away the mystery of hostels by offering up clear information and user recommendations/reviews on where to stay.
Flight Search Apps
Skyscanner is one of my favorite search engines to look up airfare. Similar to other flight search apps, Skyscanner compares million of flights to find the cheapest airfare. Yet unlike Orbitz or Expedia, Skyscanner pulls in smaller airlines and has other useful functions such as searching from “where you are to everywhere.”
Searching for flights is like a choreographed dance–it takes multiple flight search engines, knowing the right time to buy and being savvy to airfare saving tricks to walk away with an affordable ticket. Like Skyscanner, Momondo is a global aggregator that pulls in smaller, local airlines. Both Skyscanner and Momondo are good starting points when looking for affordable flights.
I recently discovered Hoppper and have become obsessed with this application that tells you when to fly and when to buy your plane tickets, to help you get the lowest airfare rates (consider me sold!). As a helpful hint, you can also visit hopper.com where you can subscribe to airfare deals from your home airport and have them e-mailed directly to your inbox.
Essential Trip Apps
Rome to Rio helps you trace a path from where you are to anywhere in the world. Visiting Buenos Aires and interested in checking our neighboring Uruguay? Rome to Rio will pull up flights, trains, buses, ferries and more to get you there.
Whether it is brushing up on my Spanish, trying my hand at French or revisiting that semester of Italian, when I travel abroad I like to come armed with a basic knowledge of the local language. Duolingo is a fun app that has games and quizzes for people to practice a language of their choice.
If I am keeping in touch with friends abroad or checking in with family back home, Whatsapp is an awesome app that offers free texting, picture and video messaging anywhere in the world. Whatsapp uses the numbers in your address book to locate friends and keep you connected during your travels.
Although emergencies are the last thing you want to think about when traveling abroad, Help Call is a useful app that auto-detects your location and allows for one-touch access to local police, fire stations and ambulances in over 120 countries. ‘Knock on wood’ that you won’t have to use this little app while on the road but it is good to know that if needed the large buttons and shake to call function are in your back pocket.
Pssst..you heard it here first! The newly launched Gypsy Circle is a travel app that acts as a social network for travelers to share their upcoming itineraries, connect with friends in other destinations and ultimately arrive connected wherever you are traveling to. Gypsy Circle allows you to build out a profile and add in your upcoming trips as well as connect with friends (and friends of friends) to see where they will be jetting off to. Whether solo traveling to Morocco or backpacking through South East Asia, Gypsy Circles helps you connect to people within your network that are traveling to, have been to or know the destination you’re visiting.
Now admittedly I am biased here as a writer for CreateTrips, but I just love the simplistic interface of this travel planning app that offers downloadable itineraries written by seasoned travel bloggers and writers. You can download Pin the Map travel guides for only $1.00 here!
Photo & Video Apps
I was introduced to this photo-editing app by a photography buff and haven’t looked back since; this is the only app I use for my Instagram shots and have found that my images are clear, crisp, vibrant and much better than when I tortured my pictures with over exposed Instagram filters.
I must admit that I’m not the most savvy when it comes to editing videos, so I was thrilled to discover this mobile app that helps me easily turn my random travel clips into videos I can then share on my YouTube Channel and other social media channels.
It’s your turn! What are your favorite travel apps? Share them below!