If you’re anything like me, your smart phone is never more than 5 feet away, and it plays an important part in your life. Your phone can be used for just about anything, from ordering pizza, connecting with friends and family, and also can make traveling to new places a breeze! Today’s post is about the five best travel apps for your phone. Now there’s tons and tons of apps available, and it can be overwhelming to know which ones to use, but these are the five best apps I’ve found I constantly use when going to a new place, both within the US and overseas.
Google trips is one of my all-time favorite travel apps, and I’m not the only one who thinks so. It solves one of the major problems I’ve always had – trying to find all my travel reservations when I need it. Before I started using Google Trips, whenever I wanted to look up my flight itinerary, rental car information, or hotel reservations, it would involve a lot of email searching, scouring, and maybe some (or a lot of) cursing. Google trips smartly scans your Gmail inbox to consolidate all your travel information to a single travel tile. So now when you booked your flight 6 months out, your hotel 3 months before your trip, and your rental car 1 month before your trip, it’ll all be located under the same travel tile when you open up Google Trips. It’ll pull all the right information so your reservation and confirmation numbers are right at your fingertips. AND, it’ll also let you create itineraries and provide recommendations for fun things to do at your destination. Oh, and the best part? You can download all the information so that it stays on your phone just in case you aren’t around cell service or a wifi hotspot. Google trips is available for both Android and iOS. Google Maps Google Trips helps you organize all your reservations, but Google maps helps you get around. Google maps is hands down one of the most frequently used apps on my phone. Though there are a few good competitors, there’s no other service that comes close to all the features it provides, and that’s exactly why it serves as the perfect app to get you to where you want to be, especially when you are in a new area and unfamiliar with the surroundings. Just like with Google Trips, Google Maps gives you the option to download an area to keep offline, just in case you don’t have access to a cell network or a wifi hotspot – something that’s especially useful if you’re traveling outside of the country. The navigation feature is great when you’re driving around, and even if you can’t keep your eyes on the phone when driving, the turn by turn directions feature makes it easy to get you to your destination without putting eyes on the screen. But it’s not just limited to driving – it’s also great when you’re walking somewhere, or even if using public transportation too. Combine it with finding local restaurants and attractions, and it’s a no-brainer. Google maps is available for iOS and Android.
When it comes to being able to keep in touch, WhatsApp offers the most capability, especially if you’re travelling internationally when you can’t just send a regular text message or make regular phone call. How it works:WhatsApp basically makes your phone number your username, so anyone that has your phone number, or any phone number you have in your contacts can be contacted if they also have the app. The app uses data, so it won’t work unless you have a data plan or are on a Wifi network. But if you are, sending messages, photos, videos, and even making phone calls becomes incredibly easy. Plus, it’s really easy and convenient to create messaging groups – perfect if you’re traveling with a group of people. WhatsApp is one of a bunch of different messaging platforms, but depending on what phones people have – Android or iPhone, and where they are, there may be some limitations. WhatsApp gets around these limitations to make it easy and convenient to communicate with your friends, family, or others you need to get a hold of. And on a parting note, if anyone is concerned about security, WhatsApp has end-to-end encryption enabled by default. There are certainly other messaging apps that offer more higher level of security, but none that are as fast and feature-rich as WhatsApp. WhatsApp is available for iOS and Android
I can’t recommend any single airline app while travelling since it depends on what airline you’re travelling! However, most airlines all have pretty great apps overall. Depending on where you’re travelling to, you can not only check-in using the app, but also receive notifications of delays, gate changes, or any last minute other changes to help you catch your flight! If travelling domestically, most apps will also let you check-in using the app and your phone, making printing your boarding passes one less thing to worry about, with the bonus of saving some trees. Who can argue with that?
No matter where you travel, the weather at your destination is one of the biggest factors if you plan on doing anything outside. Especially around spring and fall, even a 2 hour flight can make the difference of packing shorts, or a winter coat! There are way too many Weather apps to name, and most people have a trusted go-to, so I don’t think its worth recommending one here. But the key is that by having a weather app on your phone, you can not only check to see how you need to pack, but while you’re there, if it’s more of a hiking day, or more of a museum day.
Even though I’ve only covered 5 apps here, I think these are great for anyone planning to travel, no matter what you plan on doing at your destination. Depending on what activities you have planned, there are so many more activity specific apps that can be useful. Definitely checkout your app store and look for apps that would help make the most of your travel plans.