Top 10 Apps Every Traveller Needs!
Updated: Apr 20, 2019
I can't imagine backpacking 'back in the day' where travellers relied on paper maps, traveller's cheques and books to navigate foreign countries. There are so many great apps out there that are designed to make a traveller's life so much easier. In this blog post, I've listed 10 apps that I believe are essential for all travellers - I use almost all these apps daily while on the road.
1. Maps Me
For me, Maps Me is the app I am most reliant on while travelling. I honestly don't know how I used navigate anywhere without it. Maps Me is a free app that allows you to download offline region maps that use your phone's inbuilt GPS to track your position when you're not connected to data or wifi.
I never purchase mobile data/sim cards while travelling anymore, I just save points of interest e.g. hostels and restaurants to Maps Me and easily navigate everywhere offline!
2. XE Currency App
During my three month Central and South America trip, I had to use eleven different currencies. As a result, I found it near impossible to remember the exchange rates for each country I was in. I found myself reaching daily for the XE Currency app. The app constantly updates exchange rates and you can also use it offline. It is a quick and easy way to check how much you're paying when you're unfamiliar with a currency!
In recent months, I've found myself upgrading from Instagram filters and wanting to get more creative with my travel photo editing. I've been loving the free Adobe Photoshop Lightroom app - I use the Lightroom app for editing photos on my phone and find that it really makes my photos look a lot better. You can pay for more advanced features or for presets (filters), but I find the free version to be just fine for my needs.
4. Google Translate
Despite attempting to learn Spanish and other languages on Duolingo, I'm really rubbish at remembering important phrases of foreign languages. I find the Google Translate app so helpful while travelling. You can download a language pack to use offline and (my favourite feature!) use your phone's camera to hover over text to translate signs, menus etc - super handy!
5. In-Built Wifi Camera Apps - Go Pro / Olympus
Two apps that really come in handy while I'm travelling are the in-built wifi apps for the cameras I own. My Go Pro and Olympus cameras both have in-built Wi-Fi and having their apps installed on my phone allows me to access and download photos I've taken quickly and easily on my phone!
Whether you choose to use Apple Podcasts, Spotify or another medium, having podcasts on my phone is an absolute essential for me while travelling. I love learning new things and listening to other people's opinions on topics - they are a great way to pass the time while on buses, planes or trains.
Some of my favourite podcasts at the moment are ABC Conversations, How I Built This, While Ideas Worth Living, Let's Know Things and The Heath Code.
7. Sky Scanner
I tend not to use Sky Scanner for booking flights (I always prefer to book directly with the airline), but I find it a super useful and easy-to-use app to quickly research flights while on the road. I like to use Sky Scanner in conjunction with other flight comparison websites like Google Flights and Kayak to make sure I'm getting the best deal!
I find that it is super essential to have the apps for my bank accounts on my phone while travelling. It enables me to easily transfer money between my normal account and my travel account and keep a track of my finances. Citibank (my travel account) has a great feature where it sends you a notification anytime money leaves your account - enabling you to keep a check on any fraudulent activity.
9. Accommodation Booking - Hostelworld / Booking.com / Airbnb
I like to keep a number of apps for accommodation booking on my phone while travelling. As I tend to book accommodation the day before, having these apps on my phone allows me to easily research my options for my next night's stay wherever I am. I regularly use Booking.com, Airbnb and Hostelworld to research and read reviews, but I find you can often get a better rate if you book directly with the accommodation provider.
Rome2Rio is my favourite app for researching transport options. It allows you to put in any two destinations and provides you with the transport options available - including the price and expected time. I don't usually use it to make bookings, but rather during the research phase of a trip - super helpful!
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