10 Apps I Have Gathered To Help With My Travels
Charge your smartphone and get ready to use them when traveling.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
I've been all around.
I've been to Europe, Central America, Middle East and North America. As time passes, I find myself dependent on my smartphone more and more. For instance, I don't think I would have ever survived my first trip to NYC without using Google Maps.
So battery-drain aside, there's no doubt a business trip or even a leisure one these days relies on apps. Some of these are obvious ones, and then some are less obvious.
If there's one app you should use before you ever set foot out your door, it's TripAdvisor. Designed for world travelers to leave feedback about all sorts of locations, TripAdvisor can help you identify hidden gems in the next city you're visiting, or simply plan an itinerary before you travel.
TripAdvisor lets you hit the ground running once you get to your destination.
Decided where you want to go? It's time to book your flight and hotel. Use Kayak to compare prices between different airlines and accommodations at your destination to find the best deal.
Saving money now means more to spend during the trip itself, and using Kayak is the key to doing just that. Kayak is also available as an app for both Android and iPhone, so you can receive real-time flight status, gate change and baggage claim notifications.
Tired of getting the middle seat in the back of the plane next to the bulkhead? Use the SeatGuru app to ensure you get a good seat on your next airline ride, even while you're at the airport.
Developed by the same folks behind TripAdvisor, SeatGuru has many additional features such as real-time airline flight alerts and information on check-in, baggage, unaccompanied Minors and traveling with infants and pets
Nobody wants to drop a few thousand dollars on airfare to a place that's going to be wet and rainy all week. Use The Weather Channel's free app to see what the weather's going to be like anywhere around the globe, from the Americas to Asia and everywhere in-between.
With forecasts stretching up to 10 days in advance, this app is a must-have if you're planning an extended stay anywhere.
While apps like TripAdvisor are great for finding must-see attractions and planning places to see before you leave, Yelp is the ultimate "on the go" travel app.
With thousands of travelers leaving reviews on everything from restaurants to hotels and more, you can find the best place to eat, or stay in a flash, while you're far from home and in the thick of it.
Want to have a map of where you're going at your fingertips, but afraid you won't have signal? Like to wander foreign neighborhoods without fear that you won't find your way back to your hotel?
Maps.me lets you download maps to your phone so you'll have then when you need them, and not just when you're in range of a cell tower. As long as you've got battery life, you'll never get lost again!
Visiting countries where people speak another language can be intimidating. However, thanks to Google Translate, you don't have to fumble with a little phrasebooks when you're looking for the nearest bathroom.
Not only is the mobile app a lot better than the desktop version, this free service even includes the ability to translate written languages, if you point your phone's camera at them. Until Star Trek's Universal Translator is a reality, Google Translate may be the next best thing.
Foreign exchange fees are nuts. Losing your wallet overseas is even worse. That's why CashDash provides app-based cardless access to your cash from a vast network of ATMs and retailers.
Using CashDash is more cost-effective than a currency exchange or even your bank, and its convenience means never being stranded without money when you need it.
9. Wi-Fi Finder
Just because you're traveling out of the country doesn't mean you should be stuck eating through your phone's data plan to check email or post a few photos to Facebook. The Wi-Fi Finder app offers an easy way to tell if there are open Wi-Fi hotspots near you that you can use.
The best part? Unlike many similar Wi-Fi signal finding apps, this one works worldwide, making it an incredibly useful tool no matter where you go.
Even if you've got Wi-fi Finder hunting down open hotspots, you're not going to have Wi-Fi everywhere you go while you're abroad. If you're hiking in the Peruvian Andes or roaming the Scottish Highlands, you can't really be assured of a signal, now can you?
Using your phone in such a local can eat into your data plan pretty quickly, but Onavo can help. A data compression app, Onavo helps your monthly data allowance go further, making it much less painful to use your phone without Wi-Fi when you need it.
There you have it - my ten most useful mobile apps when it comes to bringing your next trip to the next level. Have a good one.