The 9 Best Travel Apps

Remember the days when you had to hire a travel agent to plan your vacation, and accept any prices they gave you for your flight, hotel, car rental, and activities? You often didn’t know what to pack. If you didn’t speak the language, it was difficult to communicate and find the latest and best restaurants, events, and things to do once you reached your destination. And maneuvering your way around a foreign city without paying for an expensive taxi always caused undue stress.

Now, though, innovations in technology mean that, with nothing more than your smartphone in hand, you can avoid those headaches. Find a hotel, find a way to get there from the airport, call home to let everyone know you arrived safely, and figure out what everything costs. The truth is that technology has made you the travel agent. And with the help of the best apps, you don’t need to pay anyone to help you anymore.

There are simply thousands of travel apps for your phone. The challenge, though, is knowing which ones to pick. Here are some of our favorites to make your travel experience as problem-free as possible.

Pack Your Things the Right Way

PackPoint. Just tell PackPoint where you’re going, for how long, and what activities you’re planning. PackPoint checks the weather for you and comes up with a list of items you’ll need for your trip.

Whether you’re traveling with a baby, four kids, no kids, a significant other, or alone, PackPoint knows exactly what to include in your baggage. The app also takes your length of stay into consideration when telling you how many of each item you should take. It’s fair to say that the app still needs some refinement, but it works adequately for a basic packing list.

Get the Cheapest Flights

Skyscanner. Like its counterparts, Skyscanner finds the cheapest deals on airfare, hotels, and car rentals. This app claims to list more airlines and travel agents than any other. There are no hidden fees, and you can set up flight alerts and multi-city destinations. It also has an “explore” feature that can inspire you to try out new destinations.

Track Your Flights

Flightstats. This app tracks any flight anywhere in the world. Just enter your destination and it lists airport conditions, delays, and airline performance reports. The app is free for basic service.

Find a Place to Stay

Hotel Tonight. This app is the cutting edge for finding the cheapest hotel at the last minute. It works with hotels all over the world that have unsold rooms each night. Simply enter the city and the date.

Find Anything You Need

TripAdvisor. You probably already know TripAdvisor, but do you know about its Near Me Now feature? Enter your location, select the type of food you want, and you’ll get a selection of restaurants nearby.

Connect to WiFi Wherever You Are

WiFi Map. This app connects you to the closest WiFi spot anywhere in the world. By connecting to hot spots, you can save paying for roaming charges. It lists over 100 million hot spots and passwords worldwide and is growing every day.

Get Around Your Destination

Citymapper. This app gives you all transportation information on the fastest way to get to where you’re going, using subways, buses, trains, ferries, walking, and more. It also includes bicycle routes, details of where to find mopeds or other methods of self-transportation, how to hook up with car sharing, and easy Uber connections.

Call Your Friends for Free

WhatsApp. The world’s most-downloaded app is encrypted, so only you and the person you are communicating with can read the message. It’s the best app for talking or chatting around the world for free (no international charges). Not only can you talk and text, you can also send photos, videos, documents, and create group accounts. The app works with your phone’s internet connection, so don’t forget—you need to be online already.

Translate What You Are Trying to Say

Google Translate. One of the most popular translation apps, Google Translate, helps you in over 100 languages. Write the text or speak into the microphone for an instant translation.

Know the Value of Your Foreign Money

XE Currency. Is that must-have item you saw in the market really a bargain? XE offers a money converter app for over 180 world currencies, meaning you get an instant price comparison. It also saves the last update you had, in case you need to use it when you’re offline. Follow multiple currencies, customize settings, and receive alerts for selected currencies.

Bonus: Call Your Friends for Free

WhatsApp. The world’s most-downloaded app is encrypted, so only you and the person you are communicating with can read the message. It’s the best app for talking or chatting around the world for free (no international charges). Not only can you talk and text, you can also send photos, videos, documents, and create group accounts. The app works with your phone’s internet connection, so don’t forget—you need to be online already.

It’s a big world, and with the right apps, it just got much easier to navigate.

Best Travel Apps Infographic

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