My 30 Favorite Travel Apps

I am always in awe when I meet people that have done hectic journeys before the age of technology.  Overlanding through Africa in the 70’s for example.  RESPECT.  I love listening to their experiences and a bit envious of a time where travel could be so pure. We love exploring the remote areas where cell service is obsolete and spend weeks at a time off the grid and I believe it is essential to shut the outside world noise off for a while and become reliant on our instincts again.  While technology has made it simpler to get directions, find a place to sleep, have a history lesson or identify a creepy crawly it can also take away from the moments.  However, here are my 30 favorite travel apps to make your adventures

But enough of the preaching – let’s face it our phones are our cameras, entertainment, our guides and these apps can make travel a breeze and give you more time for the fun stuff.

MAPS

Google Maps gets a new icon and more tabs to celebrate 15th anniversary -  The Verge

Google maps offline, before you reach a destination download the offline maps. Depending on the area, it can stay on your phone for 2 weeks to 3 months. It’s great for finding and saving sites you want to go to.

MAPS.ME (@MAPS_ME) | Twitter

Maps.me is another offline mapping app, from experience I have found google maps can drop the ball when it comes to directions. Maps.Me also offers hiking options, not just walking directions.

Waze - GPS, Maps, Traffic Alerts & Live Navigation - Apps on Google Play

Waze is a handy crowdsourced app. It is great in a city that has hectic traffic to give you an estimate on how long it will take to get to the airport or train station. Google maps buys their data, but Waze still seems more real time reliable.

COMMUNICATION

File:Google Translate Icon.png - Wikimedia Commons

Google translate offline is a great tool for expressing yourself and understanding others. With camera recognition, voice, and typing options it closes the language gap in most places.

Skype - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Skype is a great one to have when making phone calls. In South Africa, the pay as you go SIM card plans can be ridiculously expensive for basic calling (in network/ out of network…) and when you need to call a business it is often cheaper to do so on Skype.

Signal (software) - Wikipedia

Signal I believe will start gaining momentum now that WhatsApp is sharing information with its parent company, Facebook.

WhatsApp - Wikipedia

WhatsApp is far more popular in the rest of the world than in the US. I don’t particulary care for it, as the set up is linked more with the phone and when the phone is replaced the setup for a new phone to keep the WhatsApp number is more laborious.

File:Instagram logo 2016.svg - Wikipedia

Instagram to share beautiful places with all your people and a great way to discover new places.

Facebook Messenger has been the easiest way to keep up with friends and family.

Facebook Brand Resources

WHERE TO STAY

iOverlander – Apps on Google Play

iOverlander, crowdsourced and great for overlanding/self-driving, finding bush camps, campsites, hotels, mechanics, water sources, and groceries.

Hostelworld: Hostels & Backpacking Travel App - Apps on Google Play

Hostelworld, good for backpacking and keeping payments on file for quick and easy booking. Also includes tons of reviews from other backpackers.

Couchsurfing Travel App - Apps on Google Play

Couchsurfing, I’ve had wonderful and terrible experiences on here. Read the reviews for your hosts and communicate before hand. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t stay.

Airbnb, Why the New Logo?

Airbnb, I used to host and I don’t really like where it has gone over the years moving away from the personal spaces and into the realm of marketed businesses. I use it when we want to have a self-catering option or personal space.

Booking.com | Official site | The best hotels & accommodations

Booking.com is a good option when finding guesthouses or hotels when hostels, campsites, and Airbnb are not found in those areas.

MONEY

The XE Currency Converter for Shopify

xe currency is an easy offline conversion tool to have. Gone are the days when you could get ripped off with exchange rates.

Wells Fargo - Wikipedia

Banking apps, download and access these while you are still in your country. My mom has a stable phone number, so often times she will send me a PIN to get over a 2-step verification.

PayPal Mobile Cash: Send and Request Money Fast - Apps on Google Play

Paypal is pretty universal, you can attach accounts to it and use it for payments. I also had several friends send me really thoughtful cash gifts for birthdays or holidays.

ON THE MOVE

Skyscanner app logo

Skyscanner works well as a tool to find cheap flights, I prefer google flights but it doesn’t work well on a phone.

FlixBus - Crunchbase Company Profile & Funding

Flixbus, Redbus, Uber, Grab… it depends what the country has to offer for transit, but having these accounts set up before you land while you have wifi is beneficial.

FOR EXPLORING

SkySafari App Review

SkySafari is a brilliant app when camping in remote places. A planetarium. Hold your phone up and it will feature planets, constellations, and other spacey events.

MSW Surf Forecast - Apps on Google Play

Magicseaweed to find the good waves. Surf reports around the world with wind conditions, tides tables, and photos.

AllTrails: Hiking, Running & Mountain Bike Trails - Apps on Google Play

AllTrails, crowdsourced hikes and biking around the world with GPS and offline maps available.

New Logo and App Icon for Gaia GPS - Gaia GPS

GaiaGPS backcountry hiking, biking, ski and 4×4 trails works well online and purchase available for offline membership.

Pinterest Logo | The most famous brands and company logos in the world

Pinterest with the huge amount of bloggers (myself included) out there you can find basically anything about a destination.

PERSONAL TIME

Duolingo: Learn Languages Free - Apps on Google Play

Duolingo, I love this app! I learned German with this. It will drill vocabulary into your head with loads of exercises, but not great for grammar.

Netflix App Icon Png #383432 - Free Icons Library

Netflix, you can’t be exploring all of the time. Your Netflix feed will change dependent on where you are. For example in India I had a loads of Bollywood options I wouldn’t have seen in other places.

OverDrive, attached to local libraries worldwide, it offers free downloadable e-books and audio books to be checked out like you would at your local branch.

desktop deezer app - Saving Time

Deezer or Spotify to keep your music fresh and to find new regional music. Plus you always want to keep some good playlists offline to keep the party going.

10 Android Calendar App Icon Images - Google Calendar Android App Icon,  Birmingham Snow Hill and Google Calendar Android App Icon /  Newdesignfile.com

Calendar or journal app. It is so easy to get swept away with the day, the week, the month, the year when traveling. Journaling is not something that I am good at, but a quick note of a place, meal, an exercise, or even where you slept is helpful to recall.

Download - Google Drive

Google Drive, BACKUP your memories!!!!!

Missed a few? What are some of your favorite travel apps that you use on the road?

6 Responses

    1. Thank you so much! I have been through 4 phones in 5 years while travelling, I know these are my tried and true apps and the first things I set up. Hope it’s helpful for you!

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