Travel Smarter, Not Harder: The Top 10 Apps Every Globetrotter Needs

Now more than ever, it’s increasingly challenging to travel while “off the grid.” Countless cell phone apps help turn any adventure into a more seamless, enjoyable experience. Recently, men and women accustomed to traveling around the globe met in an online discussion to reveal the apps every adventurer needs; these apps make you travel smarter, not harder!

1. Google Maps

Smart phone with Google Maps
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Any conversation revolving around must-have travel apps begins and ends with the ubiquitous Google Maps. From providing step-by-step walking navigation to letting you know what restaurants in your area are open, Google Maps is the ultimate travel app! Many travelers take it a step further and download maps of their destination cities before they arrive, ensuring they won’t get lost if they somehow lose their data connection. Offline Google Maps is a lifesaver!

2. TripIt

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Proper organization is vital when traveling anywhere, and TripIt helps with personal organization more than other apps! TripIt is a must-download, whether it’s a business or pleasure trip. “TripIt kept me organized when I had to do a lot of work travel,” confesses one woman. “I love the ability to forward confirmations to TripIt, and they automatically get added to my itinerary. There are lots of options to include custom events and notes, too. It makes any travel incredibly more organized.”

3. Your Airline’s App

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I’m surprised how many people admit they don’t bother downloading their respective airline’s app before they take off. That’s like erasing a lifeline from your phone before the trip starts! Not only does your airline’s app have all the information needed for your trip and can keep you updated with last-minute changes, but it also acts as a digital boarding pass. As someone who has often lost his physical paper boarding pass, I know the value of downloading my airline’s app before my travel day begins.

4. Citymapper

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While Google Maps is arguably the best do-it-all travel app, Citymapper trumps it in one case: Public transportation. “Citymapper is the best for navigating public transport in cities,” reveals one traveler. “It’s what I use in London, and I’d also recommend it for other European capitals, Tokyo, Singapore, New York, really any larger city. It works perfectly!” Countless people swear by Citymapper and view it as the perfect complement to Google Maps.

5. Google Translate

Google Translate
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During your travels, you’ll inevitably encounter a language you’re not familiar with. Thankfully, Google Translate provides real-time translation tools, so you won’t be lost in a new language! The app makes menu reading incredibly easy; point your cell phone camera at a menu, and Google Translate will automatically translate it in real-time to the language of your choice. If it sounds like magic, it is!

6. Get Your Guide

Get Your Guide app
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Diving head-first into local tours, shows, and attractions is a fantastic way to get to know the culture in any unfamiliar city. Thankfully, there’s an app that will save you money while doing so! “Get Your Guide is great for local attraction tickets and tours,” one woman explains. “I’ve had outstanding success using them. All tickets are stored on your phone and have really good refund rates, so you can buy ahead and get your money back if you change your mind later.”

7. Timeshifter

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Jet lag can be debilitating, but countless people confess that Timeshifter is the best app to combat it! Timeshifter is an app that adapts you to your new circadian rhythm and offers an itinerary and helpful tips to better adapt to your new time zones. It’s a must-have app for anyone taking the dreaded trans-Atlantic flight to Europe from the United States. I can’t wait to use Timeshifter on my next trip!

8. Rideshare/Taxi Apps

Uber app
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Nothing’s worse than being stuck in an unfamiliar city and unable to find a ride back to your hotel or hostel. One frequent traveler has identified three apps that will prevent that situation from ever happening. “Download Uber, Free Now, and Grab right now; I have all three of these taxi apps and find they cover me almost anywhere in the world,” attests one traveler. “Download them before you leave on your next trip, verify your phone number, and set up an account while you have data at home. You’ll never stress about finding a ride again.”

9. WhatsApp

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Unless you want to purchase an international phone plan and SIM card for your cell phone, you’ll be forced to use your data to keep in touch with loved ones back home. Fortunately, WhatsApp is arguably the best messaging app in the world! When I was in Europe for three months in late 2022, it replaced my phone and text messaging app. I could communicate and even video chat with friends and family back home, and using WiFi data meant that I saved money by not purchasing an international phone plan.

10. PackPoint

PackPoint app
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Raise your hand if you would download an app that automates your packing process! PackPoint’s premise is straightforward: Let the app know what activities you’re planning, and it will create a customized packing list. How easy is that? “PackPoint is a cool, lightweight app I like for the planning stage,” one woman recommends. “The app autogenerates a customizable packing list based on what you’ll be doing on your trip. It really streamlines the entire process.”

Source: Reddit.

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