We know there are thousands of traveling applications that you can download before going on a big trip, but let’s be honest… The Apple updates take up a ton of your allotted gigs and you find yourself staring at your phone’s memory wondering why you have 10.4 gigs of “Other”. So, save yourself some time and gigabytes by downloading only the essentials. You don’t need to download a packing app, just use a d*mn Notepad, virtual or actual (iPhone users: You better know that there is an app for that).
Expedia ~ Whether you’re looking for cheap flights, airfare + hotel packages, or one-way tickets, I have found that Expedia has the best prices for all of the above. It’s a very user-friendly app, keeps you organized with your itineraries (if you have multiple), and gives you recommendations for hotels and activities in your area. Prices fluctuate every minute, but I have found it that traveling mid week, preferably Tuesday or Wednesday, have the best prices. I have also discovered that purchasing these flights on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons have the lowest fares.
Airbnb ~ For those of you who aren’t very familiar with Airbnb, it’s basically a classy Couchsurfing website. You can browse various homes in the area you will be visiting and book rooms with locals. To be perfectly honest, this website/app as a whole is very useful and convenient. But, if you plan to make any sort of changes to your reservation at the last minute, don’t expect any money back. I recommend booking rooms that have reviews from people who have stayed there before. I made the stupid decision to book somewhere with no reviews and it definitely bit me in the azz!
Wallet ~ You can’t delete it so you might as well use it! This iPhone only app automatically transfers and organizes all of your itineraries for flights and room reservations. I found it particularly useful when flying with Southwest in the United States. It transferred all of my boarding passes into my Wallet, so I could just scan my phone get past TSA and board the plane.
Google Drive ~ You’d think this app is completely useless, until you understand it’s features. Not only is this feature of Gmail for group projects in college, but before you travel, have a scanning party! Scan your passport, your ID, your travelers insurance information, your immunization records, your visas or reciprocity fee receipts, or anything you may need to show to prove who you are. For writers like myself, I love also keep a folder for all of my writing, where I can easily access and edit (I recommend downloading Google Docs so you can make these updates on your phone)
Paypal ~ For sending and receiving money, Paypal is a good app to download and sign up for if you will be sending money to family or friends during your time away. With the iPhone, Paypal allows you to sign in with your fingerprint for added security!
Duolingo ~ If you’re going to a country where the language is different, it’s important to learn a small amount before entering this country. You’d be surprised how many people speak English, but I’ve always been interested in learning different languages! Duolingo is a simply and entertaining way to learn how to speak a language! Another great feature of Duolingo is their reminders; they make sure you continue to practice!
Dictionary/Google Translate ~ Again, if the country you are going to speaks a different language and you are eager to learn, download a free dictionary app for offline searching of words and their translations (SpanishDict for Spanish and Portuguese Dictionary for Portuguese are two apps that are very helpful for when you are not connected to WiFi). If you are looking to translate entire phrases, Google Translate is the best, but you need to have an internet connection.
Converter Plus ~ This is great for the majority of Americans who can’t convert our weirdly used measurements into the majority of the world’s. Easy to use and accurate, this app has helped me figure out how many centimeters I am and the Fahrenheit to Celsius temperature conversion.
Maps.me ~ Maps.me is an amazing offline application that has helped me not get super lost in a huge city. When connected to the internet, choose the city you are in and download its map. After the map is completely downloaded, you are able to disconnect from WiFi, search addresses and location, while the app still magically knows your location. It’s creepy, but also very convenient.
Getting around ~ After you arrive in a new city, ask the residents what apps are the best to use for getting around. The obvious Uber has taken over, but while abroad, there may be different taxi apps that work really good for that specific city. Specifically in Buenos Aires, Argentina, they have an app called Como Llego BA, where you type your current location, your desired destination, and it gives you all the possible ways to get to your destination, incorporating both subways (subtes), buses (collectivos) and walking (caminando). It has been super helpful for me trying to navigate this new city with no idea what is going on.
Are there any applications that I may have missed? Share with me in the comments below, I am always up to learn new ways to make my travel a lot easier.