June 5, 2017
Seven Essential Travel Apps I Don’t Leave Home Without
Google maps is my go to navigation app when I’m driving (think rental car), as I find it has fairly accurate traffic data and a clean user interface. I also rely on Google Maps for public transportation guidance. It’s provided reliably excellent metro navigation in every city and country that I’ve tried. It. The app will tell you which subway line to take, how many stops you need to go, where to switch lines, an estimated arrival time, and a fare estimate.
Obviously one of the biggest issue when traveling is not speaking the local language. Thankfully, English is prevalent throughout the world so this isn’t a huge issue for English speaking travelers. However, if I’m speaking with someone who doesn’t speak English, I open Google Translate, type what I’m trying to say, and show the other person the translation.
Although it’s not a perfect translation, it’s generally good enough to be understood. The app can also speak the translation out loud, which can help in certain situations. What’s really cool though is that you can take a picture of text, and the app will translate it for you. For example, if I point the camera at Japanese characters, the app will translate it to English for me!
Airline & Hotel Apps
I always use apps of airlines and hotels I’ll be using on a particular trip. I do this for many reasons. For example, if I’m staying at a Starwood hotel, I can just pull up the app and easily find the booking dates, address, hotel restaurants, check-in times, etc. For some hotels, I can even access a virtual room key on my phone!
As another example, let’s say I’m flying United. The app lets me check-in for my flight, gives me a digital boarding pass, lets me check the status of my flight (delayed or not), instantly alerts me about gate changes, shows me where the nearest United lounges are etc. These are vital pieces of information that save me time at the airport and on the way to my hotel.
I’m not trying to be cute here, the name of the app is literally Currency. This is just your basic currency converter. While there’s tons of good ones which essentially do the same thing, this is the one I use. The app will save the conversion rate of every currency when you online, so when you’re offline in a bazaar trying to buy something with no Wi-Fi, you still have access to currency exchange rates.
I mainly like this converter because it creates a list of saved currencies. You can easily choose which currency you want to input, and the app will convert it to every other currency on your home screen. Here I’ve entered $1,000 USD and it’s instantly converted to the six other currencies I’ve saved. A lot of similar apps only convert one currency at a time.
While I wouldn’t rely exclusively on TripAdvisor when visiting an area, it’s a great way to get some basic information. There’s ratings, reviews, and photos of restaurants, excursions, and cites from all around the world.
As someone who wants to visit every country on Earth, I need a way to track where I’ve been. That’s where EveryPlace comes in. You enter a city or country you’ve visited and it’ll save it for you. What’s great is that it highlights the countries you’ve visited on a map of the earth and also drops pins on cities you’ve visited. Some country trackers will just highlight a country instead. By having pins, I can see if I’ve only been to one city in a huge country like China or if I’ve been to 10 cities all around the China.
PriorityPass is a membership service which grants you access to over a thousand airport lounges around the world. While membership normally costs $399 a year, I actually have two free memberships because I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express, both of which come with free PriorityPass memberships. The app is a must-have for me because I can look up any airport and it will tell me exactly where in the airport the eligible lounges are. It’ll also show pictures of the lounges. Knowing exactly where the lounge is located means I don’t have to awkwardly look around the airport for directions to the lounge.
Featured Image Courtesy of Getty Images