10 Must-Have Travel Apps

Below is a carefully curated list of my favorite travel apps! I didn't use any kind of scoring system, and they aren't in any particular order, so it might not be "carefully" curated... anyways, here's a list of apps I find highly helpful and little nuggets of information to get the most use out of them:

1. Google Maps--
This one is kind of self explanatory, but I have a tip that makes this app special. I have an iPhone equipped with Apple Maps; however, I downloaded Google Maps some time ago. I find it more accurate than Apple Maps, and it links to my Google account which is super convenient. There is another feature most people don't know about though...offline maps. You can download offline maps and navigate without internet, or with very minimal data use! When I was traveling throughout Europe, I downloaded a map for each new city and it made finding my way around so much easier without using international data. I even have my hometown downloaded, so I don't use data when navigating around.

2. Citymapper--
Citymapper is an incredible app for mastering public transportation. It's only available for certain areas, but it covers many major cities around the world. All you do is put in your start and end locations, and the app suggests several means of transportation and routes. It uses bus, subway, train and other public transit routes to create efficient directions to get you to your destination. It also tells you how long it will take to walk, bike ride, and Uber or Lyft to your destination; it estimates the cost of an Uber or Lyft as well. I would not have been able to navigate around London or Paris without this app.

3. Airbnb--
Most people have used Airbnb, or at least know what it is. People post their spare rooms, guest houses, apartments, entire homes, etc. for rent, and you can book it from anywhere in the world. The prices are usually cheaper than hotels and often have better amenities, like high-speed wifi, kitchen/kitchenettes, and free parking. I've booked some really cute and unique homes through Airbnb, which made some trips worthwhile in itself. Airbnb is a great way to meet locals and other travelers and feel at home in a foreign city.

4. Skyscanner--
I am a Skyscanner-oholic... this app is one of my favorites for planning trips (or just browsing) because it makes finding cheap flights so easy! You put in the dates and destinations for your trip and Skyscanner searches a variety of airlines to land you the cheapest and fastest flights. If your dates aren't set in stone, Skyscanner provides a chart that shows the cheapest tickets for each day; this ensures you're traveling on a day with the best prices. If you aren't sure of where you want to go, there's an option to search "everywhere" and Skyscanner will show you a list of destinations and prices.

5. Hopper--
I wasn't a huge fan of Hopper until recently. Hopper is similar to Skyscanner in that it browses a variety of airlines to find you the cheapest prices. There is a feature to "watch" for specific destinations. You can input specific dates or a range of dates and choose the length of your trip. Hopper sends you a notification when it finds a cheap flight you're looking for. I've been "watching" flights to Iceland for months, and $540 is the cheapest I've found. Hopper just sent me a notification a couple days ago though for a roundtrip flight of $344!! Definitely one of my new favorite apps.

6. Roadtripper--
Roadtrippers is another great app that helps plan your next adventure. It provides several features that allow you to customize the perfect road trip. You choose your start and end locations (and add any destinations in-between). You can choose to search for places along the way, like hotels, things to do, food, etc. Click start and the app creates a route for you. It tells you how many miles, how long the drive is, and how much gas will cost. It pinpoints what you chose to search for on the map, and you can "favorite" specific stops you want to include. It makes the overwhelming task of planning a lengthy road trip as simple as a few clicks.

7. Uber--
In this day, I'm sure everyone is aware of Uber, but it's a necessary app for me when I travel (and just in general). In cities where public transportation isn't an option and renting a car is too costly (or terrifying...I cannot drive on the wrong side of the road), Uber saves the day. Just choose your pick-up and drop-off locations and wait for a driver to agree to your ride. It's much cheaper than taxis, and more secure. The drivers are usually very friendly and hospitable (in my experience). When I used an Uber in Ireland, my driver was so kind and generous and offered recommendations for my stay. You meet really interesting people and small-talk comes naturally. Tip: a great conversation starter with your driver is "what's the craziest thing to happen to you while Ubering?" I guarantee he or she will have a wild story to tell.

8. Waze--
Waze is another navigating app, but is very unique. While you're driving, it shows the speed limit and your current speed. It also shows alerts to car accidents, police officers (huge plus), and construction. Waze users help update the map in real-time. If the map shows a car parked on the side of the road, but you drive past and don't see anything, you can clear that alert! If there's a car accident, Waze alerts you and immediately looks for a new route around it. The maps are constantly being updated to provide users with the most current road conditions.

9. Packr--
Packing is my least favorite part of traveling; I always seem to under or overpack, and I stress for days about what to bring. I recently discovered Packr and it changes the packing game. You input you destination, dates, and categories you want to include and it creates a simple packing list. You can add specific items to the generated list and check off items as they're packed. It checks the weather and considers how long your trip is to provide an efficient list of clothing, toiletries, and essentials. I'm new to this app, but I can tell it's going to save me time (and sanity).

10. Yelp--
This is my go-to review app. When I'm feeling indecisive about dinner, or itching for a spontaneous tattoo, I refer to Yelp. There's reviews for everything (maybe not everything, but A LOT of things), and I've found it to be extremely accurate. Users write reviews for businesses and sometimes include pictures of the food, products, or results. It shows a a list of places and a map with the locations; it also includes dollar signs to signify the general cost of the goods and services of each business. Yelp provides detailed pages for companies so you can really do your research on them before going. It's saved me a lot of time when making decisions about what to do or where to go in a foreign city.

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