This help post is all about travel apps! I don’t use that many as I prefer to pre-plan and use my computer but most sites have apps now and everything is becoming easier and more accessible. As apps are dominating I thought I’d share which travel related ones I use when going away. Of course there are thousands of apps and everyone will prefer different ones but these are the ones I like and would recommend. (A fun drinking game could be how many times I wrote the word app in this post).
The Before – If I’m planning a trip somewhere I need to figure out where and how I’m getting there. A lot of my travel inspiration comes from sites like Tumblr or Instagram and I actually did a whole post on that here. To find flights I always use Google Flights or Skyscanner. There are tons of similar services like Kayak or Orbitz but the former two I prefer due to their design and simplicity. Accommodation I’ll usually do on a computer as I like a big screen to read reviews, but if it’s a last minute thing I’ll hop on Hotels and see what deals they have. To plan I always use Google Docs as you can share it with friends you’re travelling with and it’s a great place to keep things organised. For every big trip I take I’ll make a document there to list places of interest, figure out day itineraries etc. You can make your documents accessible offline which is perfect for when you’re travelling and don’t have internet signal. I know some people prefer Pinterest, Evernote or TripIt for organising, so just find something you’re comfortable with.
The During – When I’m on vacation or travelling my most used apps are Yelp, TripAdvisor and FourSquare. I think as a threesome they’re great for finding great restaurants and tourist sights to check out. I prefer unusual/local perspectives so I’ll tend to do my research before the trip, but sometimes you need a place to fill in some time or if a plan fell flat and these apps are awesome for that. As a record for myself I use Swarm which is a ‘check-in’ app similar to what you can do on Facebook. You get stickers and coins for certain things but I just use it so I can look back a few weeks later and remind myself what a place was called.
A useful app to have is XE Currency. It’s free (as I think most of these are) and works perfectly for me. You just pre-load in the currencies you’ll be using and it figures everything out very fast without a need for wifi. Moving around wise I use Citymapper and Google Maps. There are hundreds of map apps so just try them out and find the right one for you. These two are easy and have always given me correct directions. They also load for me when I’m offline and therefore becoming regular old-school maps.
The After – When I’m back from a trip to edit photos I’ll use VSCO. It is very flexible and gives me a lot of options. Normally I’ll use Photoshop but this is a quick alternative if I’m in a rush. As a traveller I’m a bit of a sucker for seeing where I’ve gone so I use Been. It’s basically a listing app for you to check off places you’ve been country-wise. It then tallies up how much of the world you’ve seen and you can share it with friends. The visual side of it is basic and just colours in the country on a map. I’m sure there is a better app that does something similar but I just haven’t found it yet.
If I am going on a specific trip I’ll always do a search for apps relating to that place. For example if I was heading to NYC I’d download a subway map app, restroom finder and maybe tourist spot apps like Central Park, Whitney Museum etc. If you’re going abroad there are many translation apps available including Google Translate and iStone. Most transportation companies have their own apps like JetBlue, British Airways, Trainline etc. but I’m not really sure what the benefit of those are unless you’re regularly booking with them.