Going on a vacation? Looking to make traveling abroad a breeze? The team at Venture with Impact, a startup that arranges accommodation, workspace, and volunteer experiences for diverse groups of remote professionals, shares our favorite travel apps to make your next getaway or travel experience easier!
APPS FOR BOOKING
Flights, hotels, rental cars — Skyscanner has got you covered. The app searches for the most affordable and best options via its travel partners. You can see the cheapest dates to fly in a month-view calendar, and you can also get alerts when prices change. If you’re not sure where exactly you want to go, Skyscanner offers a category that lets you explore “Top Deals” from your nearest airport, as well as a curated list of destinations at affordable prices.
For many traveling abroad, Kayak has been the go-to trip planning destination for quite a while — and for good reason. Kayak searches across various travel sites for rental cars, hotels, and flights. Kayak often has exclusive deals you won’t find on other sites, and you can set price alerts and use Price Forecast to see whether you should buy now or wait. Kayak also acts as a trip planner, offering up important details at a glance, like your hotel confirmation number or gate number.
If you’re really looking to get the cheapest possible price for a plane ticket, you need to download Hopper. Like Kayak and Skyscanner, you can look at the cheapest dates to fly via a month-view calendar, but Hopper prides itself on telling you when to buy your tickets via push notifications.
Airbnb offers far cheaper prices and a more authentic experience by staying with a local or renting their home. The app also offers experiences to choose from during your stay — these are curated events you can partake in with local guides.
Hotel Tonight is a reliable service that thrives on last minute deals. The company says its partnered hotels offer discounts on empty rooms, and you’ll be able to book one in under 10 seconds. You also get 24/7 customer service from the Hotel Tonight team, in case something goes awry.
APPS FOR GETTING AROUND
Active in about 77 countries and 527 cities, Uber is the global king of ride-sharing apps. The app pioneered on-demand services, and it can be particularly handy when you’re traveling abroad. You can quickly request a car directly within the app after perusing an assortment of differing vehicle rates and fare quotes. Afterward, you can connect with your personal driver, track the approaching car’s location, and securely pay your fair using a credit card — no cash needed. Rather than trying to find a taxi or a taxi stand, just bring one straight to you.
Google Maps is widely-regarded as one of the best navigation apps around, and it has reigned king for quite a while. You’ll find it fairly reliable in offering up local public transportation options in many countries, and you can also download specific areas for offline use.
Citymapper is one of the best tools for finding and utilizing public transportation. It connects with a few ride-sharing services, offers the fastest way to arrive at your destination, and best of all, you can check out subway and train times offline for a number of cities. You can subscribe to specific train or bus lines, and the app can even alert you when you need to get off — handy when you’re riding for the first time in a new country.
This app creates a digital journal of your travels so you can look back on your trips on an interactive map – tracking you as you go, marking a red line along a map on the exact route you take. It also monitors your speed and altitude, making it great for adventure travelers. There is a capacity for adding pictures, video, audio, text along the way, creating a multimedia overseas travel diary that you can share!
If you’re a runner and want to stay in shape at your destination, WalkJogRun offers you a huge selection of the safest running routes in more than 1.6 million cities worldwide. Take advantage of the most accurate iPhone GPS and discover new routes while exercising without injury. There’s a training plan for everyone, from beginners to advanced walkers and runners.
APPS TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK
What’s better than an app that has a packing list already made for you? PackPoint looks at the weather forecast for the dates and location of your trip. It will also ask you to select activities you may participate in during your trip, like a meeting for business, a swim at a pool, or a fancy dinner. It will then offer up a list of items you should pack based on these activities, along with general items you’d need on any trip. You can remove items you don’t think are necessary. You also can share lists with others, in case your friends need some help, too.
XE Currency is one of the more robust currency converter apps available for traveling abroad. It’s constantly being updated and offers live exchange rates for “every world currency and precious metals.” What’s neat is that it can store the most recent rates so you can access them abroad if your device is offline.
Traveling to the U.S.? Mobile Passport is officially authorized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and it lets you skip the regular line to enter the country. These lines can get long, so all you need to do to skip them is download this app and add your passport information — you can do this quickly by scanning it with your phone’s camera. Mobile Passport is accepted at 20 airports in the U.S., so chances are you’ll be able to use it — we’d recommend checking ahead of time if your airport supports the app.
A bit like a pocket travel agent, Tripit pulls together travel information from your confirmation emails for flights, hotels, rental cars, and events bookings and converts it into a single itinerary. Just forward your emails to the app and it will do the rest. If you’re traveling abroad with others, you can easily share the plans, making this a useful app for coordinating a group trip.
App in the Air is a smart, straightforward flight tracking app that has the best coverage of airlines and airports. It will keep you updated about flight status, even if you don’t have international coverage. It helps you manage your time at the airport, breaking down each flight into four stages; check in, boarding, takeoff, and landing time. It integrates with Tripit (above) allowing you to import all of your flights.
If you need a little help to pack properly and not forget your charger or toothbrush at home, the Travel List app helps you easily organize the items you’ll put in your suitcase. You can add a reminder for the things you have to pack at the last minute, so you’re all set before you leave. This app can also help you plan every stop of your trip and won’t let you miss out on anything. Add events to your calendar or set one-time or regular alerts.
GateGuru helps you manage your full day of travel. You enter your itinerary and GateGuru connects the dots for you. Some of the relevant info a traveler can get are: airport food and amenity information customized to your arrival and departure terminal, airport weather, and airport maps and tips, which are useful if you’re in an unfamiliar airport overseas.
In case of emergency, ICE gets you covered. The last thing you’d want to happen to you when you travel abroad is to have medical issues. But, just in case, the app keeps details about your medical conditions, your doctor’s primary contact details, and insurance information that can be accessed even if your phone is locked. Among other features, it also translates the stored information in 10 different languages.
Content Guru at Venture with Impact