There are thousand of useful travel apps some more helpful than others. Following is my list of my must-have travel apps that are also free:
PackPoint – Create a Customized Packing List
If you frequently neglect to pack everything you need for your trips then PackPoint is a great travel app for you. PackPoint is a free app that creates a customized packing list for your trip based on the city you’re going to travel to, the departure date, the number of nights you’ll be staying, the weather and any activities planned during your trip. (Activities include things like beach, swimming, fancy dinner as well as traveling with a baby and international travel.)
In addition to destination specific information, the list includes travel essentials and toiletries. You can further customize your packing list by typing additional items. Once your packing list is created, PackPoint will save your list and you can also share it with your friends and family.
TripIt – Keep your travel itinerary organized and in one place.
TripIt is a travel itinerary app that helps you organize your travel plans in one place. TripIt takes all your travel confirmation emails (hotel, airline, car rental and restaurants) and creates a detailed daily itinerary. The app also gives directions and maps for each destination.
The thing I love most about TripIt is that itineraries can be accessed anytime on any device (even offline).
Viber – Make free audio phone and video calls and free texting
If you want to communicate with your friends and family for free, check out Viber. As long as both of you have the Viber app you can communicate for free using your normal phone number. Even if the other person does not have Viber you can still make calls at low rates.
GateGuru – To find what amenities an airport offers.
If you are a frequent flyer, GateGuru is a must have travel app. Gate Guru shows a list of airport amenities (food, shops and services) and also includes reviews and tips from fellow travelers.
GateGuru does not cover every airport in the world but includes over 204 airports across the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia.
HotelTonight – Book last minute discounted hotel rooms
HotelTonight is a must have app for finding and booking last minute deals on hotels (last minute means tonight or up to 7 days in advance).
Hotel Tonight offers great rates because hotels give them last-minute discounts on their empty rooms. The HotelTonight app is easy to use and only lists a small curated selection of hotels. HotelsTonight also gives you the option to send a referral code to your friends and family giving them $25 off their next hotel booking.
Google Translate – Translates foreign languages
I recently discovered Google Translate and I love it. Google Translate is a must have travel app if you are traveling to a country where you can’t speak or read the language.
If you need to speak to someone that does not speak English, you type something in your language and Google Translate translates your text to one of 90 languages. The other person can either read the translation in their language on your phone or there is a voice that says what you wrote.
There are also some more great features available for some but not for all languages. Google Translate lets you use use your camera to translate text instantly which comes in handy if you need to read a sign or menu in a foreign language. There is also both one way and two-way automatic speech translation.
Bonus: You can also use the Google Translate offline by downloading language packs but packs are only available for some of the languages.
Uber – To request a ride instead of a taxi
Most people have heard of Uber by now. Uber is available in most major cities worldwide and is a great alternative to taxis. Instead of hailing or calling a taxi you can use the Uber app to request a ride with your phone. Uber shows you where your driver is and you don’t have to worry about having cash. Your fare will be charged automatically at the end of your ride on your credit card and Uber emails you a receipt after your trip.
If you have not yet signed up for Uber, you can usually find a referral bonus giving you a free ride up to a certain dollar amount. (You can earn a free ride worth up to $15 if you sign using my Uber referral code and once you sign up you can earn rides for any anyone that signs up with your referral link.) Another similar car ride service to Uber for the US only is Lyft. I use both Uber and Lyft interchangeably in the US and choose the one that has the closest driver.
Google Maps – Maps and directions
Google Maps is the most well known map app. There is a GPS feature for driving. I love that you can save Google maps offline for later use.
Around Me – Find services and establishments near your location.
This is a great app which lists what is around you. Categories listed include banks/ATM, bars, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, hospitals, hotels, movie theaters, taxis, etc. Within each category it lists phone number and website as well as reviews.
I tested this at home in Chicago and it was fairly accurate except it included a few bars that were no longer open. It also missed several nearby gas stations. I would not completely rely on Around Me but would be a great way to figure out what is nearby you. It is also an easy way to look up movies at all the local theaters.
Snapseed – Edit your photos
Snapseed is not really a travel app but a photograph editing app. If you don’t have access to a computer with professional photo editing software you can use Snapseed to edit your photos on your phone. Snapseed is really easy to use and offers great results. It has different filters or you can crop and make other edits.
These are the best free travel apps I’ve used. Are there any other free travel apps that you find helpful?
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