This blog post will show you my favorite apps for traveling, like offline maps, packing guides, and translation apps. There are a lot of helpful apps on the market, and some differ from country to country. The ones I listed are usually free; however, some would have In-App purchase options if you’d go for an ad-free version.
I’ve tested all of these during my layovers over the last seven years, and I wouldn’t want to miss them anymore. They made life so much easier!
Since we all know the popular travel planning (or booking) apps like Airbnb, Skyscanner, and Booking.com, I skipped these and focused on the travel apps you need during your stay abroad. I hope they’re helpful! Enjoy!
Trip It is a great travel itinerary app. You can add all of your reservations and have booking confirmations, essential data, check-in times and more easily accessible. It’s great to have an all-in-one app where you not only plan out your itinerary but also save your documents to access them once you need them. It will also show you nearby recommendations according to your location and safety information for the area.
Create yourself a profile with your documents and emergency contacts and track your travels with the statistics function. Overall a great travel planning app – I still can’t believe this is also free!
By the way, you can also use Notion to plan your travels. Suppose you’re organizing your whole life with Notion (like I do, lol). In that case, it’s much easier to have a separate column for Travels and Itineraries instead of another app you’d need to switch to.
the packing list maker
This app is free and will help you pack everything you need. It’s intuitive and effortless to use and has become essential for me! Create a trip by choosing the different transportation and activities you’ll have. Packr will automatically select the packing list for you. Once you have created your list, simply tick off every item you packed. It also allows you to add or delete items from the list to make it more custom. It also shows you the weather for the upcoming days at your destinations on your list. That’s great!
all about flights
Flightradar is one of the apps I use most and lets you track every flight. See which plane is just passing above you. See which destination the aircraft on the runway is headed to, or check if your plane is arriving on time from its incoming flight. The free version works just fine; however, you can upgrade to Pro or Business to see more aircraft details, fleets, or weather layers. Even though I work in aviation and use it for work, I’ve never needed an upgrade from the free version – it’s absolutely enough!
App in the air
This flight app helps manage your booked flights. You’ll have your boarding card inside your wallet, and push notifications will alert you of delays or cancellations. You can even book flights or hotels within the app and save your frequent flyer data. My favorite feature is the statistics function: you can see how many kilometers and hours you spent in-flight and share it with your friends.
App In The Air also lets you import data from TripIt, another great feature.
This app offers offline access to all the maps you need. In addition, you can save locations, share them with friends and plan your routes. It works great for finding specific routes to new places without even accessing the internet. 10/10 would recommend.
Similar to Maps.Me, this app gives you access to offline maps. What’s unique about this is that it shows you many “outdoorsy” stuff like hiking paths or bike trails. It works worldwide and can be downloaded for free.
The good old google maps. While it doesn’t work well offline, it still grants you access to all the google reviews while you’re in the app, and the navigation tools are just great. Since I like to plan my travels and personalize maps with google (my maps), I still mostly use google maps. It offers me all the information to the spots I saved in advance and works excellent between all the devices.
Even though Uber is not available in every country, It is an absolute must-have once it’s available. It is excellent to get around and more accessible than using a taxi. If you don’t have Uber on your phone yet, download it soon. Especially once you’re in the US or Canada – you’ll need it!
Rome 2 Rio is great when you want to get an overview of possibilities to get from A to B. It shows you all the options whether to take the train, bus, car or plane and ranks it by fastest and cheapest. The app is excellent once you want to travel between countries or larger distances, so you’ll know how to plan your further itinerary. I’d especially recommend this app for traveling within Europe.
Komoot is great once you want to go on a hike during your travels. It shows you all the paths, route suggestions, and suggestions by other hikers and tracks you during your walk. Since it also shows you heights, difficulties, and more details concerning your route, it makes planning a lot easier. You can also access your maps offline and sync them with other devices, like an apple watch or your friend’s phone.
Bergfex is a must-have app once you’re navigating yourself through Europe’s mountain areas. There are two different apps you can choose from depending on your needs/the season you’re in. Bergfex Hiking and Bergfex Ski. They both have an excellent GPS Navigation tool and offer all the information you need. Webcams, Slopes and their quality, weather forecasts, etc. This is a must-have travel app once you’re about to stay in the mountains.
Besides these, I also suggest checking for local train or subway apps. They are usually a lot more accurate than any global transportation app could be. Bigger, famous cities like New York or Paris also have dedicated apps for travelers that help navigate the city and the subway system, for example.
it’s all about the money
This is a great app when it comes to calculating currencies. It offers live currency rates and even lets you send money. It’s usually very accurate when calculating the local currency and works offline, which is excellent.
Did you know iPhones have a built-in currency calculation tool? Simply slide down your top menu and type in the amount of money and the currency into the search bar. It will automatically output the calculated amount into your currency.
Besides having an app that calculates your currencies, I’d urge you to download the app of your credit card provider. For example, imagine someone steals your wallet, and you’ve never written down your card number or anything else that would help. In your app, you can keep track of your expenses and check if something suspicious happens. Plus, you’ll have all your data accessible, and most apps already offer a contact option so you can get help once there are any irregularities or a need to block your card.
food and leisure
You probably all know TripAdvisor so let me keep this short. Since it works worldwide AND enables you to create your own lists, I’d highly recommend you use it and save all the spots and restaurants you don’t want to miss! This is probably amongst the most popular apps for traveling.
Same as TripAdvisor, Yelp is an absolute classic. It also shows you surrounding places of interest (restaurants, bars, hairdressers,…) and their reviews. Of course, you can also create your own list. Do I even need to say more?
This app helps you find vegan and vegetarian restaurants and cafés worldwide! Like Yelp and TripAdvisor, you can also save them in your list and access them offline. You’ll also be able to see reviews and recommendations. If you’re vegan – it’s a must!
Open Table allows you to make reservations for your desired restaurant. It’s great when you’re traveling and don’t want to call in, and it helps to figure out where to go for dinner and not end up denied in a fully booked restaurant. Even though Open Table won’t be able to reserve you a table in any restaurant worldwide, it cooperates with a large amount of (also popular) places, so it’s nice to have it during your upcoming trip.
language and translation
While apps like babble are great to learn the language, you might want to have something more intuitive on your trip that helps you when you’ve got absolutely no clue what the menu or the person next to you is trying to tell you. Here are my favs:
Even though some translations aren’t that accurate and sound funny, the camera function is what I absolutely love. Hold your camera above your menu card, flyer, letter, or whatever you want to translate, and let it do its magic. It’ll show you translations (to be honest, not 100% accurate) without you needing to type it all into your phone. Even though the translations aren’t perfect, it helps understand what the written subject is about. Google Translate also offers a microphone function and lets you download languages for offline access.
Trip Lingo is especially great for its emergency features. It offers local emergency information and useful medical phrases safety tools. It even has a built-in currency converter and tip calculator. The only downside here: Trip Lingo isn’t available for download in all countries.
Speak and Translate
( IOS | ANDROID )
This translation app doesn’t even require you to type. Instead, speak into your phone (similar to Siri), and it will translate and read it out loud in the language you set before. Very helpful when you don’t want to give your phone out of your hand but still want/need to communicate with the other person. Speak and Translate recently also added a camera function, and it synchronizes with an apple watch.
Flexiroam isn’t really an app but an e-sim(embedded sim) you can use to stay connected during your travels. Especially when you’re switching countries multiple times, this might be easier and cheaper than getting a local sim card. So how does this work? Depending on your phone, you don’t even need to do anything else than download flexiroam, purchase a plan and activate your e-sim. After finishing, you can switch from your regular to your “travel” e-sim and use data roaming as you usually would. The app helps you keep track of your remaining data and your current plan.
If you’re also airline crew and still want to use data on your international layovers without purchasing data passes from your provider, this is your solution! My whole company uses it, and I wouldn’t want to miss it!
A good old VPN is an absolute must for every traveler. It doesn’t only protect your data but also lets you access pages that might be blocked in the country you’re in (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp). Huge plus: A VPN often gives you access to Netflix shows that aren’t available in your country. Simply change your location with your VPN and enjoy! Since there are a lot of VPN Apps out there, it is hard to decide which one is best. I personally use multiple VPN apps on my phone, depending on the country. I often ended up with a VPN that didn’t work and had to try my way through all the other ones on my phone.
My personal favorites are Free VPN, VPN 360, and VPN Proxy Master. Some other great options would be Safer VPN or NordVPN.
I’d highly recommend downloading your VPN App and setting it up before your trip – you might not be able anymore once you’re there. I’d also suggest having a second or third VPN App on your phone as a backup.
Here we are; these are my favorite apps for traveling around the world. What are your favorite Travel Apps? Did I miss an important one? Share it in the comments so others can find it, too!
As always, stay happy and healthy.
See you soon,