Jazzy and I do not really use that many travel apps on our phone, simply because most of them do not add any real value to our travels or are a waste of time. However, there are a few apps that we find essential for our travels. So in today’s post we would like to share with you six free travel apps we can’t live without.
Google Translate is by far one of the most important apps on our phone. Whenever we travel to a new country, where we don’t speak the language, we use Google Translate to communicate with locals. Sure, the app is far from perfect, especially if you are trying to translate whole sentences but overall people will understand what you are trying to say and that is the most important thing. What we love most about this app is that you can use it offline by downloading the language packs of your choice. This can be very helpful if you’re traveling without internet on your phone.
We use this app a lot, especially in the first few days in a new country, until we get comfortable with the local currency. The converter offers live exchange rates, and historical charts for over 180 different currencies. However the best thing about the app is, that it stores the last updated rates so the app works even when the internet doesn’t.
WhatsApp is great for staying in touch with family and friends back home while you are traveling the world. But it is also great to communicate with locals in a foreign country. You see, in many developing countries WhatsApp is very popular as it is free to use. Even businesses seem to be using it to stay in touch with their customers. And since Jazzy and I couchsurf whenever possible but don’t always have a local sim card, we use WhatsApp to communicate with our hosts. We love it, especially now that you can call through the app. It’s free and works all over the world. All you need is an internet connection.
If you travel as much as we do and have a budget as low as ours, Skyscanner will be your best friend and here is why. Unlike many other flight search engines, Skyscanner allows you to select “Everywhere” in the “To” box. Which will find the cheapest airfare from your point of origin, and if you are remotely as spontaneous as us, and don’t really care where you are going, you will love this app as much as we do. I can’t remember how many times Jazzy and I booked a flight to a random new country solely based on how cheap it was to get there.
Duolingo is one of the best language learning apps around. Not only is it fun to use but it is also addictive. By practicing for a few minutes every day we substantially improved our Spanish speaking skills which helped us tremendously during our everyday interactions with the locals in Central and South America. If you want to learn a new language in a fun and free way, there is no better choice than Duolingo.
Here is very similar to Google Maps but what makes it different is that you can save maps for more than a 100 countries right on your phone and use them offline. Google Maps currently only allows you to save parts of a map but I have heard that they are working on improving this and that they are rolling out a big update sometime later this year. Until then Here is our go to app whenever we are lost :D
There are millions of apps out there but the six above are the ones we really like as they help us the most in our travels. Definitely give them a try on your next trip if you haven’t done so already.
What are some travel apps you can’t live without? Share with us in the comments below.
Mike Lee says
Great list and one I completely agree with. Translate and Currency Converter are both life savers
quite literally. Skyscanner if you can believe I used for the first time only a few weeks back and
managed to get a deal out of it…beginner’s luck maybe? Did not know about here but the idea
of saving maps is brilliant and I shall look into that.
Also, Rome2Rio is amazing when you’re traveling!
We are not fans of Rome2Rio because they never show you the really good deals. For example I just typed in Salzburg to Venice (our next destination) and the cheapest bus fare that they could find is $44. I however found a ticket for $15 by searching on google on my own.
Jane M says
This is a great list and almost entirely different from our 5 that we use all the time. The only crossover is Google Translate, which has gotten us out of so many scrapes but also made for some hilarious conversations which were totally mistranslated. We’ll always remember the time that Google Translate told us a woman in rural China said to Stephen “You are dumb pig, you.” We’re still not sure if that’s what she meant to say!
I’m looking forward to trying out DuoLingo, since we were terrible about learning languages on our last trip.
Stacey Valle says
I never heard of Duolingo and Here! Duolingo got me excited, because I love learning new languages or even improving it :) I’m going to download this one!
Here sounds really awesome! We could save maps! I somewhat struggle with Google Map when I was traveling (especially when there’s no wifi and got lost), Google Maps helped a little but have to ask around which didn’t really bothered me. However, Here APP is good for now to travel and to save data as well if I travel domestically ;)
I’m not sure if you have heard of Tripit APP but it’s an app that would organize your flights and notify you your scheduled plans after putting your flight & other travel information :) It’s a great app!
Yea Duolingo is awesome, you’ll love it.
We have heard of TripIt but haven’t found any real use for it. We don’t flight enough nor do we have that many scheduled plans to justify using it. However, a lot of people seem to like it. I guess it’s up to the individual needs.