As a Millennial, in a committed relationship with her Instagram, I also keep several apps on my phone to help plan, keep organized and enhance my experiences while traveling.
- Google Maps is my favorite mapping system. It tells me walking, biking, public transmitting and even estimates how much an Uber would cost. And while I know not everyone has unlimited data on their phones when traveling internationally… you can download cities, so Google Maps still works off line.
- Google Trips Planner is a bit more than maps; it’s a “I feel like Google is stalking me, but I think I’m okay with it” kind of app. Once you log into your Google account, Google syncs your calendar, your flights and any reservations you have made using that account. It then prompts you to download the Trip Planner for your next location. I’ve only seriously used this in Havana when data connection was limited, and it was a life saver.
- Rome2rio is the app/ website I use most often when planning my trips. It tells you all the options you have to get somewhere–flights, buss, train, car, walk, etc–and how much each of those options cost.
- Wanderu is a good app to find cheap bus and train tickets in North America and Europe. Honestly haven’t used it since I traveled through the American Northeast, but still a good app for price comparison.
- Uber. Full disclosure, I do not like Uber as a company. I could name the ways in which I do not like this company, but the thing I can’t escape is that fact that it’s a great product and it’s a great product that has proliferated around the world. Especially in places where the language is unfamiliar to you, have a digital interface to help communicate direction is a luxury. In Uber’s case, a very affordable luxury.
There have been many Trip Planning/ Daydreaming apps on my phone–AirBNB, TripAdvisor, Skyscanner, etc.–but I have removed them because I don’t want to take up precious memory space that could be better used to pictures.
- Hostelworld. *the heavens open and the choir of angels start to sing* Seriously though, this app changed the way I traveled, how I planned my travel and what I thought about hostels.
- Kiwi.com is a newest favorite resource for flight-shopping, mostly because I enjoy their date-range, multi-city interface.
- Currency, because you need to know how much money you will be spending.
- Shazam so you will be prepared to identify whatever fantastic, new music you find!
- Couchsurfing is a new one for me, but I already really enjoy it. People use it to find free couches to crash on–thus the name–but you can also use the app for the social aspect, as I’m using it–you can see travels visiting the same place as you and locals excited to meet travelers. It’s fantastic.
- Mindbody is an app that helps you find local workouts. Sometimes you just need a yogi-spirit-animal to get your jet-lag corrected.
- Open Table
- Life360 is a stalking app that allows others to see where you are. I imagine it could be great when travel with a group. I use it with my parents so they’ll know what I’m in my hostel and when I’m potentially being kidnapped in Mexico.