Ten years ago today, Apple brought the iPhone to world. It is a device that has landed in the hands of millions around the world and will forever shape how we live our daily lives.
But whether you are an iPhone or an Android user, it is no secret that smartphones have made our lives easier in a flurry of ways. One of those ways is making it easier for us to be better travelers. Here are some of the apps that I use the most when I am traveling.
If you are flying, the application of your airline of choice is pivotal to convenience and staying up to date with your journey. Since I am not an airline loyalist by any means, I have about a dozen apps from various domestic air carriers as well as a few internationals carriers.
These apps allow you to add your itinerary to easily keep track of your route. You will also be provided with gate information, boarding and departure times, and other relevant flight information such as tracking your bags in realtime. This information is accurate for the majority of the time and is excellent to have in the palm of your hand.
FlightAware allows live tracking, status updates, and delays for flights worldwide.
Affected by a flight cancellation or delay? Turn to AirHelp to see if you are entitled to any compensation for your inconvenience.
If you use Airbnb for your accommodations, it is essential to have their mobile application. Their mobile interface makes it really easy to make new reservations. In addition, you can view your trips and chat with your hosts right on the app. Perhaps the most useful feature is being able to route to your destination in your navigation app right from the app.
I do not use many hotels while traveling but when I do, I usually stay at a Marriott property. Their app allows you to make reservations, check in and out of rooms, and make requests. This makes it a lot easier than navigating through the website. Other hotel chains offer similar services.
You made it your destination and have lodging accommodations, now you just have to make it there.
Perhaps the most powerful capability that smartphones put into your pocket is GPS navigation. Google Maps is largely regarded as the best navigational app for smart devices but there are crowdsourced options like Waze and those that are focused solely on public transit like Moovit and Citymapper.
When you have to get around fast, there is nothing like the convenience of being able to summon a vehicle at your ready. Hailing a rideshare car is available in many countries and most major cities around the world. Don’t worry about speaking the language because your origin and destination are inputted right into the app.
When you end up in a place that doesn’t speak your native language, it is good to have a quick way to translate back to your language to get a better understanding on things.
Features like optical recognition allow you point your smartphone’s camera at a sign and have it translated in realtime!
I personally use Google Translate but there are other options out there as well.
WhatsApp is used by around a billion people all over the world. There is no need for SMS or MMS to send messaging. Like iMessage, all you need is an internet connection and an account.
WhatsApp is especially useful when traveling international to keep in contact with hosts and people back home when you do not have cellular service.
Crowd review apps like Yelp allow for users to provide a rating and comments for establishments that they visit. You can get a good consensus of what to expect from a restaurant or bar before you even step a foot in it.
Find the best trails in your area by using apps like AllTrails. AllTrails is essentially the “Yelp” of the great outdoors. Users record their hiking journey and leave reviews and pictures to provide their opinions.
I can’t imagine leaving home to travel without my smartphone. These devices have put unbelievable capability into my pocket that allows me to explore places never before.
What are your favorite apps to use when traveling?