The Top 12 Travel Apps Every Traveller Needs

If you were travelling 30 years ago, you’d be thinking about writing a letter home to your family or booking flights through the phone or by visiting a travel agent in a stuffy office somewhere. Crazy, right?

But now it’s the future, the great year of 2016, and there’s few places we’ll go without our smartphones in hand. Thanks to the advancement in technology, travellers never really have to travel on their own anymore. Virtual maps have replaced paper ones and flights can be booked without ever speaking to a live person.  Travel apps not only help us connect with our families and friends, but help us plan trips and keep us safe. From Instagram, to HostelWorld all the way to Duolingo, apps help us travel the world like never before.

We’re excited to share our 7 favourite travel apps that you absolutely need to add to your collection.

Budgeting for your trip…

Trail Wallet

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By far the most useful travel app out there for budget travellers, Trail Wallet allows its users to track their expenses over the course of their trip. Not only does it allow you to set a daily budget, it also allows you to enter your expenses in the local currency as well as your own so you can track exactly how much you’ve spent. To top it all off, this app even has handy categories to sort your expenses and produces a nice little graph so you can see exactly where your money is going. – World Abound

Preparing for your trip…

PackPoint

PackPoint is essential, seriously. Whether you’re an expert packer or not this smart packing app will make sure you never forget a thing, ever again. This app organizes what you need to bring with you based on how long you’re going, the weather at the destination and any of the activities you’re going to be doing while you’re there. These personalized items even tell you how many you need to bring with you (ie. 5 t-shirts) and you can add new items if there’s something missing.

Our Review: If you’re like me and barely have time to think of packing until the night before, this app is awesome. From business to leisure trips, long trips to short weekend getaways it works for anything. It’s easy to use and takes your needs and what you’re doing on the trip into consideration.

Available on Apple and Android.

Planning your itinerary…

Cities Talking

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For those days you’re waiting for your tour to begin, or just finding yourself in a new city, the Cities Talking app will be your best friend. Using Google Maps, the app is already familiar to most users. In the app you’ll be able to find walking tours for the city you’re visiting. What’s great about these is you can do them at your leisure, pause the audio, rewind or fast-forward. The app brings the city you’re visiting to life in a whole new way.

Our Review: This app is fantastic. Especially if you’re heading to a city for business, a stopover or just visiting quickly. The only downside is that though the app itself is free, the individual tours do cost money ($9.99), so choose wisely! Since the app is still quite new, there isn’t a huge variety of cities, but many of the major ones are there including: Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, New York City and more.

Available on Apple and Android

Cool Cousin

The Cool Cousin app allows you to be just a click away from getting recommendations for your trip. These recommendations come from people with similar interests as you and people you can trust. These people know the city you’re visiting and you can see their personal favourite spots around the city from restaurants, nightlife, activities and more.

Our Review: This app is a must! There are some really cool recommendations and you can use the filters to find a “cousin” that fits your age group and interests. The interface is very easy to use and the app provides maps so you know exactly where you’re going. Since the app is still new, London and Tel Aviv are the two cities fully functional with filters. However, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro and more all have a sneak peek into their communities so you can still check them out! Cool cousin also has a slew of cities ready to launch on top of those.

Available on Apple, however they are currently working on an Android version. So stay tuned Android users!

izi. TRAVEL

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As a travel blogger and lover of history, there is no better app than izi.TRAVEL. This app is available for free on Android and iOS and is a compilation of audio guides from around the world. These guides cover a wide variety of topics about the location, such as its history, the best places to eat, the most notable points of interest and cultural tips to follow. I use izi.TRAVEL before I visit any location and I even tune into it when I’m on the road. Thanks to izi.TRAVEL, I now have a better appreciation for the places and locations I visit while abroad or at home. – Kenton de Jong TRAVEL

Available on Apple and Android

Keeping you (and your photos) safe…

My Panda Safety App

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The My Panda Safety App is all about security, making you feel safer while travelling the globe. The app allows you to report dangerous or suspicious activity in your area with the click of a button. It also shows you where the closest police stations are and the Emergency Route function will automatically show you the fastest route (by walking or driving) to the closest police station. My Panda also keeps you updated with security information so you know what’s happening in the city you’re visiting.

Our Review: For solo travellers and groups alike, this app can make you feel a lot more comfortable and safer in a new city, at least it has for me. Simply knowing that you can check on security information, easily find or call a police station it’s extremely comforting. The user experience is also very easy, using Google Maps, it’s a familiar experience and is incredibly simple to use. No downsides here!

Available on Apple and Android

Keep Safe

Keepsafe app which is available for both iPhones and Androids. Keepsafe is a free photo vault app that allows you to lock important photos or videos. This is crucial for travelers. While I don’t find it necessary to take a ton of safety precautions while traveling, having password protected backup photos of all important documents (credit cards, passports, ID’s, all of it!) is very important. Travel on Nomads! – NomadsNation

Available on Apple and Android

Finding cheap flights…

Hopper

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With Hopper, you aren’t just able to book flights, but you’re able to see when the best time to buy is so you’re saving as much as possible. Why should we all trust it? The way Hopper did it was by collecting a massive amount of historical flight prices, by analyzing that data they are able to share predictions they claim perform with “95% accuracy.” It’s pretty incredible to say the least.

According to the app themselves, “Hopper analyzes billions of flight prices a day to provide advice on when to fly and buy. Hopper predicts price changes for your trip, notifies you when to book, and offers the fastest way to book a flight.”

Our Review: Easy to use, and fast. You can also set up alerts for flights you’re planning on booking and you’ll receive an alert when the price goes down. You can also filter by excluding long layovers and basic fares which helps you find the perfect flight for you. The price predictions are really cool, giving you an exact indication on whether you should book now or wait for the predicted flight costs in a few weeks, month or more.

Available on Apple and Android

For keeping track of your flights…

Flight View

We’ve been using a free variant of Flight View for years. It lets us track our flights and notifies us if the flights are early or delayed. It also keeps track of upcoming flights and alerts us for departures and keeps us up to date on the flight status. I even use it when visiting friends and family join us so I know when to pick them up and that they made it home safely. – The Barefoot Nomad

Available on Apple and Android

For the photographer…

ProCamera

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No need to panic ever again if you’ve forgotten your DSLR in the hotel room. ProCamera brings the DSLR quality right to your iPhone. You can even make video and edit in the app as well, bringing the entire photography experience into one place. If you’re a traveller who doesn’t own a DSLR camera but wants to take your photos to the next level, this may be a great alternative for you to take.

Our Review: First off, the app does cost $6.99, but rest assured, if you’re a photo buff then it’s completely worth it. The app takes great photos and give your features that the built in camera doesn’t give you. If you’re not a DSLR user and don’t plan on buying one, this is the perfect medium.

Available only on Apple.

For communicating…

iTranslate

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This app is key if you’re headed to a country where you don’t speak the language. iTranslate will help you translate text, website and even start voice conversations. It’s available in over 90 different languages and is super easy to use. The voice translation is where the app really steps up compared to others, making it the leading translation and dictionary app out there. As iTranslate says themselves, “Our mission is to enable travelers, students, business professionals, employers and medical staff to read, write and speak in all languages at anytime and from anywhere. Breaking language barriers is the key to a more connected and open world.” We can’t disagree with that!

Our Review: The app is easy to use and the interface makes it simple to navigate. When testing the voice function, we did expect some glitches but it runs quite smoothly. Definitely a recommendation from us to you for your next big adventure!

Available on Apple and Android

For easy listening…

Rick Steves Audio Tour App

My favorite travel app is the free Rick Steves Audio Tour App. This app actually lets you download playlists for sights in all major cities in Europe. These playlists then give you a “guided tour” which you can listen to with headphones, read off your phone, or just look at the map. It saves you a ton of money on guided tours for all of the places you visit, but you still get to know what you’re seeing and why it’s important. Plus, after you’ve downloaded your playlist while on Wi-Fi, the tours work offline! – Currently Kelsie

Available on Apple and Android