Now that the world is opening up and we are starting to see uptake in travel (and its disruptions due to lack of service staff), being prepared and making the most of your trip is vital.
Today, I am going share with you 10 Best Travel Apps to utilize for your upcoming trip. These apps will help you find spots off the beaten track, communicate with locals, safely move funds abroad and snatch some deals along the way.
If you are planning to travel, but are not sure where to go yet, I encourage you to check out My 5 Favorite Destinations post for some travel inspiration.
Trello is a productivity or project management app mostly used by businesses. Its free features and capabilities are enough however for anyone who likes to be organized and have a “to-do” list. You can write all your tasks to accomplish as part of your travel such as purchase insurance, check in additional sports equipment at the airport, ask about a possible upgrade etc. You can also use it (like me) by making a list of things to bring with you or Forget-Me-Not list. What’s even better is that you can share a particular list (or what’s described in Trello as a board) with a friend or a partner so they know what is required. (To be honest, I like using it, to let my husband know what household tasks he has to do).
Lyft is an obvious choice for a great travel app, however here’s why: I found it more affordable than other taxi services. Lyft gives you the opportunity to share a ride or if you’re willing to wait 15-20 minutes they offer you a discounted rate which helps you save some money. In reality, the 15-20 minute wait trips almost always show up sooner, so you are not actually waiting, but are getting a discount. In addition, they have partnered with Google Maps, when you plan your trip and public transport is proving tedious, scroll down in your google maps to see how much Lyft would cost. They almost always provide you with a discount code too.
3. The flight radar 24 app is not just for plane geeks (although my husband would say otherwise, as he is glued to it daily). It’s also actually a very useful tool for figuring out your travel plans. If for example, you are travelling from Vancouver to Dublin, however the plane is actually first coming from Toronto to Vancouver, you can clearly see whether you will be delayed, should you stay home an extra half hour etc. It’s very useful when you are collecting someone from the airport too and many of us (myself included) don’t want to pay for extortionate airport parking rates and we wait in the Cell Phone Area. You can see when the flight is about to land, as clearly the person you’re collecting cannot message you from the plane. This app is also free.
4. During the beginning of the pandemic, DuoLingo quickly became one of my favorite apps and I used daily. Seemingly ordinary app, works wonders and what’s even better, you don’t feel like you’re studying at all. The way the app is created makes you think you are completing daily challenges and that makes it so fun all the while learning new words and phrases. If you are travelling to a country where English is not their first language, I strongly encourage you to take a peek at DuoLingo, you might learn something in the process of having fun.
5. Wise (previously known as Transfer Wise) is an app that allows you to securely transfer funds internationally with minimal fees. Whether you’re moving abroad or are simply travelling, moving funds internationally can be scary, overwhelming and costly. When we first moved to Canada we have been told about Transfer Wise – now known as Wise and this really took a lot of stress out of trying to figure out how to move our funds across to pay our apartment deposit, rent etc. . Wise allows you to transfer funds based on your Debit Card Number, you don’t even need to put in your International Account Number, which makes things so easy and secure.
Because I’ve been with Wise for over two years, I do have a referral link for their service. Your first transfer will be free from any fees, if you use my referral link here.
6. This app needs no introduction, and while I totally agree that their rates aren’t always the cheapest – hear me out. This is coming from a hotelier who has (well, left the industry 5 years ago) been in it for 15 years. They offer great perks as part of their loyalty program, called the genius program. You get additional discounts using their booking engine as well as potential early check-ins, free room upgrades etc. – subject to availability and depending on the property. Something else worth mentioning is that, if you download their mobile app, they often have exclusive mobile-only discounts that you cannot see if you are using a desktop. Just some pro tip, to help you save a little further.
7. AllTrails app will help you find hiking trails and walks within your area catered to your difficulty level. This has quickly become one of my favorite apps since moving to Canada and allowed me to explore and find some unique trails and routes. What’s even better, is that users can provide real-time reviews and describe the current conditions of the trail you’re potentially looking at exploring. This is an excellent way to stay informed of what to bring (always be prepared!), whether there is any wildlife roaming around in the area – we are in Canada after all! and what to expect. This app saved me on numerous of occasions, most recently from a Lynx strolling around West Vancouver. There is an option to pay for a Pro Profile to unlock the ability to download offline maps, however I find that the map is working based on my phone location satellite even when I am offline (the trick it to open the app and have the map open when you start the trail, and it will automatically track your movement. It will not however, save your progress without the Pro option). Another great initiative is, when you invite a new member to join their community (the app is free with in-app purchases) they will plant a tree in my name and your name, so I am going to leave an invite link here for you, so we can both feel good about helping the environment. (This is not a referral link, I do not make any money off of this invitation).
8. If you don’t mind spending a little on an app then Maps.Me is a wonderful tool for anyone hiking and in general keeping you safe and on trail. Maps.me is an offline navigation tool, which will help you hike in those off the grid places and drive down the unknown dirt roads. There is a once off charge for the app itself and you then download the map of your desired area and you are good to go.
9. I know there are hundreds if not thousands of hotel apps out there that I could include, however hear me out. MGM Resorts (predominantly in Vegas) will offer you extremely discounted rates for hotel stays if you use their resources, apps and games via Google Play. I could honestly sit here all day and go over its perks and how to get into it all, but I don’t have to, because I already did in my Las Vegas on a Budget Blog Post, which you can read all about here and my tips on how to save $$
This app has allowed us to play slots in a Casino for free (!), get Cirque Du Soleil tickets discounted by 80% and multiple buy one get one free admission tickets to various attractions in Vegas. Honestly, read about it in my Vegas post and then come back here.
What’s even better is that this not only applies to Vegas, but to all places that have participating MGM Resorts such as LA, NYC etc and even couple of places here in Vancouver (!)
To give you some perspective on their perks – we got a king size room overlooking the strip at $70 per night over Christmas 2021.
10. Last but not least, iOverlander app. This is a great resource if you like to find places to stop off, camp or leave your RV overnight and visit places off the beaten track. It is almost entirely volunteer run and you know for a fact you are bound to find some unique spots to visit. It is mainly focused on the camping/RV life, it will help you identify places where you can empty your tanks, do wild camping, locate a laundromat or a WiFi spot to name a few. Definitely worth checking out if you plan on doing some summer camping.
As an added bonus and simply because it appeals to my visuals, I would also recommend an app called “Been”. Its an app that doesn’t really provide you with any travel perks, but allows you to mark off the countries you’ve been to. If you are an avid traveler who likes to visit new countries each year then it might be worth checking out.
That wraps up the Best Travel Apps to use in 2022. I use them all (perhaps not all at once) and have always found some discounts, unique views and they’ve kept me safe when there was no signal. I hope you learned something new today. Stay safe my friends and until next week!
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