There are a million and one travel apps out there, apps for photos, safety, planning, and etc. I really can’t keep track them all and I don’t use a lot of what’s out there. I do however use a few apps religiously for every trip we go on. Here’s a list of some of the top travel apps I currently use:
Note: I have not received compensation for anything associated for this post; I just like sharing tips from our travel experiences.
This is my absolute go-to app for accommodations, I always check AirBnb before anything else and we usually end up staying at one at least once on every trip. Although I haven’t used this yet, AirBnb is now doing Experiences with locals in addition to providing accommodations; some of them seem really awesome like paddleboarding and vegan lunches or a locals guided tour of a new city! Have any of your used the AirBnb experiences? How is it?
We’ve stayed at so many AirBnbs over the years, here are some of my reviews below:
- Our Benelux Trip Accommodations
- Our House with the Howler Monkeys
- AirBnb Review: Aachen
- Berlin AirBnb Review
- Cologne AirBnb Review
- Munich AirBnb Review
- Black Forest AirBnb Review
TSA Mobile Passport
This is the absolute best app for getting home as quickly as possible from an international flight! It allows you to program your passport and travel information and fast pass through the customs lines when you land back in America. As long as everything clears, you get a mobile pass to use when checking back into the country so you can by-pass the long line of people waiting for the kiosks. However, it can only be used at select U.S. airports, and luckily our main airport is on the list!
Kayak…or any of the million cheap flight apps
My husband in charge of researching and purchasing our flights because I am abysmal at it but I do like keeping a watch on different dream destinations on my Kayak app. Kayak is my app of choice because I find it easy to use and set a watch on destinations that I am thinking of for the coming year but quiet honestly, all of the apps are about the same in this area (Hopper, Skipplagged, Skyscanner, Airfarewatchdog, etc.).
You can download set language programs on to the Google Translate app, which totally saves you when you don’t have wifi while out and about abroad. Like any translate app, it isn’t perfect but will help you navigate confusing street signs or menus. We haven’t had to use this app too much because we’ve gone to countries where we speak the language but I’m ready just in case the opportunity presents itself.
US State Department’s Smart Traveler App
I’ve used the U.S. State Department’s website for years but only recently got the app for this trip to Mexico. The app allows you to keep up to date with travel warnings and register your trips, emergency contacts, and fellow travelers. International travel can have some unfortunate and unexpected complications but this app makes it easy to try to avoid some major unforseen complications. Luckily we have never been in a real emergency that required us contact the US government while abroad, but quiet honestly you just have to always be prepared.
Read more: Smart Travel Tips
There are two main Google products I use while traveling: Google Sheets & Google Maps. Google Sheets is where I do all of my travel budgeting before we go away and keep track of expenses while on the road. You can use Google Sheets offline and then it will update to your Google Drive whenever you connect to wifi.
Just like Google Sheets, you can use Google Maps offline as long as you pre-download a map of the city or area beforehand. This is helpful when you want to just wander around but not get horribly lost. We don’t like using paper maps because it points us out as lost tourists, something you should try to actively avoid while traveling. Having a map on your phones does not scream “Help I’m lost, come rob me!” (but I do always have a paper map with me just in case we run out of juice).