10 Free Travel Apps You Need For Your Next Trip Abroad
It is hard to imagine a time in which people traveled abroad without the use of smartphones. The introduction of technology has made international travel so much easier. Below is a list of my 10 favorite free travel apps you need for your next trip abroad that will help you explore and navigate amazing international destinations with ease.
The Google Translate app is a must-have for travel abroad! With over 100 language translations available, this app will help you ask for directions, read local signs, and eat at an authentic restaurant. A local can record audio in their native language and the app will translate it for you in real-time. The app even allows you to take photos of text and it will translate it for you. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I took a photo of a restaurant menu in Chinese to save myself from ordering chicken feet by accident.
Yelp is my favorite restaurant and bar recommendation app for home and abroad. Before deciding on a restaurant, I open the Yelp app and see what options are near me with the highest ratings. Sneak a peek at the menu and some foodie photos to decide on your next favorite coffee shop or hole-in-the-wall restaurant.
The TripAdvisor app is another convenient and helpful recommendation app for travelers on the go. TripAdvisor brings millions of restaurant, bar, hotel and sightseeing reviews into one place. Travelers rate each culture site, excursion, landmark, and park on a 5 star scale so you know what to expect. This is a great tool if you don’t want to page through thousands of reviews and travel recommendations for your destination. Make your own travel itinerary with just a few clicks, and then save and share your travel ideas and plans with the My Trips feature.
There is no easier way to get around any city around the world than with Google Maps . It makes walking, public transit, and driving directions a breeze. No data? No problem! Just download maps while you’re connected to WiFi at your hotel, hostel, airport, or restaurant to get you to your next destination while offline. You can also share your location with certain contacts using Google Maps, just in case someone gets off at the wrong metro stop.
This is a no-brainer. Airbnb is an awesome way to get to know a city by truly residing like a local. Check out the gorgeous, unique, and quaint selection of apartments, cottages, and houses hosts all over the world have up for rent. With the Airbnb app or website, you can filter by number of guests (great for big groups), number of beds and baths, and even more specific filters like pool, kitchen, free parking, and more. It’s great to have the app on your phone while in the country you’re visiting so you can pull up directions to the property and message with your host.
This name will differ depending on the city you are in, but simply search your city name plus “metro” to find an app that will guide you through the public transportation for that city. One of my favorites is the Hong Kong MTR Metro app. It provides simple, clear mapping of the complex but convenient Hong Kong metro. With a metro app, you can plan routes, have it guide you step-by-step to your destination, show entrance and exit maps, and find the nearest station to you. This is essential in a big city, and will save you tons of money. Ditch the cab, take the metro.
Hostelworld is the absolute best app for finding a cheap abode abroad. I love utilizing cheap nights at hostels. I save on lodging so I can spend more on activities. It’s also a great way to meet fellow travelers. With Hostelworld, you can see a map view of the city you’re visiting to make sure you’re getting a hostel right in the thick of the action. Filter by price and location, and add the amenities that are most important to you: I always make sure the hostel I book has free WiFi, 24 hour security, and air conditioning!
Google’s travel app, Google Trips, pulls hotel and flight data from your linked Gmail account to automatically create trip portfolios that act as destination-specific city guides. The app will also use your consumer behavior history to determine personal preferences, and then create custom travel recommendations for restaurants, local events, and activities. I particularly like this app because you can merge and keep all your trip information in one place.
Have trouble falling asleep in hotels, let alone different time zones? My all-time favorite sleep sounds app is Rain Rain. Turn a relaxing white noise background sound on and drift into peaceful sleep, whether you’re in Cancun or Beijing. You can even mix sounds, like putting “Heavy Rain” with “Thunderstorm” to create the ultimate sleep environment. This app also has a timer so the sound will stop playing after 15 or 30 minutes. My personal favorites are “Desert Wind” and “Rain on a Tent”.
Cool Cousin is a unique and fun way to get insider information on the city you’re exploring. This is a great resource for off the-beaten-path suggestions from savvy locals living in the coolest cities in the world. This isn’t your typical tourist to-do list; you’ll get unique recommendations that no other tourists know about. You’re certain to find some awesome hipster bars and local eats, thanks to your Cool Cousin.
Technology has certainly changed the ways in which we all travel. Having the right apps on your phone can make all the difference on your next trip abroad.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.