It’s no secret that travel isn’t quite what it used to be. Now that we don’t need to read the stars and trek through the wilderness just to get to the next town over, more and more people have begun to take the plunge into solo traveling. One way to make your life a bit easier while on the road is to download apps that can aid you in your travel plans. Lost? There’s an app for that. Lonely? There’s an app for that. Bored? There’s an app for that, too. Here are 14 of the best travel apps that are begging to be added to your favorites folder.
Couchsurfing is an easy way to save money on the road as well as meet the locals no matter where you end up. It allows you to crash at other people’s spots…for free. I would like to note that even though the app is called Couchsurfing, this does not necessarily mean you’ll be crashing on a couch! I’ve stayed in plenty of private rooms, places that are normally booked as AirBnbs, and even luxury apartments overlooking the twinkling city lights. You can also use the Hangout tab in Couchsurfing to meet up with other locals or travelers within your area without actually staying at their place.
AirBnb is a given. Though it’s also another way to find budget accommodation, the reason I love AirBnb so much is because of its unique stays. I’ve stayed at a Yurt in Kentucky, a TeePee in Utah, an Alpaca Farm in Texas, and even in a Hippie Bus in the middle of New Mexico’s desert. I owe all of these adventures to AirBnb.
HostelWorld is essentially what it sounds like. This app shows hostels all over, so you can search whichever city you’re planning to go to and see which ones are in the area. However, I will note that once you locate the hostels through this app, it is sometimes cheaper to then go online, search the hostel itself and book directly through them.
If you plan on hiking, All Trails is a necessity. It will show you what AppleMaps can’t (the off-roading hikes), where to start and end, along with user reviews and hikes as to how great (or not so great) the hike you wish to venture on will be.
If you’re traveling to an area where you do not speak the local language, DuoLingo is an incredible free app that allows you to learn languages whenever, wherever. I’ve used this app to work on my skills in French and Portuguese and have added friends on here as well to keep me motivated.
6. SkyView Lite
I love SkyView Lite if I am traveling in a rural area. This free app allows you to point your device at the sky and see a whole new world through your screen. The software identifies and draws out the constellations, stars, planets and satellites right above you at any given time so you know exactly what you’re looking at in the night sky.
MeetUp is a noteworthy app for finding experiences or free walking tours in almost any city. You’ll also be able to make new friends easily, whether they be locals or tourists, by participating in events that are interesting to you.
8. Google Maps
I’m sure you probably already have Google Maps, but did you know that you can download certain areas on the map? This was a lifesaver for me when I was in Southeast Asia because I was able to navigate the city even without having access to WiFi.
Bumble is an awesome way to meet new people in any spectrum: Friends, Business, and Relationships. With almost everything moving to online lately, you really have no excuse not to build your network with apps.
10. Find My Friends
If you have an iPhone, you already have this app, but here’s the thing: Utilize it! Share your location with friends and family while on the road to keep their (and your) state of mind sane.
Omio is for all-things-transportation. Essentially, you just plug in where you are and where you want to go, and it will pull up every single possible way to get there, how long it will take and how much it will cost you. From plane to train to automobile, Omio will have you saving money on the road.
Skyscanner is the ultimate app for finding cheap flights. It automatically searches millions of flights from over 1,200 sources and then simply provides you with the best options out there. You can also look at the cheapest days to fly and get notifications when prices change. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t take a break after adding this to the list to book a flight on Skyscanner.
This is an interesting app that not many people know of. It allows you to rent people’s hot tubs and pools by the hour. You can literally go from your hostel bunk bed to a jacuzzi mansion in the hills in a matter of minutes.
This app is for last-minute hotel bookings. It basically gives you the rooms that are otherwise unoccupied for the night at incredible rates. If you’re one of those last minute planners, HotelTonight is a must-have.
I hope this list of travel apps brought out the savvy in you, or at least gave you a cheat sheet on how to look cool in front of your mom on your next family vacation. As always, if you know of any other interesting travel apps, we’d love to hear them: Comment below!