It is such a magical moment when you step off the plane in a new destination and start your adventure! But even a perfectly planned, tailor-made adventure has some things you need to keep track of. And a few to figure out along the way (like where to grab a delicious gelato!) There are lots of tips, tricks, and apps out there about what to pack, how to plan, and where to go. But what about when you’re actually on the vacation? Whether you’re discovering a new destination or exploring an old favorite, here are our top 7 travel apps to take your vacation to the next level.
This is the perfect all-in-one app to organize your travels. Wanderlog offers you a one-stop spot to keep track of your reservations, itinerary, and wishlists for each destination on your trip! You can input all of your flight, hotel, and transportation reservations automatically from your emails. The app will compile the most important information from the email into an easy-to-read summary and pinpoint it on their map. You can also attach files for any museum or tour reservations.
Once the details of your itinerary are in, you can begin the exploration process. Wanderlog brings all the “top spots” from thousands of blogs across the web into one app and then- the best part- it will put them on a map for you! No more switching between blogs and google maps to try to figure out if the site you want to see is close to that café you want to try! Once you’ve saved your wish list of destinations, you can add personal notes. And finally, put them into a day-by-day itinerary with one simple click! It’s a great way to keep all your inspiration, planned adventures, and confirmation details in one spot. You can even add other travelers and track expenses so you’re all on the same page.
Although most of Europe uses WhatsApp as its main messaging app, it’s not as popular in the U.S. However, we cannot recommend it enough when you travel. The main reason is that it uses WiFi. So you don’t need a local SIM card to send messages and connect with your friends and family all around the world. You can send texts and make phone and video calls with any other WhatsApp user. Because it utilizes your Wifi you won’t have any of those pesky international charges.
If you are visiting one of the 80+ cities this app covers, CityMapper is a perfect app for getting around. It combines thoughtful route planning and real-time data. It is especially helpful if you’ll be taking public transportation. It not only provides the best route but also information on arrivals, departures, delays, and costs. It has options to customize your route to help you stay out of the rain or use a particular type of transportation. And you can download routes to use offline. Right now Citymapper covers most of the major US and European cities and a handful in Asia and Canada.
This is a route planner for the outdoorsy traveler. Whether you’re cycling, backpacking or hiking, Komoot is an incredibly useful trail tool. You can easily discover new trails nearby, plan out your route and use the app to navigate while on the trail. With a very advanced routing system, it’s extremely customizable. You can filter by elevation, surface type, and difficulty. Share the trails with your friends or on social media. The only drawback of so many features is that it takes some time to figure out how best to use them all.
If you have a specific budget, or just love keeping track of expenses this is a great lightweight app. It is easy to use with a simple, intuitive design. TravelSpend lets you input every purchase, spread expenses across multiple days, and even split costs between travelers. It allows you to track your overall budget and your daily budget, with automatic currency conversion. Use the statistics page to visualize which category you’re spending the most money on. It also works offline, so need to worry about using up data!
This is our favorite photo editing app. It’s easy to use with a lot of different features. WIth more than just filters, this app allows you to edit all the details of your photos. We like to think of it as a little lightweight Photoshop app. It’s perfect for really making your vacation photos pop and showing off sites with the detail and vibrance of how they looked in person.
Certainly the most well-known translation app. It’s Google’s seemingly unending features that have marked it as a top translation app for travelers. Our favorite travel feature is the camera scan, which allows you to instantly scan and translate text like menus, signs, or instructions. And the ability to download language packs for offline use is a huge bonus. The main drawback of GoogleTranslate is the quality of translations. They tend to be more literal and lose some of the intentions behind carefully chosen words. However, for quick questions, like asking directions or ordering a meal, GoogleTranslate will ensure communication.
Deepl [honorable mention]
Deepl is a newer translation app that we’re giving an honorable mention. Like GoogleTranslate it also has a website, app, and voice-to-voice translations for conversations. But its high-quality translations are what really shine. If you want to communicate more accurately or send a message with the same intention you had when you wrote it in English, this is the best app. The reason it’s only getting an honorable mention is that, while the translations are better, it doesn’t work offline and the camera scanner is currently only available on iOS. It’s an app to keep an eye on as its list of features grows.