Even if you're like me who doesn't love being on their phone, it is sometimes very necessary. Other times vital. Below is a list of what I consider to be some of the best travel apps currently. The list is in no way exhaustive and I will try be deliberate about constantly updating it for you. In the meantime, enjoy the list and maybe download one, or all.
Here we go:
Airbnb offers a wide range of accommodation, ranging from budget to out-of-this-world expensive. Depending on what your budget is, you’re certain to get something. Airbnb has also added experiences as part of what they offer, making it one of the best travel apps of our time. You could use Airbnb experiences, for instance, to get a photographer to take you to all instagrammable spots in their city (or town, or whatever). This is really cool and is becoming increasingly popular cuz, let’s face it, who knows a place better than someone who actually lives there? The app is free for both Android and IoS users.
Get $34 on your first trip by using this link to book a place to stay when traveling.
BTW, Airbnb is one of the ways through which you can make extra income. I will get to more ways some time soon but that’s one. The experiences part: can you cook a local dish really well? Create an experience detailing that and share your knowledge with others while earning. Or maybe you know a secret waterfall? Create an experience on Airbnb and take guys there. It can be anything, really, and that’s awesome.
If you have extra space in your house, you could sign up here and earn money as a host.
Did you know that there are people who travel (almost) for free? Well, a huge group of these people use couchsurfing to find a place to stay for free. One of the major aims of the app was to connect travellers with locals, enabling them to “live like locals”. This makes it one of the best travel apps there are, especially given one is reminded of the good that is out there.
I have had a great experience with couchsurfing. I use it quite a lot to host others and also to find locals to show me around their cities or just chill. That’s a pro tip right there. In case you don’t want to stay with others for one reason or the other, just message them and catch up over coffee or whatever it is you like. I also think one should try staying with others at least once in their travel life. Choose carefully. Read reviews, chat them up before your trip – can never overemphasize this enough.
I always encourage you guys to have an offline map on your phones when traveling but I’ve never quite told you which one is my fave. There is a reason maps me is one of the best travel apps: it does not need you to be connected to the internet, you can add and delete countries, towns as you please to save on space, it’s free…
This digital map helps you plan your route better, saving you time and protecting you from anxiety attacks that will definitely occur if you can’t find your way back home.
This app saves lives. I talk about it a lot. No, I don’t have shares in the company. I wish I did. It is a stellar app and is one of the best travel apps more so when it comes to finances and all. Remember that day you went to a country and they have you dozens of bills and you weren’t sure which is which? I know I’ve been there many times.
What I do is download XE before I cross borders and input the amount of cash I want to change at the border. The app gives you the amount to expect in the local currency. Granted, there will be some deviations but it will give you a rough idea so you’re not completely lost. Forex brokers prey on ignorant travellers so download the app and seem literate.
XE is also very helpful when it comes to tracking your spending when traveling. If you listen to me you know I always insist on thinking in the local currency – think XE!
It’s good to read from time to time, or all the time. It helps you live in different places, helps you mind your business, and also gives you content to contribute to conversations. Not always going like “ongeza volume kwa watu wa nyuma”. If you know, you know.
I will drop this one here for those who don’t own a kindle. It’s also great for those who own a kindle but who, for one reason or the other, don’t carry it around all the time. All you need to have is an amazon account and you’ll have access to thousands of books. There are many apps with free books, but the reason I consider this to be one of the best travel apps is that authors get to eat. I’m not a big fan of free things, especially not books. Cheap books, yes! Amazon subsidizes these prices so it won’t be prices that will require you to break the bank for.
Remember the dark days when we used Bluetooth to share pictures and other files when traveling? Those were really terrible times. Wait. Hope no one still uses Bluetooth? If you do, lemme introduce you to a whole new world.
Download SHAREit and see your files get transferred in a matter of seconds; you will see why it’s one of the best travel apps and why you shouldn’t live without it. The app also doesn’t affect the quality of your pics – they will remain as shitty or as great as they were taken.
It’s 2020 and we are not letting language barrier get in the way of our travel plans. You’re very limited otherwise. Google Translate is one of the best travel apps as it allows you to translate your thoughts to another language of your choice. What’s more, you could even speak it out and they’ll give you the results you’re looking for. It’s not 100 percent accurate but what is? It does the work and should be a must have the next time you’re going to a place with guys who don’t speak your language.
This is an invaluable resource for those traveling (and living) on a budget. The reason I’m listing it under one of the best travel apps is that it has many features that help you track whatever you’re spending, vis-à-vis your budget. For $3 only, you get lifetime access and you get increased control over your finances.
This is one of my favourite apps of all time and definitely one of my best travel apps. See how they say your mind is a muscle that needs to be trained just as much as your glutes? Well, it’s true. Elevate helps you with that. They have exercises and games to play to strengthen your mental stamina. Spending a few minutes on the app per day could make the whole difference and I hope you try it out even when you’re not traveling. Come thank me later.
Uber! I’ll just say uber but we all know there are many other substitutes. Depending on where you are, please ask what the best travel hailing app is. When in Asia, for instance, use Grab. It’s cheap and they have an in-built translation tool meaning you can type in Maasai (okay, English) then the driver receives the message in, say, Vietnamese. That is extremely cool if you ask me!
For those long train rides, morning jogs… or no reason at all, we need music at some point. I love mixcloud. You’re probably trying to save your data when abroad. The good news is that mixcloud respects that; you won’t even feel it, promise. Download it and see why I listed it as one of the best travel apps there is.
I am listing this here cuz of their group option and also because I had promised to help solo travellers with resources to help them find travel buddies when they travel. So, search Facebook for (solo) travel groups and request to join – most of them are private hence you’ll need an admin to manually approve you.
There are many other apps where solo travellers can meet other guys, besides Couchsurfing and Facebook that I have given above, including WithLocals, Nearify, Meetup, and Travel Pal among others.
With all the apps that involve sleeping at other people’s places, please exercise caution. Follow your gut and make sure you set all records straight to avoid unfortunate events. For instance, if you decide to start hosting on couchsurfing, let your guests know how you like your house to be maintained and all that. If it’s no longer fun, just ditch it wisely.
What are some of your favorite travel apps?
Cheers to staying connected!