Back in the day, the best travelers had to carry all sorts of books and gadgets to make the perfect trips. Now, you only need a phone with the best apps for that perfect trip and to make you the ultimate travel pro.
Perhaps I’m going to say something rather obvious but bear with me, it kind of makes sense. Have you ever stopped to think about the reaches technology has gotten in just a very small amount of time? Was life easier back then or is it now? We have seen how involved technology is in our everyday routine since apps have become a elementary item for us to "make it" through the day. Social media and its role in the way we interact with others, apps that tell us the traffic condition up-to-the-minute, softwares that measure our exercise habits throughout the day, or even those gadgets that help us to have a good sleep are just a few examples on how technology has been incorporated in the way we see and live in the world.
These thoughts hit me just a couple of months ago when I was planning a short trip to Costa Rica. Technology is everywhere and now there’s always some software or gadget even for the most random things. I remember how, some years ago, everything was solved with books. When I made this big trip to Europe, I had to bring with me three (or more) of those classic travel guides: one that had the main sites to visit, another one with the maps of the cities, and of course, the go-to book that claimed to teach you how to speak a language (or at least the basics) in just a couple of days. Now, everything seems easier and "lighter". A cell phone can have basically everything you need for your best vacations ever since many tools can come right from your pocket. So, after some research (and experience), here I give you the best apps you can download to travel like a real pro explorer so you don't have to worry about (almost) anything.
One of the things that can be nerve-racking when traveling by plane is the entire process at airports. Either the delays, the weather conditions, or anything that comes to mind that could jeopardize your trip are some of those things that make us worry the most. However, FlightAware is an amazing app because it tracks in real time the airport, weather conditions, and the flights departures and arrivals. It is very helpful since it lets you know all the details that sometimes airlines fail to communicate.
More or less in the same fashion, FLIO also tracks airport conditions and flight information, but with an amazing plus. This app can tell you Wi-Fi locations and networks, lounges, restaurants, the best options or routes to get from the airport to your destination, and more.
This app is only available for US and Canadian citizens at the moment, but since it's quite amazing, I guess it will soon be available for other countries. This app speeds up the custom process when people are coming back to the US from an international trip. How does it work? You just have to put your passport information in advance and all your flight and hotel data so customs have this information ahead. You’ll still have to pass to a kiosk or check-in point, but without those tedious queues since you’ll just have to show to the agent your confirmation barcode received on your phone. Though this app is authorized by U.S. Customs, it’s only available at only 24 airports and 1 port for the moment.
It’s very easy to mess up with foreign currencies when traveling abroad (I can't even tell how much money I've spent on stupid things that I thought were very cheap on previous travels). Though you can figure out the math and use your calculator, currencies change from one moment to the next, so having a great currency-converting app can be a lifesaver. Well, not really, but at least a real money saver.
Remember my story about the travel-guide books? Well, some of the brands that edited those books turned them into apps eventually, but these editorial houses, in most cases, will charge PER DESTINATION instead for the whole app. Fortunately, there are many free apps that can give you amazing information. Google, of course, has its own. And, the best part is that since most of us have an account with them, Google Trips will know what your tastes are already. The app will recommend you important touristic spots, restaurants, and even transportation based on your location and likes that have been saved in their database. I mean, who needs to worry anymore?
One of our biggest concerns when planning a trip is finding great accommodation without spending too much, right? Well, this app is perfect for that matter. Basically, this is a server that allows people to sell their prepaid hotel reservations to others at a very affordable price. So, Roomer Travel is great either if you have to cancel your trip and wish to get some money back, or if you’re looking for really affordable hotel fees.
This app is perfect for those who love road trips. It’s some sort of GPS that shows you exit routes, sites of interest, restaurants, museums, gas stations, and even ATMs and supermarkets on the road. Basically, anything you’ll need to make your trip trouble-free.
Though I’m not a huge fan of classic tours, I must admit that sometimes it’s the easiest and cheapest way to get to those remarkable sites in a city. The problem is knowing which are the best, which are not worth your time, and which have the best price offers. This app basically does all the research for you.
If you are like me, one those people that pack all sorts of useless things, you might want to take a look at this app. Packpoint takes your destination and flying dates to check weather conditions so it will tell the exact things you’ll need to your trip. Besides, it asks you what activities you’re planning to do so it can give you the best, precise and effective checklist.
iTranslate Voice and Google Translator
Last but not least, this app is essential for those traveling abroad, specifically to a country that speaks another language than yours. iTranslate Voice works for both text-to-speech and voice-to-voice translations in all phone devices giving you the opportunity to communicate with locals. Another option is the classic Google Translator that helps you translate photos, menus, street signs, and any other written forms.
Planning a trip can be a very exhausting and nerve-racking process if you are one of those who likes to have everything under control. These apps will definitely make you a traveler pro since they were created not only to make thing easy but to give you control and tranquility to really enjoy what can be your ultimate dream trip.
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Images by @oljaryz