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10 Apps Every Traveler Needs

No, no, I don't mean appetizers. There are other blog posts on my page for that. This one is to help fellow travelers plot and plan their next foodie trip with ease. Below are the top ten apps I think that every traveler should download to their phone...

1. Google Maps

(with Maps Downloaded!)

I’m going to start with the obvious: Google Maps. Google Maps is constantly updating to be extremely intuitive and accurate, making it an excellent app to have on hand when exploring a city. But my real tip? Prior to leaving download the area you're visiting! Yes, Google Maps can work completely accurately, WiFi free. Many people don’t use this feature when traveling, but it is so helpful (and safe) to have a map that can pinpoint your location and help you get home whenever you may need. Obviously, you can purchase any paper map, but my key to unlocking the best afternoons is making sure I download the entire city I am exploring on Google Maps.

Yes, you can download any city in the world on your phone by:

1. Opening up the Google Maps app while on WiFi

2. Search and pull up the city/area you would like to download

3. In the top corner within the search bar, you can press your profile picture, which will pull down a list of different options/operations within the app (including “Your profile,” “Location Sharing,” etc.)

4. Select “Offline maps”

5. Then press “SELECT YOUR OWN MAP”

6. From there, you can select a rectangle space of any size (depending on your phone MB space) to download to your phone and store on the app in the same section. Press "DOWNLOAD" located in the bottom right corner and viola!

In addition, you will also find “Your places” in the "Saved" section of the center/bottom. Here, you can save any address, and a pinpoint/flag will show up on your downloaded map. I pinpoint every restaurant, museum, cafe, and site (including my hotel or home base) that I may be interested in visiting throughout my trip. By doing this, I can pull up this map no matter where I am in the world (without WiFi), and will be able to find my way back home (or to a nearby cafe I have saved!). This relieved any anxiety I had about not being able to find my way home when exploring, and leaves me free to spend the day getting some steps in!

2. Xe for Currency Exchange Rates

Another app that is constantly updating to provide accuracy. Xe is my go-to when I’m traveling to help me calculate how much I’m spending when those exchange rates are hard to figure out. You can find just about any currency on the app, so I never hesitate to whip it out when I want to have a better idea of the amount I’m spending internationally. I recommend downloading the currency of the country you're visiting, just incase you are without service/WiFi.

3. Google Translate

Another important one for international travel. As an English speaker, I must admit I’ve gotten exceptionally lazy. So many people within the travel & leisure world speak it, I find myself traveling internationally and relying on other peoples ability to speak my language in their country (no, no). When you’re exploring more local areas, this is a good app to have on hand. You can speak right into the app, and your words will be directly (fingers crossed…) translated into your language of choice. You can even take pictures of a foreign language and it can sort the words into your language.

4. Duolingo

Speaking of languages- why not devote a little time to learning some easy, colloquial terms to use prior to an international trip? I use Duolingo for fun, to take a few lessons before I explore somewhere new. Even if you only memorize “hello,” “thank you,” and “excuse me,” locals seem to really appreciate the effort.

5. Been App

As an avid explorer, this one is especially fun for me. It is a simple app that allows you to select all the countries you’ve been lucky enough to travel to. It even gives you the percentage of the earth you’ve covered! They also have a section for States in the U.S., if you’re trying to hit all 50 like me!

6. Venmo

Essential when traveling with a group. Listen, many European spots have individual card readers nowadays that let you easily split the bill. But what about the smaller, local restaurants? What about tours and hotel rooms? Make sure everyone has the app, to help split the bill after one person pays. It makes the lives of staff members tremendously easier!

7. TripIt

Want all of your tickets, reservations numbers, and itinerary plans in one place? TripIt pulls all of this from your emails (you can also chose to manually insert it) for your upcoming trips. It makes for a much more organized experience, where you can quickly find any car or hotel reservation number on the fly.

8. Stylebook

My favorite. I am sure you can tell from this list that I like to stay organized. I do, but truthfully, for me the anticipation and planning of a trip is half the fun! I have tried a few packing apps, and this is my absolute favorite. I actually use it to plan my day-to-day and weekend outfits, even when I am not traveling. You can take pictures of different pieces within your closet, create you own trip-specific packing list, add additional text items (like toiletries, etc.), and arrange different outfits in the app's calendar.

Hello, cute travel outfits!

9. Lightroom / VSCO

Easy photo editing. I cannot emphasize this enough. Editing is one of my favorite parts of photography; although it can be time consuming, it is where your creativity can really come alive. If I grab a shot on my iPhone, I love to edit on my Lightroom app. Through this app, you can create your own presets, which will help you create a uniform and beautiful Instagram page. Love some primary color pop? Love dark hues and shadows? This app has a full library of presets for you to use, but as you begin to edit photos, you can also customize and make them your own! You can save your presets and quickly edit any photo you snap while wandering.

10. Relax with Podcasts, Books, Netflix, & Spotify

And why not add on some leisure apps as well? Whether you have a long haul flight or some relaxing downtime planned on your trip, these apps will let you download content in advance, so whether you have WiFi or not, you can read, watch, listen away!

Any other recommendations?

Let me know your favorite travel app!


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