My iPhone 6s is easily an extension of my brain. It stores all of my important memories through photos and notes. I’d be lost as a writer without it, and also as a traveler. I rely on apps to help keep me organized and efficient. These are truly the only travel apps I use on my smartphone. I use these on a daily basis to make my travels smoother and more enjoyable. Start your 2018 travels by downloading and using these top travel apps:
- Travello: iPhone | Android
- Google Maps: iPhone | Android
- Booking.com: iPhone | Android
- Google Translate: iPhone | Android
- Been: iPhone | Android
I’ve been using Travello since they launched as a way to meet up with other travelers on the road. The digital startup is ever evolving and dominates as the best social app for travelers looking to connect with people along their routes. I use the Explore tab to find other travelers that are nearby and Meetups to join in on already planned activities. I find the groups to be the best part of Travello, I am in the Digital Nomads, Solo Female Traveler, and Travel Bloggers group. Come say hey to me there! You can also chat directly in the app and exchange your personal contact details when you meet up IRL. If I’m not feeling extremely social I scroll through the Travello Feed to get inspiration from others adventures. They also have an awesome travel blog, which featured me twice! My quotes were included in a post about the friends you meet while traveling, and in another about the path of self-discovery through travel.
Gone are the glory days of showing up at a destination with a paper map and absolutely no clue about how to reach the city center from the train station, airport, bus station, etc. While there certainly must have been some excitement in the unknown I prefer to have a general idea of where I am located, and where I am headed. Thankfully Google Maps works efficiently with, our without WiFi and data. I’ve tried Maps.me but don’t find it to be as informative/accurate with pinpointing exact locations of the places I am seeking. Google Maps also has an offline function in which you can download the area you’ll be exploring to access later when you’re not online. Before I arrive at a location I save everything I want to see and do, as well as where I want to eat to my map. I also plug in transportation and accommodation details. This way when I arrive I can head out for the day without a set plan and simply look at my map to see what is nearby that I’d hoped to see. The map with all the golden stars of my favorite places is also a great resource when I am reflecting back on a trip to write blog posts about a destination or giving someone travel advice.
For more tips check out my 7 simple hacks to make you a better traveler.
I love how user-friendly the Booking.com app is and use it often when we’re in route to a destination and don’t have a place to stay. I use it as a research tool to get a quick glance at what is available in my price range but usually make my reservation using the actual website though as there are more search tools and we can make a small earning by using my affiliate link. The app also makes it easy to track your upcoming reservations via the calendar. I often take a screenshot of my upcoming reservations to send to my mom so she can know when and where we’ll be. I reserve bed and breakfasts, guesthouses, exclusively with Booking.com as I can rely on their wonderful customer service and be confident there are no hidden fees. Sometimes I use Hostelz.com to compare rates for private rooms in hostels or book directly from locals on Airbnb depending on which platform offers the best value. See more about my preferred accommodation sites on my Travel Resources page.
Earn $20 cash back from Booking.com by using this link the next time you book accommodation on Booking.com and receive the funds back on your card or bank account after your stay!
If I had a superpower it would be the ability to communicate in all languages but alas I do not. It is important to always learn at least a few key phrases in the local dialect of the places you visit. Not only will this make your trip easier but it will also show that you respect the local culture and are trying your best to communicate. Always look up please, thank you, my name is, hello, goodbye, bathroom, how much, and other key phrases you use on a daily basis. As I maintain a meat-free diet I also tend to keep a record of phrases that help me make sure foods don’t contain ingredients that I avoid. Google Translate also has an awesome feature where you can take a photo of text and it will translate the words to your native language. The photo translations aren’t always perfect but they’ll help you communicate. In addition, whenever you hear or learn a new useful phrase, as a local to write it down for you in your notes app on your phone along with the pronunciation.
It’s no secret that I am all for keeping a tally of how many countries you’ve visited. I don’t see this as competitive or a race. In my case, each new country I reach astonishes me. I still often can’t believe that I’ve turned my dreams into a reality and have created a lifestyle where I can roam around the globe. Since I’ve been in Asia for the last year I’ve generally stayed in each nation for the entire term allowed via my tourist visa. I also often return to many countries multiple times. I am writing this from my fourth trip to Thailand! To see how far I’ve gone on a map is very humbling, and encourages me to continue to seek out new cultures. As now I’ve been to 53 countries. To some that may seem daunting, others will recognize just how little of the world that actually is. According to the been app, it is just 21% of the globe! I have a lot more to discover and have no intentions to stop my voyage any time soon.
Discover other travelers who’ve reached over 50 countries by checking out some of the Meet The Stamp Collectors interviews.
What smartphone apps do you use to keep your travel plans organized? Share them with us in the comments!
This post was made possible through a partnership with Travello and contains affiliate links. All opinions and photos are my own. Please read the Miss Filatelista disclosure policy for more information.