The Best Apps for the Frequent Traveler
Apps have made travel so much easier, but there’s a lot of hype out there for travel apps that don’t actually get used but end up taking up space on your smartphone or tablet. So Health Bird teamed up with Cassie from Culture Coverage to uncover just what travels well and what doesn't!
So from one traveler to another, these are my favorites that stay on my phone no matter where I’m heading or just getting back from. Stay tuned and get your app store ready; these are my best recommendations for an unforgettable trip and help from keeping healthy while I’m traveling or finding the perfect place to grab the subway.
1. Dark Sky
Hypersensitive radar weather mapping—those are the only four words you need. But if you’re looking for more, this app goes beyond charting the breakdown of temps during the day to show you the weather systems that are hovering over your head. With alerts that will let you know in minutes exactly how far away that raincloud is, Dark Sky is indispensable for a traveler who doesn’t like to be caught unawares. While to some the $4.99 price tag is $4.99 too much, I say it’s worth every penny for every time it’s saved me from a drenching.
2. My Fitness Pal
I like My Fitness Pal for traveling and for my every day. Its easy-to-use step and calorie counters make my life easier when I’m trying to be healthy on the road. It’s always ranked one of the top fitness apps in the industry, and its partnership with Under Armour shows it’s the real deal. With over 5 million food barcodes in its database, it’s useful even when you’re overseas and taste testing new foods, and the simple interface will not detract from your jam-packed travel plans.
With free walking tours in hundreds of cities worldwide, HearPlanet can make solo traveling really enjoyable, especially if you’re on a tight budget and aren’t a fan of big bus tours. Pop in your location and grab your headphones—it’s the only thing required to make a new city come alive, and it’s completely free. For those who may have trouble with the location settings, try a Virtual Private Network like those recommended by Secure Thoughts; it’ll disable any geo-location blockers in place.
If you like to work out while on vacation, MINDBODY is the go-to app for you. Whether you’re looking for a yoga class, a massage studio, a spa or even a local CrossFit gym, this app is a fantastic resource for picking up something that’s close to wherever you are. With a location-based system that goes off your zip code to provide viable options, you can check out different services, special offers, ratings and reviews as well.
While Google Maps can take care of public transportation, it just doesn’t do it as well as Citymapper, and for a girl or a guy on the go, it’s a must. Citymapper has an easy-to-maneuver interface that offers real-time transit times from arrival to departure, as well as additional means of transport, such as bike routes and Uber availability, when you need more options. With 30 cities worldwide, it’s not at as widespread as Google yet, but where it is applicable, it’s irreplaceable.
If you’re looking for more obscure languages like Zulu or Czech, you’re out of luck. But the mainstream languages such as Italian, Russian, German, Chinese, French and more are on the Duolingo app, and the lessons are very easy to use and learn from. With daily activities that depend on your skill set and language level, Duolingo is the best way to keep your skills fresh before a trip abroad. Duolingo is constantly adding new languages, though, see keep an eye out!
If you travel with friends, which I highly recommend, Splittr can come in handy. With a simple platform that is geared toward sharing traveling expenses, Splittr keeps track of the budget as well as who has paid what, and that’s all it needs to make sure your expenses stay straightforward. This app can also handle multiple currencies, which makes longer, multidestination trips easy to keep track of without having to do the conversion rates yourself.
Airbnb may be getting a bad rap from hotels and bed and breakfasts all over the world, but I’ve never had a bad experience with them, and they always make my trips feel more authentic and less rushed. With places to stay all over the world at every price point (I look for a range of $40 to $100 a night, depending on my budget and whom I’m traveling with), I get a personalized experience and sometimes a local friend who can really open my eyes to a new place that a hotel or hostel just wouldn’t be able to do. Having the app is a bonus that allows me to contact my host directly whenever I need to get in touch, and that’s such a convenient perk.
Whether you’re headed somewhere within 100 miles of home or you’re off to the other side of the world, these apps are great tools that will complement any trip abroad.
About Me: Cassie is a digital nomad and avid traveler, putting to use the best ways to get around for the least amount of money while having the greatest time. Always on the search for new apps to help ease the burden of unknown travel mysteries, she’d love to hear which apps you live by, so don’t forget to leave a comment or recommendation below.
Follow Cassie on Twitter - @cassie_culture