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Travel hack: our 10 favourite travel apps

A smartphone or tablet is a must while traveling. Apps are making a travelers’ life a bit easier. And the options are endless. Both online and offline. Therefore preparing your mobile devices is key. Something you might forget because of pre departure stress. In this blog we have listed our 10 favourite travel apps.

Useful travel apps on the road

Travel apps with offline features

#1 Google Maps and Translate

An all time favourite. We use this app almost on a daily basis. Wifi is never guaranteed on the road. And your mobile data could also be limited. With Maps you can easily download an offline overview of your surroundings. You’ll never get lost again! Don’t forget the required internet connection for downloading. You can also use the app to assist your taxi driver. Or double check the route he is taking. Always comes in handy when meeting a blurhead who doesn’t know his way around. Now you are ready for a taxi driver asking yoú for directions. How crazy that might sound.

Translate is Google’s second useful travel app. Every traveler is familiar with the language barrier phenomenom. Nobody speaks every language, obviously. And internet usually fails right at the moment you need it the most. With this app you can translate almost all languages offline. Also in this case: download first. Offline translation is not always the most accurate, but certainly a big help! And luckily Google keeps improving it. You can even use your phone camera to translate writing instantly. Perfect to help out food lovers with restaurant menu’s for example.

Note: in some cases we also use to navigate. Basically the same idea as Google Maps, but more accurate on, for example, Cuba and during hiking trips like the Quilotoa trail

#2 WiFi Finder

Impossible to live without internet? Then this is the app for you. WiFi Finder gives you the opportunity to download offline wifi hotspots maps. Networks in hotels, cafes, restaurants and other public spots. You can find it all. A great to stay connected to the world. Another feature is to add new wifi hotspots yourself. Sharing is caring! Once again, internet is only needed to download the maps. Cost: 67 cents per month (in NL) if you want to use the offline feature.

#3 Netflix

Let’s say you have a long boring flight or bus trip scheduled. Or your hostel’s wifi is far too slow for streaming. Solution: download your favourite Netflix films and series! Takes some planning (and choosing from the extensive offer), but totally worth the effort. You do need a subscription of course (from €8 per month in NL). This helps you survive that hour long journey. And who doesn’t love binge watching! Tip: use a VPN connection to get the same Netflix content as at home. Or watch a telenovela to boost your Spanish skills.

#4 Spotify

Another entertaining travel app is Spotify (Premium). Tired of Netflixing? Switch to Spotify. Same idea, this time with your favourite playlists. You get the point. Cost: from €9,99 (in NL). Did you know there are special sleep playlists? And audio books? Or a playlist with only food related songs? We love it!

#5 XE Currency Converter

It is essential to know the value of your money. Especially when traveling through a lot of different countries. Or you spend your valuable time counting and counting and counting again. Not everybody easily divides an amount by 3,736. The costless XE Currency Converter helps you out with all of this. Ideal app when you are on the go. You only need the internet when adding new currencies and other features. Perfect for the millennial generation! Ahum...

Travel apps with online options only

#6 Workaway

Workaway is the way to go if you want to get in touch with locals. You can find homestays in exchange for example project support. A great way to get to know both the culture and new people. Usually you only work for the host a few hours a day. The spare time you can use to discover. Amazing to extend your travels!

The Workaway travel app provides a host list and reviews. Signing up and completing your profile must be done through the browser first. Cost: $42 per person per year. Or $54 per year if you share a profile with another person. One of our best investments yet.

#7 Couchsurfing

Through Couchsurfing, people are offering a place to sleep. Even if it is literally just a couch.  Or they are looking for a place themselves. Also, you can join events to meet new people. Or organize an event yourself. This doesn’t necessarily have to be large. Only a drink counts as well. It is not allowed to charge any money. Signing up is free, after which you can directly start contacting. The app helps you out to keep in touch easily. Couchsurfing is all about trust. To gain more trust there are verification steps (not mandatory, but definitely the safest option). Part of this is a $60 one time payment. It’s up to you. 

People often ask us if Couchsurfing isn’t dangerous. Or just attracts creeps looking to mislead others. A definite no in our experience! We have met amazing hosts during our travels. The world isn’t such a bad place after all. Of course it happens that you cannot really click with another Couchsurfer. But so far we’ve only had pleasant experiences. Convenient to meet locals, listen to their stories, share a meal or take in the culture. And it makes it easier to keep up with your travel budget as well!

#8 Polarsteps

Your loved ones at home might like to hear everything about your trip. But you don’t want to spend too much time updating them. Travel is getting out there after all. Polarsteps solves this issue. We are enthusiastic users of the platform ourselves. With this free app you can easily capture all steps of your trip. Your route will be exactly monitored through GPS. ‘Steps’ can be added to every location and you can upload stories and photos. Also when you are not adding any steps for a while, everybody can still check the map to see where you are. During that trekking for example. After your trip, you can easily create a travel book out of it. Wicked souvenir!

#9 Uber

A lifesaver in cities all over the world. You definitely don’t feel like negotiating with a local taxi driver after a long flight or bus trip. Or get scammed. Especially an issue when you don’t speak their language. The Uber app helps you arranging a taxi with a fixed fair price. You can simply indicate your destination and check the taxi’s planned arrival. The payment is automatically linked with creditcard. No cash hassle and a fully tracked ride. Safe and sound! Tip: check your digital receipt after the ride. Extra costs can occur in some traffic situations. Just send a message to Uber Support to claim it. Every cent counts up when traveling!

#10 SeatGuru

Seats are different in every plane. The free SeatGuru app provides the option to check the seat’s measures including pictures. A big help for a tall traveller like Tom. There is only one disadvantage. You need to enter the chosen flight company, number and travel dates before being able to check. Easy solution: look at Skyscanner first. Furthermore, the app contains reviews of other travelers and flight alerts. Suits us just fine in order to set up a seats master plan!

We hope we mentioned some useful travel apps you never thought about. Did we forget an awesome killer app? Let us know!