THE BEST 8 TRAVEL APPS OF 2018
There’s no shortage of travel apps these days. Although most travel-specific digital services already have mobile-friendly websites, apps makes it easier to short-cut all that extra tapping and swiping and get you the information you need—from current weather conditions to transportation advice—even when you don’t have service.
If you’ve got a trip coming up, rather than wasting a week of your life downloading useless junk, start with these 8 amazing travel apps instead.
Down time is an inevitable consequence of modern travel, and if you’re an active jet-setter, that could mean killing hours before catching a later flight. Dayuse (free) allows you to book hotel rooms for a few hours during the day, often at prices that are a fraction of the typical overnight rate. With an inventory of more than 4,000 properties across 20 countries and more than 100 cities, it offers an easy way to get clean, take a nap, hit the gym, and make good use of other hotel amenities like guest-only WiFi or the business center.
Think of Skyscanner (free) as Kayak/Expedia/Orbitz/etc. but better. The easy-to-use interface lets you search for discount prices for flights, car rentals, and hotels with quick rate comparison. There are no hidden fees, you can set up price alerts, and record your frequent flier numbers.
If you’ve ever endured the pain of a delayed or canceled flight, or been denied boarding because of overbooking, AirHelp is just for you. Both US and EU laws provide for compensation in such cases, although the details differ. It’s a complicated process, though, and apparently fewer than 1% of passengers entitled to compensation ever get it.
This app makes the process simple and something you can do in a few minutes while still waiting around at the airport. Just enter your flight information and a few details about the problem, and the company takes care of the rest. If the claim is successful, they take 25% of the payout and you get the remainder. You also get a referral bonus for anyone else on your flight that you send the company’s way.
In addition to straightforward text translation between 103 languages and offline access to 59 languages, the app also lets you take photos of signs—or draw characters with your finger on-screen—and converts those images into translated text. It also lets you save select words and phrases for easy reference and handles two-way bilingual conversations on the fly in 32 languages.
Airbnb lets you rent individual rooms, couches, or an entire apartment from locals. I love Airbnb, as it’s a happy medium between hostels and hotels. Plus, if you stay with local hosts, you’ll still get the social aspect of a hostel. The app does everything the website does but at the tip of your fingers. I find it a lot more effective way to communicate with your host.
as more airlines remove their in-flight entertainment systems and force you to use your own devices to stream media (and keep your sanity), gogo entertainment is essential. It typically works in conjunction with an airline’s dedicated app, and often lets you stream movies, TV shows, and music for free once you reach cruising altitude. Just be sure to download it—as well as the airline-specific app—well before you board; some airlines allow for in-flight downloads.
7. Trail Wallet
Trail Wallet is an easy travel expense tracker. It takes the headache out of expense tracking. You can organize your expenses by trip or by month, set a daily budget, and easily add expenses. When you get a bill or receipt, pull out your iPhone, add the amount using the Quick Add screen and you’re done.
Trail Wallet is available for iOS.
8. Google Trips
This app does what a lot of other apps do—organizes your reservations and travel plans into one central place—but for Gmail users, Google Trips (free) automatically imports and organizes your info, saving you time and frustration. It also provides day planning tools to organize all your specs on a map (think hotel bookings, dinner reservations, coffee shop meetings) and includes a robust library of cool things to do and places to eat and drink based on your interests and availability, so you can easily build out a focused itinerary. Better still, it’s accessible even when you’re offline.
The above travel apps are some of the best in 2018 and are worth downloading to your phone before your next trip.