The best travel apps – a curated list of apps that make life easier while globe-trotting

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Photo by Daniel Flathagen/http://bit.ly/2BbwMpb

If you’re making travel plans and find yourself fretting over details, you’ll be relieved to know that travelling in 2017 is a much easier and memorable experience than it used to be. Thanks to technology, there are loads of options for every kind of traveller. This means you don’t need to feel restricted or stressed while figuring out your plans for a much-needed getaway to a destination you’ve been waiting to visit for a long time.

There are ways out. There are plenty of travel apps out there that will ensure that you’re able to do things in an organized, stress-free manner. You won’t find yourself lost in an unfamiliar country, will be able to book taxis and translate words from a different language without too much effort. Here’s a list of some of the most useful travel apps worth downloading before your next trip (make sure you buy a local SIM card with a good data pack, though):

  1. Google Maps

This is a must-have for every person who’s going to a place they’re not familiar with. It’ll be extremely easy to find a restaurant you’ve been looking forward to checking out or an art gallery nobody seems to know about. You can show your taxi driver directions from the app and keep track of the route through the app. It also works well when you find yourself exploring unfamiliar streets on foot. Whenever you want to get an idea as to where you are and which way is the shortest route to your destination, Google Maps will be able to provide you with useful answers.

  1. Uber

Available in 633 cities all over the world, Uber is useful to have on your phone when you want to be picked up and dropped off without too many hassles. You can enter your pickup and drop off points and even pay through the app. This makes things very convenient in a different country especially if you’re not familiar with the language or aren’t comfortable bargaining with a local taxi driver. You may not be sure how to reach your destination or even explain the exact location to your driver.  An app like Uber takes care of that by providing directions to the driver, simplifying the entire process and even overcoming language barriers. It also helps that you can remain relatively safe by sending a friend details from your Uber trip and let them track your route until you’ve reached safely.

  1. Duolingo

An easy and simple language learning app, Duolingo will come to your rescue when you’re having trouble communicating with locals in a different country. You’ll be able to understand the basics of the language and ask simple questions while travelling, giving you a chance to interact with local people and be able to do something as basic as saying thank you and expressing your gratitude.  The icing on the cake? The app is fun to use and like a game, keeping you hooked.

  1. Google Trips

If you find yourself battling travel anxiety and work very hard to keep all your notes in one place, you’ll love Google Trips. The app will make planning itineraries a breeze. You won’t have to protect all your notes and printouts. The app ensures all your information is in one place and even syncs stuff from your Gmail inbox on its own. It offers ideas and tips on what you can check out, including half-day plans. The best part? It even works offline and will see you through a wonky data connection. You won’t have to hunt around for scribbled notes anymore and can heave a sigh of relief as you check your trip details on the app.

  1. CouchSurfing

While this is traditionally a service meant for finding hosts or hosting other travellers in your home, it has bonus features. For instance, the Hangouts option allows you to meet other globetrotters near you for tea, coffee, an early morning trek, beers, a fun conversation and more! You can connect with someone who interests you and plan something together once they accept your request. It’s a great way to make new friends and forge new connections in a new environment. This is especially a useful tool for solo travellers looking for company for a meal or a drink.  What’s more, you can even meet locals from the area and get some incredibly useful insider tips. Keep an open mind and dive into interesting experiences with other like-minded people.

Honourable mentions

  1. Citymapper – for navigating in new cities.
  2. Google Translate – to get immediate results and communicate quickly with someone who speaks a different language.
  3. Hopper – for flight reservations and great deals.
  4. XE Currency – for quick currency conversions and exchange rates. 

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