12 Awesome Free Travel Apps for iOS and Android
It seems everyone travels with a smartphone these days, so the abundance of travel-related applications available is hardly surprising. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff we are happy to recommend a dozen of great apps that will help you save time and money, find your way around, and even tackle that annoying jetlag. All are compatible with iOS and Android, and won’t cost you a dime, so make sure to grab a global SIM card and give those apps a try when going on your next trip.
While this app doesn’t scan the sky itself, it scans the Internet and gathers information on all the flights offered around the globe. Choose where and when you would like to fly, and Skyscanner will show you all the options to choose from. You can then sort the results by such parameters as price, take-off and landing time, or airline. You can even decide your destination is ‘everywhere’, and the app will suggest places to fly to on a given date.
This application allows you to find a unique place to stay, anywhere in the world. The concept is quite simple: Everyone, anywhere around the world can offer a house, an apartment, or even a couch for rent. Choose your destination, browse through all the offers, and get in touch with your potential host to go over the details and close the deal. Airbnb helps travelers find the lodgings that suit their specific needs, while saving money and getting to know the locals along the way.
Basically, this application serves as an itinerary manager. The user has to forward all of his or her travel confirmation emails (from whatever agent or supplier) to a certain email account, and can then keep track of all the travel-related info via one simple and nicely designed interface. You can get weather updates; receive driving directions to your hotel; and share your itinerary with family or friends. The ‘Gold’ version ($9.9 a year) will check the status of your flights and send an immediate alert in case of any changes or delays.
Brought to you by researchers from the University of Michigan, this application aims at helping you adjust to other time zones as quickly and painlessly as possible. You will be asked about your usual exposure to light, your destination and when you would like to begin adjusting, and the application will recommend an exposure schedule based on these parameters. You will then track your actual experience and Entrain will update its recommendation as you proceed.
Are you going on a business trip or taking a vacation? Will you travel with a baby, go camping or attend a fancy dinner while abroad? Answer those questions (there’s a list of activities to choose from), and PackPoint will present you with a comprehensive packing list, while taking into consideration the duration of your trip and the local weather. You can edit your list, adding and removing items and then go on checking items off while packing, to insure you don’t forget that charger once again.
Trip Advisor is a well-known website that provides numerous reviews of everything travel related, including hotels, flights, restaurants and tourist attractions. Its application lets you read all this information online or download specific city guides and maps and use them offline. When connected to the Internet (use a travel SIM for this when going abroad) you can use the Near Me Now feature to receive recommendations based on your location. You can also write reviews and upload photos for the sake of other fellow travelers around the globe.
As a ‘social GPS’ Waze is based on real-time traffic information collected by the devices of all its users. The application will calculate and offer you the best routes based on traffic and road info, taking into consideration things like traffic jams, blocked roads or car accidents. It will also reroute you when conditions change and learn your preferred routes and driving destinations. To benefit other drivers you can actively report police traps, accidents or hazards seen on the road.
Transit provides its users with real-time information regarding different forms of public transportation. Currently, it works in 89 metro areas (mostly in North America, but also in major European cities), and the number of supported cities is expected to grow. Upon launching Transit, you will instantly see all nearby transport options, know when to expect the next train, or be able to locate the nearest bicycle share station. The application also lets you view route itineraries and schedules when offline.
This is a simple but rather powerful currency convertor that offers live currency rates and charts, updates frequently and features all world currencies. The user can monitor multiple currencies simultaneously, view historic rates or calculate prices on the go. XE Currency saves the last updated rates, so you don’t need an Internet connection to figure out the price of that bamboo fan in dollars.
This most essential application translates between 90 languages and is loaded with many great features. You can translate your voice, your handwriting or your incoming text messages. Word Lenses, a feature currently available in a limited number of languages, will even immediately translate signs or other texts you point the camera to. By downloading language packages you will be able to use Google Translate without connecting to the Internet.
WiFi Finder works both on phones and tablets and helps you locate public hotspots around the world. You can use it while connected to the Internet or download its database and use it offline. The application shows both paid and free hotspots and the user can filter the results, call a location for more information and even receive driving directions. To get the iOs version click here.
This application aims at helping you get more out of your data plan. It runs in the background of your phone, optimizes images, compresses your data and directs your data traffic through Onavo’s servers. If you would like to better understand how you use the Internet on your phone, you might want to try Onavo Count – this one will monitor and analyze your data usage in comparison to that of other people.