There are so many awesome apps available today, but I’m always super consistent with using a few of my favorites when I’m traveling out of the States.
So what are they? Keep scrolling to find out!
These are the smartphone apps that I cannot do without. Some are obvious, some are just for comfort, and others are personal preferences. I’ve noted how I use each, and hopefully, they’ll be useful to you on your next trip, too!
The Google Drive Suite
I’m going to start out with an obvious one (at least for me) for a couple of reasons. Before traveling, I’m a big-time planner. I like to research cities, find cool places to eat, make a list of must-see spots, and so on. So, for me to feel organized, I like to write out an itinerary on a Google Doc.
Per day, I’ll figure out what I like to call a “loose” game plan, where I jot down the places I want to go, how long it will take to get there, etc. It might sound like a lot of work, but I kind of geek out doing it. I’ve even offered up my services because I enjoy it so much. Essentially, it just gets me really excited about the upcoming adventure. And having a game plan makes me feel less stressed about traveling. Especially if you’re traveling solo.
After I’ve noted all my “must-see” places, I’ll also transfer those over to Google Maps and save them as pins. The nice thing about doing this is that you can download your map so you can access it at any time. This is especially nice when your Internet signal isn’t great, but you’re right in the middle of navigating to your next destination.
And last, but not least, is having Google Translate readily available. I used this a bit in France and Italian, especially when I was trying to order at restaurants and wanted to pronounce things correctly. I also think locals really appreciate it when you try!
Update: I’ve also just discovered Google Trips, which I’m testing out as I’m in plan mode for a few upcoming trips. So far, it’s kind of amazing!
This app is amazing when needing to communicate with friends and family back home or syncing up with friends abroad. Depending on your phone service, international calls and texts can get spendy. But with WhatsApp, everything is over the Wi-Fi network, so if you’re connected, there’s no charge to you.
For example, this app was quite convenient when I traveled to Guatemala to visit old friends. My phone wasn’t working right when I got to the airport. But there was no need to panic as I had an alternative communication option with WhatsApp. In fact, I still use this app to communicate with my friends today.
When I’m traveling, I’m taking and editing a lot of photos on the go, especially when I don’t have my computer handy. One of my favorite editing apps is Snapseed. It’s a robust app with a lot of different editing tools to choose from, but there are three specific tools that I use in the app all the time.
I’ll share these tools with you in a future post on how I edit photos. But in the meantime, you can check out Nanette Wong’s How To Use Photo Editing Apps Like A Pro online class. For me specifically, it was nice to hear more about what apps and tools a professional photographer and social media influencer uses on a day-to-day basis.
Looking for a last-minute getaway? If that’s the case, I always start by checking HotelTonight for last-minute hotel deals. The whole premise is that hotels are looking to book rooms they haven’t yet, so they’ll send out awesome deals to pull in guests. Which is the perfect scenario for a spontaneous weekend getaway. I actually found one of my favorite little boutique hotels near San Francisco using HotelTonight!
It’s also a great app if you’re not such a planner (very unlike me!) and you’re just traveling from city to city on a whim. If you’re cool with that style, I also think that this app would be super helpful to find a nice place to stay while you’re in town.
Mostly, this is just a home away from home comfort. In most cases, it can be a challenge to try to navigate a new country’s TV channels, or rather, to constantly have to read subtitles to follow along. So, instead, at night I’ll connect to the Wi-Fi and hop on to Netflix (on my computer) to watch a show before bed. And one of my new favorite features is that you can now download most TV Shows and Movies to the Netflix app, where you can watch on a long flight in offline mode. Score!
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Let’s go places,
What are your favorite travel apps? Share with us in the comment section below.
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