10 Best Travel Apps
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Nevermind the atlas and yellow pages explorer: this is the travel-by-smartphone age. Although smartphones have been blessing our lives for quite sometime now, developers are continuing to design apps to make our travel experiences cheaper, more enjoyable, and more fun. Instead of carrying around a 1000 page reference book entitled How to Learn French in 30 Days, walking around aimlessly trying to locate a decent WiFi signal to upload Instagram pics, and being bamboozled at a local bar because you can’t accurately convert USD to Lira, you can allow your smartphone to handle travel annoyances for you. Mocha Minute has compiled a brief list of travel apps we feel could be useful to the wanderlust Millennial (besides Uber, Airbnb, and Yelp). Browse thoroughly though these traveling apps and take your pick. Oh, all are free (we’re here to help you save money) and are compatible with iOS and Android.
When I was searching for a plane ticket to come home for Christmas, my dad said “Did you check Skyscanner ? Thinking he may have gotten it confused with cheapflights.com or some other booking website, I rolled my eyes and continued looking on Google Flights. A few weeks and $300 later, I found out Skyscanner did, in fact, exist. Skyscanner compares prices of low-cost and traditional airlines with other providers, giving you the cheapest rate. It also allows you to search thousands of hotels, hostels, and apartments around the world to snag the best deal. Lastly, they compare car hire deals from all major car rental companies to find the best prices. You might be able to afford that Aston Martin with the chrome wheels and white leather interior for the weekend (as long as you return it before 2:00 pm on Monday). Check out skyscanner here!
You’re sitting in traffic on I-95 for 45 minutes. When you look at your stereo, you realize your ETA to Miami has been pushed back one hour. As traffic begins to clear, you see construction was the reason you were stuck behind a dirty minivan with “Wash Me” handwritten on the rear window. Annoyed, you speed down the interstate with hopes of making it to South Beach before dark. Unfortunately for you, South Carolina highway patrol (who do not play) gets behind you and flashes those dreaded blue lights. If you had downloaded Waze Social GPS, Maps & Trafficbefore your little road trip, you would have known about the construction and about the patrolmen lurking in the trees. This travel app alerts you on police, accidents, hazards, or traffic jams, all shared by other drivers in real-time, providing the easiest and safest route to your destination.
ROADTRIPPING ISN’T FREE (contrary to what your passengers may think). Gas prices vary greatly depending on the season, holiday, state, etc. My car requires 93, so I’m always looking for the cheapest gas prices. GasBuddy lets you search for prices by city, state, and zip code, with listings for all cities in the US and Canada. Another nifty feature is that it calculates an approximate cost for any upcoming road trips.
OANDA Currency Converter
Remember the time you went to Mexico and gave the bartender $5 for a drink that cost 50 pesos? When you thought you paid too much money, but wasn’t sure because you aren’t that good at math? Well you were correct and should go back to that bar and ask for $3.20 back because that’s how much you’re owed. Currency Converter by the OANDA Corporation converts exchange rates for over 180 currencies and 4 metals, allowing you to spend your money wisely and efficiently.
Omg! My Instagram followers can’t see me digging my freshly-painted toes into the white sand of The Maldives nor can my SnapChat friends witness my climb to the highest peak of the Swiss Alps! I can’t “check into” the Trimani Wine Bar on Facebook either! FALSE! Free WiFi Finder helps you find FREE WiFi hotspots in more than 50 countries around the world including: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, and Egypt just to name a few.
Nothing is more lonesome than traveling to a country that doesn’t share your language. Communication barriers make it extremely difficult to ask for directions, express needs, and to even ask for help. I find myself repeating “yes” or “umhmm” if I don’t understand what someone else is saying. Not a good idea as you may find yourself in a place where you don’t want to be. Google Translate is a multilingual translation service developed by Google, to translate text, speech, images, sites, or real-time video from one language into another. Google Translate supports over 100 languages at various levels.
Featured on The Today Show and Time Magazine, Foodspotting is a visual guide to good food and where to find it. Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can recommend dishes and see what foodspotters, friends and experts recommend wherever you go. If you’re a self-proclaimed foodie like myself, this app is a must! After all, who wants to visit Kenya and eat McDonald’s all week? Foodspotting answers questions like: “Where can I find the best…?” “What does it look like?” and “What’s good here?”
Your weekend getaway is finally here! You’ve checked into your hotel, unpacked your clothes (I live out of my suitcase on vacations, but to each is own), and found the closest liquor store. You and your girls (or Bae) have changed clothes and are ready to hit the town. One problem: you’re in a different city and have no clue of the happenings for tonight. Luckily, Goby does the dirty work for you. This app gathers all events that are taking place in your specified area; all you need to do is pick and choose. There are four categories: things to do, food and drink, events, places to stay, and Goby’s featured category, winter fun. You have the option of filtering the distance in which you’d like to search for things to do, see, and experience; all the way from “close” (¼ mile), to an “adventure” (25 miles). If you don’t want to scroll down a list, just touch the map button and you’ll be able to see events or restaurants in your proximity. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for you can read a brief description, get directions, and a phone number. DISCLAIMER: Only U.S. cities are listed.
Similar to Goby, Time Out allows you to discover cities with the click of the button. While Goby is domestic only, Time Out allows for worldwide use. This app lets you explore new places to eat and drink in your city of choice with lists of great restaurants, events, bars and things to do this weekend.
It’s your first trip abroad and Mom, Grandma, Peanut and nem want to know your every move. If Peanut isn’t paying for those ridiculous roaming charges, tell him to have several seats. Wait, but before you tell Peanut you can’t hear about his latest get rich quick scheme, think about WhatsApp. Using this app, you can make voice calls to family and friends for free, even if they’re in another country. And with free video calls, you can have face-to-face conversations for when voice or text just isn’t enough. No need to go searching for an internet café, WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone’s Internet connection. This allows you to save your cell plan’s voice minutes, so you don’t have to worry about expensive calling charges.