There is no arguing that technology is both a gift and a curse. One one hand it is putting an endless wealth of knowledge at our fingertips nearly 24/7, but on the other hand, it has a unique ability to distance people who are mere inches apart. That being said, there are times when having the right technology can make your travel life easier, more enjoyable, or both. These following ten travel apps fit that description quite well, check them out:
Stuck On Earth
If you are familiar with travel photographers at all, you probably have heard the name Trey Ratcliff thrown around a few times. Trey really made a name for himself with his travel photography blog called “Stuck in Customs” Trey spends a lot of his time traveling the world taking photos and sharing them through various social media outlets. In addition to his blog, he has put out a number of apps. Stuck on Earth is one of those apps. Stuck on Earth is a beautifully designed apps that overlays geotagged images from Flickr onto a google map. For me, this is a great tool for trip planning and travel photography. Using this app, I can get a perspective on an area I am traveling to from a multitude of perspectives and use them to create “trips” within the app. People even have curated lists within Stuck on Earth like Top 5o Beaches on Earth and Top 50 Castles on Earth.
Why You Need It. Whether you are a photographer, or just a traveler looking for an interesting new place to check out, Stuck On Earth will help you find what you are looking for. This app is a great way to find less than obvious sights to check out.
Waze is the best navigation app out there in my opinion. Google maps and Apple maps offer great turn by turn navigation, but Waze takes it the extra mile and adds crowd sourced alerts like road hazards, police and more. When I first downloaded Waze a few years ago, I wasn’t sold on it, but after revisiting it this year, the features are all there, and they added the little polish the user interface needed to make it shine.
Why You Need It. Getting lost sucks. With Waze, not only will you get to your destination frustration free, you may also avoid road hazards, and getting a speeding ticket thanks to the crowd sourced alerts.
Being travel savvy is the name of the game when you travel a lot, so being able to search many air travel carriers in one shot will not only save you a ton of time, but it will also help you secure the best deal. Kayak.com and the Kayak app makes it easier than ever to get air travel prices from many carriers around the world. Kayak is not all inclusive as some carriers don’t feed their fares to them, but it does cover a bulk of them. When searching for flights or car rentals, Kayak is my first stop in the process.
Why You Need It. Traveling can be expensive, so finding cheap rooms, rentals, and flights is key to a cost effective trip. Kayak helps you hunt out the best deal without sacrificing quality.
For better or worse, if you travel, you likely will have to take a flight or two. Flying can be a huge inconvenience, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Planning ahead can help ease the pain of air travel, and one way to plan ahead is by knowing the status of your flight.
Why You Need It. Sometime air travel can be come with some unpredictability in regard to arrival and departure times. Flight Aware will help you get a handle on expectations.
If you have ever traveled internationally, you know that calculating currency conversions if your head isn’t always fast and easy. I seem to find that even though I spend time in a country, it is easier to wrap my head around the price of a good or service if I convert it to my home currency. With that in mind, I have found that XE Currency is the easiest app i’ve found to do this.
Why You Need It. Convert currency quick and easily, no nonsense.
Sure, you can plan your trip using paper maps and travel guidebooks, but you’re a busy traveler, why not use Roadtrippers, where you not only have trip mapping tools, but you also have access to a database of interesting locations to visit on your trip.
Why You Need It. Paper maps are so 1985. Plan your trip digitally with a database of awesome trip locations.
Just what you need, another social network to get caught up in, right? But Yonder aims to be different. You could be on Facebook arguing politics with your grandma, or instead you could spend your social network time posting travel and adventure pics on Yonder where people are interested to see what you’re up to.
Why You Need It. Why do we need any social network? It’s fun to share what you’re up to. It’s even more fun to share what you’re up to when your audience is into it.
Staying in touch with friends and family is important. Traveling is great, but sometimes we just want to talk to or see the ones we love the most. This is especially true if you’re traveling alone. Skype allows you to send instant messages, make calls, or even make video calls. Why this may be a benefit over a phone is connection based. If you’re traveling abroad, or don’t have a good cell service, but have wifi available, Skype will be your ticket to making the call.
Why You Need It. Connect with family and friends without relying on cell connections or expensive international plans.
Though these are all great tools to make your adventure experience easier, don’t forget the importance of disconnecting from technology while you travel too. With that being said, I hope these apps can help you, and if you have any to add, feel free to drop them in the comments.