Planning the logistics of travel can sometimes be challenging, and let’s face it: at least for most people, it’s not the most fun part of the trip. However, these days, there are tons of ways to simplify your planning using technology. If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, you can find hundreds of travel-related apps to help you out. Apps for flights or accommodation are well known, but there are many more options than those. If you’re looking at a list of all the options, though, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. Here are some of our favorite apps that maybe you haven’t thought of.
Packing is one of the worst parts of any trip. How many shirts should you bring… will you need a jacket… what about socks? The great thing about this packing list app is that you can input your destination and some of the details of the trip (business travel or vacation, length of trip, etc.) and the app will give you a list to follow. It may not work perfectly for all travel styles, but it should at least give you a rough guide to what you need and how many of each.
Trip Advisor is a necessity for whatever kind of travel you’re doing. You can find reviews for accommodation, attractions, restaurants, and really everything that you might encounter while on the road. Tons of people use it, so it generally has the most up-to-date information available, which puts it head and shoulders above the rest of the review apps out there. Better yet: they also offer offline city guides, so if you know where you’re going, you can get a whole set of information downloaded to your phone prior to your departure—and you won’t have to carry that heavy guidebook along with you!
We’ve all heard of Instagram, but here’s a neat way to use Instagram when you’re traveling: this postcard app will take your photos and put them on a postcard that you can send to your friends and family back home. It’s a bit more personal than those cheap postcards you can buy in souvenir shops, and you don’t have to worry about finding a post office or anything: they’ll send it out for you! Now you have no excuse for not sending Mom a card…
Even if you’re not traveling on a budget, it can be useful to know just how much you’re spending and on what. This expense-tracking app is a great choice since it’ll allow you to take pictures of your receipts for inclusion in your records. It’ll also allow you to forward your itinerary receipts for flights, car rentals, accommodation, etc. to one email address for automatic inclusion in your reports. Its reports are sleek and easy to view, so even if you don’t have a head for numbers, you should still get some valuable information from them.
A VPN Client
If you’re going to be using the Wi-Fi abroad, or anywhere really, you want to make sure you’ve got a secure connection and aren’t leaking all your personal information to hackers, who often make a point of targeting travelers. A VPN, or virtual private network, will give you that secure connection. Bonus: it’ll also allow you to hide your true location, meaning you won’t be subject to geo-restrictions which can sometimes be a nuisance when you’re traveling. This means, no more error messages when you try to stream Netflix from abroad!
Although planning for a trip may always remain a necessary hassle, there’s no denying that it’s gotten a lot easier in recent years! If you’ve got an app-enabled device at your disposal, load up on apps prior to your departure and you’ll find that both planning and keeping track of your details will become exponentially easier. There are thousands and thousands of apps out there for you to choose from, so look around and see what you can find—but start with these five, which are useful for any traveler, regardless of travel style.