5 Top Must Have Apps for International Travel
Here are 5 top must have mobile apps for international travel. International travel with the right apps can be an easy and amazing experience, especially if it’s for a family vacation. Today with travel apps on your smartphone or tablet you can have everything from maps, local travel guides and reviews, electronic copies of all you transportaion tickets, a one stop location for your entire itinerary, and amazing 24 hour travel assistants at the palm of your hand.
International travel with the right apps can be an easy and amazing experience, especially if it’s for a family vacation. Today with travel apps on your smartphone or tablet you can have everything from maps, local travel guides and reviews, electronic copies of all you transportaion tickets, a one stop location for your entire itinerary, and amazing 24 hour travel assistants at the palm of your hand.
Depending on where you are traveling abroad on your vacation there usually are some very helpful and useful local apps that can make your trip even better than just winging it. It is always helpful to do your research about the location you are going to before you leave home. Most of us naturally do this in our search for the perfect vacation. We typically do a ton of online research if we are traveling with kids on a family vacation to make sure the place or places we are traveling to are kid friendly and have accommodations to suit the whole family. Online there are some phenomenal travel sites that can put more information than a travel agent could ever know or provide. Sites like Trip Advisor can not only provide information about the location, but hotel and restaurant reviews, ranked travel reviews from other traveler just like you, a one stop booking portal to book all your flights, hotels, rental cars, etc.
So what about once you are traveling on your trip or family vacation? Obviously you can use the smartphone or tablet browser to get on the internet to these sites, but apps make it faster and make for easier viewing to have all the information in your hand. We do recommend getting an international data plan with your carrier prior to traveling and learning how to get local SIM cards in the country you are visiting is the most economical way to have data and internet access. But what f you don’t have internet access or you are traveling on a budget and don’t want to spend the extra money for an expensive international data plan or you are not comfortable getting a SIM for an unlocked device?
Here are some of the best apps we’ve used that can make your travel and vacation experiences much better. Some of them have the ability to be used with your device in airplane mode or your cellular data roaming turned off. In many travel apps there are ways to download, while you have internet access and prior to leaving home for you vacation, to download offline content that you can access while abroad without Wi-Fi or in an area with no cellular coverage.
Trip Advisor is one of our ultimate favorites because it puts almost everything you need in one app. The Trip Advisor app also allows you to download for offline use information about which ever city(s) you choose. Say you are going to visit Munich Germany and you are not wanting to spend money on international cellular roaming and not going to be there long enough to buy a local SIM (or have an unlocked device) but you want to hunt for great places to eat of explore local attractions.
The Trip Advisor app’s City Download feature will give you all the information offline you’ll need. The best thing about Trip Advisor app is it provide some of the best and most trusted traveler reviews of hotels, restaurants, local attractions / things to do, and deals that can save you a lot of money. The apps ability to filter information can be extremely helpful, especially if you ant to filter for places that are kid friendly. We’ve found it to be the best resource internationally for finding the best hotels and getting accurate restaurant reviews. Trip Advisor is recognized world wide were many other hotel or restaurant apps are really only useful in the United States.
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TripIt is the master app for putting all your travel itinerary in one place and having an organized storage for all your information about your trip. It’s extremely intuitive and easy to use. Simply forward your itinerary for your airplane flight, hotel booking, rental car reservation, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org form the email account you created your TripIt account with and it will automatically sync to your device or devices.
It also is a great way to share your travel itinerary with others traveling with you or for someone back home in case of emergencies. Once the information is synced to your device you can view it offline. You can also set up the app to provide you travel alerts such as flight delays, gate changes, or even, with TripIt Pro features, seat upgrade availability!
CityMaps2Go by Ulmon is a great find. You can download maps for just about anywhere. These maps can be used in airplane mode or with cellular roaming off to keep you from getting hefty data usage charges. The map provides accurate location services so you can navigate your way through foreign streets easily. The other nice feature the providers of this app offer is “Discovery” which provides you great Spotlight recommendations based on a set of criteria you predefine.
You can select what type of things interest you, such as shopping, of food, museums, etc. and the app will provide you cool places to go see or eat in the city you have downloaded. For example on a recent trip to Milan, Italy I selected food as one of my interests and it provided an article on the top 10 placed to eat in Milan. I really enjoy this app!
Triposo is another great app that provides you a great amount of detail about the cities you choose to explore. Everything from recommendations on placed to stay, to eat, and things to do. You can also download information on cities you choose to view offline. The app does lean towards getting you to book you trip, hotels, tours, etc through them. It is a great service but can be a bit to prevalent. Over all thought the app does provide a wealth of information about locations around the globe.
HotspotVPN is a must if you are into downloading or streaming videos abroad. Many times when out of the country you can not download movies from Amazon Prime or Netflix, for example, because you are out of the area they have licenses to do so. With Hotspot VPN you can choose the country you want to be running all your traffic thorough their secure server. So if you say you want to use the United States then video streaming companies think you are literally in the USA. This is also a great app for security providing you secure encrypted traffic while traveling so you can feel confident in doing remote work, or online banking, etc. This app is super simple to use and works extremely well. Note there is a free trial and then a monthly charge but it is worth it if you download videos from the streaming companies.
A Bonus tip is to download for offline viewing Google Maps of the locations you are traveling too. Work a lot like CityMaps2Go and Tripso, just without the additional travel information. Good for offline navigation still! – Happy Travels BLG!