My Favorite Travel Apps
There are an overwhelming amount of travel apps available, all aimed to make things a little bit easier for the 21st-century traveler. Here are the ones I use the most:
This relatively new app makes getting through customs easier than ever. Authorized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mobile Passport allows you to set up a profile using the information on your passport, answer brief questions about your trip, and quickly submit them to the CBP once your have arrived in the U.S. Learn more here.
Roadtrips just got a whole lot simpler. Roadtrippers allows you to build your own roadtrip – on an app or on its website. It sorts your destinations in logical order and builds your route for you. The app can also search for activities or lodging along your route. The best part? You can easily share your trip with a friend. Learn more here.
I discovered Maps.Me in Northern Laos, when a fellow backpacker told me that I would not be able to survive the rest of my Southeast Asia adventure without this app. While dramatic, Maps.Me has revolutionized the way I travel, both internationally and at home. Their detailed, off-line maps have everything from gas stations to hiking trails in every part of the world. Knowing where I am at all times, especially as a traveler who never gets a SIM Card, is reassuring and comforting. Learn more here.
4) Uber and Lyft
Ride-sharing platforms have changed the way travelers get around abroad and at home. While I still prefer the excitement of public transportation and using my own two feet to get around, the safety of an app can not be undervalued. In Mexico City, for example, Uber is the single best way for people to get around safely, efficiently, and cheaply. It takes away the fear of getting into an unauthorized taxi cab, and you get to support individuals.
Love them or hate them, review platforms are here to stay. Both Trip Advisor and Yelp put the power in the hands of the consumer, and I love them because I am able to support local businesses when I travel, from Susan who gave me a tour around Vietnam's Mekong Delta to Oakland's newest coffee shop, Wilde Brothers.
Game-changer. Pocket allows you to download articles that you want to read while you're in Wifi, and then save them for a time when you are on-the-go. It's perfect for long airplane rides, bus journeys without local data, and for those of us who prefer not going over our data plan each month. Learn more here.
I discovered this app wandering around Nicosia, Cyrpus. Use-It is a collection of free maps and recommendations in major cities around Europe (Prague, Brussels, Cordoba) that is curated by young locals. It completely changed the way I saw Nicosia, and I'm sure it will impact my upcoming visit to Prague. Learn more here.