9 of the Most Reliable Travel Apps for Adventurers and Explorers



Freelancers, remote workers, and travelers of any kind can’t live without a mobile device by their side. If you’re visiting a new city for the first time, or just moved to a new part of the world, here are some apps you’ll want to consider downloading.

Picture yourself in each of the following three scenarios… You arrive in a new city and don’t have somewhere to stay, you’re in that same city and don’t have any idea what to do for fun, and you find yourself in a unfamiliar neighborhood late at night. These situations can ruin a trip for some, but luckily, there are incredibly easy solutions.

You might instantly find yourself a place to stay with Airbnb or HostelWorld. You could open up the TripAdvisor app for suggestions on what to do. And of course, you can request an Uber ride to get you home safely. This is why innovation and technology deserves never-ending recognition for making the lives of travelers easier around the globe.

1. Airbnb

What makes Airbnb so great and interesting is that they own no real estate but have become one of the largest accommodation providers since their inception in 2008. Their growth has been so great that the service is now used throughout the world by backpackers and casual travelers alike. You can find any type of accommodation, from villas to treehouses with filters to find exactly what you need.

2. Uber

Like Airbnb, Uber has also experienced substantial growth in its industry. In fact, Uber has become so popular that local and national governments have intervened against them in New York City and France to try to stop their growth. Their website states that they’re now in more than 300 cities and 68 countries worldwide and continued growth doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

The travel app is a quick, reliable and even safer alternative than local taxi companies. This is especially true when you’re in a city like Lima, where taxi drivers often demand higher fees after reaching your destination or even rob their customers.

3. Google Translate

A translation app is one of the most important travel apps you can have when you’re going abroad, especially if your destination doesn’t speak your native language. With Google Translate you’ll be able to translate conversations recorded with your mobile’s speaker and translate pictures of text and signs.

4. HostelWorld

Hostels provide cheap accommodations that make traveling easy. They also provide a space where people with similar interests can meet, share stories of their past travel experiences or even spend the holiday season together.

HostelWorld’s slogan is “Meet the world,” and that’s exactly what they help you do. And unlike Airbnb, HostelWorld’s target market is the backpacker and adventure seeker who might not have a large budget to spend on an accommodation. The travel app is extremely intuitive and also provides filters to help you find what you need.

5. TripAdvisor

The scenario listed above isn’t uncommon. Hotels and hostels do a good job of helping their visitors, but the resources may be limited. TripAdvisor on the other hand crowdsources information and experiences from past travelers via the internet. This makes choosing attractions, restaurants and things to do much easier. You can find practically anything to do anywhere in the world which makes TripAdvisor one of the best travel apps in the app store.

6. SkyScanner

There are so many flight-booking apps that offer the same services but this one is my personal favorite. SkyScanner even shows the lowest price possible of each month which is extremely helpful for travelers with flexible trip calendars. That feature helped me book an extremely cheap one-way ticket of $180 to Guatemala! You always need a flight-booking app in your arsenal of travel apps and SkyScanner will get the job done.

7. WhatsApp

You have a couple of phone options when you’re abroad: You could activate international calls, texts, and roaming on your device and reluctantly accept the higher charges. You could also install a prepaid SIM card into your phone to activate it for phone calls, texts web-browsing.

I recommend doing the latter and purchasing an internet plan along with some minutes for phone calls. In some cases the prepaid plans include unlimited use of Whatsapp which is amazing because you’ll be able to make phone calls, and send unlimited texts, images and videos. The app also works on wifi which means you can call your Whatsapp contacts even if you don’t purchase a prepaid SIM card and internet plan. If you’re on your way abroad then installing the SMS app is highly recommended.

Although Whatsapp isn’t as popular in the U.S., it’s massive everywhere else, and that’s why Facebook splashed $19 billion on the acquisition in 2014. In addition to serving as a great travel app, WhatsApp can also be used in various ways for business.

8. Periscope

Travel can be one of the greatest experiences of your life. It’s only natural for you to want to share the experience. Social media makes it possible, and Periscope, Apple App Store’s 2015 App of the year, makes it easy.

Connect your Periscope account with your Twitter handle to share your current whereabouts with your followers. The downside to Periscope is the amount of data it consumes for livestreaming. It would be a good idea to use the app when you have a really good wifi connection.

Never heard of Periscope? Check out the beginner’s guide to Periscope.

9. Tinder

Last but definitely not least on the list is Tinder. Humans after all are social beings, and the dating app is a great way to connect with people that have similar interests and hobbies as you.

The Passport feature is what makes Tinder a valuable asset when travelling abroad. Change your location with the Passport feature to match and connect with people all over the world before you actually head out to that city. That way you’ll have a few friends waiting for you to show you around!

Image Credit: San Francisco Travel

Newsletter Subscription

Get the latest insights, trends and best practices from today's leading industry voices.

Watch SMW Live

SMW Insider is a premium video platform that streams more than 180+ hours of talks, presentations, and interviews from leading industry experts.

Subscribe Now

Write for Us

Interested in sharing your ideas and insights with the world? Become a SMW News contributor and reach 300k readers each month.

Apply Here