Do thoughts of manilla folders with color-coded tabs and beautifully structured Pinterest boards make you feel psyched? If so, these apps for the organized traveler are most definitely for you.
Since 2008, when Apple launched its App store, travelers have been exposed to hundreds, if not more, apps that claim to change the way we travel and stay organized. Through friend and colleague recommendations, articles, and even just browsing the store, there are so many apps begging you to download and stake claim to the valuable real estate on your phone. While some travel apps may be fun for a brief moment, a phone can only store so much, and then you are forced to send that convenient, reliable, change-the-way-you-travel app to the recycle bin in the clouds.
Although some apps don’t hold a traveler’s attention, there are others that can change your life for the better as you explore the world. These 9 travel apps will make organized hearts happy because they offer the functionality you need when you leave home.
Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app is a must if you are traveling via car. If you have ever commuted in Los Angeles or battled city traffic on road trips, Waze is a must for travel (and daily life). You simply type in the destination you want to go to and Waze tells you instantly about traffic, construction, police, crashes, and more. If traffic becomes bad on your route, Waze will change it to save you time. The app will even tell you the cheapest place to fill up your gas tank, as well as parking lots for major attractions.
Since Waze runs as a social navigation platform, users begin as a ‘baby wazer’, (complete with a pacifier) and you can earn points to move up levels in the traffic kingdom. You can become a Waze Grown Up, Waze Warrior, Waze Knight, and ultimately, the Waze Royalty, complete with a golden crown. Waze makes battling traffic just a little bit fun.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “Far and away the best language-learning app.” DuoLingo teaches you a different language all while having fun, leveling up, and competing with friends. This app can help make commuting and flights more productive (and enjoyable) since the app has an element of gaming. Each lesson includes a variety of speaking, listening, and translation challenges. To keep users engaged, DuoLingo motivates you to stay on track by recording how many days in a row you are learning a new language.
DuoLingo is fantastic to use on long flights, especially to practice a new language before you arrive to your destination. You can even compete against your travel partner. The traveler who wins on the flight, gets a free gelato upon arrival!
If you have overseas travel in your future, consider using this highly rated, and reliable currency app. XE Currency provides live exchange rates and charts, and you can also set an alert to monitor your favorite currencies for immediate notification. Live rates are refreshed each minute for every world currency and precious metal, so if you don’t have WiFi, you will still have stored information at your fingertips.
Sometimes packing for a trip can take several days. While others you might pack too quickly for and end up purchasing a missing item or two at your destination. Packr is a packing list builder targeted to serious travelers. Topping the list of apps for the organized traveler, Packr will tell you what you need to pack based on length of stay, weather, and activities planned during your trip.
Simply type in the city you’re traveling to, the departure date, and the number of nights you’ll be staying. New features include creating multi-destination trips and trips can be duplicated to reuse the same packing list. Finally, Packr allows you to share your checklist with travel companions or even print it out.
Are you an organized person but still feel like when it comes to travel you are flipping through emails, websites, apps, and multiple reservations? Google Trips, a free app, is working hard to solve this issue for Type A travelers. Google Trips automatically gathers all of your travel reservations from Gmail and organizes them into individual trips. Each trip contains customizable day plans, things to do, transportation, restaurants, maps, itinerary creation, currency, and tipping. The app is aesthetically appealing with beautiful photographs and maps of your destinations organized by date. Each time you use this app, there are more and more offerings, so you know the team at Google is working hard to support their travel users and give them reliable, successful travel plans.
Remember when your cousin got married, and you, without thinking it through, volunteered to organize her bachelorette party? Although the trip was a hit, you had the unfortunate task of dividing up expenses for hotel rooms, dinners, shows, and snacks. Next comes the even more laborious task of tracking down all of your cousin’s friends (whom you don’t know well), and request they pay you back for the big bill you swallowed whole.
Venmo, named “One of the Best Apps of the Year” by TIME, and “The crown jewel of all finance apps” by Forbes, is a simple and fun way to send and request money between friends. Venmo removes the awkward emails, texts, and in-person talks of who owes what. To make money transferring more fun, you can use emojis and ‘like’ or comment on your favorite money splitting moments. “Just Venmo Me” has become part of user’s vocabulary.
If you wanted to name an app that was indeed so easy to use from the start, it would definitely be Venmo. When you register as a new user of Venmo, you link your debit card or bank account and you can find those who owe you money (or those who you owe) by looking up their user name, phone number, or email.
This next app is perfect for students studying abroad or any sort of group travel. Sure, you can travel fine without it, but using Splittr certainly beats spending time after meals, and weekend getaways rummaging through receipts and credit card charges. This cost sharing app is focused on traveling. When venturing with friends you can add in costs all along the way of who paid for what, and the app will take care of the rest. This app supports all currencies and you can mix currencies without doing any of the conversion work yourself.
Splittr is a perfect addition to your phone if you do a lot of travel in groups. Track and tally each traveler’s expenses during your trip and then, “Just Venmo me!”
A must for overseas travelers, or even if you want to learn a few phrases in another language to keep in your back pocket. You can translate text messages in 103 languages, and offline you can translate 59 languages. A favorite feature is the instant camera translation. So if you are dining in a restaurant in the Czech Republic and are completely stuck on the ingredients in the meal choices, you simply take a photograph and the app will translate for you. This feature is fantastic for food allergies, or if you really want to avoid certain foods like capers, cilantro, or veal. You can hold your camera up to a menu, or sign, and the app will translate it for you. Genius.
DEvKUJI VAM (dyekooyi vam) Google! Translated to: Thank you, Google!
Do you have very light or sensitive skin, but love to travel to destinations filled with rays? To help protect yourself during travel, use this ultimate beach essential app. It calculates how long your skin can be exposed to the sun without burning based on your skin type, location, time, and level of sun protection factor (SPF 50+!). Additional features include sunrise and sunset times in your desired location, current sun position, and weather forecast. Weather apps like Accuweather are great too, but if you are concerned with sun exposure, this app is a great combination of the two.
There is one more bonus app that has recently grabbed our attention. One of the biggest fears in travel is losing your luggage. We all have a story of “that time when such and such airline lost my bag”. Ugh. Having this happen can definitely get your trip off to a frustrating start. We all can try our best to stick to carry-on, but sometimes a checked bag is a must.
Enter the app, LugLoc, the first luggage locator in the world. The app claims that every year over 30 million people lose their luggage while traveling. The creators of this app wants to bring peace of mind to all travelers who check a bag. LugLoc requires you to purchase their luggage locator device. Simply place the device inside your luggage and you will be able to track it if it never makes the tumble down the revolving carousel.
An Organized Traveler
Travel apps can help organize your journey in structured, reliable, educational, and even fun ways. No more manilla folders and colored tabs necessary! What are your favorite travel apps you can’t be without?