APPs We Actually Use When We Travel

5 min to read

Heey darling!
Did you miss me? ☀

This is not that blog post where I collect some random stuff to gain more views… These are the applications we use when we are on the road. (By “we” I mean me and my boyfriend, Bálint.)

Once I was talking to someone who was planning to go to Russia with her friends, and when I told her about this app she looked really interested about it, so I decided to write about it. You also have to know, that when we travel we try to avoid using our phones all the time. Therefore, our list is short, but I think it can be useful. (FYI, my phone is a bit old, so I don’t really keep apps on my phone which I’m not using, so trust me, the apps I’m recommending, I really use!) Note: I will explain the idea of each application, but I won’t explain how to use them… You’ll figure that part out for yourself 😛
Ohh, and good to know

All these are possible to use in free version (sometimes some ads may come up, but they are free or available to upgrade to premium :D).

 

Finances

Splitwise

What is it? A tool to track and share bills/expenses.
Why we use it? An easy and comfortable way to split expenses. („accurate accounting is the base of a good friendship” as Bálint’s Grandma used to say) Even though sometimes I literally hate this app, I think this is one of the most useful apps of all, if you travel with someone else (or with even more ppl).
Limitations. You have to type everything yourself.
+ extra tip Try to be consistent and write every expense ASAP.

Revolut

What is it? It’s a start-up bank. Offers prepaid debit card and an app. You can transfer and exchange money in multiple currencies, also ATM withdrawals.
Why we use it? Very travel-friendly, with little to no fees and makes it easy to send money between friends.
Limitations. With the free version, you can only withdraw 200 euros/month and on the weekends the exchange has a little extra cost. (But still better than most cards from home.)
+ extra tip. As with any bank, do check all the limits and fees before you use them, there are plenty of resources where you can get information about this. Also, check out other similar banks, they might be more convenient for you (like Transferwise, Monzo).

XE Currency

What is it? Lets you keep track of live mid-market rates for every world currency.
Why we use it? To not get scammed with currency exchanges.
+ extra tip. Check before every currency exchange. Set the default currencies that you use frequently.

Directions

Google Maps

What is it? Well, you know what it is.
Why we use it? We use this because it has public transport directions for large cities and offline areas.
Limitations. Does not allow to download whole countries, for this we use Maps.me.
+ extra tip Use wifi to plan your trip, then you will see it offline if you don’t close the app. Great for checking opening hours and webpages for places. Streetview can be used to check how a place looks making it easier to find.

Maps.me

What is it? An open-source alternative to google maps, with some useful travel features.
Why we use it? This is very good for a backup map, for when there is no wifi, also it is better for privacy because it's not connected to the Google ecosystem.
Limitations. No public transport information.
+ extra tip make bookmarks of places of interest, use the premade travel itineraries for selected cities.

Uber

What is it? Peer-to-peer ridesharing platform.
Why we use it? Comfortable and sometimes even cheaper than public transport.
Limitations. It’s not available in every city.
+ extra tip Use it when you feel like you would have difficulties to communicate your destination.

Waze

What is it? Navigation app with extra features (for road trips).
Why we use it? It has extra features above Google Maps’s, with up to date traffic hazards.
Limitations. There is no offline version (so better if you change your phone while using this app).
+ extra tip Use it in cities as well, to find the quickest roots.

MoveIt

What is it? The Waze of public transport.
Why we use it? Provides more features than Google Maps. With user updates!
Limitations. No offline maps

Accommodations

Couchsurfing

What is it? Peer to peer free accommodation service. Host travellers to feel like you are travelling when you are at home, Why we use it? This is one of our favourite apps to use when travelling, besides providing free accommodation, it allows us to have an immersed local experience, and make some lifelong friendships as well. Limitations. Very time consuming, has an aspect of uncertainty, always have a backup plan! + extra tip use the meetup feature to find friends and organise road trips! Keep your profile updated.

Also, if you are interested

in Couchsurfing,

HERE you can read more.

The Truth About Couchsurging

AirBnb

What is it? The same service what they have on the website, but the app sometimes is more convenient.

Booking.com

What is it? The same service what they have on the website, but the app sometimes is more convenient.

Tickets

Pass Wallet

What is it? A tool to show tickets with QR codes. Why we use it? Nowadays on airports, you either print out your flight ticket or you can show it on your phone. With this app the tickets (I believe from every airline) are accepted everywhere, so you don’t have to download the different airline's apps.

Communication

WhatsApp and Messenger

What is it? Platforms for normal chat and video chat. Why we use it? To keep in touch with our friends and family but also with the people we meet on the road. We use both because some ppl use WhatsApp, some mainly Messenger. Limitations. You need the internet to use them.

Duolingo

What is it? Easy way to learn new languages. Why we use it? When you visit a new country it’s really good if you understand what’s happing around you. We learned a little bit of Spanish before we went to Mexico and it was super useful! Limitations. It might get boring after a while, but it’s still useful! + extra tip. Use it consistently and try to talk to locals as well.

Google Translate

What is it? Best app for translations. Why we use it? To understand other languages 😀 + extra tip. Download the dictionaries what you know you will need, so you can use it offline anytime.

Inspiration

Google

What is it? We’re sure, you know about this one, but we wanted to mention it because this is what we use most frequently. +extra tip. Of very destination Google provides specific touristic information, it’s useful when you start to plan your next trip.

Instagram and Facebook

Why we use it? Social media can be many things, good and bad, but if you use it wisely, it can be super helpful. When we plan our trips, we check out other traveller’s profile for inspiration. Also, these are good platforms to keep your friends and family updated about your trips. + extra tip. For Instagram: whenever you see a post about a place you would go to, save it for later. For Facebook: be part of traveller groups!

Pinterest

What is it? Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, and discover new interests by posting (known as 'pinning' on Pinterest) images or videos to their own or others' boards which are connected to links (to blogs and other websites). Why we use it? I like to read other blogger’s recommendation and opinion.

Tripadvisor

What is it? Tripadvisor is travel and restaurant website that shows hotel and restaurant reviews, accommodation bookings, and other travel-related forums and content. Why we use it? We use it mostly to find restaurants based on other users recommendations.

Do you think we should use something else? If you have any other recommendations, please tell us in the comments!

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