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Apps have revolutionized the way we travel in so many ways. From booking the best points and miles hotels to helping us pack for a last-minute trip, apps have made traveling around the world much easier. In addition to a standard mapping app and currency converter, apps can be useful in getting around — and even keeping us safe — when traveling alone. Regardless of who you travel with or where you go, most travelers have an app or two to help guide their adventures. We decided to get some insight on the best apps for travel from our favorite frequent flyers.
Cindy Ko, Flight Attendant, Emirates
Travel stats: Cindy has traveled to over 80 countries.
“I’ve come a long way from my days living in Thailand at 20 with no smartphone or laptop, counting on letters and internet cafes to stay connected. Since then, I cannot live without WhatsApp or Skype to keep in touch with my loved ones while living abroad. Google Maps keeps my wanderlust soul from getting lost, and I can always find a ride with Uber. TripAdvisor and Yelp keep my foodie heart happy, Fresh Body Fit Mind allows me to take my yoga sessions with me, and PackPoint keeps me organized — no matter what hotel, AirBnB or country I find myself in!”
Travel Stats: Oneika’s travels have taken her to more than 100 countries and six of seven continents.
“WhatsApp is imperative for keeping in touch with my family and friends who live all over the world! I like that it’s free to make calls, send texts, photos and videos — as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection. Another must-have app for me is Snapseed. I love taking photos of the interesting things I come across on my travels, and Snapseed allows me to quickly and efficiently edit my photos and post them to two of my other favorite [social media] apps, Instagram and Facebook. Lastly, TripAdvisor: From restaurant recs to accommodation assistance, TripAdvisor hooks it up. I like that it’s free to use and has loads of reviews for practically every country on the planet.”
Gloria Atanmo, Travel Blogger, The Blog Abroad
Travel Stats: Glo has traveled across 60 countries and six continents so far.
“Map.Me is a free, Wi-Fi-less map of anywhere in the world that allows you to find the nearest restaurants, hospitals, Wi-Fi spots, cafes, hotels, etc. of any city in the world. Rome2Rio is an incredible app that lets you search how to get to any destination in the world as cheaply as possible by combining plane, train, bus, ferry and car travel. Meetup is a social app that allows you to search any city in the world and find people to hang with who have similar interests as you. It is great for free events like photography walks, language exchanges or just a group night out at the pub! Lastly, Insight Timer is a free meditation app, and I think it’s important to remind people that travel isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. And allowing yourself just five-to-10 minutes every morning to meditate or decompress is an important ritual to add to your travel regimen.”
Kristen Bor, Travel Blogger, Bear Foot Theory
Travel stats: Kristen’s travels have also taken her to nine countries: Tanzania, New Zealand, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Nepal, Canada, Indonesia and the Netherlands.
“As someone who travels by campervan, my favorite app is All Stays Camp & RV. I like to know that where I’m camping is safe and legal, and this app shows all of the nearby camping areas, along with the important details like cost, whether there is water available, and directions from your current location. You can even find dispersed (free) camping areas on the app if you are looking to save money. It’s a great tool for being able to plan on the fly so you don’t have to have all of your campsites mapped out ahead of time. Another great camping app is iOverlander, which relies on users to submit up-to-date information on campsites and amenities for van and RV travelers. The cool thing about iOverlander is it’s worldwide, so whether you are traveling in the US or road tripping the Pan-American highway in South America, you can get the latest info on places you can safely park for the night.”
Zach Honig, Editor-at-Large, The Points Guy
Travel stats: Zach has visited more than 55 countries.
“I actually keep it really simple! The only apps I use are Google Maps, Uber and TripAdvisor. I also use SlingPlayer to watch TV that’s streamed from my home in New York, so I can watch live television or pull up content from my DVR on the road.”
Audrey Bergner, Blogger, That Backpacker
Travel stats: Based in Peru, Audrey has travelled to six out of the seven continents (Antartica is the last one to go!), and visited 63 countries.
“If you’re a frequent flyer with a particular airline, it’s always a good idea to download their app. This will generally allow you to manage your booking, check-in, receive flight updates and get your boarding pass all in one place. Some airline apps also give you access to in-flight entertainment, which is how I like to spend my time on a plane. Another app that I use a lot is Google Translate. Whether I’m trying to decipher a restaurant menu, shop for groceries or ask for directions, this app can come in really handy. There’s a function where you can scan text using the camera on your phone and get an instant translation; you can even download your most-used languages in order to translate offline.”
Cèline Bossart, Travel Writer, The Staycationers
Travel stats: Cèline has traveled to 37 countries and counting.
“Uber is always a comfort to me when available in a new destination. I prefer this to a traditional cab in any part of the world as I like to know the cost of a ride upfront versus riding on a meter. However, I do love to walk as much as possible, so Google Maps is a lifesaver when it comes to navigating on foot. Hotel Tonight is such a great resource for booking last-minute hotels. VSCO is by far and away my most favorite photo editing app of all time; I love to document each place I go, but it’s important to me that I’m able do so in my own cohesive aesthetic. I fell in love with one specific filter ages ago and I’ve been using that pretty much exclusively ever since; it gives all of my travel shots — no matter where they’ve been taken — a common color scheme and thus a uniform look to my Instagram feed, which I love.”
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees