Let’s get into it. Traveling is not the easiest thing in the world. It takes a lot of planning, preparation and resources to make a trip into an easy, stress-free experience. Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip, a long weekend away or a year abroad, here is the ultimate list of travel apps, websites and blog recommendations you will ever need! And would ya look at that, I even categorized them for you! Easy, peasy and ready for you to get using.
FOR A SMOOTH FLIGHT
KAYAK– I’ll be the first to admit that finding cheap airfare used to stress me out to the max. But with amazing websites like this, booking an inexpensive ticket is stupidly easy! Because Kayak compares prices with itself and a zillion other air ticketing websites, you’re guaranteed to find just the plane you’re looking for. I highly recommend signing up for their text alerts too! That way, when a cheap ticket to your destination becomes even cheaper… you’ll be the first one to book it.
JET LAG APP– Okay, this is the most precious app ever for anyone traveling over multiple time zones. This app creates a calendar for you to follow so your jet lag symptoms are diminished and you feel synched up with your regular sleeping cycle.
TRIPIT– This baby monitors and alerts you about flight delays and cancellations for the peace of mind you so desperately need when moving in and out of airports. Best part? You can streamline your stuff to the max by sending your flight confirmation emails to the website. From there, TripIt creates a single, clean itinerary for you to follow.
AIRHELP– If you ever been on a delayed or cancelled flight or been denied boarding, this website is going to be your best friend. AirHelp wants to know your rights and get the correct compensation that many airlines won’t give you.
FOR AN EASY STAY
AIRBNB– Unique rentals almost everywhere in the world. This is seriously the most amazing website for lodging. Search your location and check in/out days, set your budget and room type and you’re directed to listings from locals who rent out their places for travelers. It’s sort of like renting an apartment or private room for your length of stay. Airbnb is safe and reliable, which is why so many travelers use it. Even better, a lot of the listers are willing to give you local recommendations and assist you in getting around the area.
HOSTELS.COM– Oh sweet hostels, all of us world travelers are thankful for you! This website allows you to peruse through hundreds of guesthouses, prices them according to your needs (private or dorm rooms) and makes booking a breeze. The invaluable reviews from other travelers make this site an absolute gem.
HOME AWAY– Need a whole house? This is the place to find your home away from home. Get it?! (puns totally intended)
COUCH SURFERS– Although I’ve only “couch surfed” once, I totally believe in the good that can come from this type of hospitality. Spend your days in the spare bedrooms, or on the couches of locals to get the most authentic experience imaginable.
GOOGLE TRANSLATE– You’re probably thinking “DUH.” It goes without saying that this app/website is a beast when it comes to making easy translations between languages. I personally like being able to use the app’s microphone for pain-free spoken translations. This app is awesome for discussion-based language barriers.
XE CURRENCY– An app/website that is a necessity for anyone traveling outside of their regular currency. Type in the amount that is being asked and this sucker will do the conversion for you. I’m looking forward to using this in Thailand!
DUOLINGO– Oh coach, I haven’t been kind to you lately. This app teaches many foreign languages in a competitive game you can play against friends. It’s great for building comfort in vocabulary and sentence structure!
QUIZLET– Flashcards were the only way Imade my way through Spanish. And this website allows you to create virtual flashcards for language memorization.
TRIPLINGO– Learn the important stuff, not the formal jargon. This app includes popular phrases, greetings, and street slang, all from a slick, user-friendly interface.
FOR EASY NAVIGATION
ROME 2 RIO– Ahhhhhhh. I’m a HUGE fan! The title explains it all. This website discovers the absolute cheapest (and shortest) way to travel from Rome to Rio… or wherever else you have in mind…. whether that’s by plane, train or automobile. It does all the busy work for you. The best!
GOOGLE MAPS– If you’ve done your research and pinpointed spots you’re dying to go to, Google Maps app is great for saving those locations and figuring out the in-between transportation. Again, this app is available offline which is amazing for us “disconnected” wanderers.
WIFIFINDER– Finding a reliable source for wifi is priceless, as it is sometimes the only way we are able to communicate when abroad (see below). This travel app sends out a radius of nearby public wifi areas for you to use even when you’re offline. It’ll probably save my life once or twice this summer!
TRAVELSAFE– Travel Safe helps you make emergency calls and texts anywhere in the world. Using a location-sensitive emergency service databases, this app only takes a few minutes to set up your permanent safety information, and then pre-fills the rest based on your location. Meaning, it will recognize your area and send you a database of emergency service phone numbers (even if you are traveling internationally). THE BEST.
UBER– Need a ride? Request a ride using the app and get picked up within minutes. No reservations required and no waiting in taxi lines. Annnnd you never need cash on hand once you’re set up! All you have to do is set your pickup location and final destination for an easy trip. Right now it’s available in 50 countries!
There are many various travel apps to download that make your phone easy to access when abroad (without having to pay those ridiculous international rates). Simply turn your phone’s cellular data/roaming off and keep your wifi settings on. That way you can utilize your phone just like normal whenever you are in an area with wireless internet. VIBER and GOOGLE VOICE work just like any phone call. SKYPE and FACETIME are great for video messaging and live interaction (which is the best feeling ever after a long term, long distance trip). WHATS APP and iMESSAGE are incredible for texting. In a lot of ways, communication when abroad is incredibly easy… if you’re willing to be slightly removed when outside of a wifi area!
FOR THE MOST LEGIT RECOMMENDATIONS
FOODSPOTTING– A visual guide to ridiculously good food and just where to find it! Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can recommend great dishes and see what others are nomming on.
LOCALEUR– If you know me, I’m into the idea of local traveling vs. tourist traveling. This site is a curated community of locals who want to help you experience the absolute best in their city. While review sites lack authenticity and local credibility, and travel guide books go out of date the moment they’re published, Localeur gives you a curated look into what it’s like to be a native.
SPOTTED BY LOCALS– Similar to above, this site creates city guides with up-to-date tips by locals. This site’s “spotters” really live in the city they write about, speak the local language, write only about their favorite spots…. so you know it’s legit!
ROADTRIPPERS– A web and mobile platform that streamlines discovery, planning, booking and navigation your ultimate road trip! Local experts and travel writers contribute their amazing finds while on the road. This baby aims to inspire local, offbeat and straight up awesome road trip experiences.
PINTEREST– An obvious choice. Seek and ye shall find!
INSTAGRAM– Hashtag your location and be led to an overwhelming amount of prettiness… and travel recommendations.
THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL BOOKS LIST
My absolute favorite travel guides are your typical go-to’s: LONELY PLANET, FROMMER’S, FODOR’S, DK EYEWITNESS TRAVELS. I admit, I’m not a huge fanatic of their sight seeing recommendations (again… local travel is more my speed), but I do love that they offer a peek into religious, historical, cultural backgrounds and customs found all over the world. Plus, who doesn’t love itinerary help?
THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL BLOGS LIST
Are you ready? I said, are you ready?! Paring down my ridiculously long list of travel blog crushes was a fete, let me tell you!
For local travel guides: ATLAS ADDICT, MADE WITH MAP & THE COLLABOREAT.
For general travel information and insight: WORLD OF WANDERLUST, THE TRAVEL HACK, THE OVERSEAS ESCAPE, HAND LUGGAGE ONLY, THE TOURIST OF LIFE, LOST IN TRAVELS, GREASE & GLAMOUR, CURRENTLY EXPLORING, LIVING IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE, A GLOBE WELL TRAVELED, TRAVELETTES, THE BLONDE ABROAD, LET BIRDS FLY, GO, SEE, WRITE, and OBSERVANT NOMAD.
For incredible travel photography: MR. AND MRS. GLOBETROT, PARIS IN FOUR MONTHS, GARY PEPPER, CLASSE TOURISTE, THE VOYAGEUR, THE NOMADIC HABIT.
When planning your adventures, what resources to you look for? Apps, magazines, books, blogs? See any of them missing? Let me know in a comment! Happy adventuring kids!