Life on the road can be challenging if not overwhelming at times, and no matter how you are traveling space and weight are always a consideration. Whether you’re in a foreign land or out in the boondocks your phone and a few apps can be your best friend.
Everything from navigation, catching a ride, finding a gas station, hotel, restaurant, travel and city guides to tapping into the local culture as well as keeping in touch with family and friends. When armed with the right apps they can prove to be your best travel companions, giving you a wealth of information at your fingertips. Here are some of the travel apps I have found to be the best digital tools for travelers, most are free, and the rest are designed to fit within a tight budget.
Nowadays most apps are designed for both iOS and Android, and some have a free version and a premium version. Since this can change based on the developer, I didn’t take the time to list what is what for each app, but I do hope it will be a good guide to open your eyes as to what is available for your specific travel needs
One of my favorite tools for searching for the best airfare, the thing about Skyscanner is that it has “everywhere” as a destination option. It’s perfect when you want to see where you can fly for cheap! You can also choose an entire country, i.e. fly to Italy. Skyscanner also lets you search within a full month if you have flexible dates.
This is a great tool for frequent travelers; TripCase allows you to organize multiple flights, hotel reservations and plans in one place. You can also follow along with each other’s itineraries, allowing families or friends to keep tabs on someone’s travel, without constant updates. Once a flight or hotel booking is made, you forward the confirmation to an email address and the app automatically loads the booking into its system. If your flight is delayed or changed, it will automatically send you a notification.
GateGuru is your personal airport assistant and is the best friend of those unfortunate souls caught with long layovers and delays. The app provides you with a map of the terminals as well as reviews of restaurants within the airport. However, the most helpful features might be the “tips” section and the average wait time at each terminal’s security checkpoint.
Don’t know where you want to go? This flexible search tool lets you browse airfares by continent, country, region, or type of trip (say, adventure). The site also lets you dream in the form of “Wanderlists,” which show you what it might cost to get to the best cities for art lovers (London; Miami) or top beach destinations (St. Lucia; Hawaii), among other categories.
Cheap tickets can come with high hassle factors (impossibly short connections; multiple stops). Enter Routehappy, which uses “Happiness” scores to prioritize itineraries that are shorter, have the simplest layover logistics, and the best prices. Its user-friendly design makes it easy to see the benefits of each route and book your favorite in just a few taps.
Track Airfares – Not only does this scrappy site watch your airfares and alert you when the price drops, but it also monitors your ticket (or hotel) after you’ve booked, up to the day you depart. Should it fall further, Yapta automatically helps you secure any rebates you’re eligible for; the average user saves $335 annually.
There’s nothing worse than being on a long flight in a bad seat. Since I’m a big guy with a little bladder, this is even more important to me. You don’t have to pay for a costly upgrade to get extra legroom on your next flight. SeatGuru’s search tool lets you look for seats with a maximum pitch, power outlets, in-flight entertainment, and Wi-Fi. You can look at the site’s plane charts before booking your ticket to make sure you’re not sacrificing precious inches for a slightly lower fare.
Stay on top of checking into your flight, gate changes, delays, and more. You can connect the app to your email account so that it automatically uploads your travel data. Then, you’ll see information about weather and traffic leading up to your flight, as well as airport specifics. The nice thing about it is that it brings all of your flight details into one place, so you don’t have to switch from your weather app to your e-ticket to your flight confirmation email.
Kayak’s mobile app provides users with a flexible assistant for searching for and booking rental cars, flights, hotels and more. Compare deals, book flights and accommodation, track your flights and manage your itinerary from Kayak. It’s a great, centralized tool for keeping track of everything you’ll need to arrange to get to and from your travel destinations.
It was also the only travel app to be included in Apple’s Best of 2015 round-up. Hopper predicts future flight prices with 95% accuracy, according to the company, and will determine whether or not, now is the best time to buy that plane ticket to that particular destination. Hopper helps you make informed choices when looking at flights for a set time period, helpfully predicting when and by how much prices will change in the run up to your departure date.
Find cheap flights in seconds, explore destinations on a map, and sign up for fare alerts on Google Flights. Though it’s not technically an app, it can be easily used on your phone in the same way.
The biggest directory of homes, apartments, and unusual rentals; rented by the owner, usually better quality, but cheaper than a hotel in the same neighborhood. Airbnb allows users to search for and find unique accommodations across the world, from mom-and-pop, B&B’s for a night, to a small apartment for a week, or even a castle for a month. Airbnb covers a range of price points in more than 34,000 cities and across almost 200 countries, giving the adventurous or flexible traveler has some interesting choices for accommodations.
Far more than just free accommodations, Couchsurfing is a community of travelers dedicated to connecting and sharing. While you can stay for free around the world, it literally is what its name says. You might find a spot on someone’s couch, a spot in the corner up to a spare room and bath. It is a great (and free) way to meet locals and find a spot that is normally friendlier than a dreary hotel. It’s a great way to meet new people from all over the world and experience a city with a local.
If you’re in a crunch to find a hotel for the night, Hotel Tonight might just be your lifesaver. The program works with local hotels in major metropolitan areas to post last-minute room rates of properties with vacancies. A relatively new app, Hotel Tonight’s coverage is not quite as wide as one might hope, but it will only continue to grow.
Find and book the perfect vacation rental in just a few taps! With the app, you can quickly and easily access all the tools you need to plan, book, and manage your whole vacation. Dream about your whole vacation: Browse popular destinations and vacation rentals in more than 190 countries from whole homes, apartments to villas, or even tree houses and castles among our over 1 million vacation rentals.
The best thing about the Booking.com app; instant confirmation, paperless check-in and offline maps, every time you book accommodation. Most hotel discount sites make you pay at the time of booking (or at least a credit card number) to get a deal—not so with Booking.com, which often lets you lock in a price and pay when you arrive (or cancel without penalty). Your options include hotels, B&B’s, guesthouses, villas, and more, each with a score that factors in value, cleanliness, location, and comfort.
Part of the Booking.com network for the more upscale accommodation seeker.
Tripping is a travel website that encourages users to step off the beaten path and explore local culture and new areas they may have otherwise missed. While many cities have many well-known landmarks, restaurants and attractions they also tend to have those lesser known locales that offer a more personal and cultural experience. The site brings trippers (travelers) and locals together. The local lends their energy and time by visiting the tripper while they are staying in the area. The tripper returns the favor by helping out in some way (assisting with dishes, bringing wine or simply hanging out and sharing life stories). A little more organized version of the Global Greeters Network.
Offers a wide variety of options: from hostels to apartments to hotels. It’s easy to filter your search by location, price, and requirements such as free cancellation or free breakfast. You can also get special booking deals that are exclusive to the app, and save your confirmation to your phone’s wallet app, so you don’t have to worry about any reservation mix-ups.
Featuring a basic phrasebook in over 13 languages, Bravolol is a modern-day Rosetta stone. Although the vocabulary is fairly basic, the app pronounces phrases and offers phonetic spelling, which is great for languages that might not be familiar or feature different alphabets. The best part is that once it is downloaded, no internet connection is required.
This app can rapidly translate whole paragraphs of text or even the spoken word. Simply say a phrase in English, and Google Translate will repeat your words in the foreign language of your choice. It’s compatible with a whopping 81 languages (including those that are character-based), and downloadable packs are available for offline use. In addition, visual translation features have just been added, allowing you to translate text and signage with the aid of your camera.
A voice translation app that can be used on or offline translates your speech or text into 20+ languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Chinese.
With iTranslate, you can translate text or websites, start voice conversations or lookup words, meanings and even verb conjugations in over 90 languages. Just start speaking, and iTranslate recognizes your voice, converts your words to text and translates them into another language
Over 5.5 million trips have been booked with this app. This app contains a database of the most interesting and off the beaten path places that any true Roadtripper should visit. Simply pick your spot from A to B and the app will create a route for you that includes instant fuel saving and allows you to explore places within a set distance from your route. It also includes many more features. The Roadtrippers website and apps are a pretty cool way to seek out things – from tourist attractions, dining options, scenic spots and even some limited RV Park listings.
Need things to do or want to explore what’s going on around the city? Trip Advisor is a great way of discovering activities, restaurants, museums and shows with user-generated reviews to help you make a decision. You can search by location, look at what’s nearby or use the integrated map to find out what’s going on further afield; the compass even helps you navigate your way there, so you don’t get lost. TripAdvisor allows you to browse through millions of reviews, images, and videos featuring various establishments worldwide.
Look for those really obscure and seldom explored locations along your route. Atlas Obscura is a collaborative effort that depends on a community of explorers to help discover amazing, hidden spots and share them with the world. In an age where everything seems to have been explored, it found a different way of looking at the world. If you’re searching for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you’ll find them.
Be your own travel agent and plan every detail of your trip—from car rental to lodging to restaurants—with TripIt. You can construct custom itineraries by hand, or simply forward the email confirmations of your flight, rental car, train tickets, and hotels to firstname.lastname@example.org and TripIt will construct the itinerary for you.
When looking at your transportation options, Rome2rio is an innovative travel planner to figure out how to get from point A to (even the remotest) point B. It aggregates every possible method of transportation—flights, trains, local buses, and even taxis and offers time estimates for each leg of your journey. Browse the site and results will also include estimated prices.
Book your activities abroad, if you want to skip the line for tickets to the Eiffel Tower or take a Game of Thrones tour; Viator lets you find and reserve excursions in more than 1,500 locations across the globe. No need to print out tickets either, thanks to integration with iPhone’s Passbook. Plus with a database of 1,300 plus culinary outings makes Viator especially great for roving foodies.
Waze is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app. Tell Waze where you are, and you get real-time navigation and driving advice from other drivers driving the same roads. The crowdsourced traffic app serves as a GPS and more; you can find the cheapest gas on your route, get automatically rerouted when there are problematic road conditions, and share your ETA with friends. But the best part of the app is its traffic notifications, which are shared by fellow drivers and passengers so that you don’t spend hours sitting in delays.
Want to do something fun and spontaneous this weekend? What about visiting a place few people know about? The Roadside America app gives you access to tons of offbeat attractions and places that you may have never heard of! From day trips to weekend activities, Roadside America has something for every type of trip.
An app made for travelers who don’t want to miss anything. Travelers plug in their destinations, and the app will generate a list of hotspots around town that can be organized and added to an itinerary. Forward your travel and hotel confirmations to TripSee and the app will then aggregate every piece of information — times, dates, cost, phone numbers, addresses, etc. into the itinerary, making it possible to see the entire trip in one glance. The “search this Area” function is a great way to quickly identify points of interest in your vicinity.
Triposo is 2016’s answer to heavy guidebooks. From Afghanistan to Denmark to Martinique to Vietnam, this app covers almost every corner of the globe. Each location’s page features a currency converter, weather, tours and a cultural synopsis of the location. The app will also sync with the Apple Watch for offline navigation.
The application uses the same satellite and aerial photography found in the desktop version of Google Earth, only this time you navigate the globe simply by swishing your fingers across the screen. People may ask what does this have to do travel, but I use it a lot. It helps me see a location I am going to from an aerial perspective so I can see the roads and prospective campsites and the best way to maneuver before I even get to the location. Especially when you’re looking for boondocking locations. I also love the street view function which allows you to zoom down and see where you’re going from the street view just like you were standing in front of the location
Skype got its reputation for offering free video calls, but it’s also very useful for cheap calls anywhere in the world. Skype’s call function allows you to buy credits and make calls worldwide for a fraction of the cost of a landline or typical cell phone charge. Available on all major platforms, it is compatible with regular phone numbers and offers seamless integration with a wide array of devices from phones and tablets to laptops and SmartTV’s.
Instagram was last year’s go-to photo sharing platform, but it seems that Snapchat will take the cake in 2016. An easy way to share quick photos or funny videos with friends and family, users can save snaps and upload them later when the internet is available. Similar to Instagram, Snapchat also lends itself to exploring areas and learning more about a location.
Today’s Modern Postmaster, postcards are the classic thinking-of-you travel mementos for friends and family. With Postagram, you can bring this tradition into the digital age by sending personalized photos and messages from your phone to friends and relatives, which they’ll receive on actual postcards for $0.99 a piece (postage is included).
Use your Wi-Fi connection (rather than data roaming) to send unlimited texts, images, audio messages, and videos to WhatsApp users worldwide for free. More than 1 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is free and offers simple, secure, reliable messaging and calling, available on phones all over the world.
Over half a billion people use WeChat, the free messaging and calling app that allows you to easily connect with family and friends across countries. WeChat and WhatsApp are very similar, and I use both depending on what my friends have.
PdaNet+ shares the Internet access of your Android phone with your computer or tablet. PdaNet+ works on all Android phones without rooting. It also does not require a tethering plan. PdaNet+ now bundles both PdaNet and FoxFi to give you supports of WiFi hotspot in addition to USB Tether and Bluetooth DUN. In USB mode it is capable of handling download speed of well above 35Mbps (35000kbps) and is the fastest tethering software available for Android. Performance may vary based upon your carrier as I have noticed they try to block it with some of the phone upgrades.
The new version features over 550,000 free and paid locations in 144 countries worldwide. Wi-Fi Finder shows where you can find free wireless connections in urban areas, and is great for finding free or paid public Wi-Fi hotspots online or offline. You can search with a directory or simply enable the Wi-Fi scanner to locate the nearest hot spots.
EasyTether has been my go to app for tethering or connecting to my Surface Pro via Bluetooth; it shares internet connection from your smartphone with your computer or tablet. It supports USB tethering for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux computers and Android 4.x tablets as well as Bluetooth tethering for Windows computers and Android 4.0.3+ tablets. The nice thing is it does not require root access or special tethering plans.
Onavo helps you better understand and budget your mobile data usage. With sleek and simple reports, real-time alerts, and usage rankings, you will gain valuable insights into how you use your data. With features such as smart image loading, letting you see what app is using what data.
Coverage provides an at-a-glance “universal” data coverage map by interactively overlaying the major nationwide USA cellular providers. Coverage focuses on helping travelers keep connected as they roam, no matter what network (or a combination of networks) they use. Use Coverage to determine which direction is best to head towards, or which route is likely to keep you the most connected in your travels. Each carrier’s maps are stored offline, so even if we have no cell signal – we can find out which direction to head for coverage. This is a must have app if you need to find out whether or not you will have cell phone coverage wherever you are.
Free WiFi Finder (Apple) or Free Zone WiFi (Android)
Tired of using all of your data while on the road? The free WiFi apps are a fantastic way to scan your local area to find free WiFi connections near you. It will give you a map of close WiFi hotspots. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give you the speed of the WiFi, but hopefully, that is coming soon.
CITY INFORMATION GUIDES
Just point your mobile phone camera at a painting, a famous landmark, a barcode or QR code, product, or a popular image. Wow, just search by taking a picture, if Goggles finds it in its database, it will provide you with useful information. Goggles can read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, and translate it into other languages. Goggles also works as a barcode / QR code scanner.
Like a professional tour guide always by your side. Instantly find out what’s nearby and create tours for longer excursions. Offline access avoids data roaming charges
Featuring downloadable maps and guides to over 7,000 destinations around the world, this application is great for travelers without an internet connection as maps can be pre-loaded onto a phone. The app also features articles and suggestions for destination, if someone is interested in a more robust itinerary.
When you’re in a foreign city, you want to experience it like a local. Sometimes you look around and ask where should I go; Goby has the answer. This app pinpoints the neighborhood hot spots (including museums, hotels, eateries, and more) in your vicinity. But its true value comes in finding nearby events. You’ll discover concerts, plays, and more right around the corner.
There’s nothing thing worse than being somewhere you have wanted to see all your life and find out there are 1000 others with the same idea. Viator lets you book activities abroad, want to skip the line for tickets to the Eiffel Tower or take a Game of Thrones tour? Viator lets you find and reserve excursions in more than 1,500 locations across the globe. No need to print out tickets, either, thanks to integration with iPhone’s Passbook. A database of 1,300-plus culinary outings makes Viator especially great for roving foodies. The app has exclusive deals on prices, as well as the option to skip the lines at some in-demand tourist locations. It also offers same-day booking.
From subway maps to ski trails or bike routes, this nifty app offers 10,000 PDF-style maps that store locally on your phone. You can access and download International maps for later use in case no Wi-Fi or GPS is available.
Finding your way around a foreign city can be a bit of a challenge, especially if exorbitant roaming data rates keep you from using your favorite mapping application. Citymapper offers a detailed journey planner including real-time departures and disruption alerts, as well as Uber integration and cycle routes. The transit app helps you find the fastest and easiest trip to your destination, whether it’s by subway, bus, train, or taxi. You’ll get real-time updates about delays; the app partners with multiple foreign cab companies to provide the most accurate travel options when you’re abroad, too. While it’s not available in all cities, most of the major ones (both U.S. and international) are covered. It even tells you how long your journey will take.
The new app is your answer to finding cool cultural events at the last minute. Intended for spur-of-the-moment travel, Whym helps you find cheaper tickets for museums, tours, and other city attractions. It’s currently available in San Francisco, LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, London, Paris, Rome, and Barcelona. Whym allows you to explore and book last-minute tickets to some of the best tours and attractions in town, directly from your smartphone.
The app is an easy way to find and book a range of events around the world, from a wine tasting in Venice to a skip-the-line tour of Doge’s Palace. There are curated content selections (such as what to do on a rainy day), and also a “concierge” service that lets you ask a local expert for recommendations, reservations, and more. Musement offers the best, most authentic and locally sourced attractions, restaurants, bars, neighborhoods, and concerts, which means you’ll always have access to the best choices. The free travel app helps you enjoy the fullest experience of your destinations by turning your phone into an exciting local city guide.
Finding parking in an unfamiliar city is usually a huge pain — not to mention pricey. ParkWhiz presents a helpful solution, the app not only identifies all the nearby parking, but it also offers up to 50% off the garage price when you book in-app. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing a paper receipt since everything is on your phone.
Detour is the perfect app for travelers who want to know every detail about their surroundings. It is a location-based app that guides you as you walk through a new city. The app is narrated by locals who know the city best, and each detour offers an element of storytelling that leaves listeners feeling like they’re walking around inside of a movie. The detours can be taken at your own pace and on your own schedule, so you can fit as much or as little as you’d like into your day of exploration. Although only a limited number of cities are currently available, you can suggest cities for future detours.
If you’re in a new place looking to do some shopping or go to a trendy bar, Timeout can help you with a special function to book tables or buy tickets. It is a pretty comprehensive way to shape the social aspect of your trip. Time Out is a great directory of ideas of things to do in cities around the world. The app covers everything from bars, restaurants, attractions and events. The event finder is a particularly useful tool, meaning you’ll never struggle to find the most popular concerts, festivals or one-off happenings going on around you. You can also book restaurants and concert tickets through the app and create a customized travel guide for your holiday.
Tired of being charged money for taking money out of an ATM? With Allpoint ATM Finder, you have access to more than 50,000 surcharge-free ATM’s. The app has a Geo-locator that helps you find the nearest ATM without a surcharge based on your location. Say no to fees with Allpoint!
I always find Google Maps to be the easiest to use no matter where I am. Whether you need to get your bearings or need navigation to a location, it is easy to operate and use.
Co-Pilot offers the option of offline maps that don’t need to be downloaded in case you end up in an area without good cellular coverage. It’s a bit costly to me and with all the other options available it might be a good back up in certain areas.
I think Redbox is the perfect companion for travelers who enjoy movies. Their kiosks are all over the place – grocery stores, pharmacies, and convenience stores. For a low rate, you can rent a new release movie. For the traveler, it’s great because you can return it to any Redbox kiosk. Their app makes it super easy to locate what is available nearby and reserve it. Just swipe your credit card, and pick up to four movies or games.
If you love the outdoors, the Alltrails Hiking app is a must have! Are you going out of town for a camping trip? Looking for a place to hike or run close to home? Alltrails will help you find it all! Take a look through the apps extensive library of more than 50,000 trails across North America complete with photos, reviews and more!
Want to try the best local food or see something that all tourists should see? Download the app Localeur! This app gives you local places and restaurants to visit that have been recommended by people living in that city. You can see the profile of the suggestion makers and really tailor your trip to match your tastes. Localeur is a fun way to explore a new city and is like you have connections everywhere you go!
Whether you’re stuck in an emergency situation or just looking to explore your local surroundings, Around Me is a nifty app that helps you find hospitals, gas stations, movie theaters, banks, bars, ice cream parlors or pretty much any local business around you. It also helps you with directions and a map of how to get there. Finally, you can add any place you find as a contact in your iPhone with a tap of the hollow Star button. It auto-fills a contact entry and allows you to share locations with friends.
The application uses the same satellite and aerial photography found in the desktop version of Google Earth, only this time you navigate the globe simply by swishing your fingers across the screen. People may ask what does this have to do travel, but I use it a lot. It helps me see a location I am going from an aerial perspective so I can see the streets, campgrounds or boondocking locations. I also love the street view function which allows you to zoom down and see where you’re going from the street view just like you were standing in front of the location. I also find it useful when navigating in a new city or looking for a specific business or site. The street view gives you an opportunity to visualize what you are looking for.
Get live and on-demand access to your favorite public radio programs, including national award-winning shows like PRI’s The World, The Takeaway, Studio 360 and more! Download this app to hear, read and share entertaining and insightful content from around the globe. PRI’s Android app offers live and on-demand access to your favorite public radio programs.
Pandora is a free music streaming service that lets you search for a song, or artist, or composer that you like, and then uses that information to create a “station” that plays other songs similar to what you picked. What’s great is that you do hear your original request now and then, but in between, you hear lots of music that you’ve maybe never heard before, but that you’ll probably like just because it’s similar your favorite.
Music is essential for road trips and Spotify is one of the best for music streaming. Create playlists and search the huge database of songs from all of your favorite artists. Listen to your music when you want and how you want with Spotify!
The site says “discover how to get anywhere” and that’s pretty much exactly what it does. You enter where you’re starting from and where you want to go, and Rome2Rio shows you all your transportation options, from planes to trains to taxis cabs (and sometimes even Ubers!). It shows you predicted prices and times for each route option, so it’s easy for you to figure out if a train, bus, ferry, or plane will be the cheapest/fastest for you to get from Point A to Point B.
Uber is ever emerging alternative to the standard taxi or bus, what’s great about this ride app is that it’s expanding all over the world and is available in a huge number of cities. Being super convenient, you put in your location and destination and can be picked up in a matter of minutes. Whether you’re headed to the airport, just landed in a new city, or want a more convenient form of transportation in an unfamiliar city. I recommend checking out Uber.
Need a ride; Lyft is the alternative to Uber. Use Lyft to get an affordable ride in minutes. Instead of hailing a cab or waiting for the bus, just request a car with the tap of a button, and get picked up by a nearby friendly driver who’ll take you to your destination right away. Enjoy a welcoming, affordable, and memorable ride today! It is cheaper than a taxi, faster than the bus, and easy to use!
XE CURRENCY CONVERTER
I try to be a frugal traveler, so keeping an eye on what I’m paying is especially important. This handy App tool changes one currency into the exchange rate for multiple currencies at one time, giving you visibility on the exchange rate and takes the guess work out what you’re spending. Unlike many others, this is updated in real time to give you a realistic exchange rate no matter where you are in the world. It offers live proprietary currency rates and charts, as well as storing the last updated rates so it works when the Internet doesn’t. This easy-to-use currency calculator has received over 40 million downloads, making it one of, if not the most popular foreign exchange app on the market.
Easy Currency Converter
Currency Converter for over 180 currencies with live exchange rates and offline mode. Setup your personal currency list and see all the important currencies at first glance.
OANDA Currency Converter
If you’re traveling internationally, converting currencies in your head can be a real pain. One nice thing about the OANDA Currency Converter is if you’re not paying by cash its offers the quick ability to factor the typical ATM rate (2 percent) or credit card rate (3 percent) into the conversion. OANDA uses the same daily filtered exchange rates used by auditing firms and banks. Convert 190+ currencies and four precious metals.
Tired of being charged money for taking money out of an ATM? With Allpoint ATM Finder, you have access to more than 50,000 surcharge-free ATM’s. The app has a Geo-locator that helps you find the nearest ATM without a surcharge based on your location.
If you’re traveling with a pet, then you’ll find Bring Fido useful, it gives users the ability to search for pet-friendly establishments. Users can look up pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, dog parks, trails, and a variety of other establishments, with filters for distance, popularity, and price. You can even book reservations within the app. Users can leave reviews, browse and share photos.
Pet First Aid – Red Cross
The American Red Cross Pet First Aid app puts veterinary advice for everyday emergencies in the palm of your hand. With videos, interactive quizzes, and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know Pet First Aid.
The Weather Channel App
Never get caught in the rain again with this powerful, free mobile app. Stay informed with reliable forecasts, interactive radar and real-time rain alerts, backed by the most trusted name in weather.
This app focuses on combining a variety of weather sources to give you a hyperlocal forecast for the next few hours. It’ll tell you if rain is impending, generally down to your neighborhood level area, with forecasts as accurate as “rain starting in 8 minutes”. It uses your GPS to know your location, it moves with you – automatically giving you notifications if rain or storms are inbound as you travel. Great for letting you know to put the awnings in, close the windows, or if now is a good time to start off on a hike. It seems to be pretty darn accurate!
It uses our smartphones to auto change our current location and gives us critical alerts when severe weather is approaching. It also has built-in radar maps, weather forecasts, and more.
Cruise Critic provides professional reviews of seafaring companies, cabins, ports, and even excursions. With price drop alerts you’ll always find the best deals, sometimes even up to 79% off! Deals cover luxury and affordable lines and are valid whether you’re booking in advance or planning on the fly. I recommend joining the site on-line to see what’s offered, then download the app, so it’s easier to stay connected — before, during and even after your sailing.
One of the best travel apps allows you to explore itineraries that range from close-to-home to exotic locales. Over 220 ships, staterooms, & deck plans from more than 20 cruise lines. You’ll find all size of ships and stateroom locations. It allows you book in advance or searches for those last minute deals.
All of the 6,700-plus vetted doctors on this global, searchable database are guaranteed to speak English, reducing the stress of getting sick while on the road. With the mPassport mobile app, world travelers have convenient access to the best local doctors, hospitals, and resources anywhere in the world. mPassport is subscription-based and allows you to have access to HTH Worldwide’s Global Health and Safety knowledge tools and databases. These tools give those traveling resources to chronic health conditions, common travel-related illnesses and security risks. HTH’s proprietary tools are easily accessed through the web and smartphones.
The American Red Cross app puts expert advice in your hands. The app gives you access to information you need to know for the most common first aid emergencies. It also includes videos, interactive quizzes, and simple step-by-step advice. If you are going to be on the road or camping, then this is a must have app. Preloaded content comes standard, so you have instant access to all the important instructions even if you don’t have access to the internet.
ICEcard is a convenient way to store information needed by rescuers and doctors if you are a victim of an emergency. In addition to a list of contacts of the closest persons, it also allows you to save information about taken medications, past diseases, allergies and other health information. Thanks to the ability to create multiple profiles, the program can also become a useful database for medical information about family members. A special alarm button allows you to send in case of a critical situation, an emergency SMS message to all the people from your contact list, containing among others data collected from mobile phone’s GPS, so that the closest persons become instantly informed about serious, life-threatening situations and receive information about the current position of the user. It also allows emergency responders to access your emergency information even if your phone is password protected.
With more than 200 million users, Instagram has become one of the most popular tools for editing and sharing photos and short videos on the fly. A new feature: Instagram Direct lets you send photos and clips to a limited audience of your choosing, rather than posting to your public feed.
Manage Your Pics: Consider it your one-stop shop for photos: recently upgraded to be faster and more streamlined, Flickr is the best tool for touching up, storing, and broadcasting snapshots from your travels. It never compresses images and offers a terabyte of cloud space—more than any other source. Plus, entire galleries can easily be shared once uploaded to the site.
Puts a social-networking spin on travel. A community of enthusiastic and outdoorsy Yonderers post pictures and info about their adventures so that you can find cool experiences wherever you are. You can see trending destinations, photos, and recommendations from locals that will help you get away from some of the more touristy, cliché options. It’s the #1 mobile community for the outdoors.
Emails, texts, calls… There’s still nothing like getting a letter or postcard in the good ole-fashioned mailbox. Postagram Postcards lets you take your travel or vacation photos and turn them into postcards in seconds. Choose a picture, write a message, tell them where to send it!
This app helps you free up storage on your phone by uploading all your pictures in one place. But that’s not all – Everalbum lets you aggregate images from all your social media accounts (like Facebook, Instagram or even Snapchat) and the ones on your phone, to form a seamless album that can be shared with friends and family. It even lets others add images to your albums so it can be a collaborative album, auto sorted of course, by location, mood, and date!
Not a tired old plain photo album, if you want to give your photos some pizazz, this app is just the thing you need! Put all your images together with multiple collages and make them into a really cool scrapbook, or just have fun with all the filters, frames and stamps to give a customized touch to your photos. A wide variety of backgrounds and an ever-expanding list of stickers make this app a great way to edit and share your holiday pictures.
LiveTrekker is your total solution for capturing, sharing, and consolidating all the digital media you accumulate on a journey, on gorgeous maps. Build the perfect souvenirs to keep forever, access anytime, and share in real time. It’s like watching your holiday as a film in HD. From pictures and videos that are automatically Geotagged via your phone’s GPS to notes you create, the app runs in the background to record the best highlights of your trip. It also allows you to delete unwanted information and then lets you upload it in your time –so you can wait till you access a wi-fi zone.
What better way to take the stress out of packing than with an app that tells you what to put in your suitcase? PackPoint offers personalized packing suggestions based on your answers to a few simple questions and allows you to customize your checklist. The app asks for your gender, when and where you’re traveling, what activities you might be doing and so on. It then retrieves the weather forecast for your travel dates and creates a list of suggested packing items such as clothes, toiletries, and accessories. When determining item quantities, the app even considers clothes you can wear more than once and whether or not laundry will be available. The only thing it doesn’t do is pack for you.
If you’re a traveler and work on the road, then Expensify is easily your best friend when it comes to keeping easy expense reports. Expensify allows you to manually track expenses, photolog receipts and even import purchase info from your credit card for IRS validated eReceipts. Perhaps the best feature is Smart Scan, which allows users to photograph a receipt and have it read by a computer and automatically generated as an expense. In addition to receipt scanning, Expensify includes input options for travel mileage, time and rate based expenses, as well as automatic currency conversion.
When traveling it can be a struggle to calculate and track the amount of money spent when it comes to different currencies – especially if it’s a multi-country holiday, budgeting can be a challenge. Toshl helps you cope with the multitudes of currency conversions and tracking your expenses. The most amazing part? Not only can you upload it to a cloud, and access it from a laptop or tablet, it very helpfully arranges your expenses in one base currency. What is especially convenient are the tags – so whether it’s a recurring expense like rent or regular stuff like food or conveyance or shopping – you can sort them and label them and at the end of a journey it helps you analyze where you spent the most.
Recycling on the road can be difficult, so trying to be a good steward of the planet can go from being a positive thing to a hassle. I’ll be honest, for me as I suspect for many when it becomes a burden I am less likely to put the full effort into it. On the road, one campground may only provide aluminum recycling, while the next has a single sort for everything. Then the next 5 stops you’re at offer none at all. This app can help locate recycling options near your current location. At last look, their website no longer makes mention of the app –but hopefully, it won’t go by the wayside.
This one is pretty commonly known, but I’ll mention it just in case you haven’t found it yet. Yelp is a giant database of restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, hair stylists and more – all with extensive user reviews. Though it has gotten some bad raps for having to many “paid” reviews. They have really cracked down on this, and I still use it as a great place to see if a location is worth trying out or not. When in a strange place this app (and the website) can be a great resource for tracking down the local favorites.
Join the world’s largest treasure hunt with the Geocaching app. Find nearby traditional geocaches and get tips and tricks along the way. You will be able to access geocache types, trackable and offline lists. A perfect app for the adventurous. You can kind of consider it the first Pokemon go.
Ever curious if that’s a star or satellite? This app gives real-time satellite tracking, overhead sky track view, one touch orbit updates, night vision, and more. The GoSatWatch App will help you spot satellites in the night sky and tell everything you want to know about them!
Study the stars with GoSkyWatch app. Get accurate orientation when held at any angle. Just point to the sky and start exploring constellations, planets, and deep sky objects. Great for the explorer in us all.
This is a really fun app. Have you ever wondered what kind of history has taken place at the very place you are at? This is an interactive and location-based guide to thousands of historic locations across the United States. This app includes GPS location to help you find what you are looking for and loads of interesting facts about your point of interest.
MapMyHike is the #1 hiking app that allows you to track your route including work out details such as duration, distance, pace, speed, elevation, calories burned and route traveled, all on an interactive map. This is a great app to have if you are planning on doing any hiking on your trip.
Ever been out in the wild only to come across some strange animal tracks? This app takes the guess work of what animals could be right around you! With brilliant illustrations, a complete description of track measurements and animal life cycles, MyNature Animal Tracks is a great resource to have for your next camping trip or hike.
This is a great app and features a personalized user space to track your favorite parks and activities. It has the top must see locations, attractions and must do for each park, and was created by National Geographic editors.
Sleep Pillow is one of the best apps for sleep on the market. With millions of people using the app, a better night’s sleep is right around the corner! Pick from a variety of sounds and mixes such as rain falling or a crackling campfire just to name a few to help put your mind at ease. If you’re like me, you value your sleep, and you won’t be disappointed.
Mmmm good, I do love my BBQ. The Weber® Grills App features more than 70 recipes that you and are sure to love! Each week you will get new recipes delivered straight to your device. There will also be plenty of grilling tips and ideas to help you get the most out of whatever you are grilling. The app also features a place to create grocery lists and a place to tag all of your friends and family.
Trip Journal is a great app that does just what its name implies. The app offers a journal for your travels where you can add photos, thoughts, and map pin points to create an all-around virtual scrapbook of your travels. You can add your favorite attractions, restaurants, or rest stops along the way. Video is also supported so if you were able to get some great footage then you can add it to your travelogue as well. What you get in the end with Trip Journal are one-of-a-kind travel journals handcrafted by you. What better way to document and share your travel experience and memories for years to come.
Dropbox is a very convenient storage app that allows anyone to upload any files, any time! You can access the documents anywhere, anytime from your phone, tablet, computer, or the web. When you sign up for an account, you automatically get 2 GB of storage for free and can upload documents, photos, and videos. You can even share any files you want, no matter how big or small it is. In addition, when you add files to your “Favorites” list, you can view them online. Dropbox is a great medium to ensure you never lose your files if something happens to your computer. For me, I always make sure I keep a copy of my Passport, credit cards with numbers and passwords uploads. That way should an emergency or anything happen while on the road I have ready access to the information.
Locates the closest gas stations and provides approximate pricing. Users can use their GPS location, or search by address or zip code. As many of the prices are based on user reports, GasBuddy rewards users with points for reporting and updating a station’s prices, with points making you eligible for regular raffles of prizes.
This fantastic app helps you track fuel fill-ups, fuel economy, maintenance logs and costs for both an RV and towed. It allows you to quickly create custom snapshots of expenses such as repositioning and even gives you a breakdown of what your costs are on a daily and per mile basis. Since it’s one of the most comprehensive road travel apps available you’ll be able to keep track of all your road trip necessities in one place.
An alternative to the well-known “Gas Buddy” app. Gas Guru will do all the hard work for you giving you instant updates on which gas station is the cheapest! This app is perfect and shows easy to read maps so you can determine where to stop on the fly!
FuelLog allows you to track and log your mileage, fuel consumption, maintenance, and services costs. FuelLog calculates a lot of useful statistics for you; like fuel consumption and economy (e.g. mpg or l/100km) your total cost and mileage, average cost per distance or gas amount, the average cost per month or year, distances driven, expenses and a lot more. Everything is managed in an attractive and very easy-to-use interface.
Sometimes Pilot and Flying J Truck Stops can be the easiest and most convenient to find. This app is great for finding a nice place to gas up, use the restroom, and take care of the typical RV travel stop issues such as fuel, propane and dump stations. Within the app you can sort locations, check fuel prices, and call any location from inside the app. My favorite feature is that you can enter your start and end points of your trip and it will show you all the locations you will pass on your trip.
It is a great resource for finding state and national recreation lands for hiking, fishing, camping, and boondocking opportunities that might not be listed elsewhere. This app doesn’t list specific camping locations, it overlays BLM, Forest Service, NPS and public land boundary maps, helping you utilize US national resources! It helps you find nearby public lands and confirms that you’re in them with the GPS function on your phone. I find this great to use in conjunction with Google Earth for searching for boondocking spots in unfamiliar locations.
State Lines is a single resource for over 50 laws and regulations that change as you cross state lines. It’s helpful as you cross state lines to find out if gas taxes will be cheaper in the next state if you can stay overnight at rest areas if you can buy beer in grocery stores on a Sunday and other such information. The app is updated once a year with a refresh of the data; however, gun laws are not included.
This app helps to optimize the driving day, by scouting ahead for elevation changes, curviness, weather conditions and things along your route. Plug in your destination for the day ahead, and know before you head out which routes to take to avoid adverse conditions. The elevation profiles are great, so you know to avoid routes you don’t feel like crossing. This app differs from something like Google Maps or Apple Maps because it helps you find a route based on weather, elevation, curviness, daylight and places along the route. It is fully loaded with features that just don’t come with a basic Map App.
There’s nothing worse than a full black tank and no place to dump (empty) it.The Sanidumps website and free companion app provide a map locator for RV Dump Stations. The app’s interface is a bit non-intuitive and doesn’t seem to refresh as you scroll, but it can be a useful way to find dump stations when in a pinch.
This is the ultimate RVing resource guide for finding not only campgrounds but other RV services and overnight stops. Its campground database now has over 29,000 listings and includes RV resorts, military Family Camps, public campgrounds, overnight parking options (including which Walmart’s you can’t stay overnight at), etc. It also includes places that service RVs, dump stations, propane fills and service centers. In addition, it has low clearance bridges marked, rest areas, road grades, construction alerts and tracks some of the basic state laws.
This app will become your go-to source for finding public campground options. We all know whether you’re living on the road or just wanting a break from the crowds there’s nothing better than open camping. The app currently has listings for over 20,000 state parks, national parks, municipal parks, COE, BLM lands and more. We find the information, particularly pricing, can be a bit out of date – but it’s an excellent resource.
If you’re a Passport America member, this app is a no-brainer to have on your mobile device for quickly searching if there are member clubs on your route. I’ve used it several times when planning my route and looking for affordable stops. If you’re not a Passport America member, it is highly recommended that you join. The club offers you access to 50% discounts at RV Parks across the country, and the $44 annual membership fee will pay for itself in just a couple nights stays.
If you are an RVer or camper, then the KOA app is a must have! Plan your perfect getaway and search KOA’s entire database of campgrounds to find the one that fits your needs! You can also get detailed campground descriptions, driving directions that are integrated with your favorite app, as well as descriptions of local attractions and local activities that you and your crew are sure to love.
This app has over 2,000 reviews, and 95% of them are 4 and 5-star ratings. This is another great option for finding RV parks, campgrounds, rest areas, gas stations, stores and more! The app directory lets you search and review over 25,000 RV campgrounds and parks in both the US and Canada.
Blue Beacon (Truck/RV Wash’s)
The Blue Beacon Truck Wash locator will help you locate, map and navigate to the nearest Blue Beacon. With over 100 24/7 locations in 38 states and Canada, a Blue Beacon is never far. You’ll have the ability to search by city, state, interstate, truck stop and special services and also be able to see a Google Map of all locations!
We Camp Here Campground Search
We Camp Here Campground Search is a convenient app and is great for any RVer on the road who would like to look at the various campgrounds available to stay at as well as their amenities. The app can work as your personal campground organizer and presents the campgrounds in a very easy to follow format. Once you find a campground that you like, you can simply click the “Add to My Campgrounds” button and organize your saved campgrounds.
RV Camps Locator
RV Camps Locator provides you with comprehensive RV park information on nearly 20,000 campgrounds across the United States. This RV Camps Locator App is the perfect companion for your next trip. With this app, RV parks are so easy to find. You can simply browse the map and check out RV parks nearby or in your destination. You may also search campsites by zip code or city, state.
The RV Checklist application is meant to be used by anyone with an RV so that whatever they come with, they leave with and make sure that they don’t forget anything that is meant to be remembered! Did we lower the antenna? Are the stabilizers still down? Did we get the chair back from the neighbor? It’s a great safety feature especially when you might be in a hurry to move and more prone to forget the little things. This app is customizable and allows you to prepare better for trips and track your progress toward completing your list.
Walmart Overnight Parking Locator
There are apps that will tell you where every Walmart is, and whether they allow you to park overnight in their parking lot or not. Better yet, their address and phone number is provided — so you can check ahead of time without driving out of your way only to be turned away.
A Walmart parking app alone covers most of the country since Walmart’s are typically located in any town or city with a population of more than about 25,000. On a personal and safety note: Walmart has been good to the RV and offers a safe stop when it may be getting late. Please ask the manager before setting up camp. Don’t put your slides out unless the manager says you can, and you are in a location in which a car or person’s head will not run into them and don’t put your BBQ and chairs out. They offer us the convenience, but many cities are banning the practice due to bad experiences. Let’s not abuse the privilege and ruin it for others.
I always find Google Maps to be the easiest to use no matter where I am. Whether you need to get your bearings or need navigation to a location, it is easy to operate and use. I also use Google Maps in conjunction with Google Earth, so I can get both an overhead and street view of an unfamiliar area, the roads, and boondocking locations. I also find the two together allow me to see if it is a campground worth visiting.
This German design company creates innovative RV appliance products – like water heaters and such. They have released a free app that has two nifty features we use every stop. The first is a leveling app – just plug in your RVs dimensions and use your smartphone to level your RV. And the second helps you align your RV with the sun – great for getting the shady side just right, or optimal positioning for solar energy harnessing.
Find the sun’s solar path with the Sunseeker app. Great for gardeners, photographers, sun lovers and those requiring optimum sun for their solar array. The Sunseekers app provides a flat view compass and an augmented reality camera in 3-D view showing the solar path in hour intervals. If you are looking for good lighting, then you need to download this app!
Satellite AR (Android) / Dish Align
This app is great if you don’t happen to have an auto-aligning dish or find that you have to tinker with yours to get it to work. This app assists in alignment of satellite dish antennas using augmented reality. It will determine your position by using the GPS on your phone and give you instructions on aligning your dish. They specially designed the app for RVs, Campers, people aligning a second dish, or for use as a professional installer.
A colorful minimalistic bubble level tool, also known as spirit level, bull’s eye level or just level tool. Hold device flat relative to the ground to use as a 360-degree bubble level tool, or hold device vertical to the ground to use as a horizon bubble level tool. This spirit bubble level also displays inclination angles for x and y-axes, which can be configured in settings. Supports calibration of both: the 360 bubble level and the horizon bubble level.
The application uses the same satellite and aerial photography found in the desktop version of Google Earth, only this time you navigate the globe simply by swishing your fingers across the screen. People may ask what does this have to do travel, but I use it a lot. It helps me see a location I am going from an aerial perspective, so I can see the roads and perspective camp sites and the best way to maneuver before I even get to the location. Especially when you’re looking for boondocking locations. I also love the street view function which allows you to zoom down and see where you’re going from the street view just like you were standing in front of the location.
EUROPEAN CAMPING APPS
This site is voluntary and lists all the areas in France and 42 other countries. The most comprehensive database of the web regarding service areas camper, updated daily by a strong team of volunteers, with the data, comments and photos sent by motorhome themselves. Look very easily all service areas and parking for motorhomes Motorhome-referenced information, the reference site in the field. The application allows the location of areas by map, by name, number, or around a city or a specific point. Choose your options (types of areas, search radius) and start looking around the center of the map to show areas within the selected radius.
Information on RV areas, sites and places overnight RV parking. The information is obtained from various internet forums, web developer, and annotations. Other sources: lapaca.org, acpasion.com, camping-car infos and areasac.es.
park4night – Motorhome Camper
Share places where it is good to rest. With motorhome, camper van or 4×4. With Park4night find and share the places you liked to relax, spend the night, have a picnic or clear your head. Uncover the hidden places, close to nature that gave you a feeling of freedom. Forests, beautiful views, parks, creeks, beaches, etc. Inform the community of possible activities around (Windsurf / Kitesurf, Biking, Hiking)
All Motorhome Parkings
With this Campercontact-app (Lite version) you can quickly find a motorhome parking place, motorhome-friendly campsite or service center. You have access to the largest database in Europe with motorhome sites in 39 countries (mainly Europe). Extensive search and filter options help you find the correct site in the vicinity of your current location or in the area in which you would like to stay. Amongst other things, you can select by country, region, type of site or price. You can also search using the map. Detailed information, such as address, GPS coordinates, price, rating, the maximum number of places, facilities, and photographs are included for each motorhome site.
With this app you are able to have constant expansion of the pitch data, search within and elsewhere, search by price, distance, location, and facilities, create opportunity favorites, use an evaluation function, and upload your photos. Currently about 7,000 spaces, of which 3000 in Germany, and another 4,000 in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
ADAC Camping / Stellplatz 2016
On the quality of the ADAC (Germany’s version of the US’s AAA) standard work, you can rely on at any time. More than 8,500 campsites and more than 5,000 parking spaces in the whole of Europe can be found described in detail with all facilities in the ADAC Camping Guide and parking guides. In addition to proven ADAC classification, the user-space reviews are added by ADAC members: Evaluate the square directly in the app and share them as your personal experiences with other users.
This is the perfect travel planning: With the new Universal Search can be found quickly your destination and the local courts. Or you can just comfortably Map in any desired region of Europe once the matching spaces – of course always in accordance with your individual search specification.
Promobil, Europe’s largest motorhome magazine, go to your smartphone – with the pitch radar. Which RV park is located in your neighborhood? Is there electricity, water supply, and waste disposal? What are the spatial data and the contact address? The answer to these questions, the app of promobil – fast, easy and free! Get access to all places of promobil Pitch database. And not just there, as you are. It is also possible to enter other objects and regions manually or search for it. Within seconds you will receive a general map and all available spaces within – in Germany, but also in the main tourist regions of Europe.
Europe Travel Guide
Love this because you can select by country and also use off-line. Filled with great community-edited content, this guide is perfect for the backpacker. It includes up-to-date info about transport and accommodation options, hundreds of helpful phone numbers, email addresses, and URLs, dining and shopping guides for major cities, country-specific safety and emergency contact information, and extensive information about local culture and customs.
Europe Offline Map & Guide
With: Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Poland and all other European countries like Netherlands or Slovakia. 100% Offline & FREE Europe Map with POI database. The app offers a high resolution detailed online map when connected to wifi and a less detailed map for offline use. The Europe offline road map (route map) displays roads and transport and natural geographical information. Offline Europe road map also shows non-automotive tourist routes and detailed area around the cities. You can use this map without data roaming, WIFI Connection, and hidden costs!
TRUCK STOP LOCATER
Big Truck Stops
Just like to go big? This free app only has the big branded truck stops and nothing else to get in your way. Flying J, Pilot, Loves, Petro, and TA Travel Centers truck stops all over the USA; all with their own clear icon on the map. This is the ultimate GPS Map app for truck drivers who just use the big five brands. Made in the USA and updated with driver reviews, comments, amenities, website, truck stops, weather, and directions.