We’re crazy about free travel apps that make traveling even easier for us. I don’t think it takes away from the charm of traveling. Apps can open doors to new worlds. Take you just that little bit further. Or make traveling slightly more affordable, allowing you to enjoy it even more. That’s why we like keeping up to date with developments in this field. We take on advice about apps from other travelers or do our own research to see whether things can be made easier. There are of course thousands of (free) travel apps and everyone has their personal preferences, but these ten travel apps are definitely very useful!
1. Uber – cheap taxi rides
Hooray for Uber! This has to be one of the best recent inventions. In a nutshell, the Uber app lets you easily order a taxi, at sometimes nearly half the price of a regular taxi. Not only that, it’s luxurious, fast, transparent and safe, and there’s no need to fumble around with cash.
How does Uber work?
Add your credit card to your Uber account. When you want to order a taxi, enter the address and Uber will calculate the approximate cost for the ride. If you then decide to use Uber, you can order the taxi, follow its exact whereabouts on a map and see how many minutes it will take for it to get to you. You’ll also see a picture of your chauffeur and the type of car he’s picking you up in. As a woman travelling solo, this makes you feel at ease and safe in certain situations. Your entire ride is tracked and at the end, you will get a visual of the route taken by the chauffeur, how long it took and the price. That amount then gets deducted from your credit card. Besides in the Netherlands, Uber works very well all over the world. The taxis are luxurious and the chauffeurs are often real gentlemen. Loads of luxury at a low price!
2. Duolingo – have fun learning a new language
I took a Spanish course twice already. The first time was years ago in the Netherlands, in preparation for my first trip to South America. I tried again in Ecuador, where I had a week of private tuition. I already knew I wasn’t a language buff and as you may have guessed, I still speak only ‘un poquito’ Spanish. And then there was Duolingo…..halleluja! This language app doesn’t just help you practice your basic Spanish (or another language), the games make it fun too!
How does Duolingo work?
Duolingo is more than just cramming vocabulary and phrases. It makes you read, listen, write and even talk in response! From verbs to objects and from colors to grammar, it teaches you everything. You keep advancing to another level and keep practicing what you’ve learned so far. The power of repetition! The great thing about Duolingo is that you get to know the language in different ways, which makes it useful in real life. You actually really get used to the language. An absolute must if you want to get started learning basic Spanish, French or German. And of course if you’d rather learn basic Spanish offline, you can download our Spanish Flashcards!
3. Go Euro – super smooth travel planning
If you’re looking for a fast, easy and clear app, GoEuro is the one. A nice travel planning app that compares train, bus and plane when you want to travel from A to B. The app works like a charm and we like that.
How does GoEuro work?
You enter the date, starting point and desired destination and it calculates the cost of train, bus and plane all at once and adds options like BlaBlaCar, if you want. You instantly get an overview of all the available tickets for the different transport options and can compare them at a glance. You can also see exactly which connections are direct and how much time it will take. You can book your bus, train or plane ticket directly using the app too. It allows you to conveniently select the best travel method for your trip within Europe and book it straight away.
4. Snapseed – comprehensive photo-editing
We could devote an entire article to them; photo-editing apps. There are so many! From Instagram to Photoshop Express and from Afterlight to VSCO. Everyone has their personal favorite. It depends on what your goal is. And then we discovered Snapseed; a fully comprehensive photo-editing app that let’s you do pretty much anything.
How does Snapseed work?
After opening your image you can start editing straight away. The app works by swiping. First, you choose which tool and filter you want to edit your photo with. Then, at the bottom of the image, you can choose from a variety of filters, for example. Swipe vertically to choose an effect, swipe horizontally to adjust the strength of the chosen effect. There are endless possibilities, so you’ll need to spend an evening finding out what the app can do. The nice thing about this app is that the swiping clearly shows you what a certain effect does to your photo and you can then strengthen or lessen the effect accordingly. From basic image enhancements to completely new creations, Snapseed does it all!
5. PackPoint – Organized packing
I love lists. I still enjoy writing a packing list, especially when going on a long trip. It makes me feel like I won’t forget anything. PackPoint doesn’t just help you pack conveniently, the app also has a nice design. And to further complete things, you can integrate the app with TripIt and Evernote.
How does PackPoint work?
You enter your journey on the home screen, specifying whether you’re a man or a woman, where you’re going, when and for how long and what activities you’re planning. PackPoint calculates the expected weather conditions at your destination and comes up with a ready-made packing list. Thankfully, you can then of course add other items yourself. Would you rather write your own packing lists and add a customized list of activities? PackPoint can do this too. It saves you having to do it again each time.
6. Stay.com – city trip suggestions by locals
Stay.com is another nice app where locals share their insider tips about their city. The best restaurants, café’s, work spots, shops, parties…From food to fashion and from nightlife to workshops, Stay.com is full of good tips to make your city trip even better.
How does Stay.com work?
You guessed correctly, you start by entering your destination and the tips will automatically appear. You can choose between guides, places and maps. You can assemble your own city guide with your favorite tips and even download it all for offline use. I have nothing more to add, you can leave your travel guide at home from now on!
7. XE Currency – currency converter
How often do I use this app when I travel? All the time! This has been one of my favorite travel apps for years now. It’s not sexy, but really convenient. Convert an amount from one currency to another in one simple step.
How does XE Currency work?
First, you enter your desired currencies. You can easily shift, remove and add them, so you always have the applicable currency at the top. You enter an amount in the relevant currency and XE Currency immediately shows you the amount in other currencies. When online, it automatically adjusts your app to the latest exchange rate so you’re always using up to date amounts in your calculations. It’s also really convenient when you’re traveling from one country to another, as it allows you to put everything back in perspective.
8. Around me – find what you need
Why didn’t I discover this app before? If you’re looking for convenient, this app surely is. Simple, clear and exactly what you need. Looking for an ATM, bar, gas station, hospital, cinema, pharmacy, supermarket, parking garage or whatever? Around me will find it for you!
How does Around me work?
Select what you are looking for from the home screen and Around me immediately shows you what’s local, in order of distance, of course. Click on the desired location and it’s shown on the map. You can then use Google maps to navigate. Like I said, this is all you need!
9. Trail Wallet – budgeting on the road
If you’re keeping to a budget and like to keep an eye on things, then Trail Wallet is a nice travel app that can help you. Yes, you have to enter all your expenses which requires some effort, but if you do this faithfully on a daily basis, this app will give you loads of insight into your expenses, tell you whether you’re on schedule and might have some left to spare or need to cut back.
How does Trail Wallet work?
As with the other travel apps, you need to enter your trip with the travel period, currency and your budget. Once you’re on the road, you simply enter your expenses and assign them to a category. The summary of your trip then lets you see your average daily expenses, how much of your budget is left and what this means for your daily budget for the remainder of your trip. It also gives insight into your largest expenses by plotting them out in a nice graph. Transport, going out, food, tours etc. It’s ideal for those of us who want to stay on top of their spending when they travel.
10. Splitwise – split expenses fairly
We’ve all been there, you’re on a holiday with friends and money is going back and forth all the time. She paid for the taxi, you paid for the wine, but he paid for the food. And oh, wait…who paid for the groceries? It can quickly become quite a complicated calculation, with someone always losing out in the end. Splitwise is the solution to this problem.
How does Splitwise work?
You create a trip and invite friends to join. You can then quickly and simply add expenses and distribute them among your friends. Splitwise tracks who owes what to whom. And when you’ve paid each other back, you can settle the debts. Convenient!
Bonus: Beauty cam – take better selfies
I actually laughed out loud at this app. Completely unnecessary, but it works. This app makes you look good in any selfie. This is useful when your surroundings are beautiful, but you’ve stayed out a bit too late the night before;). Whether taking a killer selfie from scratch or quickly doing some touch-ups on an existing photo, Beauty cam works a charm.
How does Beauty cam work?
You can choose to make a (video) selfie or pimp an existing photo. When making a selfie it’s automatically set to ‘Auto Face-Lift’. After taking the photo you can easily adjust the strength of the beauty filter until you think it looks good. You can also pimp an existing photo considerably with all of the usual editing tricks. From color and tone filters to narrowing your face or eliminating imperfections. It’s all quite easy and the effect is uhm……surprising.