Best Travel Apps 2013

The Best Travel Apps

I take my smartphone everywhere I go. It is a little computer in my pocket and can replace my laptop if I really need it to. One of the best reasons to carry a smartphone is having access to all of the wonderful travel apps out there. However, there are so many of them to choose from how do you know which you need?

Here you will see what I use and think are the best Travel Apps of 2013 and what I use when I travel.

SeatGuru

I use SeatGuru before I book any flight and the app is just as handy. Not all seats were created equal and SeatGuru shows you which seats are the best on every flight. The cabins are color coded with yellow, green, and red seats to show which seats are most welcoming. The will also show other info such as limited recline, shared entertainment, and bulkhead seating.

SeatGuru App

iOS | Android

GateGuru

GateGuru is every travelers friend when it comes to gate changes and delays. It also has maps of terminals, reviews of restaurants, and even average wait times at security checkpoints.

GateGuru

iOS | Android

TripIt Pro

TripIt is your personal travel assistant. It will keep track of all your itineraries for you. Adding itineraries is as simple as emailing them to your TripIt account and they will automatically show up. TripIt will keep you organized and on time when you travel. It will track all of your trips in one place and is simple to use. There is a free version you can use but I found the Pro version is worth the cost for frequent travelers who want real time flight alerts.

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TripIt

iOS | Android

XE Currency

This app is dead simple. It is an easy to use currency converter and a useful one. You will get real time exchange rates and take the guess work out of getting cash out of the ATM, bills dining out, and converting foreign currencies back into the currency of your home country. I find myself using this app even when I am not traveling just to check various exchange rates around the world.

XE Currency

iOS | Android

WhatsApp

It seems like everyone I meet abroad is using WhatsApp and it is for good reason. It isn’t much different than all of the other third party messaging apps except is it very widely used. It is great for group chats, sharing audio, video, photos, and even your location. You can text for free to anyone else using WhatsApp whenever you have a WiFi connection. I love this app and even use it at home to message my friends.

WhatsApp

iOS | Android

WeHostels

There are a lot of hostel apps out there but WeHostels is one of my favorites. The key difference between WeHostels and other apps is the ability to connect with other travelers and make friends while you are traveling. Make friends before you even arrive at your hostel and find the best places to stay all over the world. Choose from 25,000+ hostels in 700+ cities and easily book a room on the go.

WeHostels

iOS | Android (Coming Soon to Android)

Kayak Pro

Kayak.com is one of my first stops when searching for sites so that is why I like using the app on my iPhone. The interface is very easy to use on your phone which makes finding flights easy. Not only can you search for flights but the Pro version allows you to calculate baggage fees, check flights status, a currency converter, and even terminal maps. There is a free app but at 99 cents you might as well go for the pro version.

Kayak Pro

iOS | Android

Forvo

There are a lot of apps out there that translate phrases for you but Forvo will teach you how to pronounce a word you don’t how to say. It uses a database of words spoken by native speakers to teach you the correct pronunciation of words. I find myself using this a lot when I don’t recognize or know how to pronounce a new word. It is a little more expensive ($3) but I think it is worth it to add to your travel apps. If you want to try it before you buy it head over to Forvo.com.

Forvo

iOS

Google Translate

I use google translate a lot when I am on my laptop which is why I gave the app a chance. Yes, google can get some translations wrong but so do a lot of the translation apps. It does do a great job helping translate the basics. It is a handy app to translate phrases or anything you cannot translate on your own while you are traveling.

Google Translate

iOS | Android

Trail Wallet

Trail Wallet is an expense tracker for travelers. With Trail Wallet you can set your budget and track your expenses on the go. Organize by category so you know what you are spending too much money on and how to save more of your travel budget. It supports multiple currencies which handy for travelers covering a lot of ground. Whether you are a backpacker or business man we all have budgets and Trail Wallet makes it easy to track expenses.

Trail Wallet

iOS

Overall: Best Travel Apps of 2013

Those are my favorite travel apps. Sure you could add a lot more but I try to keep it basic when I travel. As long as I can convert the local currency, track flights, cover expenses, find a place to stay, and communicate I am a happy traveler.

Do you have a favorite travel app? Leave it in the comment section below and let me know how it has helped you while you were traveling.

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  • Take a look at our app called Vamos – that is plotting out public facebook events nearby in 50 countries and thousands of cities. We also show the user Instagram pictures taken from the venue… I think you’d love it while travelling! 🙂

    /David

    • I will definitely check it out, David. Sounds like a great way to meet new people traveling! Thanks for introducing me to it.

  • Funny! I’m working on a similar list this week.

    Didn’t see large benefits with TripIt. I just forward flight confirmations to my Evernote account via email. Able to pull them up from my phone anytime I want without service/wifi. And setting a flight reminder in Google calendar takes 5 seconds.

    Trail wallet is excellent though. Keeping track of my budget is so much easier now.

    • Nice, I’m looking forward to seeing your favorites. I used TripIt for a few weeks and found it pretty handy overall. It was on top of everything for me. However, I didn’t continue using simply because I didn’t need it. I think it could be really handy for business travelers and travelers with a lot of flights in their their travel plans. I think it is a great app for the right person but you certainly should just go what works best for your needs. I may go back to it again if I need it and I would still recommend it. Right now I just use my calendar as well along with Kayak.

      I just discovered trail wallet (not sure I missed that one) and it is fantastic.

  • steve

    As a frequent business traveler, i couldnt do without tripit. I like the fact that it stores all of your trips, even when they have been completed. Right now, I have over 100 trips stored and I recently had to find a hotel that I liked in midtown NYC. Searched for a NYC trip on tripit and there it was.

    I also like “flight track” to keep track of takeoffs, arrivals,delays, and gate changes. this app always seems to be in the know well before any of my other apps and quite often,it knows of gate changes even before they are posted on the airport monitors. This comes at a prce though — I think I paid $5-$10.

    • For the frequent business traveler I think TripIt is very useful as you said. It is probably last handy for the slow overland backpacker or budget traveler. Everyone needs to find the management app that suits their travel style best. And that doesn’t take away from TripIt being an outstanding app.

  • steve

    Oh …. one more.

    Sit or Squat does double duty — no pun intended. Tells you where you can find public bathrooms rated by cleanliness and is a city map. How’s that!!

    • Sit or Squat is great. I wonder how useful it is outside the US? I have never checked if it is but I can image there are a lot more “squats.”

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been using TripCase for both business and personal travel for months. It is free and has features found in the more pricey tripit pro, including real-time alerts. It records past trips and I email all of my and my wife’s itineraries directly to it and it auto-imports them. With both android and iPhone apps, It is too often overlooked by lists such as these.

    • Will definitely take a look at TripCase. A free app that gets the job done is always nice. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Thanks for including our Trail Wallet app and glad you’ve found it useful for keeping track of your travel expenses.

    I agree Seat Guru is really helpful. I always use it to look for the few rows of 2 seats that you’ll often find at the back of the plane. Much better for us as a couple as we don’t have to climb over someone else to get to the bathroom.

    • Definitely, Erin. Trail Wallet is so handy I can’t believe I didn’t have it downloaded sooner. It is a must have app.

  • Frannie Williams

    Great list Clint, my new favourite for international travel is an app called Simply Declare. You know when you have to figure out what you bought and then fill out the customs forms? This app does it for me as I go along so I don’t have to stress what I spent. It takes a picture of my receipt, gives me an itemized list, and does all my currency exchange, even when I am hoping from country to country. It’s just a nice simple and great travel app

  • Great list. A lot of them are also my favorite.

    But it doesn’t cover the other problems you encounter while travelling.
    I have been confronted with health problems while not speaking the local language in one of my trips. Since I am a developper, I made “My symptoms translator” in collaboration with doctors to confront this problem. Btw, french and english is free. 😛

  • Amazing list. thank you so much for the sharing this article..

  • Lina Fors

    I still use applications separately for Trips. I installed Bukking, Kayak, Google maps, and Car Rentals Market App Here it https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hotels.car.rentals.flights.ukasoft

  • Bobby Leroy

    Thanks a lot! These apps are very helpful. But personally I would like to share with you http://www.zigmos.com a cloud-based mobile app builder that you can use to build your own travel apps.you don’t need to be a Java guru, an Xcode expert or a software developer to build your own travel apps.