The Best Free Travel Apps of 2019
Mobile Apps Make the World Go Round.
Designed to make life easier and more efficient, apps are super useful and convenient tools for your next travel adventure. But with millions of app options out there, where do you even begin?
Our Smaller Earth travel experts have got your back. We’ve looked at each part of your travel journey, and created the ultimate list of free travel apps. So don't sweat it! You’ll be able to navigate your next trip with ease, from start to finish.
Having a great set of apps at your fingertips helps to make trips more relaxing than ever. So connect to the wifi, start downloading and prepare for your easiest trip yet.
Airports, made easy. Before your travelling adventure has even begun, be sure to connect App in the Air to your email account. This handy app will keep track of your flights, boarding passes and itineraries, as well as displaying information on your upcoming flights. It will let you know how much time you have before you need to check in, and what the weather is like at your destination. Not only can you track boarding and landing times, but you’ll avoid any stress at the airport by checking the up-to-date wait times for security and customs. App in the Air is ideal if you’re backpacking or have numerous flights throughout your journey.
Smaller Earth Top Tip: Want to find some food in an airport at 4am? Or maybe you need to find a little-known place to charge your phone? App in the Air can also be used to search for tips and tricks from other travellers.
Accommodation? Check. Do you even live in the 21st century if you don’t use Airbnb? With over 4 million listings in 191 countries worldwide, it’s easy to see why Airbnb is a must-have app while you’re travelling abroad. Whether you want a penthouse, a private room, or a treehouse, you’re almost guaranteed to find something that is perfect for you at every destination during your journey. And just when we all thought it couldn’t get any better, they’ve introduced Airbnb Experiences! If you love travelling like a local, you can experience unique activities, led by local hosts, and enrich your travel experience by fully immersing yourself into a new world.
Uber (or Other Ride-sharing Apps)
Getting from A to B, taken care of. Let’s face it - as much as we like to think that we’ll use local public transport the whole time while travelling, there’s always a moment when a taxi is just so much easier (and maybe cheaper too). When this happens, you’re going to be so grateful that an Uber is just a tap away. If you like to travel like a local, Uber drivers can have some great insights into the best little restaurants and non-touristy places to visit. They could expose you to a completely unique travel adventure you hadn’t imagined before. Operating in over 60 countries worldwide, Uber is super-easy to use internationally.
What, where, how? When it comes to needing something while travelling, this app is an absolute life-saver. Simply choose a category on the app, and AroundMe will identify your location, produce a list of all businesses within this category, and tell you how far they are away. From ATMs to hospitals, supermarkets to petrol stations, AroundMe has got you covered. With over a million downloads, it’s easy to see why AroundMe is a must-have when exploring new destinations.
IOUs have never been so simple. Travelling with friends? Splitwise is an absolute must. We all know the struggle when you’re constantly transferring each other small amounts of money throughout the trip, because one person paid for dinner, and another paid for the taxi. Splitwise is the perfect solution for this travel inconvenience. Not only does it keep track of what everyone has spent, but Splitwise keeps a running total of who owes who what. So forget the spreadsheet - you don’t need to crunch the numbers. You can pay each other back in one big payment at the end of the trip - easy peasy! All you have to do is add any payments you make to your group on the app, then sit back and let Splitwise do the rest.
Quick travel maths at your fingertips. With 191 currencies and up-to-date conversion rates without needing to connect to wifi, it’s easy to see why Currency Converter Plus has over 1 million downloads amongst travellers like yourself. This app’s name is much too modest - it’s so much more than just a simple currency converter. Picture this: you’re paying for a meal in a country that accepts different forms of currency. You pay half in one currency, and the rest in the other and, naturally, become majorly confused as to whether you’ve paid enough or too much! What makes this app stand out is that it will work out whether you’ve paid enough money, and calculate how much change you should receive, even when you’re using different forms of currency. Your mind will be blown, but your cash won’t be.
Hello, Hola, Bonjour. Before you head off on your travels, we’re sure you’ll learn a few key phrases so you can attempt to chat with the locals. However, for anything more complicated than “hello, how are you?” and “where is the beach?”, Google Translate app has got your back. It can translate 59 languages without internet connection and 103 languages when you’re connected to wifi, but what you may find most impressive is the instant camera translation feature. You literally hold your phone camera up to some text and the app will translate it instantly. C’est magnifique!
Smaller Earth Top Tip: Google tools in general are extremely handy when travelling (big surprise there). You can use Google Maps to download a map of the area you’ll be in before you leave, and save it for offline use. This means you can navigate your way around without needing a map or a wifi signal.
The new way to keep in touch. Whether you’ve got a pre-planned travel itinerary, or you’re just going with the flow, TrackMyTour is an incredible app to keep friends and family in the loop about your travel adventure. All you need to do is create a map on the app, and add ‘waypoints’ whenever you want, to call attention to a particular location. Imagine: you’re hiking through a national park, get to the cliff edge, and add it as a waypoint. Any pictures you take will be added to that location, so family back home can track where you are and experience your epic journey with you. The best part? TrackMyTour saves your journey, so you can refer back to your map even after your travelling is done.
Smaller Earth Top Tip: Use TrackMyTour to create a personal travel scrapbook once you’re home. Scrapbooking isn’t your thing? At least you’ll have easy access to some great #throwbackthursday pictures!
So Let Technology Take Your Trip to the next Level.
Say goodbye to attempting to carry a million different things whilst on your travels, all you need is your phone (maybe a charger) and a library of apps to make your trip the best one yet.