Before the days of WiFi, cellphones and The Fruit dominating all technological gadgets, you were forced to disconnect from the world if you chose to leave the country.
Now we get WiFi everywhere we go and really live in a virtual world where we can always be connected. Fortunately, this means our cell phones and gadgets now become handy resources for traveling, adventuring and exploring.
There really is an app for everything. Sometimes I think I can rule the world from my phone…
But when I’m not plotting world domination, I am using apps on my phone to help me explore new places, discover paths less taken and document my adventures.
P.S. they’re all free to download!
- Foursquare – My favorite app for creating and saving my lists in one neat place. You can bookmark places to go, things to do, restaurants to sample, and categorize them however you want! (I personally have lists separated by cities and counties). You can also see tips from other users (ranging from the restaurant WiFi password to the must-get entrée) and find places “Near You” if you’re stumped.
- Swarm – Sister app to Foursquare, the two used to be combined as one. Then Swarm broke off and became its own badass app. Use swarm to “check in” to the places you find along your adventures and travels, and come back later to leave tips on your experience. The app will tally up your tips in specific categories and name you an “expert” when you reach a certain milestone. So it’s only appropriate that I’m an expert in Mexican cuisine… #margsfordays.
- TripAdvisor – The number one review site for hotels, restaurants and attractions. I always use this site when planning my next trip. Plus this app lets you download “city guides” for use offline. Handy when you don’t know when or where you’re next WiFi connection will be.
- iTranslate – My personal favorite when trying to decode a new language. Simple, accurate and even comes with a voice input option.
- Instagram – The beloved #gram. I know this isn’t the first app that comes to mind for travels and adventures, but hashtags are a glorious little trick for researching a place you’ve never been before. Even better when someone tags a location.
- Groupon – If you’re going to a new city it’s worth checking out what Groupons are being offered. Whether it’s a local coffee shop, a major attraction or an activity you hadn’t thought of, Groupons can elevate your adventures and help you stay on budget. That trip to Cali I took a few months back? We found our surf lesson through Groupon!
- Skyscanner – This app is like Google for the sky. It’s a search engine that lets you find the cheapest flight deals by comparing the prices out there, but booking directly with the airline so there’s no extra fees.
- AllTrails – Brought to you by National Geographic for the outdoor enthusiasts, AllTrails gives users access to over 50,000 trails around the U.S. for activities like hiking, cycling, camping, even skiing and snowboarding.
- Airbnb – Have this app handy when trying to score some great deals or some really unique accommodations. Did you know you can rent a room in some pretty bizarre things like a yurt, an igloo or a lighthouse? On a serious note you actually can score some beautiful and/or centrally located places to stay for a good price.
- GoogleMaps – Great to have if you’re lost or don’t know where you’re going… that’s if you have a WiFi connection. My favorite feature is that you can customize your own map, then save it offline and reference it later when you need!