Mobile phones are now a part of our bodies and doing without one is worth a challenge, we are at a point where everything is accomplished at the tip of your fingers. As a traveler you have a better chance of going over the huddles in traveling that existed a decade ago, since a great percentage of your travel needs are now accomplished by your mobile device and in this article below we share a couple of apps every traveler and those intending to travel must have.

google translate
Google translate

1. Google translate

This is a google native app and an option for IOS users can as well be download from the apple store. Apple as well by the time of writing this article is in plans of releasing a native translator. Google translator is a very powerful app that will help you cover the barriers of communication as you visit non-English speaking countries. The app has a wide range of languages it can translate to and from. Google translator has options of translating speech and with this one you dictate to it and it will translate all the dictation to a desired language, it has an option of translating text and here all you need is to type in the text you wish to translate, another faction in the app is translating a real-time conversation where you speak through the phone microphone in your desired language and the audio will be played in the translated language, this comes in handy if you are communicating with a visually impaired person. Lastly the app has the option of a camera and this will be really useful if you are walking on streets or reading a menu in a country like china as it instantly translates the words into readable text using its AI algorithms.

2. Maps

Here I choose google maps over waze and apple maps, because google maps has a bigger database of maps than the latter. There areas where apple maps out compete google maps but then again you will find that google maps has maps in even the most remote places where apple does not exist. Google maps operates better when online but it can operate offline in instances where your destination is in a remote area with less coverage. Make sure to download the map file of the location or area before you drop the mobile data / WIFI connection. The cons of using offline maps are however bearable and that’s google maps cannot predict how long it will take to reach your destination and the amount of traffic in the direction your heading. Waze on the other hand offers 3 better features not yet in the google maps and that’s Roadside help, Fuel prices and Static Speed cameras but these are location based and may vary where they are used. Feel free to explore and choose which one is best for you.

3. Uber

Uber, a ride sharing app is now known globally and has got competitors in different countries and regions. Reason why I choose Uber is because of its availability in almost every country you plan to visit. Uber has a special future of breaking language barriers by having the navigation read in the drivers’ local language and your navigation is in your preferred language. The greatest advantage of using apps like Uber is to help you avoid being scammed by taxi drivers who inflate route fares after knowing you are only a visitor to the area but Uber solves that problem by presenting you with the route and a rough estimation of the minimum and maximum estimated cost of the journey.

4. Netflix

Flights are a boring place to be, more if it’s a long flight and the kind of entertainment will always be the old movies most probably you have watched before. The Netflix app is a movie streaming app that has evolved to step in and help in such circumstances where internet coverage is not reliable. By introducing the watch offline option to its subscribers, this becomes your right time to download all the movies that will accompany you on your next long flight. This may as well come in handy if your trip is in a low network coverage region.

Image by shutter stock

5. VPN (Virtual Private Network)

With more countries restricting internet accessing to certain sites and apps, it is understanding if you travel with a VPN of your choice installed on your device. These apps hide your IP address and offer you online privacy and anonymity. There a lot of options when it comes to which VPN you can install with some being free and others for purchase. It should however be noted that usage of a VPN affects the network speed and stability but then this is not an issue if you can access your restricted site or app.


6. Snapseed

This is a photo editing app not like any other, the app offers a wide range of options and will make your poorly taken photos look professional. The creators of the app made sure that all properties that you would find in a computer version were fixed in the app and its coloring is perfect. Learning on how to use it is not a hustle so feel free to download the app and practice to perfect your skills of photo editing and then let your next trip photos be professionally edited by the app its self and turn them into memories.

Trail Wallet Icon
Wallet app Icon

7. Trail Wallet

This is a simple app you install on your phone to keep track of your spending. As you travel it’s never easy to keep track of how much you have spent and trail wallet helps you record and give you the total. Input every penny you spend and at the end of the day it will give you the total in any currency you understand as it has the feature of supporting multiple currencies. The only downside with trail wallet is it only exits on IOS and for android users’ wallet app is the editor’s choice for trail wallet.

Image by Jesper Dahlqvist

8. Currency Converter

The most basic fraud that happens to travelers happens at the Forex exchange points. At these exchange points your naivety about the rates and the local currency makes the attendants come up with their own rates. This is a common practice in a lot of places and the best way of avoiding it is by carrying a currency conversion app. The mobile stores offer a great number of apps for Forex conversion and it is best you try them out before you settle for what might be best for you.


9. VLC

This is another option of a video watching app that also supports audio playing, it is best suited for the locally saved media. An offline app that supports a great number of media extensions and that means it won’t matter the extension of the media file whether wav or m4a or mp3, VLC is ready to provide you with the entertainment you need without going an extra mile of converting your media.

10. Shazam

Shazam is a smart searching app that listens to music as it is being played from the background. This is a great app if you happen to fall in love with a local hit song as you travel and can’t decode the title or the artist. Shazam has got you covered as it will listen to the song playing for a period of 3 to 5 seconds and it will get you all the details you need to know about a particular song.

11. Spotify

This is a music streaming app specifically audio files. It is a trending app with enough competitors such as apple music but I choose Spotify because of it being a pioneer in the audio streaming and its existence on both mobile platforms (IOS and android). This offers a great selection of songs and its premium package will get you the chance to download music and keep listening in low coverage area.

12. Clyma

Being updated on the weather forecast is another thing travelers miss out on their tours, it is however essential and helpful to plan ahead of the day on what to put on and what to carry on your way out. Clyma is a great weather forecast app that will offer you with the hourly prediction of the weather, temperature, humidity, precipitation among others. Clyma will help you choose to carry and umbrella or dress lightly if so you give it a try.

Photo Credit: Pranob Mehrotra (xda developers)

13. Smart Lenses

Smart lenses are another upcoming thing that will help you accomplish a lot of tasks without ever leaving your seat. Use these “camera-like” apps for example the Bixby vision and google lens to translate words on sign posts, boards, walls among others from local languages to one you are comfortable with, decrypt hidden information from QR codes (this is helpful because most shops nowadays hide their promotional codes in QR codes), and when connected directly to amazon, it becomes a shortcut to buying an item from the store without asking for details from one who can’t communicate in your language or when you’re on a bus and can’t stop.

14. Airbnb

This is an option for people who find it expensive to book a decent room in a hotel and people who feel like it is quite a struggle registering for a hotel room. Airbnb is a house sharing service where you get rented a spare room for your stay. Most Airbnb housing options come at a decent price and are strategically located which could be cost saving compared to a hotel located in the same strategic location. This is a great option for travelers to find a great holiday rental and live like the locals.

Best Travel APPs

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