Favorite Travel Apps
Our Favorite Top 10 Travel Apps
We are currently on the road! By on the road I mean we are travelling internationally (more posts to come shortly). I thought I'd take this travel-all-day time to share with you some of our favorite travel apps, in no particular order.
For Domestic Road Trips near and far...
#1 With gas prices skyrocketing, I really like the Gas Buddy App. With gas buddy you can find best prices in the city you are in, or an upcoming city. You can sort by cheapest, by brand, or by location. It also has other features, like pay with a gas buddy card (no experience with this) The app has a tool to help you estimate your gas fuel costs for a road trip based on where you are going and the make and model of your car. Pretty nifty.
#2 Waze. Google maps came with my phone, but it's not my favorite directional app. Once it took us to a farmer's field and said we had arrived at our restaurant. We were about 4 miles away. I digress.
Let me sing the praises of Waze. Waze will definitely get you the fastest route to your destination. It updates constantly based on traffic, construction, and accidents. Other Waze features include police and hazard alerts (your passenger can report new hazards or police alerts live on the app because they are not driving). Features this Boomer has not used but may try in the future: playing music and podcasts through the app, and the find cheap gas on your route. The app also updates your arrival time based on traffic.
#3 Hilton Honors. I really like the Hilton Honors App. We joined for free. Don't stay super frequently, but I really enjoy this app's features. You can pick exactly which room you want for your stay based on the floor plan.
What's very nice for us introverts, you can check in from the app without going to the front desk (although to get your honors perks of bottled water and cookies you will have to go to the front desk and get those at some point) And you can use your app as a room key. I really like this feature as I always seem to misplace things temporarily while travelling.
#4 Airbnb. This app allows you to book both places to stay and experiences in cities both small and large around the world. You can stay in a hotel, a bed and breakfast occupied by the owners, or a BnB without owners present. Whatever you choose, the app allows you to communicate with your hosts directly. We have opted to stay at BnBs instead of hotels for reduced costs, but also for the opportunity to interact with the host(s).
I especially like the app for booking experiences in cities. We have booked this castle experience in Portugal for April 29th. I am looking forward to visiting here:
#5 Starbucks. Yes, I admit it. I'm an addict. I love strong dark coffee. When traveling I look for Starbucks until I'm at my destination, then it's support local vendors all the way. With this app I can find Starbucks nearby, pay with my gold card, and save my favorites to order ahead before I arrive at my destination. Remember I said these were my favorite apps, your set may be completely different!
For Domestic and International Travel...
So excited to be traveling internationally again. We are currently embarking on a trip that was planned for fall 2020 - but we all know what happened! Fast forward 19 months, we are taking this trip! Here are some of my favorite must have apps to get us through this trip and others in the future.
#6 American Airlines. I always depend on my American Airlines App. I recommend becoming a credit card holder with your favorite travel airline. When you join, you receive enough miles to buy at least one foreign round trip ticket with the miles they comp you.
There is no fee for the American Airlines Platinum card the first year and only $99 after that. The benefits include priority boarding, first bag checked free, $125 travel credit when you spend $20,000 on the card, and no foreign transactions fees. Of course you can check in and store our boarding passes on the app as well.
#7 Uber. I'm a creature of habit, so when I first downloaded a rideshare app, it was Uber. I'm sure Lyft is fine, but I just don't use it. If you actually know me, you know that Lyndon and I have been a one car family for about four years. I live 1 & 1/3 miles from my now former work place and saw no need for two cars. I walked, biked, and occasionally mooched a ride from co-workers. Two times only due to downpours I Ubered home.
I use Uber in my home town to get around to appointments, dates, etc. Aside from getting you to where you want to go in your hometown or in a foreign country, you can schedule an airport pick up in advance. You can also go for the economic route and share a ride with someone else, schedule a stop, see the prices before you ride, and share your location with a friend for your personal safety, and more.
#8 WhatsApp is another one of my favorites. It's a great way to stay in touch with family and friends while traveling internationally.
As long as you have WiFi, you can chat, send pictures, call, and video call family and friends with no additional fees. My mom is 87 and she uses it with us when we travel internationally!
#9 Google Translate. If you need help with languages, Google Translate is probably the best thing going. You can use it on the fly using data, or you can download some languages to access offline. Of course, no translation is perfect, and many local areas use idioms that do not translate that accurately!
Finally, Lyndon has a "must have" app to include while traveling...
#10 An e-reader! Lyndon here and I like to read. Sounds like a confession at an anonymous meeting. But yeah, I always have a book with me. In fact, on this trip I'm taking 3 paperbacks and my Kindle and also another app on my phone, an epub format reader called Lithium (but there are plenty of others to choose from). Oh, and also the Libby app which lets me download for free ebooks and audios from my local library for 2 weeks. Cool.
Well, there you have it, our Top 10 favorite travel apps. What are your favorites? What did we miss? What should we add for our next trip? Comment below below and let us know!