Travel Apps That Make Every Trip Better

The smartphone has changed travel forever.

Expedia app landing page

Expedia app landing page

Gone are the days of carrying phrase books in multiple languages, finding the local American Express office for mail, carefully carrying expensive rolls of film and not seeing a photo until it’s developed upon your return. Yes, for all of you too young to remember, that was travel for many, many years.

Now travel is now much easier thanks to tech wizards who are solving one travel problem or inconvenience after another… and many we didn’t even consider problematic. I could present dozens of cool apps but here are my 7 favourite apps, ones that I’d never leave home without.

  • Expedia app– The free Expedia App lets you earn triple Expedia+ points on your flights and hotels, see real-time trip updates, and book from anywhere, anytime. There are even deals exclusive to mobile users. And, if you’re an Apple Watch person, you can get all that information delivered right to your watch.  Expedia.ca just updated the app and introduced the ability to book rental cars and local activities in destinations around the world.
  • Camera+ – This is my favourite camera app. I discovered it thanks to a photography blogger. Using Camera+ you can use either the horizon level or grid to get a straight horizon line. The grid is also useful to position the horizon at the perfect 1/3 or 2/3 mark. It shoots in 16×9 mode which is my preference-I really don’t like the 4×3 ratio most phones shoot. Its editing functions are also great, especially the clarity mode.
  • Audible – I love listening to talking books as I travel. They are great for road trips, long flights or just sitting and relaxing in a park. Your phone and a pair of earbuds are all you need. Sign up and you can get a free Audible trial along with two free books. If you love it like I do, you pay $14.95 a month. If you don’t, you can cancel at any time.
Audio books and the Audible app are particularly great for road trips.

Audio books and the Audible app are particularly great for road trips.

  • Google Translate – This app has many purposes. You can use it to translate signs by using your phone’s camera. You can also use it so that you can talk to someone using your phone’s microphone. Simple step-by-step instructions will guide you through every application.
  • Google Maps – Whether you’re walking, driving or taking transit, Google Maps gives you turn-by-turn instructions that make getting around easy in any new destinations. I use it a lot but it’s important to note that it’s not infallible. One-way streets may be a challenge.
The Lake District of England is known for its rain. The weather app helps me live the guiding principle of the area: there's not bad weather, only bad clothing.

The Lake District of England is known for its rain. The weather app helps me plan what to bring on a walk and  live by the guiding principle of the area: there’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.

  • Weather – It’s one thing to know what the weather is typically like at a destination and another to know what’s really happening. I start tracking the weather at my destination about a week before leaving. And I check it each morning to make sure I have what I need with me throughout the day.
  • Trail Wallet – Created by passionate travellers and travel bloggers Simon and Erin of Never Ending Travel, the Trail Wallet is a travel budget app that helps you keep track of your expenses in a number of currencies by the trip or the month. Over budget? Under budget? Trail Wallet helps you know.

So? What’s your favourite travel app?

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About Author

Janice Waugh

Janice Waugh is author of The Solo Traveler’s Handbook, publisher of Solo Traveler, the blog for those who travel alone and moderator of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. She has spoken internationally on solo travel and on travel blogging. She has been quoted in many media outlets including the Toronto Star, CNN, the Oprah Blog, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times and USA Today. Janice is publisher of The Traveler's Handbooks series and co-founder of the Global Bloggers Network.

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