While classic tourist staples, like fanny packs and tennis shoes, are irreplaceable, there’s no reason to disregard the benefits of modern technology available for travelers today. Who needs a travel agent? So long as you have a smartphone, everything you could possibly need to travel efficiently and cheaply is at your fingertips. Here’s some of the best travel-related phone applications currently available for free for both iOS and Android.
Citymapper (Useful for navigating)
Citymapper is the best navigation app for anyone traveling to the world’s largest cities. The app supports 39 bustling metropolises so far, such as London, New York, Seoul, and Melbourne, and it’s still growing! Simply enter your destination of choice and the app will provide you with multiple ways to get there, stating how long each route will take and how much it will cost. The app is especially useful for making sense of complicated public transit systems.
Google Photos (Useful for taking pictures)
You won’t need to worry any more about filling up your phone’s storage or losing precious vacation photos if you download this app. Google Photos will back up your pictures to the Cloud via Google Drive whenever you have data or Wi-Fi (depending on your settings). The app will also create collages, animations, and “stylized photos” with the pictures that you upload, just for fun.
Packpoint (Useful for packing)
By using Packpoint, you can avoid the stress of checking (and double-checking) to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything before running out the door. Tell the app where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, and what you’ll be doing during your trip, and it will generate a personalized packing list for you after taking into account the weather forecast at your destination. You can also share your list with other travelers, so they know what to pack too.
Airbnb (Useful for finding housing)
This app roundup wouldn’t be complete without Airbnb, which helps users find and rent short-term lodgings in apartments, houses, and hostels in any city or town—usually at less expensive prices than what hotels charge. To ensure some accountability, renters can rate guests and vice versa, so you can check user reviews in the area you’ll be visiting.
As a final note, keep in mind that new apps are constantly being created, so don’t be afraid to do more research. Now stop putting off that trip you’ve been wanting to take for years—grab your phone and start planning!