5 Essential Apps You Should Never Travel Without

When I travel, I have to bring my phone loaded with apps with me. I wouldn’t even think about leaving it at home. Sounds kind of sad and a “classic teenager” type of thing to do, but if I didn’t have my phone on me while I travel alone I most likely wouldn’t be able to make it back to my hotel. Well actually, scratch that. I’d probably be to scared to leave my hotel room without my phone, and would maybe go a maximum of 20m away from the hotel.

Not only is my phone on vacations a camera for my Instagram, it’s an all in one guide to destinations and restaurants, helps me edit my photos and in a way makes me feel so much safer while travelling.

Like I said, my phone is the perfect tool to keep my Instagram updated…but that’s definitely not the only app I use. I have so many apps that are so beneficial and I absolutely need, to make my trips possible. I don’t think I would survive another trip without these amazing apps.

iPhones held up in the air with the Camera app open taking a video picture of a crowd. Woman wearing long sleeves. Clear sunny weather day

1. Google Maps

I know everyone’s thinking that there’s paper maps and it’s not that hard to pick one up and find your way. True. However, you’re going to find it so annoying once you start using Google Maps and go back to paper maps. It’s like going from using Final Cut Pro back to iMovie when making videos.

Google Maps is my lifesaver in big cities. Well actually, in any location I’m in, to be honest. When you open the app it shows your exact location you’re standing in and the exact direction too. I’m so happy that the newer version has the exact direction too, because it now saves me from having to walk a few steps in order to figure out which way is right and what direction I’m facing.

You can put in a destination and it’ll give you exact directions and estimated time of arrival too. It will also pin restaurants, cafés, hotels and more with ratings but I use a different app that’ll I’ll get to, to figure what places are hot and what places are not.

Plus, the app is free which is a bonus for students!

2. Deutsche Bahn Navigator/Any transportation app

Majority of you probably won’t know what the Deutsche Bahn Navigator is, but it’s the app for all german train connections. You put your location, the destination you want to travel to and the time you want to leave and it’ll give you all the trains and times you can take to get there. It’s even possible to book right from the app which is so practical because you can save the ticket right in the app (without WiFi), meaning paperless. Good for the environment, save paper! So if you’re travelling to Germany definitely download that app.

That app is perfect if you’re travelling from city to city, but it won’t help if you want to travel with public transportation IN the city. Therefore, you should download the city’s transportation app. In the majority of the big cities there will be a ‘personal’ app that you can download with all the times and fares to get from one place to another. You can probably buy a ticket right from the app, which saves you time going to the machine to get one printed.

With that said, check the app store to see if the city you’re travelling to has it’s own transportation app because I promise you that it will help you navigate through the city so much faster than any other method.

3. TripAdvisor

Ever gone into a restaurant or hotel without reading reviews, and it turns out to be a nightmare? “Nightmare” is a little dramatic but you get what I mean. It wasn’t a pleasant a experience, and you wouldn’t book it again? Better? Anyway, I definitely have.

Quick Story Time

My mom had once booked us a hotel for a dance competition and she obviously didn’t read the reviews before booking. This was definitely one the worst stays I’ve ever experienced.

Some highlights of this trip include:

  • Parrots squawking in the back at the reception
  • Book 2 queen sized beds in a non-smoker room and receiving one bed in a smoker room
  • Dirty room with stains on the walls covered up by pictures
  • People running and screaming outside on the balcony at 2am and the police showing up
  • Keys never working to get into our room

We then wrote a review on TripAdvisor to warn people so they won’t have to go through the same experience as us.

Therefore, please download this app and check out all the reviews before you go to a restaurant or hotel. It will help you save money, so you don’t spend it on places that definitely weren’t worth it. This app is definitely a necessity when travelling!

Also you can book more than just restaurants and hotels on TripAdvisor. Attractions, islands, landmarks, museums and airlines are also reviewable and bookable right from the app. 

3.5 Airbnb

I just have to put this one is as half a point because I think this app needs to be recognized too because TripAdvisor doesn’t offer this service (sadly!)

This app is for anyone who doesn’t like staying in hotels and doesn’t mind staying in someone else’s “space”. You can book apartments for cheap and stay there for a couple nights, weeks or months. On the apartment’s page it’ll list the services it offers such as WiFi, etc. and will have some pictures for you to view. And if you’re pleased you can book it and be in contact with the owner right from the app.

If you’re not signed up yet on Airbnb, you definitely need to be. Click here for a super quick and easy sign up!

4. The Weather Network App

Nothing sucks more when you’re on vacation and plan something for the next day and those plans are ruined because of the weather. That’s happened to me way to often, simply because I didn’t check the weather forecast the night before. Sounds kind of lame, but I bet you’ve made the same mistake too…don’t lie!

There are two apps I love. The Weather Network app and Wetter.com app. The Wetter.com is only for users in Germany sadly. They need to make it for every location on earth because it is honestly the most reliable weather app for the country. You pick any part of the country and it’ll show you exactly what type of weather is going to come on a radar.

The Weather Network app is one I’ve been using for years. I downloaded it as soon as I got into grade 9, so that I could figure out if there was going to be a snow day or not the next day. Sometimes I was right and sometimes I was wrong with my inferences…but that’s only because I would make myself think that the storms are worse than they actually are. Anyway, this app has been so reliable and I use it every day to figure out what I can do the next day and what I should wear the next day.

If you have a weather app that you use for travelling that you think is better than those two, please comment below and share. Those are just the ones I’ve found that work and are extremely reliable!

5. VSCO Cam

This one is for all the people who love taking pictures and editing them to match their Instagram theme.

If you want all your travel photos to match your Instagram theme you definitely need to download VSCO Cam to do that. VSCO cam offers tons of free filters that you can use on your photos. There are paid filters that you can buy, but the free ones work just as well. If you’re looking for a certain theme I suggest you go to Pinterest  and search “Instagram Themes” and a bunch of guidelines to what filer and what properties you need to change to edit the photos to make them all look identical.

I recently became obsessed with this app and began theming my Instagram for all my travel photos. I love the way it looks now. IF you’re interested in my theme, all you have to do is: filter C1, -1 saturation, +6 highlights, -1 temperature, and +1 tint. Super simple and all the travel pictures coordinate!

cute VSCO instagram theme tumblr inspired C1 selfie teen boy ice cream germany buildings colourful color

So those are my 5 must-have travel apps that I need on my phone if I’m going to travel anywhere. If I had to only choose one though, Google Maps would be my top choice.

What apps do you NEED when your travelling? Share below!


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