The following post is a guest post by Jess Signet, avid traveler, and travel blogger at Tripelio.
Get out your phone and your sense of adventure. With these great travel apps, you’ll be taking both for a ride.
Whether you’re a GAP-year backpacker or an experienced international foodie who makes expeditions of this sort multiple times a year, you know there’s power in the apps on your phone. From getting great places to eat for dinner to checking out those secret vista views off the beaten trail, having a phone at your fingertips while traveling is both amazing and daunting, because honestly, with all of the apps out there, how do you choose?
When it comes to great travel apps, a healthy mix of innovation, sheer cool and actual functionality is what brings them home for me. Between a state of the art radar weather guide to apps I can use to explore without WiFi, I’ve got the tricks of the trade for making the apps work for you so you have the best holiday ever.
1. Dark Sky
Dark Sky is not your average weather map, it’s like trying to compare a CD with an iPod; it just doesn’t compute. More than just a great zoom onto approaching weather systems, Dark Sky has hyper-local radar that allows you to track just how far the rain is from your exact location on the corner of Times Square, which helps you decide whether you have time to dash out for a slice of pizza before heading back to your accommodation. With radar maps that follow the exact weather systems, you can rest assured that no hurricane, tornado or even a tiny rain shower is going to sneak up on you while you’re trying to plan your day. Sending you notifications with an approaching system, compatible with Apple Watch and more, this app is your secret weapon against all the weather inconsistencies that can make or break your vacation.
Available for iPhone and iPad. $3.99. Download it here.
Recho is a one of kind audio app that is for the adventurous explorers looking for a treasure trove of story ideas, memories and site-specific recordings. The brainchild of a Danish duo, Recho takes regular recordings and makes them adventure friendly by dropping them in the cloud in an exact location and only allowing listeners to access if they’re standing in the same spot it was recorded. Sound complicated? It’s not, but it certainly requires you to strap on your boots and get to walking because you can’t find the same highlights anywhere but the exact place. It’s more than just an audio tour; you can listen to songs, poetry, prose or record your own for someone else to find. It gives a whole new meaning to walking in someone else’s shoes.
Available for iPhone, iTouch and iPad. Free. Download it here.
For the photo-savvy wanderer, Postagram is the new favorite in tourist trinkets that pack a better punch than shot glasses from Costa Rica. Take your own pictures, upload them to the app and then send them. Postagram turns your one of a kind travel shots into national and international postcards available at the touch of your finger. Personalize with a message, add an address and then send it on it’s way. It’s that easy and that much better than just a picture of some old building along your travels.
Available for iPhone and iPad. Free for the app, $.99 for US Domestic shipping, and $1.99 for International shipping. Download it here.
4. WiFi Finder
While traveling, sometimes WiFi can absolutely save your day. Whether you’re meeting up with friends to rendezvous to the next favorite tourist spot or you’re hoping to make that last minute confirmation so you don’t find yourself sleeping out in the open tonight, WiFi is essential. That’s why having WiFi Finder is great; it takes out all of the guesswork. With locations in over 650,000 cities and 140 countries worldwide, it’s a no-brainer why this app can make or break your day. My only additional suggestion to this app is to find a great VPN for your iPhone so you don’t have to worry about anyone stealing your information while you’re surfing the free browsers.
Available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Free. Download it here.
HearPlanet is one of those nifty apps that has a million uses; with tours for over 300,000 countries and cities, you can get a private guided audio tour at the touch of your fingers (even in airplane mode). It’s also great because you can customize your adventure by cultural landmarks or location, so you can head out solo with no strings attached or even share your adventure agenda with your friends. And as an extra bonus, the location settings will automatically select playlists to create feeds of important and interesting facts based on where you currently are, but word to the wise: it can eat up your battery, so be careful about usage!
Available for iPhone and Android. Download it here.
When you’re down and out on data and all you need is a little boost to the nearest hostel, coffee shop or bar to recharge, Maps.Me is exactly where you want to be. With a fully functioning preset that works sans WiFi, maps for locales worldwide with excellent zoom capabilities and incredible details that let you zoom right down to the street, Maps.Me is your answer to being in the middle of nowhere and hoping to make it out of there fast, and a great new feature of the app includes everything in 3D, making it that much easier to get a connection. Who said all who wander are lost?
Available for iPhone and iPad. Free. Download it here.
Whether you’re embarking on a travel scheme that puts you among with the greats like Sir Edmund Hillary, Jacques Cousteau and Amelia Earhart or you’re just into this whole travel thing for the great food, wine and dancing you’re about to encounter, know this: with the correct apps, everything is easier.