1. Google Maps – Find your way around the globe with a GPS function that doesn’t require a data plan. SCORE. You’ll need internet to search for a specific location, but the blue dot will follow you around everywhere thanks to the beauty of satellites. Google Maps prevails over any other map app. Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell agree.
2. WhatsApp – This lovely messaging system allows you to send texts, videos, photos and voice notes with wifi to any number in the world as long as they’re stored in your contacts. It gained even more international attention when Facebook acquired the company in February 2014 for $19 billion. Today, the messaging system handles over more than 1 billion messages per day. I think it’s safe to say if you’re an avid traveler like myself, and you’ve never heard of this app unlike myself, then you’re most definitely living under a rock. Word on the street is that a free calling functionality is coming soon. Me thinks Viber is a wee bit worried.
3. Viber – As i currently live in Buenos Aires, I can’t be calling the States all the time from my AT&T number. The thought of that phone bill makes my stomach hurt. Thankfully, there’s a better way to communicate with friends and family that doesn’t include FaceTime and thus feeling bad because it’s been one hell of an afternoon and well, you just didn’t feel like brushing your hair that day. Viber is a calling and messaging application via internet connection that makes your life easier and your phone plan manageable.
4. Wi-Fi Finder – Perhaps you want to Viber your sister or maybe you just want tweet Amanda Bynes. There’s one commonality to both of those: you must have wi-fi to successfully carry out both tasks. This app will give you a map of exactly where the free and paid wireless connections are located. Disclaimer: To use Wi-Fi Finder, you must first have internet connection to download the offline database in order to use the app both online and offline.
6. FlightAware – I kind of adore this app. It allows you to track real time flight status and see the live map of any commercial flight worldwide. Track by aircraft registration, route, airline, flight number, city pair, or airport code. Data includes complete flight details. This comes in handy when you’re picking friends or family up from the airport.
7. SeatGuru – Ever suffered through an extremely cramped 10 hour international flight in coach to find that you have little to no legroom and your seat doesn’t recline? Yea, me too. SeatGuru can help with everything from seat maps to plane amenities. You’ll know which seats to avoid and which seats to book thanks to over 50,000 customer reviews. Also included – a flight search engine to find the best airfares available to you.
8. Uber – This will not be the first time I show my love for Uber. I’ve tweeted about it and talked about it many times prior because they save lives. Simple as that. Uber will connect you with a driver within seconds of needing a ride. Select a taxi, private car or rideshare, all under varying prices, and all cashless since you sign up with your credit card number – how dangerous. Wanna take a helicopter to the Hamptons for the weekend? UberChopper will hook you up. UpberJet is available in select cities as well. If you’re going traditional (car), most drivers also have little perks like water bottles or candy on offer. I know I know, never accept candy from strangers, but these guys are trustworthy and know the way to my heart. This app was the most popular travel and transportation app across both Apple’s App Store and Google Play during the month of June. Looks like the world is catching on to Uber’s awesomeness. The company is in 42 countries and isn’t showing any signs of stopping.
9. Easy Taxi – Another taxi-calling app hot on the scene is Easy Taxi. Like Uber, the app will allow you to see real time drivers in your area, connecting you with a ride in a matter of seconds. Unlike Uber, Easy Taxi won’t be giving you a choice in transportation – no choice of taxi, private driver, SUV, car, helicopter or jet here. You’ll get a taxi to take you from point A to point B without any frills, but still – what a service. Easy Taxi is currently in 32 countries worldwide and just announced it’s $40 million raise in funding, allowing the company to expand its presence in many cities. Let the taxi app wars begin!
10. Waze – If you’re on the road, you want this app. Waze is a community based traffic and navigation app with drivers who share real time traffic and road information, saving you time and gas money. Waze can also tell you where the cheapest fuel stations are nearby. It can be used anywhere in the world but requires many users to work properly. Only 13 countries have a full base map, while others are incompletely mapped, requiring users to record roads and edit maps. Waahhwahhh Waze.
11. Instagram – This may be old news to the social media gurus of the world, but here’s a tip about this photo-sharing app. It’s a great resource to check out weather conditions before you arrive in a destination by searching hashtags. For example, if you want to see what people are currently wearing in St. Lucia, search through #StLucia and see for yourself. Although I can probably save you the hassle and tell you it’ll be bathing suits, but this app will undoubtably help with packing to other destinations where outfits aren’t so obvious.
12. Photoshop Express – Pretty pictures make a huge difference and a little editing goes a long way. This Adobe-made app has an impressive interface, and it’s clean and simple to use. Enjoy effects such as filters, sharpness, temperature, shadows, highlights, clarity, vibrance and red-eye correction. So stop showing me your crooked and dull photos. Edit!
13. XE Currency – Good news shoppers, foodies and club goers alike. Here’s an app that will make spending money in foreign countries easier. XE works offline to calculate currency and foreign exchange rates wherever you are in the world. Now you’ll know just how much you spent on that 7 course dinner last night. NOM.
14. Globe Tipping – Tuns out I was an over tipper when I first arrived in Argentina. The American custom is to tip around 20% if you had great service. In Argentina, it’s custom to only tip 10% of your bill. Globe Tipping could’ve helped me out way back when. This handy app has tipping guides in over 200 countries. Pay 99 cents and save on tips.
15. Sleep Sounds HQ – If you’re like me and need to have soft, crashing waves or simple white noise put you to sleep, pay $1.99 for this app with over 600 different sounds to choose from. This works really well in big cities where constant horns and motor bikes are problematic. I’m talking to you, Buenos Aires.
16. Pocket – Ever come across articles that were great airplane reads, but once you got up to 30,000 ft., you realized you couldn’t download them? Duh. Well think ahead and get Pocket. This app allows you to save articles, videos, recipes and other webpages for later, all in one place. One pocket. To view everywhere. Even offline and up 30,000 ft.
17. Venmo – If you’re traveling within the United States, this is a must have. Maybe you have a group vacay coming up. Perhaps you’re following Beyonce and Jay Z around the country only to drool over them performing on stage together. Most likely, you’ll owe a friend something whether it be for a drink, groceries, plane flight or concert ticket. Send away through Venmo, the easy payment exchange for people in your inner circle. It’s free so long as you link your account to your U.S. bank account or debit card.
18. iTranslate – There’s nothing more frustrating than a language barrier. It took me a few months to learn how to properly order a steak medium well in Buenos Aires (believe me, they come out mooing when even cooked medium.) This app allows you to break down language barriers. You can even choose different dialect, male or female, and also control the speech rate on the premium version. Put this one on your home screen when traveling.
19. Trip Advisor – This is the place to find brutally honest reviews of various hotels, restaurants and attractions throughout the world. It can build a place up just as fast as it can tear a place’s reputation down. The user photos will also give you a better representation of what your liable to find at a place than say a restaurant’s website. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so read at your own risk. There will likely to be rants alongside your favorite restaurants. But when you touch down in an unfamiliar country, you’re only seconds away from the many opinions out there.
20. World Mate – The closet thing you’ll ever have to a personal assistant without paying for it. This app allows you to forward your flight/hotel/restaurant/driver confirmation emails to one place: email@example.com. It will generate an itinerary covering your entire trip. Upgrade to the premium version and World Mate will keep you in the loop with real time alerts to let you know of flight delays, gate changes, etc.
21. Kayak – Sure, there are plenty flight booking apps out there, but this is the #1 mobile travel app, or so Kayak self-proclaims. Compare hotel prices, flight deals and car rentals all in one place. It also allows for a flight track, price alerts, airline fee info and MORE. I’ve used this app for the past few years and it’s a beautiful thing.
22. Weather Pro – Here’s an app that takes weather seriously. At $2.99, you’ll get weather reports for over 2 million locations around the globe. Highly reliable, just like the weatherman… right?
23. Packing Pro – Okay, okay I hear you. Who’s really going to rely on an app to tell them what to pack for an upcoming trip? I’ll tell you who. This is for the people who always forget that one pertinent item while going on vacation. Heading to a tropical island but forgot to open your bathing suit drawer? Ouch. Maybe you’re just extremely lazy and want somebody to do the work for you. Well, you, too, are in luck. All you’ve gotta do is tell this app where you’re going and for how long, and BOOM. Hard work done. Forget forgetting.
24. Jetsetter – I gotta admit. Perusing over Jetsetter’s content makes me feel so crazy, sexy, cool, almost like a TLC album. They provide insider access to all the cool, hip places to go in the world and are all about scene-y hotels, envy-worthy vacation home and badass tour packages. They even throw out some flash sales. So go. Do it. Download. And get to jetsetting.
25. Quintessentially – Personal concierge is now at your service and on your phone. This lifestyle guide can book you a table at a posh restaurant, get you front row tickets to Bey and Jay if your bank account can handle it, and have you staying in the most exclusive hotel in the city next weekend with the tap of your finger. How fancy. It features curated lists from 90 countries across the globe.