The Best Free Travel Apps in the Biz

Very often, when you take a peek at someone’s smart phone, it’s full of stupid stuff like Candy Crush, Emojis, and various other apps I can’t even think of because I’m not lame enough to use them. However, if you look at my phone, besides seeing every possible social media app anyone can have, you’ll find a hell of a lot of sick travel apps. So here you go, lucky people. A glimpse into my wonderful smart phone life, where no Angry Birds will ever be played and no one ever pays for apps, because who does that?

1. Around Me is one the simplest travel apps around which gives you the best sampling of information. Around Me has several categories, like Banks, Bars, Gas Stations, Hospitals, and Taxis in which you just click on it and if your location services are on (which they should be for most of these apps) you’ll be able to see how far away a place is in that category and how to get there using the Maps app. It also includes the website and phone number. I use it primarily to find food or gas stations or other must-haves nearby.

2. Trip Advisor is similar to Around Me, but instead of finding must-haves, it finds flights, restaurants, and attractions (real travel stuff here). I use it primarily for the Things To Do section, in which you can filter by closest by distance or what the location is ranked in the area by other users. Right off the bat, you can see how many stars a location has gotten and you can scroll through some reviews as well as seeing their phone number, website, etc. Easy way to keep yourself occupied if you get bored in a new place.

3. Convert is the easiest money converting app. From a ton of choices, choose which currency you’re starting with and which you’re converting to, and then type in the amount of money. Extremely handy when on the road internationally and you’re trying to figure out how much something would cost in your own money but you don’t want the vendor to think you’re an idiot.

4. Translate is the Google Translate who’s accuracy is not too shabby for when you need to know a word or two (but don’t use it for Italian class, because your prof will know). It will also remember all the words you asked about for when you forget them again and need them… again. You can speak into it too to translate but this can be temperamental, similar to Siri and other iPhone voice activated controls.

5. We Talk is my favorite way to call people overseas. For less than a cent a minute, you can call people over wifi and the signal is usually quite good for what you’re paying. Other apps will do this service for free, however you have to be calling a smart phone with the same app which is inconvenient. The other person doesn’t need We Talk to use this, so you can still call your grandpa who has a flip phone.

6. Whats App is like the AIM of today. The other person needs to have Whats App which is annoying, but it’s like a buck and works over Wifi, plus you can see the last time someone viewed your conversation, all the media they have ever sent you, and you can decorate the background. It’s also more instant than iMessage and tends to work better, especially over wifi. Trust me I’m super cheap and this app is totally work a dollar.

7. ISIC Benefits is for those who hold an International Student ID Card, which is worth getting because many museums and other attractions will give a discount for having it, and if anything, it’s another form of travel ID. The app itself looks up where you are and tells you what locations in the area have a discount for the card. The downfall? You need wifi to use it, so if you’re international you probably can’t use it outside of your place of residence.

8. Pack The Bag lets you choose categories like the beach, a baby, etc., and gives you a list of what items to pack for each category and then creates a complete list for you which is right on the mark. It is a little extensive, especially if you’re a seasoned traveler and you know what you need, but it’s nice for the peace of mind.

So there you have it friends! TRAVEL ON!

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