How to Make Your Smartphone a Travel Force to Be Reckoned With

GateGuru Main Photo


No need to be ashamed – your smartphone is practically another part of your body. Embrace the attachment and harness its power to make your next vacation smoother than a fresh jar of Skippy with the sleekest and most practical travel apps.

Being connected on the go can be a lifesaver – literally – but your smartphone can even be an important resource before you’ve left home. PackPoint generates packing checklists so you don’t leave a thing out of your suitcase, while WeatherPro will help you make sure you’re bringing weather appropriate gear. Be sure to download JetLag Genie ahead of time so you can start adjusting your sleep schedule and make a seamless time zone transition.

Haven’t bought your ticket yet? Flight aggregators like Kayak, Hipmunk, and Skyscanner let you search hundreds of flight options at once, but to get an even lower price tag on your airfare, use Hopper or Options Away. Both of these apps track your ticket purchase and if the cost drops after you buy, you’re entitled to the lower price. Once you have your flight booked, forward all your confirmation emails to TripIt or WorldMate to get a custom itemized itinerary, and keep on top of any changes with FlightTrack.

Allsubway App, Dunheger Travel Blog
AllSubway App

Your smartphone can even help you inside the airport. GateGuru shares maps of terminals, reviews of restaurants, and lists of average wait times in the security line, while Lounge Buddy will find you a prime hotspot to await your departure. Keep yourself entertained while you wait to board with Kindle or Pocket, both of which can save reading material for offline use later.

When both feet are on solid ground, you can’t beat Google Maps for getting around town – look up your destinations while you have data access and save maps for offline use. HopStop and AllSubway will help you navigate even the most mind boggling public transportation system. Taking a road trip? Download GasBuddy to always have the location of the nearest gas station at your fingertips, and Waze to find the quickest routes based on user-submitted traffic reports. For the ultimate overland trip planning resource, install Rome2Rio’s FetchMyWay, which compiles a seemingly endless number of bus and train routes to any destination you can imagine.

Foodspotting App, Dunheger Travel Blog
Foodspotting App

Expensify can help you document expenses, but to keep better track of your funds, install a more comprehensive budget app like Mint. Always leave the right tip with Tipulator and never be strapped for cash again with PinPin ATM Finder.

Hostelworld and Airbnb both have apps that can direct you to a budget bed. If your lodging plans fell through and you need to pull together accommodations on the fly, use Hotel Tonight.

When dinnertime rolls around, Foodspotting will point you to the best dishes in town, no matter what you’re craving. If TripAdvisor is your go-to source for restaurant reviews (and everything else), there’s no need to bemoan a lack of data access. Their city guides can be downloaded as apps and accessed offline. For more guidance on things to do, consult Localeur for locally favored hotspots, Museums Mobile for the ultimate knowledge boost, and Goby for upcoming events.

WhatsUp App, Dunheger Travel Blog
WhatsUp App

No matter where your travels are taking you, put safety first. TravelSafe hosts a database of emergency phone numbers around the world and gives users the ability to pin numbers to their home screen.

The most widely used calling and texting apps vary from region to region, so if you’re a serious jetsetter, it’s worth having both Skype and Viber or WhatsApp installed. For a more unique way of keeping in touch, try Touch Note or Postagram, which for a small fee per message will turn your photographs into one-of-a-kind postcards and mail them home. Of course, communications isn’t just about staying in touch with friends and family. A translation app is a must when you’re overseas and Google Translate is simply unrivalled.

Whether you’re visiting ancient Greece or the Great Pyramids, keeping your journey in the 21st century is a snap with the right travel apps.