I love to travel but let’s be real it can be stressful. I wish planning trips were all roses and strawberries but that may not always be the case. I appreciate technology because I can now download travel apps on my iPhone. These apps help me to prepare for my upcoming trips both domestically and internationally. Check out the apps that I have used while traveling solo, and how it saved the day.
Why do you need this app? Digit helps you save money before your trip even begins. Anytime you purchase something on your debit card, Digit will put money into a savings account. The dollar amount can be $2, $25 or $250. When you are ready to take the money out, text the word withdraw and the money will be in your bank account within 2 days.
How it saved the day– I was able to save $700 for my trip to Cuba within 6 months. It allowed me to pay for my plane ticket, Airbnb, and activities while there.
Why do you need this app? Tripit helps you keep the details of your trip organized in one location. Every time you sign up for a tour, hotel or flights, it automatically builds an itinerary in the app. You can also email your itinerary to family and friends. Another option is to purchase TripIt Pro, which saves the hassle of emailing or texting your itinerary to friends or family, the work is already done for you.
How it saved the day- TripIt also provides flight alerts. While at the airport terminal in Texas, Tripit informed me that my gate had been changed. This was extremely helpful because I was running late and had less than 45 minutes to make the flight.
Why do you need this app– Google Translate helps you translate words into various languages. Remember to download the offline version of Google Translate. This version will allow you to use the app even if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi.
How it saved the day- Although I know some words in Spanish, I am not a fluent speaker. I provided an address to the Uber driver in Colombia but unfortunately, we still became lost. I was able to communicate with him through the app to get to my destination.
Why do you need this app? Mobile Passport allows you to expedite your time when entering the US Customs Border and Protection after an international trip. The last thing you want to do is stand in a long line after being on a plane for 15 hours.
How it saved the day- At the airport, I was able to bypass the line of passengers that did not have Mobile Passport. It only took me 15 min to exit the airport at LAX, one of the busiest airports in the world.
Why do you need this app? Uber allows you find a ride to your destination of choice. You can see how much it will cost per ride and share the ride with other passengers if necessary. I think taxi cab drivers attempt to overcharge foreigners when visiting. If Uber is available, I would rather use this service before using a taxi cab.
How it saved the day– My friend who was intoxicated forgot her ID at home. We didn’t have time to go all the way back home because we were already halfway to our destination. We explained our dilemma to the Uber driver. The Uber driver allowed my friend to use her ID to get into the club at the Hollywood Palladium. You may wonder how that is even possible. LOL, It only worked because my friend and the driver had similar physical characteristics. This is absolutely a rare occurrence and wouldn’t recommend this illegal tactic but my friend was super grateful.
Why do you need this App? Trip Advisor provides honest reviews from consumers. Before traveling, I always do lots of research on the internet by perusing blogs and reading reviews on various sites. Usually, if the company has high ratings, it’s a reputable company and I will use their services if the price is right.
How it saved the day- I found a company called Colombian Buddy on TripAdvisor. As I arrived in Bogota Colombia, the worst thing that could happen occurred; my Airbnb canceled. Colombian Buddy assisted me in finding a hotel and even offered me to be their house guest in the event; I was unable to find an unoccupied hotel.
Why do you need this App? WhatsApp allows you communicate via phone, text, video calling, sharing pictures and videos while abroad. All you need is Wi-Fi to connect to this app and you can keep in contact with friends and family around the world.
How it saved the day- My mother and father often worry about me as a solo traveler. It allows me to connect with them while I travel for free. Phone companies often have outrageous international fees. It also allows me to stay in contact with friends who I meet internationally.
Why do you need this app? XE Currency Converter helps you figure out the exchange rate in each country. I hate converting money because I am always confused about the conversion rate, this apps helps me out a lot.
How it saved the day- When purchasing items at the market, I always use this app to determine how much money I’m paying for each item. For example, in Thailand I purchased a beautiful scarf for 25 BAHT, I knew that was a great price and decided to buy several scarves.
Why do you need this app? Hopper allows you to find the best deal for flights. For example, I want to go from LAX to Hawaii, the app will show me if I should wait for a cheaper deal or I should purchase before the flight’s increase.
How it saved the day- I was planning a trip to Denver Colorado. Initially, the flights were $325, several weeks later Hopper sent me a notification that the price had dropped to $275. Cha Ching, I saved $50.
Why do you need this app? Booking.com allows you to search for hotels. This app is great for solo travelers because there are a lot of properties that allow you to book now and pay later. And a lot of the listings have a cancellation policy up until a month before the trip dates in case you change your mind.
How it saved the day? Unfortunately, I booked the wrong dates and they were able to provide a refund despite my mistakes. I was able to re-book the hotel in Medellin, Colombia and the service was excellent.
**Bonus App**- Although Tinder is not considered a Travel App. It can be used while traveling.
Why do you need this app? This app allows you to be matched with someone who could possibly be a romantic partner. Many people use Tinder in the United States but forget to use it while traveling abroad. It can be used to go out on a date or simply allow you to meet someone who can be your own private tour guide. Dating and meeting new friends abroad is so much fun.
How it saved the day– Although it wasn’t a match made in heaven dating wise, it allowed me to the city and dinner was free. Remember to always trust your instincts and inform a friend or family about your whereabouts.
I know there are other apps that you may have used and have saved your trip. Have you used any of the apps mentioned above? Please tell us about other travel apps, so that we can add to the list.