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11 Must-Have Apps to Plan Your Next Vacation

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Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
August 13, 2016 · 5.2k Views

We’ve all experienced a bump (or bumps) in the road while traveling. Super expensive flights and lodging, an unorganized itinerary, and exploding travel budget can cast a dark cloud over a vacation that was meant to be fun and relaxing. Thankfully, there’s a bunch of apps available for smartphone users designed to make traveling easy and stress free. They will help you with everything from trip planning and finding accommodations to restaurant suggestions and cool things to do. Here’s a list of that you’ll want to use when planning your next vacation.

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  1. HipmunkHipmunk is a one-stop-shop for all your travel needs. Use it to find, price check, and make reservations for flights, lodging, and car rental. It also gives access to reviews on TripAdvisor so you can pick a hotel that fits within your budget and itinerary.


    Image Source: shminhe.com

  2. Packpoint. For many, the mere thought about packing for a trip is enough to induce anxiety and stress. Stop agonizing over what to bring and let Packpoint do all the thinking for you. The app builds a custom packing list based on your trip profile (destination, length of stay, business or recreation, activities, etc.). It even includes things like the weather forecast so you’ll be completely prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

    Image Source: The Next Web
  3. Tripit. You’ve saved about 10 different emails with all the details about your flight and hotel. Simply looking up check in time means that you have to go through each email until you find what you need. You can cut back on frustration and wasted time with TripIt. This genius app consolidates all your travel information into one convenient itinerary. All you have to do is link your email account to TripIt and it will cull reservations and other travel documentation. You can also share plans with your fellow travelers.

    Image Source: Earth Xplorer

  4. TripAdvisorTripAdvisor needs no introduction and you’ve probably used it on a vacation or two. Perhaps you have only consulted it at home on your computer though. If this is the case, make sure to have this useful app on your phone as well. Its crowd-sourced guide to hotels, restaurants, attractions, and activities make it one of the most reliable travel resources around.

    Image Source: Blizzard Internet
  5. HERE Maps. Sure, one of the best things about visiting vacation is exploring a place for the first time. This being said, it’s still nice to have some help when it comes to getting around. Available in over 100 countries, HERE Maps offers free offline maps and navigation. It lets you see exactly where you are and the best way to plan getting to your destination by considering driving, public transit, and walking options.

    Image Source: 360 Here

  6. Airbnb. Offering an alternative to standard hotels, Airbnb is an online marketplace that lets you book homes from local hosts so you get to experience a place like you live there. You’ll find accommodations that range in price and setting from a scenic Italian villa in Positano overlooking the sea to a single room in the hip neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

    Image Source: Airbnb
  7. BringFido. Hercules is part of the family, so naturally you want to bring him on vacation. It might have to do with his barking and fur, but Hercules has been turned away from some establishments in the past. Avoid this travel stressor with BringFido, an app that helps you make vacation plans by recommending hotels, restaurants, and pet-friendly activities in the area you are staying.

    Image Source: Digital Trends
  8. WhymWhym is the perfect app for those who are spontaneous and like to vacation without a set plan. It offers a curated list of the best tours and attractions in the area based on your interests. Use it to make reservations and buy tickets on the go, and take advantage of last-minute deals.

    Image Source: Money Saving Mom
  9. Google Translate. This app is super handy for the international traveler who hasn’t taken a foreign language class since freshman year of high school. With Google Translate, you can type in or dictate phrases and short sentences to be translated from one language to another. Translations are made in the form of both text and speech. The camera feature allows you to take pictures of text, a sign for example, for translation.

    Image Source: Accessible Translations
  10. XE Currency. You’ll never get caught up by money exchange rates again with the XE Currency app. It also updates currency rates regularly and stores the rates of currency you have looked up so you’ll be able to access the information offline.

    Image Source: Forex Center
  11. Free Wifi Finder. Many of us use vacations to unplug and take a break from technology. Still, you may need access to WiFi at some point to send out a work email or update your travel blog. The Free WiFi Finder app will save you time and energy by listing the nearest free WiFi hotspots.

    Image Source: PC Advisor

Visiting a new place and experiencing all it has to offer is exciting. But traveling doesn’t come without its headaches. A little preparation can mean all the difference though. With the help of these savvy travel apps, your next vacation will be smooth sailing.


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Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.
BluSkyGreenGrassAug 16, 2016
Numbers 8 and 11 look really useful! Thanks!