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9 minute read

Tech on Tour: 15 Essential Travel Apps

May 21, 2024

These days, there’s an app for almost anything – which can be as overwhelming as it is useful. We’ve taken the guesswork out of preparing your smartphone for travel with our list of 15 essential travel apps that can help streamline and simplify the finer details of your journey.

All apps listed below are available for both IOS and Android devices and are completely free to download and use.



Recognized by the World Meteorological Organization as one of the best weather apps available, AccuWeather boasts such features as predicting precipitation up to the minute and providing detailed weather warnings. But it doesn’t stop there; it also reports UV index, air quality index, wind speed and direction, and more. Perhaps most useful is its RealFeel® technology, which takes into consideration the effects of air temperature, wind speed, solar intensity, precipitation levels, elevation, and atmospheric pressure to predict what the temperature actually feels like outside.


Airline apps

Downloading the apps for the airlines you will be using during your travels is probably the biggest favor you can do for yourself. Many airline apps allow you to make airline reservations, choose and/or upgrade your seats, purchase flight extras, and even check in and receive a virtual boarding pass. Airline apps also provide live updates for your flight, meaning you get notified immediately if there are any delays or changes.



If you’re headed to a big city and plan to use public transportation, Citymapper is a must. The app not only provides maps and directions for many major public transit systems all over the world, but also offers live arrival times for buses and trains.



Learning some of your destination’s native language is always a good idea, and that’s where Duolingo comes in handy. This app makes learning languages easy (and fun!) by breaking lessons up into bite-sized pieces that you can complete in five minutes or less. The app also allows you to customize what types of lessons you take; by setting your goal to “travel,” you’ll learn words and phrases most useful for travelers.


Google Lens

This app lets you identify, translate, and learn about almost anything you can see. By just pointing your phone camera, you can translate text, see ratings and reviews, identify landmarks, learn historical facts, and much more.


Google Maps

With Google Maps, you can get directions to almost anywhere and search for almost anything – landmarks, photo opportunities, restaurants, entertainment venues, and shops, as well as the reviews, hours of operation, menus, photos, and more for each location. The satellite map is especially useful for orienting yourself, and you can download area maps for offline use if you anticipate being without internet access.


Google Translate

Have you ever wished you had your own personal interpreter? Look no further – Google Translate can translate almost anything: text, speech, images, documents, and even websites. This app can detect and translate 133 different languages in just a few seconds; all you have to do is type, talk, paste a link, or upload a file.



Finally, an easy way to find local activities and events in one easy-to-access place! Headout collects top attractions, shows, tours, and more from nearly one hundred popular cities worldwide. You can buy tickets to events in-app, and even gain access to last-minute offers that can be up to 80% off list price.


Mobile Passport Control

The Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection allows eligible travelers to streamline passport inspection time when entering MPC approved sites. By submitting travel documents, photos, and customs declarations through the secure app, travelers can make passport inspections faster and reduce wait times – and may even be directed to a designated queue. For more information, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.



This app allows you to easily make reservations to over 52,000 restaurants around the world. You can also search for restaurants by filtering reviews, prices, ratings, and cuisines, making finding and booking tables a breeze.



PackPoint customizes packing lists based on your destination, the time of year, and the length of your stay, making it perfect for those who struggle to pack effectively. You can even fill out a questionnaire about the activities you’re planning and the app will automatically suggest clothes to pack for each experience.



If you’ve ever looked up a hotel, museum, landmark, restaurant, attraction, or other tourist site online, then you’ve probably seen Tripadvisor pop up in your results. This is a one-stop-shop for all things travel: read reviews, book tickets, make restaurant reservations, find hotels, score discounts, and much more, all in one app.



It’s the top rideshare app in the world for a reason. Servicing 10,000 cities across 71 countries, Uber makes it easy to get from one place to another. Just request a ride, pay a flat rate, and you’ll be matched with a driver in moments.



One of the most popular international communication apps, WhatsApp uses Wi-Fi to enable users to make video and voice calls, send instant messages, and share documents, photos, and more anywhere in the world for free as long as you have internet access.



Xe is an “all-in-one” currency converter app that not only offers the most up-to-date exchange rates, but also allows you to make money transfers in-app. You can choose up to ten of 130 currencies to track so you can get alerts if the exchange rates change.


We hope you find this information helpful as you gear up for your upcoming travels.

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