Technology is without a doubt changing the way we travel. Whether you’re planning your summer getaway, going on a business trip, or looking to explore your hometown, there are many travel apps beyond Uber, Lyft, and Yelp to help you get where you need to be and see what you want to see. From trip planning, to choosing transportation, to exploring, here are some travel apps to check out before your next trip.
Getting through customs can be pretty stressful. While many airports have been making it easier through their Automated Passport Control kiosks, they’re making it even more easy by allowing travelers to submit their passport control and customs declaration information via their iPhone or iPad through the Mobile Passport app. No more long lines carrying luggage while clutching onto your passport and paper declaration form.
Jet lag happens to the best of us, whether we’d like to admit it or not. Though not exclusively a travel app, Binaural plays binaural beats to help reset your sleep cycle. You can swipe through different frequencies and change colors to match your environment or mood. You can also use it as a noise machine with its rain option.
Planning and organizing all your travel info and itineraries can be tiresome. Google Trips makes planning less of a hassle and encourages you to “see more, plan less”. On the app, you can get editorial guides and recommendations based on your Google history. If you’re a Gmail user, it makes all your confirmation emails and reservations easily accessible. That means no more scrolling through your inbox looking for those confirmation emails. The app also lets you download the information, maps, and directions you need so you can use them offline without worrying about service.
Want to grab a bite to eat but don’t have a lot of time before your next connecting flight? This travel app makes finding airport food easier. Not to be confused with the popular Uber rival ride-hailing app in Asia, this Grab app lets you to order airport food ahead of time, bypassing the long order lines. With a map of eateries and stores within the airport, you won’t have to spend time walking from gate to gate. Simply choose where to eat, what you want to order, and have it ready for you to pick up.
If your travel plans include driving, consider skipping the trip to the rental car agency and use Turo instead. With over 800 car makes and models available as a result of its peer-to-peer model, you’ll be able to browse through a selection of nearby compacts, hybrids, vans, trucks, classic, and luxury vehicles. Plus, you have the option of either picking the vehicle up or having it delivered.
Aside from motivating travelers to live like locals, Airbnb has further added to its mission by allowing users to not only book homes, but experiences. These include making your own ramen from scratch, shadowing a fashion designer, going on a bike tour led by a real local, and more. If booking experiences isn’t your thing, browse through their guidebooks curated by local hosts sharing insider recommendations on the best surf spots, coffee shops, music scenes, and whatever else you’re looking for.
Think Airbnb, but with the concierge service of an upscale hotel. With Oasis, you can choose and book from their selection of curated properties in over 20 of the world’s top destinations. You can also get access to city guides written by locals, and local perks such as discounts or special offers at local private clubs or gyms.
Available: iOS | Android (Coming Soon)
Walking is arguably one of the best ways to explore a city. Sidekix is a walking navigation app created specifically for pedestrians and allows both travelers and locals to explore different routes based on their personal interests. With curated recommendations, the app also lets users find what they need according to their route.
This app is especially great for photographers that enjoy going out of their way to get a shot. With Streetography, you can plug in a location and get a map overlaid with high quality images from different blocks, neighborhoods, and cities. It’s a great way to get a feel of what a place feels like. You also have the option of uploading your own photos from your phone album, 500px, Instagram, or the apps Lightroom plugin.
WiFi has become a basic travel necessity and finding hotspots can become a trip on its own. Instead of relying on the local Starbuck’s wifi, get free access to over 600,000 hotspots around the world. Use your GPS to find hotspots around your location and navigate the spots offline through the app’s WiFi map.
Comparing transit options can be a pain when traveling in big cities. Listed on The Menlo House before, Citymapper allows users to easily plan their commute by giving ETAs from all modes of transportation whether by bus, rail, subway, ferry, bike, car sharing, or even Uber. You’ll get real time departures, transit maps, bike route info, and everything else you may need when planning on how to get from point A to point B.
Go hands free with Detour’s location-aware audio tours through many of the world’s iconic cities. The app matches the audio to your location by using your phone’s gyroscope and accelerometer to calculate your position. In other words, no more taking your phone out to pause and play. Go on tours not only outside but inside buildings like museums and restaurants. What makes this app even greater is that its tours are narrated by many notable personalities such as comedian Kumail Nanjiani and chef/restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson.
How awesome would it be if we all personally knew locals from all over, ready to give advice on what to see and do. With Cool Cousin, you can easily discover fun things to do at with the recommendation of real locals beyond its city guides. The app lets you message and connect with local “cousins” for more personalized tips and guidance.
Available: iOS | Android (Coming Soon)