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Must-have travel apps

Must-Have Travel Apps

There are thousands of apps out there to help you with your travels and sorting through all of them may be troublesome. Here are my must-have travel apps to help me make the most of my trips.


  • TripCase - One place to manage your trips
    • Creates clean, streamlined itineraries of your upcoming trips by consolidating travel-confirmation emails
  • Evernote - Make and keep important travel lists (i.e. packing list, 'must-see' lists, itinerary)
    • Tip: Make sure to download an offline copy if you do not have a data plan
  • Dropbox - Keep important documentation (i.e. scanned copies of passport, health insurance, other forms of ID, boarding pass, contact information, accommodation details) 


There are endless types of accommodations you can choose from in each city, whether it's renting a house / apartment, hostel or someone else's couch. 

  • Hostelworld or Hostelbooker - Cheaper alternative to hotels and airbnb
    • Best option to meet travelers from all over the world
  • AirBnB - Stay in unique and well-kept properties
    • Tip: Typically this is the more economical decision if you want privacy and have a larger group 


  • SkyScanner - Find lowest priced flights around the world 
    • Tip: If you are in Europe and don't have a preference for city, enter 'Everywhere' in the destination field to find cheapest flight within a date range
  • Rome2Rio - Point to point guide to get anywhere and compare prices
    • R2R will present you with all your options, including planes, trains, buses, ferries and driving by car, and specify how long each mode of transport will take and approximately how much it will cost
    • Tip: I normally find the best route/price using Rome2Rio and then book on external website


  • Google Maps - Find the location of your 'must-see' places
    • Save each location (Google places a star) you plan on visiting in a city when you have wifi so you know the location of each place when you are out exploring
    • Download an offline copy of the map of each city
    • When you pass a place you want to remember, you can also save the location
  • Citymapper - Ultimate public transportation
    • Combine all available transit to find the best route and gives you real-time transit directions, departures and disruption alerts, as well as Uber integration and cycle routes
    • Available in 30 cities worldwide
  • Uber - Fast, reliable rides in minutes


Use these apps for suggestions of the best things to do in each city

  • TripAdvisor - Top-rated attractions
  • Foursquare or Yelp - Local recommendations
    • More helpful with finding local restaurants, shopping, relationship and entertainment
    • Every app will have different popularity based on location so try each app and see which one works best in each city.


  • Snapseed - All-purpose photo editor
    • Advanced editing like sharpening, contrast and adjusting shadows/highlights 
  • VSCO - Pre-created filters + adjustment tools to help make editing process faster
    • Edit photos with themed filter packs, settings for saturation, warmth, etc
    • Allows you to adjust strength of filters
  • Afterlight - Pre-created filters + adjustment tools to help make editing process faster
    • Edit photos with themed filter packs, settings for saturation, warmth, etc (59 adjustable filters, 128 frames, and 66 different textures)
    • Allows you to adjust strength of filters
  • Google Photos - Back up all your travel photos
    • Photos are organized and labeled automatically so you can quickly find them


  • Duolingo - Learn language basics before a trip 
  • Google Translate - Translate day-to-day words you encounter on your travels 
  • XE Currency - Figure out the exchange rates in each city before planning a trip
  • Weather - Check the weather conditions in each city before a trip and during a trip
  • Clock - Keep track of time differences between cities


Carolyn Chen has done two backpacking trips around Europe and spent six months studying abroad in Italy. She loves finding the most beautiful scenery, hidden gems and indulging in great food. Find more posts by Carolyn here.

Follow her adventures on Instagram: @carolynjxchen


Study Abroad - General Tips & Tricks

Study Abroad - General Tips & Tricks