The App Packing List, Stocking your phone with all the right apps is almost as critical as remembering to pack deodorant for a successful trip. We’re here with a list of the essentials:
1. For Sharing the Magic: Driftr – A Revolutionary Travel Social Network
Driftr is one of those things we wished existed a million times before we discovered… it actually does! The best way to describe the app is like a hybrid between Instagram and Facebook but specifically designed for travelers. It’s a social platform that allows you to share your adventures through photos, reviews, journaling and more, and also connects you with others so you can see what spots people are excited about! Driftr offers a uniquely personal way to shape and share your experiences, and we are absolutely thrilled to have discovered it. Driftr also combines a number of features seen in some of our other top 5 travel apps below, like booking, trip planning, and finding the most popular local places to check out. If you don’t want to download a ton of apps on your phone and are looking for the top all-in-one travel app of 2018, Driftr is the best at providing everything a traveler needs in a single cross platform app. You can thank us later!
2. For Spontaneous Destinations: Hotel Tonight
Perhaps one of the most challenging elements of travel is striking the right balance between spontaneity and planning. Hotel Tonight is one of the rare things that hits gold at the intersection of both. It’s name sort of gives away the service, but we’ll describe it anyways: Hotels connect with the company to list their unbooked rooms, and the app gives you great deals on night-of reservations. Even better, these aren’t crappy last-resort hotels—Hotel Tonight is strictly dedicated to only listing hotels that they would want to stay in themselves. The app gives you the amazing gift of limitless spontaneity padded with the reassurance of a quality place to go home to at the end of the night.
3. For Getting There: BlaBlaCar
Everyone’s dealt with the frustrating limitations of public transportation—it’ll get you to popular places, but if you’ve got any out of the way destinations on your bucket list, you better plan on taking twelve busesplus a day and a half of travel to get there. That is, unless you’ve got BlaBlaCar. The concept is brilliant: A trusted way to connect and carpool with drivers who are already heading to your desired destination. On top of that, the company is highly committed to pairing you with safe drivers for a comfortable ride (one example: the “Ladies Only” feature for women who would prefer to ride with women). It’s easy, it’s efficient, and it’s safe… you’re welcome!
4. For Exploring: Sidekix
It’s incredibly difficult to plan a trip that hits all the must-see destinations and also leaves room for serendipitous discovery. Successful wandering is a skill and it takes a bit of luck to stumble upon a city’s hidden gems—well, either luck or Sidekix. Sidekix is basically a treasure map loaded with reviews and recommendations for the coolest local spots wherever you’re exploring. You can tailor it to your interests and if you use it to navigate, it’ll take you on a route that not-so-coincidentally goes by sites related to them. This app hits the elusive sweet spot between exploration and thoughtful planning. Enjoy!
5. For Staying Connected: WhatsApp
Alright, we know you’ve probably heard of this one but the list just wouldn’t be complete without it—and neither would your trip. There’s a lot of international messaging options out there, but by and large the most popular is WhatsApp. Chances are when you meet your soulmate in Barcelona’s hippest bar, they’re going to want to connect through WhatsApp. WhatsApp works whenever you have internet service or Wifi and makes international calling and messaging as easy as possible. In many places, locals even prefer it over regular cell service. It’s a must-have if you want to stay in touch with all those amazing travel buddies you meet on your journey!