6 Life-Changing Free iPhone Apps for the Modern Traveller

Technology has entirely changed the way we travel. From booking hotels to exploring a foreign city, there is more information at our fingertips than we could have dreamt of a few decades ago. There seems to be an iPhone app for everything travel-related these days, but with this flood of accessibility comes a new problem.

There are thousands of iPhone apps built for travelling. Which of them are useful? Which are just adding white noise to the already hectic world of the app store? And who has time to sift through all of them to find out? For those looking for the most helpful apps to make your trip a resounding success, look no further. We have the six most life-changing iPhone apps for the modern day traveller right here.

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#1: Uber
Uber has changed the transportation game for travellers of all types. Available in 53 countries and expanding rapidly, this app lets you traverse the city you are visiting in a quick, easy and cost-effective manner. Uber offers a better alternative to traditional taxis, and makes it effortless to get around town.

All you have to do is sign in to the app, pick a nearby Uber vehicle to pick you up (based on driver reviews and fare quotes), and track your car as it comes to get you. The best part is that Uber syncs with your credit card (payment isn’t processed until the end of the ride) so you don’t have to carry lots of cash on you in a foreign city.

#2: Yelp
A top-rated application in any category, not just travel. Yelp has contact information and reviews for all kinds of establishments, from restaurants to bars to shops and hotels. Exploring a new place can be overwhelming, based on the sheer number of options you are presented with and your unfamiliarity with a foreign place.

But Yelp cuts through the chaos and aids travellers to find exactly the type of locales they are looking for. Customer reviews are highly useful, as it helps to base some of your decisions on previous experiences. However, taking an occasional leap of faith can be fun as well.

#3: Google Maps
There is no such thing as “lost” in the modern day. Travellers’ biggest fear used to be that they would be swallowed up by the noise and confusion of a foreign city. That fear was eliminated by Google Maps. With service spanning over 200 countries across the globe, Google Maps is your best ally in the fight against that feeling of helplessness that accompanies your first experience of going adrift in a foreign land.

Google Maps provides turn-based and voice-guided navigation, whether you’re walking, biking, driving, or on public transit. It also provides live traffic conditions to help you plan the best route to your destination. For the traveller wary of a wrong turn down a dead-end street, this is the app for you.

#4: Airbnb
Nothing is more liberating than planning a trip abroad with no set return date. But staying in conventional hotels for an extended period of time can get quite pricey. That’s where Airbnb comes in. With more than 450,000 listings in over 34,000 cities, Airbnb is the perfect app for alternative housing while travelling.

This app lists unique housing options all over the world, from nomadic dwellings to sublet apartments and everything in between. It makes it easy for you get in touch with the renter, and provides directions to your location as well.

#5: AllTrails
If you like to venture into the great outdoors while travelling, this is the app for you. With a database of 50,000 trails, you will find the perfect hiking spot in the area you are travelling. This app breaks down all features of nearby trails, so you know exactly what you are getting into before you set out on your trek. User reviews, ratings and geo-tagged photos are provided on the app along with trail directions, distance, elevation and hiking time. From beginning hiker to expert, this app has a trail for everyone.

#6: Google Translate
One of the most frustrating aspects of travelling can be the inability to communicate with locals who do not speak the same language as you. Google Translate helps to bridge that gap with its easy-to-use interface that boasts translations between 80 different languages.

This app is extremely flexible, allowing you to listen to translations out loud as well as translating dictation and your own handwriting on the screen. You can even favourite frequently used words and phrases for easy access, and view dictionary results for words and phrases as well. Google Translate does not replace the ability to speak a language fluently, but it certainly helps.

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4 comments

  1. Whenever I’ve travelled, maps have been the most useful app. Where possible, I try to travel by public transportation.

  2. I’d add Kayak (flight/hotel/tour booking) , XE Currency (currency conversions), FourSquare & WiFi Finder

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