7 Travel Apps to Download Now

June 29, 2016

No one wants to be that obvious tourist, fumbling for tickets at the airport or gawking at buildings with a paper map in hand. Demonstrate your savoir faire with these eight essential travel apps, which not only simplify the logistics of your vacation experience but also allow you to find inspiration and share your journeys with others in a personal way.



Say you’re playing out your Hemingway daydreams at a Parisian café, but the scene is missing a certain je ne sais quoi. Or maybe you’re watching dreary rain trickle down your office window and would much rather be bartering in a Brazilian market. Set the ambience with the Radiooooo app, which will help you “travel through time and space” via music. Just choose a country, decade and tempo (slow, fast or “weird”) and escape! Whether you want to revisit a bygone era, familiarize yourself with the current hits of your upcoming destination or just discover some offbeat new music, Radiooooo will provide the perfect soundtrack to your travels, real or imaginary.

Price: Free for iOS and Android
Requires Wi-Fi? Yes


App in the Air

To keep their itineraries organized, most savvy travelers already worship at the altar of TripIt, but App in the Air is an essential extension. Touted as a personal flight assistant, the app will sync with TripIt to track important countdowns (time until the boarding door closes or time till landing, for example) and check you into flights, taking into account your seating preferences. It can even notify you, and any subscribers you add, of delays or cancellations, so the worrywart in your family can stay informed. App in the Air also provides airport intel, from logistical concerns like security lines to traveler tips like where to eat or how to stay entertained at the airport. Connecting to social media will allow you to compare tallies of countries visited with friends: The app will keep track of your flight stats for mileage — and bragging — purposes.

Price: Free for iOS and Android (though push notifications and itinerary subscribers require fees)
Requires Wi-Fi? No


You’ve had a grueling flight and just landed for a long layover. The last thing you want to do is wander through the airport, hunting for a lounge with a decent shower. LoungeBuddy hosts reviews, entry requirements and amenities for lounges at more than 800 airports worldwide. The app will keep track of your eligibility for entry (including information from airline miles, memberships and credit cards) and your lounge must-haves, and filter the best options for you. You can even purchase lounge access up to 21 days in advance from within LoungeBuddy or TripIt; the two apps have synced to provide a more seamless experience.

Price: Free for iOS and Android
Requires Wi-Fi? Yes


Google Translate

You are probably aware of the myriad services of a little company called Google, but you may not realize that it can also translate for you while on vacation. To get instant results in 29 languages, just use the camera on your phone to hover over text. (Imagine: No more wondering what the menu says or what that street sign is trying to tell you.) For higher-quality translations in even more languages (37), take a photo of the text. The app can even act as the ultimate wingman abroad by translating two-way conversations — in real time! — in 32 languages.

Price: Free for iOS and Android
Requires Wi-Fi? Offline text translations are available in 52 languages; other features require Wi-Fi.



Though it is only available in select cities (31 as of now), Citymapper is a trove of information. The app will tell you the best route and time it takes to get from point A to point B by virtually every mode of transportation, including walking (and calories burned), bus, subway, ferry, Uber/Lyft or a combination of those, along with “real-time disruption alerts.” Citymapper can calculate routes to minimize outdoor exposure during rain, and it will send a vibration when your stop is coming up. It has also just started an integration with wiMAN, an app to find free Wi-Fi. Its timetables, updated in real time, are also extremely accurate — often more so than those at the station.

Price: Free for iOS and Android
Requires Wi-Fi? Yes

With fully offline capabilities and maps in every country in the world, Maps.Me can be a lifesaver. The app can provide searches, directions, reroutes and show your current location all without needing an internet connection. The maps go into incredible detail — beyond expected points of interest and restaurants (with hours and contact information) — to include the locations of vistas, waterfalls, ATMs and even individual holes on a golf course. The app takes up minimal storage and loads with no lag time, meaning you can zoom in or out without encountering the dreaded gray nothingness. From a tiny village to an island paradise, Maps.Me has you covered wherever your travels take you.

Price: Free on iOS and Android
Requires Wi-Fi? No



Allow yourself to be immersed in fascinating local legends with the help of Detour. The app will navigate you through a walking narrative, be it light and fun (a tour of sweets or a nature walk in San Francisco) or a deep dive into history (behind the scenes of government at Westminster or exploring Barcelona’s summer of anarchy in 1936). The stories, some of which are produced by big names like Radiolab, can be synced in a group to ensure that everyone experiences each plot twist at the same time. Though only available in select cities for now, we foresee high demand for these unique takes on guided tours.

Price: Select preview tours are free; a complete download for San Francisco is $24.99
Requires Wi-Fi? Yes, but can be downloaded for offline listening

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By Erin Russell Hideaway Report Contributor
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