Vacation season is almost upon us — but don’t get on a plane without loading up your smartphone with these top rated travel apps.
There are more than 2 million apps available for download on your iPhone or Android device, and many of those apps are designed to make your travels easier. From making dinner reservations on-the-fly to learning the local dialect, here are some of the best traveling apps to download when planning your next vacation.
Whether it’s your first time in the air or you’re a card-carrying frequent flyer, the TSA can induce quite the headache during the pre-takeoff process. Fortunately, MyTSA hopes to alleviate some of the issues travelers face when going through airport security. This handy little app draws from crowdsourced information to give travelers an estimated wait time at different airports around the country. Users can also search the database to determine whether they can bring their throwing knives onto the plane (spoiler alert: they’re not allowed, and throwing axes are out of the question, too).
The great American road trip is still alive and well, it seems — the trip-planning app RoadTrippers offers customized recommendations for routes, attractions, and even restaurants, whether you’re trekking across the country or just looking for a weekend getaway. Want to take a trip from New York to Miami, making a stop at the Potters Wax Museum on the way down? RoadTrippers has you covered.
The app also offers trip guides that can help you decide what to do when you get to your destination, from exploring the most haunted locations in New Orleans to experiencing offbeat attractions in San Francisco.
Everyone loves to eat: a truth that becomes all the more evident when you’re visiting an exotic new locale. Nothing screams “I’m on vacation” louder than tossing out your caloric constraints and indulging in the best local cuisines your destination has to offer. Discover the best restaurants in each city you visit with OpenTable, an app which allows users to read customer reviews, explore menus, and make reservations with the tap of a finger. The dining app also offers a rewards program: users earn points each time they dine out, which can be used for discounts on future meals. The best part of OpenTable? All of these features are completely free!
Want to exchange words with the locals when you visit the Louvre or understand what your third cousins twice removed are saying about you when you visit them in Sicily? Start by downloading DuoLingo, a language-teaching app that’s reinventing the way people learn a new language. With bite-sized lessons that allow you to practice speaking, reading, listening, and writing in various languages, you can properly prepare for your next international trip (rather than cobbling together what you remember from high school French class).
According to DuoLingo, “4 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a semester of university-level education.” So, don’t let your busy schedule hold you back from learning Spanish before you head to Mexico!
Are you traveling with a group of friends? PlanChat allows your group to chat, set itineraries, and split expenses, all from your phone. This app will keep your group on the same page, even as you each embark on your own adventures throughout the day. Set a time and place to meet for dinner, and the app can set up alerts for each member of the party to remind them when it’s time to leave. PlanChat can also make itinerary recommendations, curated from the most trusted sources on the web.
Because passports remain valid for a decade after issuance, it can be easy to forget to renew them when the time comes — but ItsEasy makes renewing simple. The app offers a complimentary reminder system to let you know when your passport is about to expire. Then, you can renew your passport directly from the app, without ever needing to leave your house. The app provides you with the appropriate government forms, a secure shipping label, and even allows you to update your decade-old passport photo.
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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