Our current technological era has gifted us with smartphone applications that make travel planning quick, easy, and simpler than ever. With billions of individuals traveling every single day, travel apps have been designed to connect travelers and create platforms that quickly provide the best recommendations for destinations as well as systems that help you plan your trip.
Whether you are looking for the best restaurants to dine in during your sabbatical, for ways to calculate your currency exchanges, for ways to get from point A to point B quickly, or for a quick translation, the world of the smartphone has it all. Travel apps can provide users with some of the best services out there.
With our years of travel experience at SabbaticalHomes.com, we have compiled a list of the 15 best travel apps that will help to make your sabbatical adventure as smooth and fulfilling as possible—all with a simple click. Whether you are planning your next sabbatical or are currently at your sabbatical destination, be sure to check out these apps!
Best Travel Planning Apps
If you are looking for a way to organize and assemble all of your travel documents and your travel itineraries into a single place, then the TripIt app is definitely worth a look. With TripIt you are able to sort out and group your travel documents together before you even get onto your plane, train, boat or whatever your means of transportation to your sabbatical destination.
All you have to do is make sure that your travel reservations are automatically sent to the app. This way, you will be able to view all of your travel confirmations. These could include your tickets, your flight itineraries, your ferry tickets, your potential car reservations, your driving destination directions, and even your SabbaticalHomes booking information.
If you are looking for a way to share your travel documents with an individual who is picking you up once you arrive at your destination or with a friend you are coordinating travel plans with, TripIt makes it easy
Do you feel like sitting back and being told exactly what to pack? This is exactly what PackPoint does for you. What makes this app so great is that it tells you exactly what you need to pack by taking into account important factors like the weather at your destination, the length of your trip, and all the activities that you are planning along your way.
PackPoint will even take into account details such as your probable laundry. All you have to do is download the app, then type in your travel dates and your travel destination. The app will then tell you exactly what you need to pack, making sure that you leave nothing necessary behind. The only thing it won’t do is wash your clothes!
The Roadtrippers app is a great way to organize any potential road trips that you are planning to take during your Sabbatical trip. The app will help to plan out the absolute best travel route for your specific road trip destination. This route will be sure to include spectacular one-of-a-kind spots and landmarks as well as delicious places to dine. You can bookmark your favorites so you won’t forget to stop and experience them during your road trip.
Being in a new city, or country can be tricky when it comes to figuring out exactly where you are, and the best route for getting to where you want to go. Many times you might not even know where the best places to go to are. The PocketEarth app provides you with detailed worldwide maps that will show you all of the cool must-see spots along your way to your location.
What is especially great about this app is that you can use the worldwide maps offline, at times when you do not have access to wifi, or at times when you do not have cellular data (or do not want to use cellular data). If you are looking for places to visit, then this app will give you access to some fantastic travel guides.
Best Apps to Use While Traveling
Best Transportation Apps for Travel
The Lyft app is a popular ridesharing app. Lyft works the same way that the Uber app does, which we will discuss below. The difference is that depending on your location, Lyft will sometimes be able to provide you with competitive prices. What we recommend is that you download both the Uber app and the Lyft app, so you will be able to check both apps and compare prices. It is important to know, however, that you will not be able to have access to Lyft in certain geographical locations, as Uber is able to provide a larger scope of locations.
You will be able to request a ride on Lyft, confirm a pickup and drop-off location on the app as well as the option to rate your ride and tip on the app.
The Uber app is the world’s most popular ridesharing app. Uber is an alternative to taxis, and not only is it efficient, but it sometimes is less expensive than a local taxi. If you need a ride from the airport to the address that you will be staying at during your Sabbatical, all you have to do is enter your current location and your destination into the app. Make sure to do this once you have landed at the airport, as prices fluctuate depending on the time that you order your Uber ride.
Uber works by matching you with an Uber driver close to your specific location, and providing you with the driver’s information, the driver’s car information, and the exact time that he or she will be arriving at your pick-up spot. You’ll have the option to review and/or tip your driver as well after you finish your ride with them.
Best Communication Apps for Travel
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging service apps, especially when traveling or living internationally. WhatsApp allows you to text, call, send voice notes or files, exchange photos or videos, and even video chat with people all over the world (and does it all using a small amount of cellular data).
Your international contacts are automatically synced to the app once you create an account. You could even choose to have WhatsApp download on your Mac or Windows computer. It works similarly to other messaging services apps, but your international contacts may be more likely to have WhatsApp versus other messaging applications. Whatsapp will automatically provide you with a list of your saved contacts who have WhatsApp, as well as a list of your saved contacts who do not have WhatsApp.
8. Google Translate
If you are looking for a quick and easy way to find translations, then the Google Translate app is your best bet. Google Translate is able to translate over 100 worldwide languages and provide you with immediate translation (even offline). If offline translations are something that you will need, just make sure to download your desired language onto the app while your smartphone is still connected to the internet, whether that is through wifi or through your cellular data.
The way that the app works is by having you type in a word, phrase, or paragraph in the language of your choice via the app’s virtual keyboard. You then choose the language that you wish to translate the text to, and Google Translate automatically translates the text in a matter of seconds. You can read the translated text out loud, copy and paste it onto your files for references, or even copy and paste it onto social media.
Three great features that Google Translate provides are its instant camera translation feature, its character drawing feature and the playback mode. The way that the instant camera translation features works is by having the user hover his or her smartphone’s camera over certain text, and then wait for the app to detect the language that it is processing. This way, the app provides you with an instant translation. The character drawing feature works for specific languages, such as Arabic. This works as an alternative to the virtual keyboard and is especially helpful for languages that may be easier to draw out than to type.
The playback mode works by having you click the voice button next to your translate text. The app instantly speaks the translation to you; this way, you can hear the exact pronunciation of your translation, something that can help you communicate during your sabbatical.
Best Organization Apps for Travel
9. XE Currency
XE Currency is an app that provides users with the latest currency rates that you are able to store and view at times when you do not have access to wifi or do not wish to use your cellular data. All of the currency rates are live; you are guaranteed to never have to worry again about whether or not you are getting a good deal on your conversion.
10. Trail Wallet
Keeping a track of your expenses can be tricky, and sometimes difficult to record, especially if you are in a foreign country with a different currency. The Trail Wallet makes this easy for you. With this app, you will be able to track and record all of your travel expenses in no time, quickly allowing you to get back to enjoying your sabbatical trip. The app gives you the choice of either tracking your expenses by trip or by month, depending of course on how long your Sabbatical is.
You even have the option of setting yourself a daily budget and adding your expenses as you go. A great feature that this app provides is that it is able to notify you the minute you are going over your pre-set budget. The app breaks down exactly the amount that you are spending according to category (such as food, entertainment, or transportation costs.)
Related: Live and Learn: My Airbnb Experience
Best Travel Food Apps
Explore new places dine with the Zomato app, which makes discovering new restaurants easier than ever. Now, you can view restaurant listings, entire restaurant menus together with meal prices, in-depth clientele reviews, and even photos of dishes that the restaurant listed serves.
Zomato is available in 22 countries worldwide, including the US, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, India, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, amongst others. The app also provides you with filters that you can use to specify your preferences and search results, so you can decide if you want to dine in a top-notch restaurant or are more interested in a casual cafe or delivery or takeaway? You can even pick a restaurant and bookmark it for later. With Zomato, the choices are endless.
12. Open Table
Feeling hungry and want to make a direct booking? With the Open Table app, you can discover new places to eat during your sabbatical. Book, view, or modify your restaurant reservations quickly and easily. What makes Open Table especially fun to use is that you can accumulate points by booking your reservations through the app. The more you eat, the more points you get and the more rewards you earn for dining and for hotels!
Are you craving a certain type of cuisine? With the FourSquare app, you can take a tour around your newly visiting city and not have to worry about finding a good restaurant. With FourSquare, all you have to do is set your food preferences ahead of time, and the app will automatically alert you as soon as a restaurant that matches your preferred tastes is close to your current location.
Best Productivity Apps for Academics During Travel
Dropbox is a highly respected worldwide cloud-based file storage app. The app is great to use as a backup storage system for all of your documents. With Dropbox, you could even choose to store your SabbaticalHomes booking, your flight information, your trip itineraries, your trip notes, and any other trip-related documents that you wish to save in your backup storage system.
What is great about Dropbox is that you can download your documents at times when you have access to WiFi or your phone cellular data, and access in times when you wish to stay offline. The app grants its users free personal use up to approximately 2GB of storage usage; however, for those who wish to use a higher storage value, there are paid options available.
Expensify is the perfect app for managing and tracking your daily expenses during your sabbatical. The app uses SmartScan technology which allows you to easily keep track of your daily receipts, with the simple snap of a photo. Its system automatically records, reports and submits all of your day-to-day expenses, including the date, merchant, and price recorded on your receipts to create real-time reports.
The app is even able to track your airplane mileage. It is really an all-in-one app, where you can categorize and manage all of your everyday expenses. Say goodbye to worrying about saving receipts – or boarding passes!
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