Photo by Jimmy Derner
We’re avid travelers here at Team Solgaard. Shocking, right? 🙄 Thankfully, travel has become more accessible, and we’re always itching to go traverse a new site, city, or country. While exploring a new place can be the most incredible experience, travel can be stressful. Our smartphones are always there to lend a helping hand though—giving us wanderlust on the ‘gram, replacing foreign-language dictionaries, hefty city guidebooks, and accordion-folding maps. It's all in the palm of your hand, and with just a few taps you can book a hotel room, flight, or find a cafe with solid wifi. And if you’re wondering “Is there an app for that?”, there definitely is. But what travel apps should you download first?
Whether we’re traveling for work, or a remote adventure, we’ve collected some of our favorites we’ve found over the years to make life on the road easier, so you can enjoy yourself as a global citizen of the world.
1. Packing Pro
Photo by Ashley Whitlatch
If you’re like us, packing might not be the most fun part of a trip--we always seem to forget something. But tell Packing Pro how many days your trip is, the location, and some activities, and it’ll spin together a tentative packing list, which will make packing your Carry-on Closet even easier. Plus, you can customize the list and save it for future trips. It also packs in (pun intended) some reminders, like if you’ll need to get any vaccines, renew your passport, etc.
2. App in the Air
It’s like having a personal travel assistant who gives you reminders, and keeps everything organized. Connect it to your email, and it’ll pull all your reservations, flight and check in info, and even the weather at your destination. During your trip you can also track expenses, estimated boarding and landing times, as well as how long you might be sitting in that security or customs line. For those who are frequent fliers like us, you’re probably a member of more than one frequent flier program—and yes—it can track all of your points. Plus, if you like to measure things, you can see how you score on the worldwide leaderboard of travelers.
3. Priority Pass
Fan of Airport Lounges, but don’t have frequent flier status yet? Priority Pass gives you access to more than a thousand lounges in over 500 cities around the world, as well as meal vouchers at select airport restaurants. Enter the city, airport, or airport code in the app to get a list of available lounges and restaurants. This one’s not a freebie though—there's an annual fee, starting at $99, plus a fee per lounge depending on your membership tier. We’ve got good news though: there are a number of credit cards that offer free Priority Pass memberships including the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and Platinum Card by American Express. Pro Tip: Carry your Priority Pass card with you to get in, as some lounges won’t accept the electronic version of the card.
4. WHA by Work Hard Anywhere
Like a lot of you, our business takes us around the world, and when we land somewhere, we want two things: strong coffee, and reliable wifi. With Work Hard Anywhere, you can easily search for cafes, libraries, or coworking spaces where you can find both. Sure, your Airbnb or hotel might have great wifi, but sometimes you want to get out of your room, and WHA also allows you to connect with other travelers in these locations.
Citymapper covers major cities of the world—or at least 40 of them. Select a city, tap on the “Get Me Somewhere” button and you’re off! You can set addresses for “Get me home” and “Get me to work” buttons, so you never have to worry about getting lost in a big metropolis again. Plus, they track every possible mode of transportation with live updates: subway and metro routes, plus bus, bike, train, scooter, ferry, and more. And if you want to learn some fun stats about your trips, you can enable trip tracking as well.
6. XE Currency Converter
Headed to a change office and want to make sure you’re not getting ripped off? Not sure how much cash to grab from the ATM? Or maybe you’re haggling in the market square? Check the exchange rate quickly with XE Currency Converter and get live currency rates, which you can also store, and see even if you’re offline negotiating with a vendor at a busy market around the world. Never wonder if you’re getting a good deal again. Know you’re getting the best deal.
Let’s just say, this app made getting around the mazes in the Medina in Marrakesh much more manageable when there’s no wifi to be had. Simply download the maps for your current location before heading out for the day, and pop in destination addresses ahead of time as well (if you’re a planner). No need for wifi once you’ve plugged it in. Find a cool shop or vendor stand in the market you want to come back to? Easily bookmark it. And if you turn a wrong corner, a quick look in the app will get you back on track.
8. Google Translate
This is an old faithful, and has helped many a traveler. Need to ask how much something is? Order from a menu? With 100+ languages available, they’ve most likely got you covered. Not sure how to pronounce the translation? Tap the speaker icon, and the app will pronounce it for you—especially helpful when you’re trying to learn a few new phrases of the local language. Point your camera at text IRL for an instant translation (available in 38 languages). You can also draw characters with your finger for easy translation (available in 93 languages). Have some favorite phrases you think you’ll use often? Star and save them in your “phrasebook” for future reference.
9. The App of the airline you’re flying
Photo by VanveenJF on Unsplash
Lately, several major airlines in the U.S. are opting for BYOD (Bring your own device) entertainment through their app. You MUST have their app downloaded before your flight takes off. Then connect to the onboard wifi, and get access to free movies, TV, and games for the duration of your flight, and from the comfort of your own device.
Traveling soon? Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram for a chance to be featured. P.S. Have an app you can’t live without while traveling? Let us know, and we may add it to the list!