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10 iPhone Travel Apps That Every Explorer Needs

You’re an adventurer. You love the thrill of being out of bounds. You live life on the edge… but that doesn’t mean you’re disorganized. If you’re going to make your dream trip a reality, you know you’ll still need flights, places to stay, places to go, and more. Here are 10 awesome apps for maximizing your travel experience with the push of a button:

WhatsApp

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is king when it comes to group and one-on-one texting and calls, especially for when traveling out of the country, because it uses your data or Wi-Fi instead of relying on SMS. If you’re heading to Norway with your boys, this is a great way to make sure you all end up at the same Grünerløkka dive bar and not lost in Frogner. It can also be handy when you need to text with that crazy wing of your family that uses Androids and Blackberries (Mom, Dad), since it communicates well across brands.

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Cross-platform mobile messaging app allows you to send and receive messages without paying for SMS

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Uses your internet data plan or Wi-Fi, so you can communicate without a wireless carrier and free of charge (except anything you pay for data, of course)

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Available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia

App Cost: FREE

Google Maps

Google Maps

Google Maps is widely accepted as the dominant maps app, offering a significant improvement over the default Apple Maps. Navigation is easier and more reliable and, for traveling in particular, the offline maps feature is key. Plus, since it incorporates the incredible (and occasionally excessive, borderline invasive) level of detail and information possessed by Google, you can use it to locate pretty much anything you need, with or without an Internet connection.

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Real-time traffic and public transit updates

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Top notch navigation on the road and on foot, including Indoor maps to quickly find your way inside big places like airports, malls and stadiums

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Offline maps to search and navigate without an internet connection

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Comprehensive, accurate maps in 220 countries and territories, plus transit schedules and maps for over 15,000 cities

App Cost: FREE

Google Translate

Google Translate

You’re in Paris and, uh-oh, seems like those 3 years of high school French aren’t ”kicking in” after all. Who you gonna call? Google Translate! Google Translate offers online translation between 103 languages and offline between 52, plus a host of other cool translation services.

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Translate between languages by typing in words, phrases, or longer passages

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Translate speech instantly for conversation

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Translate text using your camera in real time or by taking pictures of text

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You can also handwrite characters instead of using the keyboard for text translation in 93 languages

App Cost: FREE

Skyscanner

Skyscanner

When it comes time to book your trip, you want to find the best price you can for your flight – a little savings here can mean a little more to spend on that amazing dinner or a last minute hotel upgrade down the line. For finding good prices on flights, nothing beats SkyScanner. It’s an unbiased app that just wants to help you get the flights that match your needs at the best price by checking hundreds of airlines and doesn’t take a booking fee in the process, so why wouldn’t you use it?

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Search millions of flights from hundreds of airlines instantly for free

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Price alerts for your saved routes mean you never miss a price drop for your desired flight

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Easily finds cheap flights, including suggesting cheaper times to fly to your destination wiith a color-coded calendar

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If your wanderlust is urgent but unspecific, you can select the ‘Everywhere’ option in the destination box to see low cost flight options to destinations around the world from your nearest airport

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Search can be filtered by duration, number of stops, airline, travel class and departure and arrival times

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Set up so you can still earn frequent flier miles where applicable

App Cost: FREE

AirBNB

AirBnb

AirBnb is a true gem, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out. It’s a great way to find affordable (or luxurious!) places to stay that don’t fit the bill of a stuffy, standardized hotel. If you want to get the flavor of a city, living like a local is key, and with AirBnb you can stay with a local and get a real feel for the place – or stay in their empty apartment, if you’re not feeling social. Plus, if you’re really feeling adventurous, you can put your place up while you’re out of town and make some extra dough to fund your travels.

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A more personal, unique accommodation experience for travelers with thousands of places to stay in more than 34,000 cities that you can book directly from your iPhone

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Search for last-minute accommodations anywhere in the world or find long-term sublets in thousands of cities

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Access your itinerary, message your host, and get directions to your listing or manage your listing and connect with guests wherever you are in the world.

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Reviews and personal connections allow you to feel safe with your host or your guests and to connect with humans from around the world for a more authentic experience, wherever your travels take you

App Cost: FREE

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone

No one wants to lose their phone, even in their couch cushions, let alone on their first trip to Bangkok in a neighborhood they can’t quite remember the name of. For when you do lose your phone (or think you might have), there’s Find my iPhone. Once activated, this app can help you, well, find your iPhone – then you can have it play a sound (for when the location signal is coming from inside the house), remotely lock, display a message, or erase all its data.

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Locate missing devices on a map and remotely communicate with them to lock, make sound, display a message or erase date.

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While in Lost Mode, the device tracks where it’s been and allows you to see its recent location history

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Once device has been located, app will give driving directions to its location

App Cost: FREE

Uber

Uber

You’re a seasoned traveler, you know better than to wait in a taxi line, right? Uber is practically everywhere now, from New Orleans to Cardiff to Kuala Lumpur, and offers everything from a regular taxi or low-cost carpool to black car service that makes you feel like, well, a much wealthier person.

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A reliable ride in minutes without a reservation or waiting in a taxi line.

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Multiple ride options to fit your budget

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Your fare is charged automatically to your card or PayPal account at the end of your ride and a receipt emailed to you (though you can also pay with cash in some cities)

App Cost: FREE

Yelp

Yelp

When you’re abroad, you want to try the places the locals love best, not just what’s recommended in guidebooks. A great way to find hidden gems with amazing food and drink or cool, out-of-the-box activities, is the Yelp app. Whether you’re looking for your morning coffee in New Orleans or Korean food in Dublin, Yelp has you covered. Look for highly rated places away from the most touristy areas and you pretty much can’t go wrong.

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Offers access to over 100 million reviews on businesses worldwide to discover great local restaurants, shops, and services wherever you are, plus see photos, check out menus, look up addresses and phone numbers, make reservations directly from the app, or click through to the business’ website for more information from the horse’s mouth

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Filter your search results by location, average rating, price point, and what’s open at the time of your search

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Get deals offered by your favorite local businesses at home or for checking out businesses abroad when you check in on the Yelp app

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Join the community and return the favor: write your own reviews of your favorite spots (or steer people away from a bad experience)

App Cost: FREE

HotelTonight

HotelTonight

Ok, so couch-surfing with your cousin’s old drinking buddy went south fast, but it’s not going to ruin your trip! For good prices on last minute hotels, use HotelTonight to get discounted room rates from hotels with unsold rooms for the night. Booking is fast and HotelTonight screens all their hotels so you know you’re going somewhere they’re willing to stand behind.

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Access last-minute discounts on unsold hotel rooms

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Book a room in just 3 taps and one swipe

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Choose the hotel category that works for you (e.g. Basic, Hip, Luxe) to find the right hotel and take comfort knowing they screen all the hotels they work with and only feature those they feel strongly about

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24/7 customer support in case you run into any problems

App Cost: FREE

App in the Air

App in the Air

When you’re getting ready to fly, whether it’s one flight or twenty in the next few weeks, you want to know what’s going on with your travel plans. App in the Air offers top notch flight management from real time flight status to gate changes to offering in-airport navigation maps, security wait times, and offline assistance, with gate changes and flight status updates delivered via SMS.

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Info on over 1000 airlines worldwide and over 9000 airports around the US and the world

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Reminders and flight status changes, even without Internet access

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Helps better manage your time at the airport, with each flight broken into 4 stages: check-in, boarding, take off, and landing time

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Travelers can leave and receive recommendations and tips for places to eat at the airport, Internet passwords and more under “Advice”

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Once you’ve landed, has quick links to book a cab (more than 200 cities worldwide) or express train (just Moscow, for now)

App Cost: Free to download, but with in-app purchases

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