Travel like a pro with these handy apps.

Quick notes

  • Experience traveling made easy with the use of a host of efficient travel apps
  • Examples include apps like Skyscanner, PackPoint, and Timeshifter.
  • Apps can help you do things like cutting line waits in U.S. airports

Many things can go wrong when traveling; you can get on the wrong bus in a foreign city and end up miles from where you intended, you can miss your connecting flight and be stuck in an airport for hours, and your research might lead you to a kitschy tourist trap instead of the authentic cultural experience you thought you were getting. Scary stuff.

If you want to travel like the pros, there are a plethora of travel and trip planning apps designed especially to make your trip as easy, cheap, and as carefree as possible.

Skyscanner

For discounted flights and last-minute bookings, Skyscanner is one of the best trip-planning apps available. It’s a flight search engine cum online travel agent that puts simplicity and flexibility. Their focus is on finding cheap flights, but they’re also a great resource for discounted hotels and car hire.

According to their website, 100 million people use Skyscanner every month to plan their trips. And why not? It’s a free app that’ll save you big money in the long run.

TripIt

Once you’ve booked your flight, you’ll need a place to keep your travel plans safe and within reach. This is where TripIt comes in.

TripIt is a free trip planning app that aggregates all of your flight bookings into one app. All you have to do is forward your trip confirmation emails to the app and in a matter of moments, you’ll have a master itinerary for your whole trip. If you want pro features like check-in reminders, flight status updates, airport maps, and security wait time estimates, it’s only $49/year.

Pixabay_Jan Vasek

PackPoint

You arrive at your hotel only to find out you forgot your underwear, laptop, and your phone charger. Uh oh. We’ve all experienced the frustration of forgetting to pack something important on a trip and it’s not something anyone relishes.With PackPoint, forgetfulness is not an option. PackPoint is a smart packing app that organizes what you need to pack based on your trip.

Will it be hot or cold? PackPoint will work that out and tailor your packing list to suit the temperature. Traveling for work? Let the app know and it’ll be sure to include your work laptop (and charger) on the list. Like most apps, it’s free to download for the base model but if you want all the extras it’s a shockingly low $2.99.

Mobile Passport

Mobile Passport enables U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors to save valuable time during the entry process at over 30 airports and cruise ports of landing. By submitting your passport and declaration information through the app before entering the U.S., you can access the much faster mobile lanes in the inspection area.

As anyone who’s traveled through the U.S. knows; security always takes longer than you’ve anticipated, so being able to access the fast track option will massively improve your travel.

Timeshifter

Travelers often find that they spend too long sitting in airports trying to calculate when they need to sleep in order to ‘beat’ jetl lag. Unfortunately, a lot of time the effort doesn’t usually work.

Finally . . .an app that could help combat a real problem for travelers. . .jet lag.

With Timeshifter, travelers don’t have to sit at their gate doing maths like a madman in the hope of evading jet lag. Using the latest in sleep and circadian neuroscience, the app creates their own personalized ‘jet lag plan’.

To use it, travelers just plug in their details and the app maps out everything they need to do to beat jet lag. The first trip is free, so if you want to check it out before putting your money down, there’s no reason not to!.

Google Maps

We’re all familiar with Google Maps; we use it for road trips, going to the shops, and planning travel at home. But did you know it has a feature that makes it the perfect overseas travel companion?

You can download maps and use them in offline mode. This mightn’t seem revolutionary to most, but for anyone who’s been lost in a foreign city without an internet connection, it’s a lifesaver.

While you’re sitting at the airport killing time, use the free wifi to download the maps for the city you’re traveling to. It’ll save you a lot of hassle and will have you getting around with the confidence of a local.

Google Translate

One of the perks to traveling is your exposure to foreign cultures and languages, and while it’s an awesome experience to walk down the street and not hear or see a single word of English, it does pose some difficulties.

It is no surprise that Google Translate makes a huge difference when traveling in places where your primary language isn’t regularly spoken.

If you’re trying to read the menu when you don’t recognize a single letter, are asking for advice from the locals, or need to know a foreign phrase on the spot, Google Translate is the best app for the job. Better yet, the app can translate audio, images, and text to and from many languages, so you’re sorted for any situation.

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