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Janna is a staff writer for The Hudsucker. Born and raised in a small Ontario town, she made her move to Toronto for university and immediately fell in love with the excitement and pace of the big city. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production from York University, specializing in editing and screenwriting. She currently works as an assistant editor for a television production company. Janna loves stories told in all mediums, especially film, and takes herself to the movies as much as she possibly can. She can generally be found taking a Zumba class, exploring some of Toronto’s lesser-known gems, or relaxing with her fluffy feline roommate.

This Summer’s Best Travel Apps

Long days. Beautiful weather. A sense of wanderlust. People all over the Northern Hemisphere get bitten by the travel bug in summer, and many of us save up our vacation days for this exact moment—or fantasize about doing so someday, at the very least. With travel and vacations becoming more popular and affordable than ever before, more and more people are sitting down to plan their next great adventure. Gone are the days of paper maps and travel agents—the internet has made it easier than ever before to plan holidays ourselves, customized exactly how we want them. Websites, databases, and apps make trip planning convenient, inexpensive, and simple. As of January 2015, 80% of adult internet users own some brand of smartphone, and the vast majority of these users carry their phones with them wherever they go—including on vacation.

Yes, smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of the travel experience, and app developers have responded in droves, creating apps for just about every travel need or desire one could possibly have. But what’s out there? What’s good, and what’s easy to use? Never fear: The Hudsucker has a list of the best travels apps available for you this summer. Bonus? All but one of them are free!

Credit TravoHut.

Airbnb: If you’ve taken a trip in the last couple of years, chances are, you’ve heard of Airbnb. The accommodation rentals website is incredibly popular worldwide, offering diverse options for staying in someone’s home while in a new city. Airbnb has listings to fit practically any budget; from sofas to entire homes for rent. The app can provide just about all the functionality of the main site—it contains listings, information, a place to contact the host, reviews, and a booking function. Further negotiations, however, need to take place with the host off-app. For those looking for inexpensive places to stay in foreign cities, look no further.
For iPhone and Android users. FREE.

Foodspotting: There are tons of apps that crowdsource restaurant reviews, but none go food-specific quite like Foodspotting does. It’s the perfect app to satisfy a craving or to help travellers try a local delicacy. Whether you’re looking for a great paella in Madrid, or the best burger in New York City, a simple search will have user reviews at your fingertips in minutes.
For iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry users. FREE.

GasBuddy: This app is a must for long road trips! GasBuddy keeps an updated log of the cheapest gas stations, wherever you are. The information on the app is user reported, incentivized by a points system that can be redeemed for prizes, so it’s sure to be up to date. Tapping on a gas station will pull up driving directions to that station. It’s a huge help for those on a budget.
For iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry users. FREE.

Google Translate: Yes, everyone knows about Google Translate by now. The best part about the app? Its “Conversation Mode” function! It’s a killer feature for international travel. Once activated, hold the app up between two speakers, and listen as it translates the conversation live. As with any online translator, there is some lag time and there are mistranslations, but it’s definitely functional. It sure beats waving your hands around and playing charades just to try and find a bathroom in a foreign country.
For iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows users. FREE.

HopStop: Travelling to a city with public transit? HopStop is a must. No need to carry transit maps with you—the app has them! If you input your start and end locations, and a desired departure or arrival time, HopStop will give you multiple route suggestions in detail, whether you’re taking the subway, bus, train, walking, or biking. It also has schedules for trains, buses, and ferries, and will estimate the cost & travel time for taking a taxi. It’s far more difficult to get lost these days!
For iPhone users. FREE.

JetLag Genie: Anyone who has travelled across several time zones knows the struggle and the pain that jet lag brings. Minimizing this is the idea behind JetLag Genie, an app that helps you alter your sleep habits gradually before a trip. Put in travel dates, your destination, and your usual sleeping times, and it will give you personalized alarm clocks leading up to your trip. It’ll help soften the blow when your schedule changes drastically.
For iPhone users. $3.49 USD.

Localeur: Guidebooks are all well and good, but many people prefer to see a city’s true hidden gems—not just the tourist highlights. Localeur can help. The app solicits advice from locals, getting information on a city’s top off-the-beaten-path attractions and favorite places. Granted, Localeur’s advice is currently limited to only 14 major US cities, so it isn’t a global phenomenon yet. But if your trip happens to be to one of these 14 US cities, it’s well worth investigating.
For iPhone and Android users. FREE.

TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor is one of the top travel sites, and for a good reason—its reviews and ratings cover everything from hotels, restaurants, and sights all over the world. It also contains crowd-sourced lists of a city’s must-see attractions. The app should be your best friend when planning any vacation.
For iPhone, Android, and Windows users. FREE.

Wi-Fi Finder: Visiting another country and using your phone’s data plan can wreak havoc on your bank account thanks to roaming charges. But how can you post your vacation photos to Instagram as you go or check a place’s online reviews without it?! Enter Wi-Fi Finder. The app finds the nearest source of wireless internet to help you save massively on data charges. Extra bonus? It gives you the option to download maps of the places you’ll be before you arrive and access them offline, so you never have to touch your data.
For iPhone and Android users. FREE.

XE Currency: This app is one of the most basic ones out there, and for travelling to foreign countries, it’s a huge help when dealing with currency. It’s slick, easy to use, and completely accurate—it uses live conversion rates. It’s the most popular currency conversion app out there.
For iPhone, Android, Windows, and Blackberry users. FREE.

What are your must-have travel apps? Share with us in the comments below.

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One Comment on “This Summer’s Best Travel Apps”

  1. Elizabeth Rosalyn The July 17, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    The Citymapper app was a lifesaver when I was navigating the transportation system of London. I like how users are able to save their planned routes to their phones for offline access.

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