Family travel tips

10 Free Travel Apps for Every Traveler

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Who needs expensive travel agents when you have a smartphone and access to free travel apps? Planning a family trip can be overwhelming. Thankfully, with today’s technology, you can find all the tools to ensure your vacation is a success. I’ve created this list of 10 free travel apps to load in your iPhone before your next trip.

Skyscanner

Skyscanner search bar with Everywhere listed as the destination
Search Everywhere for the perfect destination

Similar to sites like Kayak and Expedia, Skyscanner is another booking website, but almost always offers the cheapest fares. The free travel app is easy to use, and lets traveler search and compare prices for flights, car rentals, and hotels. My favorite feature of Skyscanner is the Search Everywhere function. This feature is perfect for folks who need a getaway but don’t have a specific destination in mind. Skyscanner also analyzes the previous year’s booking data to predict the best time to book a flight in the current year.

Download Skyscanner here

Tripit

TripIt is my favorite free travel app. From flights to hotel reservations, this app keeps track of it all. Tripit notifies users of itinerary changes as they happen throughout your trip. The best part is, this app requires no work on the users part. Once you’ve set up your account, Tripit will collect and organize travel confirmations, and changes as they are emailed to you.

Download Tripit Here

Google Translate

Google translate app translating a phrase from english to spanish

It wasn’t until my baby girl fell sick in a foreign country that I learned how vital multilingualism really is. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to learn a new language every time we travel abroad. The next best thing is a good translation app. This is where Google Translator comes in. This free travel app works on and offline. I used this app to communicate with medical staff during my daughter’s 3-day hospital stay in Panama, and it was accurate. This app isn’t just a favorite among traveling families; it’s crucial! Please believe me when I say, “you need this app now!”

Download Google Translate for IOS here

Mobile Passport

Mobile Passport Control app icon

If you are a Candian visitor or a U.S. citizen, then this app is something you will want to consider. Mobile Passport Control (MPC) allows eligible travelers to use the Mobile Passport app to speed up their entry process into the U.S. Mobile Passport is the first app authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, does not require pre-approval and is free to use. With a smartphone or tablet, visitors can submit their passport information and answer CBP inspection-related questions before CBP inspection. Although it is not available in every U.S. airport, as of May 2019, MPC can be  25 U.S. international airports and three sea ports of entry. For a complete list and more information, please visit the Mobile Passport Control page on the official U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Download Mobile Passport here

GlobeConvert

Globe Studio has created a handful of travel apps that make traveling easier by doing a lot of the thinking for you. GlobeConvert is truly a globetrotter’s best friend. It is an all-in-one converter for just about anything you may encounter while in a foreign country. It has an attractive and simple interface and most importantly, spits out its conversions very quickly.

Screen shot of GlobeConvert app showing currency conversion and other units that can be converted
GlobeStudios

GlobeConvert converts over 160 currencies and more than 350 physical units. In the app, you can quickly create a list of your most used conversion types and units and since the currency rates are updated every hour, you don’t worry if you have no internet connection. You can use GlobeConvert offline and it will save the data of the latest successful update .

Download GlobeConvert here

GlobeTempus

GlobeTempus app show time in Daly City and Cancun with blue background

Sound familiar? You’re on vacation clear across the globe, and you’re dying to call your sister to tell her about the wild snorkel tour your family just completed. Only, she doesn’t answer, and you realize she might be sleeping because it’s night time back home. Then you struggle and count on your hands what the time difference is. Well, never fear. There is an app to do that thinking for you. GlobeStudios has created yet another user-friendly app for jet setters all over the world. GlobeTempus is an app that quickly converts time zones, keeping you up to date no matter where you are.

Download GlobeTempus here

GlobeTips

Country-Based Tip Calculator & Guide! Knowing how much to tip in another country can be challenging for a lot of travelers. Even though tipping in the U.S. is almost mandatory, some other countries consider it disrespectful and outright rude. While I believe that every person in the service industry deserves a few extra bucks, no matter where they are, the fact is I could ruin a persons day if I do tip or do not tip enough. If you are not familiar with tipping etiquette of a specific culture, GlobeTips app is a fail-proof way to make sure you get it right.

GlobeTips Country-Based Tip Calculator & Guide!

GlobeTips App provides tipping advice for 240 countries and regions around the world. This app will ensure you can figure out the tip you should leave a service person based on local culture in a specific industry. GlobeTips can also detect the country you are in automatically and allows a party to split the check.

Download GlobeTips here

Loungebuddy

My first experience with an airport lounge was in Houston at 3 a.m., with two sleepy toddlers. With a 5-hour flight ahead of us, I knew that I needed to let the girls burn off some energy before we boarded another flight. My husband quickly pulled out his phone and pulled up the Loungebuddy app. From the app, he located a lounge with a family room and wifi. After spending a few hours in a comfortable setting, with toys and free food, I knew I would never, not use another lounge again.

LoungeBuddy app icon. The app gives all travelers can access to thousands of airport lounges in their network

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling for business or leisure, once you’ve filled out your profile, you’ll find out which lounges you can access to in any given airport. If there aren’t any, the app will let you know which ones you can buy a day pass to access. Bonus: LoungeBuddy can pull your itineraries from TripIt for easy access to lounges at every airport along an upcoming trip.

Download Loungebuddy here

WhatsApp

Using your mobile phone while you’re abroad can get pretty pricey. Every mobile phone service has specific rules for charging roaming and international fees for travelers who may need to place a call or send a text. WhatsApp is a messaging app that allows users to text, talk, and send media to others using your phone’s internet connection. WhatsApp relies on data to deliver messages, so it doesn’t cut into your text allotment, which allows you to avoid SMS fees while abroad. As long as you are connected to wifi, you can place calls and share media for free. However, if you are using an international data plan while traveling, phone calls and media sent from the app will use your data.

Download WhatsApp here

Airline Apps

Download the app for airline and make sure you enable notifications. Airline apps will generally allow you to pull up your boarding pass and alert you of flight changes, gate moves, and weather warnings in real time. In addition to alerts, most airline apps require you to access the plane’s wifi connection and inflight entertainment directly through the app.

Are you still in need of help planning your trip abroad? Check out this guide to full of helpful tips and travel hacks to make trip planning and preparation easier.

What are some of your favorite travel apps? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear about them and try ’em out!

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