My Top Free Mobile Apps for Travelers

Traveling to new places is always a challenge so I make sure I'm thoroughly prepared before every trip. Getting lost is normal and is part of an adventure but you could minimize unlikely events to happen while on the road with the help of useful travel apps.

Smartphones and tablets have always been part of most travelers - at least for those who want to stay connected online whenever or wherever they are - like me. I can't emphasize enough how much mobile travel apps have helped in my travels from making plans and itinerary to the actual trip.

Here are the top free travel apps I use during my travels, which can help you have a worry-free trip and make the most of it once you reach your destinations.

1. Direction

Google Map - I think this is one of the most common mobile apps that most travelers use. For me, this my top digital companion whenever I'm traveling whether locally or abroad. Provided you're connected online, getting around in places even if it's your first time is easy. I also use it to get the estimated time it will take me to reach one destination to another. I also love the "Explore around you" feature that provides suggestions of nearby spots such as places to eat, drink or see around your location. This is very useful especially when you are on an international destination if you're looking for an on-the-spot recommendations.

2. Weather

Accuweather - As a traveler, it always important to anticipate the weather of the destination you're going to especially if it involves a boat or plane ride and outdoor activities. There has been a few trips I have cancelled just days before due to unfavorable weather condition, thanks to the weather mobile app for saving me the hassle. If the trip would last for a few days, for instance, monitoring the weather would help me plan out which activities to put on which day. There are times when weather is erratic - one day it's sunny and the next there's rain. App like Accuweather can give you daily weather forecast, even up to a month.

Instagram - Maybe you don't expect it but I use Instagram to monitor the real-time weather in places I would be visiting. For example, just days before my trip to a certain destination, I would search on Instagram the location or hashtag related to the place and view the photos posted by people about it. There you can have an idea of how the weather looks like most of the time.

3. Accommodations

Agoda - I think this is a popular mobile app that many travelers use whether for leisure or business trips. By using this app, you can avail big discounts for hotels, hostels, guesthouses and inns as compared to booking directly with them.

AirBnb - I use this app if I feel like staying in a home and live like a local. What I like about this community is that most of the hosts are travelers as well so you get to meet like-minded people. For budget-conscious travelers and backpackers, there are plenty of options for cheap places to stay at using this app.

TripAdvisor - I've been using this website for a long time already. Although I don't use it to book for accommodation, TripAdvisor is very useful when you're looking for ideas on where to stay and read reviews about them. It does help me set my expectations about certain accommodations beforehand.

4. Flights

Cebu Pacific / AirAsia - Two of the local airlines I use when booking for flights. Having them on your mobile phone is handy especially when they do seat sale/promo fare announcements. Sometimes, they do exclusive seat sale through the mobile app only so make sure you have it on your smartphone.

Traveloka - This another app to use for booking flights and hotels, both for local and international destinations like Singapore and Bali. They have great payment options such as credit cards or mobile banking via Dragonpay.

5. Guide

In case you're traveling outside the country, there are apps useful to specific countries like Subway apps which I used when I went to Japan recently. Trains and subway lines are the main mode of transportation in some Asian countries so having the app helped me familiarize their railway system. If you're traveling to Hong Kong soon, I recommend downloading My Hong Kong Guide to your phone. It contains everything you need to know about Hong Kong such as places of interest, food finds and more.

Other apps I also use that are extremely helpful when traveling abroad include Currency Converter and Google Translate.

Which of these travel apps do you use? Do you have any other recommendations?

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