Travel Stories

Bridget's Favorite Travel Apps

Bridget's Favorite Travel Apps

When it comes to travel, the unknown can be exciting but also unnerving. As I’ve begun traveling extensively, I’ve learned to rely upon my favorite travel apps.

Whether you are traveling for heritage research, a work conference, or a family vacation, travel experiences can be enhanced because of smartphone apps.

Though they are very common, travel apps tend to have a low satisfaction.

"Travel apps lag far behind customer financial apps in overall satisfaction. The average overall satisfaction score for hotel, OTA and rental car apps is 849 (on a 1,000-point scale). Airline apps score lower (840). In contrast, overall user satisfaction scores for credit card apps (874) and retail banking apps (867) are substantially higher. Both credit card and banking apps also have considerably higher levels of utilization." Insider Travel Report

Airline Apps

Most airlines have their own apps. This allows you to check on the status of your flight and, more importantly, obtain mobile boarding passes. I put all of my apps together in my utilities folder.

Since I purchase the best fares, I have the mobile apps for Southwest, Alaska Air, Delta, American Airlines, Swiss, and Norwegian. Swiss Air may be my favorite app, though Southwest and Delta are good, too.

Hotel Apps

I am a huge Marriott fan so of course I have their app. You can request amenities and check in from your phone. It’s very handy. I also have the app for the Hyatt chain.

WiFi Messaging Apps

You may purchase WiFi on most flights, though my most recent Air France transatlantic did not have WiFi. Messaging your friends is easy if you have all the apps. If all of my friends had an iPhone, I could just use iMessage. That’s not realistic.

I use WhatsApp, Viber, and, also Facebook Messenger. I like being able to check on my dog when I’m away, let my mom know that I’ve landed, and just say hey to the friends I’m missing.

Language Learning Apps

I am a huge fan of language learning. You can always watch videos on YouTube or get podcasts for immersion or learning phrases. When I was getting ready for Paris, I listened to the News in Slow French podcast.

I used Memrise for Serbian and Duolingo for French, Dutch, and now I’m going to start German for an upcoming trip to Berlin in June of 2019.

Directions and Mapping Apps

Since I have unlimited data through Sprint and no international fees, I used Google Maps while traveling abroad. As a backup, since the local network and connectivity was unknown, I also use and downloaded the regions I would need. It’s very helpful when planning your trip or just getting a larger context of where you are.

Ride Sharing Apps

I have Lyft and Uber which I use frequently here. I used Uber in Ottawa and Paris. In Belgrade, the taxi company I used also had an app. Sometimes, public transportation has an app. When language is a barrier, I prefer to travel in a way where the driver knows where I’m going. But you can always write down the address on an index card.

Photography Apps

As an iPhone user, I rely heavily on the native camera. I also use ProHDRx. It’s fun to send postcards via your phone to relatives using TouchNote. I’ve also had some of my photos put on canvas using TouchNote and framed with Keepsake.

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