5 Best Travel Apps & Why I Love Uber

Best Travel Apps

I think it’s probably safe to assume that I never leave home without my phone, especially when I travel, and now that I have the new Samsung Galaxy S7 (oooh, shiny) you can bet it will be in my hand, purse, or pocket wherever I go. Not only do I pretty much take all my photos with my smartphone, but I also have some apps I simply can’t live without when I go on a trip with my family. There’s the app specific to the destination I’m visiting, my airline’s app, and then there’s my favorite check-in app, but there are also a few others that help us in a pinch or keep us organized and on schedule so nobody has to constantly be checking the time. We recently returned from a family vacation and I can tell you that a reliable network like the one I have with U.S. Cellular along with some invaluable downloaded apps helped to make our trip that much more enjoyable.

With Memorial Day just around the corner and summer right behind that I know a lot of families (including yours, I hope!) are probably planning some time away from home and I say the least amount of stress involved, the better. One of the best ways I can think of to minimize stress while on vacation is to have a plan while also keeping things fun, spontaneous, and as laid back as possible. While I don’t spend a lot of time on my smartphone when we’re traveling, I do use it as a very important tool, like for taking photos, paying for coffee, and checking into places we visit. I’m so happy that my friends at U.S. Cellular came up with this wonderful list of apps to make your next vacation more enjoyable and hopefully help you to relax and stay organized. I already use a couple of them, but there are others that I wish I had known about a long time ago because they would have come in quite handy. I guess I’ll just have to plan another trip with my family soon so I can use all of them and report back to you or you could go on vacation and let me know what you think of them.

5 Best Travel Apps

  1. TripIt is an app I’ve honestly never used, but I definitely plan to in the future. It sounds like a great app for keeping all the details of your trip in one place and the best part might be that it connects with Google Maps to help with directions when you need them.
  2. I finally tried Uber for the first time on our most recent trip and I’m definitely a fan. We didn’t need to use it a lot, but when we did I loved that I could use my GPS signal to find a driver nearby, plug in my location and the size vehicle we needed, and get a fare estimate immediately. The most fun part is that you can literally watch through the app as your driver makes their way to you, with a real time estimate of their arrival. Oh, and I had an email on my phone with the summary of our ride by the time we walked through the door of our destination, which is so darn awesome. If you’re traveling to a place where you know you will need taxis then I’d say that downloading the Uber app is an absolute must! 
  3. Currency Converter: I’ve only traveled outside of the United States once, but I’d definitely love to do it again, so I have a feeling this app will come in handy since it can sometimes be pretty confusing trying to figure out various exchange rates for different countries. The Currency Converter app provides conversion amounts for more than 190 currencies and regularly updates exchange rates. You can even input a few of your favorite travel destinations to have quick access when you need it. 
  4. I don’t know about you, but my family loves to eat while we’re on vacation. We love to visit our favorite restaurants and try new places, which is why I love the idea of using the OpenTable app. It provides travelers with all the information they need when trying to make a dining decision. From reading reviews to viewing menus, and even making reservations, OpenTable is a super handy app when traveling (or even when you’re just looking for someplace new to eat near your home). 
  5. Dropbox: Okay, I have a confession to make. I have downloaded Dropbox, but I’ve hardly used it at all, which is why I wish I had read this tip several months ago because it’s sort of genius for when you’re traveling and trying to keep photos organized. Dropbox is most often used to share work files and organize other valuable documents, but it can be used when traveling, too. Basically you just assign a picture folder and upload photos at the end of each vacation day. This not only frees up some memory on your device, but it also keeps your precious memories organized for when you want to relive your trip after arriving back home. 

So, tell me. What’s your favorite can’t-live-without app when traveling because I need all the help I can get the next time I plan a family vacation?!

P.S. Have you downloaded the Parent/Teen Cell Phone Contract yet? I hope you’ll consider it as a helpful tool to keep everyone in your household on the same page where smartphone safety is concerned.

Disclosure: I’m a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade, but I love to travel and I love apps and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Comments

  1. I also just tried Uber for the first time, when we were at a wedding weekend in Brooklyn. We live more in the country and we’re used to driving everywhere, so this was so awesome and convenient for those late city nights!
    Tamara recently posted..When Your Cat Can’t Get Enough Scratches.My Profile

    • Yay for Uber, Tamera! We live in a pretty rural area, too, but it was such a wonderful option for when we needed it in the big city.

  2. Uber is one of my most loved apps – we use it at home because it’s easier than parking downtown! I have dropbox but never thought to use it when traveling. That is a wonderful tip. I had no idea that Currency converter had an app – that one I need!!!!
    Monica recently posted..The Dining Club – Grilled Duck & A New RomanceMy Profile

    • Oh my goodness, Monica, I think I’d probably use Uber WAY more often if it was available in our local area. I hope it makes its way here very soon. That Dropbox tip is one of my favorites and I plan to put it onto use the next time we take a vacation!

  3. I don’t do much travelling, but those look like some awesome apps. I do use dropbox and love it.
    Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy recently posted..Quinoa Stuffed Bell PeppersMy Profile

    • I should really look at Dropbox more closely. I know so many people love it and I’m pretty sure it could be super beneficial.

  4. I might have to check these out! The only one I have heard of is Uber. I plan to do some travelling this year and next, so this is very helpful!
    Katie recently posted..12 Tips for a Healthy, Active and Safe Memorial Day Weekend and a GiveawayMy Profile

  5. Kimberly says:

    I tried Uber for the first time last year and I’ve been hooked ever since. It makes traveling so much easier because there’s no more expensive cab rides!

  6. We love to travel and I love apps. I’ll have to check these out and see if they’ll be helpful on our trips. Thanks!
    Jamie Lee recently posted..What’s in My Baby Diaper Bag!?My Profile

  7. I love What’s app for travel. You can text,call & video chat over wifi anywhere in the world. We used it in South Africa and it worked great.
    Cristine recently posted..One stop shopping #DotComDIY Pennzoil Platinum at Walmart #CbiasMy Profile

  8. I have wondered about Uber myself. Until now, I had not heard of anyone using it. Now that I know it’s pretty safe, I will have to give it a shot myself!
    Dawn McAlexander recently posted..Save Up To $10.49 Per Person At Wet’n Wild Emerald Pointe! #ad #WetnWildEPMy Profile

  9. I use open table even around here! Some of these are new to me I will definitely check them out before my next trip!
    Ashley @irishred02 recently posted..5 Things Learned From Through the Looking GlassMy Profile

    • I’m super curious about Open Table, Ashley, not only for when on a trip but also for right here at home. I’m so glad it’s been helpful to you!

  10. I haven’t tried Uber yet, but I keep hearing everyone rave about how great it is! I’m definitely excited to try it out now!
    Jennifer Borget recently posted..Alice Through the Looking Glass 5-Year-Old ReviewMy Profile

    • I felt the same way, Jennifer! Then when I finally got to try for myself I was an instant fan. Seriously so much better than cabs!

  11. I’m a big Uber fan too. It’s so convenient and has saved us so much money. And I love the currency converter app!
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted..“love and friendship” movie reviewMy Profile

    • I love hearing that an app has saved you money, Lois! I definitely plan to use Uber regularly when we travel to cities where it’s available.

  12. I have actually never used any of these apps. We don’t really use Uber down where we are from, but I have many friends who love it! My parents have used many of these but we still have yet to try. I can see that based on what kind of travel we do the currency app would be a huge help to us!
    Amy recently posted..What to do with your Family this Summer while in the Upper Cape areaMy Profile

  13. When my husband and I traveled often (way back when he was a field engineer for Microsoft), I used TripIt frequently. I’ve never used Uber, but have watched the furor with interest. I love, love, love DropBox, though! It’s my favorite of all the ones you mentioned – and I still use it even though we don’t travel anymore.
    Alicia Taylor recently posted..Shrimp Pad Thai with ZoodlesMy Profile

    • I can’t believe I hadn’t really heard much about TripIt before, but you’ve definitely got me more curious, Alicia! Dropbox, too. I really need to start using Dropbox regularly at home and when traveling.

  14. Thanks for this list. It is right on time as we have 2 vacations planned this summer!
    Tonya C recently posted..Rainbow Fairy Party Ideas – Fairy Wand Pretzel Sticks!My Profile

    • I’m glad I could help, Tonya, and I have to say I’m a tad jealous of your TWO summer vacations. Have a wonderful time on both of them!

  15. Pinning this! We have an upcoming vacation and a few of these are going to come in handy next month that’s for sure!
    Can you recommend one for “must see’s” to New York City?

    • Yay, thanks Heather! I hope they come in handy and that you have a wonderful time. Ooh, I’m not sure of a New York City specific app, but I bet there is probably a great one you could download. What a fun city to visit!

  16. I never thought to get a currency conversion app. That is a great idea when you’re traveling!

  17. I use TripIt all the time and Uber is beginning to grow on me. I just really like that you don’t have to give your credit card info at the ride.
    Liz Mays recently posted..Seasoned Saturday Recipe Link Party (Week 2)My Profile

    • Ooh, I NEED to actually try TripIt the next time we’re planning a trip and I agree with you about Uber, Liz. I LOVE that we don’t exchange any money or have to give a credit card – makes things so smooth!

  18. Our family loves to travel. I am not familiar with any of these apps, definitely worth checking out!

  19. Great App ideas, and yes, I am a big fan of Uber as well. We use it when we travel, and even for events here at home! OpenTable is another one of my favorite apps to use while traveling (and at home). It’s great when you’re in an unknown city and can find good dinner recs. and availability in a matter of minutes!

    • Thanks for the input about OpenTable, Tatanisha! I’ll definitely have to look at that one a little more closely the next place we’re looking for a place to eat.

  20. I absolutely love all of these apps and found this road trip guide very helpful! Having a smartphone at hand while you’re traveling definitely makes everything so much easier and less time consuming! Very cool post! Thanks so much for sharing your neat ideas!

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