Let Your Phone Be Your Travel Guide with These 11 Travel Apps for Android
Google has literally changed the world.
And one of its most disruptive technologies has been the open-source, mobile operating system of Android.
Every day, billions of people use an Android phone to talk to their friends, take photos, conduct important business and travel the world.
If you have an Android phone and are planning a trip, you’re in luck! The Google Play store has some seriously awesome travel apps that you should download right now.
Benefits of Travel Apps for Android
One of the biggest benefits of using Android over another mobile operating system (OS) is the fact that the Android OS is 100% free and open-source. That means that the software Android runs on isn’t under lock and key by Google, unlike iOS. This allows for all kinds of crazy cool innovation and a lot of technological freedom for app developers.
That means you, an Android user, have access to a ton of nifty, unique apps!
One of the other big benefits is that since Google is so ubiquitous to our internet-based lives, we can sync up everything from our Android devices across all other internet-connected devices via Google’s servers.
This makes accessing our information really easy.
When traveling, we can use Android travel apps to achieve a wide array of different objectives, such as the following:
- Organizing and Planning. When we travel, it’s important that we stay organized and on top of our travel plans. If we don’t, we run the risk of losing important information, wasting a lot of time, misplacing booking details, missing flights and getting ourselves into frenzies over things that could’ve been avoided if we just had better planning skills. Travel apps help us by keeping all our information in one place, which makes organizing it all much easier.
- Mingling. Travel is great because we get to leave our cozy bubbles and engage with a brand new culture, meet new people and have different kinds of experiences. With the right apps, we can meet locals and fellow travelers, find cool things to do and communicate our desires with ease and efficiency.
- Security. There are a lot of unsafe things in the world. Certain apps help us stay safe, keep our possessions secure and remove our fears associated with venturing abroad. This gives us peace of mind and a sense of ease so we can have a much more enjoyable time during our travels.
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11 Travel Apps for Android
Android Travel Apps for Experiencing the Local Culture
Google Translate is one of the most popular translation apps out there.
It offers over 100 languages, ranging from common ones like Mandarin and French to much less common ones like Hmong and Scottish Gaelic.
And many of these languages have a slew of translation options.
There’s always the text input option for when you want to write out the word in English and see it written in your target language, or vice-versa. But there are also options for camera, handwriting and voice translations.
These latter options are great when the language isn’t written in a Roman script. For example, if you’re wandering around Japan and you don’t recognize a Japanese character on a menu, you can use Google Translate to take a picture and receive an instant translation.
You also have the option to download language packs right to your phone so you can get accurate translations while you’re offline. This is a godsend when you’re traveling in remote areas where you can’t access Wi-Fi.
Google Translate has a built-in phrasebook so you can save the most common words and sentences in any language directly to the app. This helps you have conversations with natives even if you aren’t conversational in the language.
Google Translate is free.
FluentU web- and mobile-based app that turns clips of real foreign-language media into immersive language learning lessons.
It takes videos directly from a country where your target language is spoken and adds clickable subtitles that contain dictionary definitions, audio pronunciation and other language learning aids. Any word in the interactive captions can be added into a spaced repetition flashcard set so you can practice your vocabulary anytime you want.
Each video lesson comes with a personalized quiz to make sure you understood and retained all the information in the videos.
Right now, FluentU offers ten different languages: English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian, German, Russian, Korean and Portuguese.
However, one FluentU account comes with all ten of those languages. All you have to do is switch languages in your dashboard and you can learn up to ten separate languages at the same time.
Guides by Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet is one of the most well-know names in the guide book industry.
Their Guides app takes those guide books and turns them into curated city guides for your Android device.
Simply search for one of their 100+ cities in the app, then download that city guide. Once it’s downloaded, you have offline access to a completely free guide book, complete with recommendations of what to see, what to do, where to eat, where to shop and more.
You also have the option to download an offline map of the city.
The app even comes with a budget calculator that includes a currency converter. This helps you avoid overspending while traveling abroad.
Lonely Planet has also included an audio phrasebook for many cities, so you can learn some of the most common phrases to get around.
Guides by Lonely Planet is free for the city guides and a small section of common phrases. It costs $1.99 for one language’s entire audio phrasebook and $5.99 for all 19 languages’ audio phrasebooks.
Android Travel Apps for Trip Planning
This is one of the most downloaded apps on the Google Play store.
It’s designed to find you the cheapest accommodation by curating a list of hotels based on aggregated results from hundreds of different booking sites.
You can search for a hotel from any number of criteria, from price to star ratings to user reviews. You can also sort the results by displaying the best deals first or accommodation that’s closest to a particular sight you want to see.
The app also allows you to search using the trivago Rating Index, an algorithm designed to combine all the hotel ratings from other sites. This helps you secure the best deal for the best hotel.
If you want to find cheap hotels, trivago is the place to look.
This app is free to download, but it costs money to book a hotel.
Google Trips is an automatic trip organizer.
It automatically gathers trip reservations, like hotel bookings and plane tickets, from your Gmail account and organizes them into the app.
The app is separated into different trips so you can keep all your travel plans separate. Google Trips gives you recommendations based on day plans, suggested attractions and popular food and drink options nearby based on your GPS location.
You can add as many or as few of Google Trip’s suggestions into your trip plan as you’d like.
Once you have a good itinerary laid out, you can view all your travel plans in one convenient place.
Because Google Trips is connected to your Gmail and Android accounts, it automatically syncs up with its own servers and updates everything for you as soon as a booking or reservation comes in.
And once information appears on the app, you can access it offline. This is perfect for when you arrive in a new place and don’t have access to data but still need to figure out how to get to your hotel.
Google Trips is free.
Android Travel Apps for Being a Smart Traveler
XE Travel is an app designed to help you fully document your travel expenses.
XE is a well-known name in the currency world for its exchange rate information and in the travel app world for its popular XE Currency Converter app.
But XE Travel takes it one step further and tracks all your spending while abroad.
Of course, there’s a currency converter inside the app, but there’s also a lot more you can do. Simply add a trip, input the destination and dates of travel and set a budget. After that, you can go in and document every single travel expenditure made on that trip.
XE Travel has covered all potential budgeting headaches with options to customize an exchange rate—helpful for when your credit card company charges you an overseas fee—and even an option to split a bill with someone else.
When you’re done adding your trip info, you can send it to a friend who’s also registered on the platform. This is a great way to track business expenses with a coworker or help a friend stay on budget while they’re abroad.
XE Travel is free.
PackPoint helps you get ready for a trip.
Tell PackPoint where you’re going, and it tells you what to bring for each city you’re traveling to.
The app creates a luggage checklist based on your travel plans by asking you to choose between a business trip or leisure travel. Then it asks you what kind of activities you’re going to do, such as swimming, hiking or working.
PackPoint also asks when you’re traveling so it can let you know what the weather will be like. For instance, it will tell you to bring an umbrella if the weather forecast calls for rain.
The app gives you a few different customization options, like willingness to wear the same clothes multiple times and the ability to do laundry while you’re away.
After you choose all the options and set the parameters, the app suggests a bunch of things you should include in your packing list, like clothing, medicine, toiletries and passport information. You can then add or remove any of these items depending on what you think you need.
The app is easy to use and highly customizable.
Never wonder what to pack again. PackPoint will pack your bags for you!
PackPoint is free, and for $2.99 you can upgrade for customized activities, custom packing templates and TripIt and Evernote integration.
Android Travel Apps for Multimedia
Google Drive is one of the best cloud storage apps out there.
Cloud storage is crucial for travelers because if you lose your phone or your SD card gets damaged, you’ll lose all of your travel photos and videos.
The benefit of using an Android device is that it syncs up with Google’s servers using your Google account. This way, any photos you take or other files can be automatically backed up in the cloud.
Whenever you want to access these files, simply log into your Google Drive account from any internet-connected device and navigate to the folder they’re stored in.
Keeping your documents safe and secure while traveling isn’t an easy task. But Google’s native integration with Android makes setting everything up super easy.
Google Drive is free for 15 GB, then it ranges from 100GB for $1.99 per month to 30TB for $299.99 per month.
Photo Editor Pro by InShot Inc.
Photo Editor Pro is a professional photo editing app.
Even if you’ve never edited a photo in your life, you’ll quickly be able to produce high-quality and professional-looking photos in no time. Thanks to this app, your travel photos will look better than you ever imagined!
Use one of its filter effects for a quick and easy edit, or individually adjust various aspects of the picture like the hue, saturation and contrast.
You can also blend two photos together to produce a stunning effect that might not have been possible otherwise. (Pro tip: Professional photographers do this all the time!)
Photo Editor Pro has many other options, such as cropping, adding stickers and using glitch and blur effects.
You can even take up to 18 pictures and merge them all into a single photo collage.
And when you’re done, there are inbuilt sharing options for you to post to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Photo Editor Pro is free for the basic version, and you can purchase extras like special filters and stickers inside the app.
Android Travel Apps for Meeting People and Communicating
Using Tinder is a great way to meet people when traveling.
Some people worry that Tinder is only used as a “hookup app,” but this is just an unfortunate stereotype.
Tinder takes your GPS location and identifies people around you who want to meet up.
You can meet locals who want to show you around their country. You can also meet foreigners who want to go exploring with you.
You get to decide who you want to meet with by swiping right on their picture. If they also swiped right on your picture, the app puts you in contact with them.
All you have to do is upload a few pictures, write a quick profile intro and start swiping! You can also connect one of your social media profiles, such as Twitter or Instagram, to better connect with people who have similar interests.
Again, don’t worry about the dating reputation. Simply write in your profile that you’re only looking to meet up with some new friends.
Tinder is free, but you can pay for certain features, such as unlimited Super Likes, for $4.59 per month to $9.99 per month depending on the plan.
WhatsApp Messenger is the most used messaging app in the world.
With WhatsApp, you can communicate with anyone anywhere in the world via the internet.
This is a great way to communicate with friends and family back home because you don’t have to pay for local cell phone service or overseas calling/texting fees. You can send text messages, audio messages, GIFs and emojis, and you can make audio and video calls. All with the power of the internet!
Because it doesn’t require a cell phone plan, may countries around the world use WhatsApp as their primary form of messaging. There are some notable exceptions, such as China, which has blocked many Western apps—including WhatsApp—and has replaced them with their own army of apps.
But even if you find yourself in China, you can just turn on your VPN and communicate with your friends all over the world with WhatsApp.
One of the best things about WhatsApp is its high level of encryption, which makes it ideal for you to carry out highly secure communication. If security is a concern, I would advise against sending sensitive information via any other messaging app.
WhatsApp is free.
Traveling the world with an Android device is surprisingly easy, because Google has provided us with a platform that allows us to connect with some of the most innovative app developers in the world.
So download these 11 travel apps for Android, and get traveling!
Eric Michelson is a nomadic, philosophizing, peace-minded pluralist. He hopes to help bridge the divide between the diverse factions of the world by exploring various perspectives brought on by personal experience. You can follow Perspective Earth to learn more about him and his work.
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