The Best Travel Apps Used by Travel Gurus

appsIn 2013 I spoke at the New York Times Travel Show and the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, and my colleagues and I chose these apps to share with you. 

Trip Planning Apps

Money App  XE- Currency

Food Apps


 Lost? To Find My Way:

Maps by Google to get directions, distances, time for travel and even traffic conditions.

Around Me to find gas stations, restaurants ATM machines hospitals, hotels and more.

To Help me Pack

Packing Pro: This app is fantastic to help you prepare for your trip. In addition to helping create multiple packing lists, it also helps you create “to do” lists. Check out my packing tips too.

To Know What the Weather Will Be

Weatherbug is a great app to save, and track, the weather conditions in up to 20 locations throughout the world and offers live webcam views of the weather in action.

To Stay Safe:

An App to help you out of a tight spot

Emergenseeapp transforms your smartphone into a free personal security system (aka personal bodyguard). With just a click of a button, you can transmit video, audio and GPS to your selected friends and family so that they can hear, see and track what’s going on. They can alert authority if you can’t.

Call A Taxi: This app finds the closest taxi companies in your area. Let’s say you are stuck in the middle of a city that you are not familiar with and can’t find a taxi, this app will connect you to the closest taxi station.

To Stay Informed:

PressReader: With PressReader, you browse and read full digital replicas of over 2,200 newspapers and magazines from 97 countries just like you would in print regardless of where you travels take you. You can download, disconnect and read the world’s most popular full-content newspapers on your favorite Android operated device, BlackBerry, iPad, iPhone or Smartphone.

To Stay Organized:

Tripit:  Tripit helps you consolidate all your travel reservations (hotels, air, car rentals, etc). Simply forward all your travel reservations to and Tripit builds an itinerary for you. In addition to being convenient, we like it because you can share your itineraries with your friends and family members who will know exactly which flight you are taking, where you are staying, etc. It’s great in case of emergency.

To Stay Fit And Healthy:

Calorie Counter Pro by MyNetDiary: It’s always so difficult to eat healthy while traveling and to stay in shape. This app is so far the best one on the market. It tracks everything you eat, how many calories you lose exercising, and gives you advice to reach your fitness goals. It also syncs with the website If you are trying to shed a few pounds or just stay motivated, it is a must have!

MindBody: This app lets you find a gym class near you. Many of us miss our usual yoga, spinning, or Zumba classes while traveling. Mindbody is an app that finds the closest classes based on your location. Unfortunately, not every fitness center or gym is listed, but it’s a start.
Gym Finder: This app will help you find a gym or fitness center near you! If your hotel gym is too small you can see which fitness centers are near your hotel.

To Travel Like A Local:

All Subway: This app contains subway maps from hundred of cities around the world!

iMetro: is a handy app that provides metro/underground transport maps for 28 cities throughout the world. Each map is scalable and you can manipulate the screen to zoom in and find your way.

Google Translate: This app will not just translate your sentences, but it also speak them so you know how to pronounce the word as well. One word of caution:  some translations are not perfectly accurate — particularly long sentences — but this is one of the best apps in its genre available.

Just For Women:

Period Tracker: This app reminds you when you will get your period, the moods you may be feeling, and when you are the most fertile. It will also help you not to forget to pack tampons for your next business trip as finding them in other countries can prove difficult.
The Pill: This app reminds you when to take your birth control pill. It’s really convenient, especially when you travel in a different time zone.

To Stay in Touch with Friends and Family with Free Phone Calls

Skype of course.

There’s a wide range of apps out there that offer travelers an opportunity to keep in touch with their friends and families back home. One such example is Viber, an application that allows iPhone users to make free phone calls to fellow iPhone users no matter where in the world they are. Providing you and the call recipient both have iPhones, then international calls using Viber or Wi-Fi are completely free of charge.

To converts measurements

Can’t quite get used to the measurement systems in place abroad? HiConverter is a very handy app that quickly converts measurements from one system to another. Temperature, shoe sizes, distance, currency; you name it, it can convert it. The app also has the added advantage of being integrated with Tiptulator, an app that allows you to calculate the tip on a restaurant or bar bill.

To Convert Foreign Currency

XE Currency
XE Currency is a very popular app because it allows for very quick currency conversions and is capable of performing multiple conversions at the same time. The currency rates can refresh every 60 seconds meaning that you have the most up to date rate available at your fingertips. You can also program the app so that it automatically tracks the performance of a number of different currencies over time, great for expats who are investments in a variety of locations.

 For Audio Walking Tours, Places of Interest Nearby

 Tourcaster Walking Tours
For travelers who are interested in exploring on foot without being armed with an attention-grabbing tourist book, the Tourcaster audio walking tours app offers walking tours in popular destinations throughout the world. Load your virtual map and follow the onscreen instructions to explore the city and learn more of its history. Each tour is categorized according to difficulty, length and distance so you can fit your tours in around your schedule and explore at your own pace.

Triposo Do you still pack a bulky guidebook? The Triposo App offers you a way to find places of interest nearby.  The app automatically takes in to account the time of day, the weather, your location, and the opening hours of nearby places, and then suggest a plan for you. For example, if open the app at 10:00 a.m. on a rainy day, it may suggest a nearby museums that are open as well as cozy cafes. Find it on Apple, Android; Free.

* Thanks for my colleagues who presented their best tips at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show, Feb. 2013.










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Category: Best Travel Apps, Featured, Packing Pointers, Travel Tips

About the Author ()

Marybeth Bond, the Gutsy Traveler, National Geographic author of 11 travel books, featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of the Online Travel Magazine She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to CNN, CNN Airport Network and Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked two months across the USA, traveler to over 90 countries, media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.

Comments (17)

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  1. Tyler H. says:

    Great post! I agree with most of the apps that you’ve recommended in here as I’ve personally used them during my travels. Anyway, I discovered a good travel application that is specific for Milan. It’s called “25 things to do in Milan.” It’s a nice city guide that works offline, which is pretty useful if you don’t have access to a network. You can check the app here: Keep on posting!

  2. Debbie Neverve says:

    Hello Gutsy Traveler!

    Mary Beth, I admire you. I would love to travel the world and see the differences in the many culture’s that are among us. We met during the Transitions Academy in the night club. I was one of the 3 ladies you sat with. If you ever need a partner while traveling, feel free to invite me! :) Good luck on your adventures. It was a pleasure meeting you. Debbie

    • Thank you Debbie. What a great place for us to meet. AH we did have fun. I appreciate your comments and for your following Here’s to more adventures in 2012 and beyond.

  3. Betty says:

    Hi Marybeth!
    Thanks for much for taking a peek at PressReader! Glad it could make your list of useful travel apps :).

    • Betty,
      I have enjoyed reading the Kathmandu Press, the International Herald Tribune as well as numerous USA papers. I think my readers will find this app. equally educational. Happy Travels.

  4. Amass says:

    I love how convenient everything is for us nowadays!

  5. No wonder they are called Best Travel Apps For Your Smartphone.I went on a trip for a week and i don’t know how i would survived without those apps.

  6. Dondonnat says:

    It’s nice to have apps that make our lives easier.And this one is no exception.I always forget what to pack in my trips so it’s very helpful for me.

  7. Galimex says:

    It’s the best app for me!I always get lost except on my way home.And I travel a lot.Most of my family is in Europe so I have to visit each of them.I’m saved now!I can return home safe!Haha!

  8. Beatriz says:

    Where is the article please? it’s only the title…

  9. montira says:

    thank you for the great travel information and for sharing.

  10. Ellen Smithfield says:

    Great list, but you should add another travel app to the list. It’s called Simply Declare and it keeps track of what you buy outside of your country and have to declare when returning. Super easy, takes a picture of the receipt so you don’t have to worry about losing paperwork. Simply Declare also updates your purchases everyday in real time currency rates. It creates a list so you don’t have to stress the customs agent cause you know exactly how much you spent. It even warns me when I am getting too close to going over my allowable amounts. This is becoming one of my go to travel apps.

  11. Lizzie says:

    First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick
    question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head before writing. I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost just
    trying to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?
    Thank you!

    • HI Lizzie, Good question. I don’t rush in to writing. I try to have some quiet time to clear my head and organize my thoughts before beginning. That time can be in the shower, while walking the dog, or just sitting quietly. Meditation helps too. Good luck in your writing. It’s tough to write well.

  12. Musement says:

    Check out Musement, the new app for travel and art lovers with hundreds of cultural experiences all over the world! Book museums and city tours on the go with just a few clicks, letting you skip the line and have more time to explore:

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