Traveling is fun and exciting…and oh so busy. Travelers are constantly shuffling essential items from reservation numbers for flights and hotels to passports and phone numbers. While sometimes be stressful, technology offers travelers opportunities to track important information through these best travel apps 2020.
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Best Travel Apps 2020
Traveling is a fun, exciting, and eye-opening experience that helps us learn about the world, other cultures, and ourselves. In the 21st century, we have more opportunities to travel than were ever possible just a few decades ago.
Yet, travel can still be frustrating, stressful, and complicated, especially when you’re going off the beaten track or hopping from place to place. Keeping track of all your tickets, managing your itinerary, and staying entertained while traveling can all become a challenge.
Thankfully, technology has made these problems much easier to manage. Smartphones have made it practical to ditch many things we would normally need to take: a folder full of documents, several books, and a map or guidebook are just some of the most obvious.
Take the stress out of traveling, and download these best travel apps on your phone.
Read More: Best Recording Apps for Travelers
Electronic Tickets Best Travel Apps
If you’re flying from place to place or taking a string of trains around a country or continent, you can end up with a stack of tickets and passes the size of a newspaper. While not heavy or bulky on their own, put them together and it soon adds up.
Thankfully, your phone helps with some of the best travel apps to track your trips. Most airlines and train companies now offer downloads of an e-ticket or boarding pass to your device. Some airline travel apps (liked United) even offer complimentary entertainment during the flight — all you have to do is download the app.
Most countries offer electronic tickets, but there are certain countries (like Russia), where local rules require you to have a paper document.
Many airlines and train companies have their own travel apps to download. Though many will also connect to Apple’s Wallet and the Google Pay apps to keep your tickets secure and all in one place.
Alternatively, you can often just keep a PDF copy on your phone and zoom in on the barcode when it needs to be scanned.
Hotel televisions often don’t include many great channels. If you find yourself in a non-English-speaking country, you’ll likely be stuck to watching BBC World News or CNN if you don’t speak the local lingo.
Streaming services to the rescue! With apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, stream hours of content over your smartphone’s data connection or the hotel’s WiFi.
When you know some of your travel time will be without an internet connection, most streaming services also allow you to download movies and TV shows to your device to playback later.
Besides the general streaming platforms offering a broad library of content, niche services specialize in a specific genre, topic, and entertainment. PokerStars TV offers a range of poker-related content including coverage of live events, full-length programs, and interviews with players. Curiosity Stream serves up documentaries from famous names like Sir David Attenborough and Stephen Hawking.
Mass Transit and Offline Navigation
Getting around unfamiliar surroundings has never been as easy as it is today thanks to services like Google Maps. While they are incredibly powerful and useful almost everywhere, there are times when a different navigation app is necessary.
For example, navigating a strange city’s mass transit network can be daunting, even with the help of Google Maps. Not knowing which way to turn inside an underground station, whether you can get a particular train, or even where to stand on the platform can be a big problem.
Citymapper is an app that takes all these headaches away. It only works in a select number of cities, though the list is growing (currently 64). That includes most major destinations like London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Moscow, Las Vegas, Paris, Vancouver, New York, Stockholm, Madrid, and Berlin.
It will tell you the fastest route to where you want to go, the different modes of transport available when the next bus or train will arrive, and even tell you when to get off at the other end. It will even show you whether to get on the front, back or middle of a train for a more efficient exit at your destination station.
If you’re going to be without an internet connection, then an offline service like Sygic GPS Navigation or OsmAnd may be more useful. In several Eastern European cities, the UAE, and Cyprus, an app called 2GIS has comprehensive offline data which can often be better than Google Maps and local alternatives. In addition, consider purchasing Global WiFi Hotspots like Skyroam.
NOTE: Offline maps usually require you to download large amounts of data ahead of time, so you’ll need to plan ahead.