Updated: Aug 14
On the road:
Recently released, Overlap is the best app for staying connected with the friends you meet abroad. Nomads quickly lose connection with the communities they meet abroad as they move from location to location. Current technologies like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook keep travelers superficially connected but are not the best tools for staying in the loop on upcoming plans.
Overlap resolves this by prompting its users when their trip plans coincide with other connections, so users never have to travel alone again.
On Overlap, users can:
Create a Travelers Profile- add their travel history, future trip plans, and wish list countries
Connect with Travelers- discover overlapping plans and coordinate future travels
Receive Custom Recommendations- get advice from connections who have been where you're going
Before heading to a new country, it is always a good plan to come prepared with some ideas regarding where to eat, what to do, and the best areas or hotels to stay in. Without a doubt, blog articles from locals and other travelers can be a great resource, but where to find the best ones?
Many travel bloggers link their article to Pinterest. You can easily search your destination and find hundreds of posts catered to exactly what your'e looking for. The best backdrops for Instagram photos in Budapest? Hidden Speakeasies in London? Best Coworks in Peru? If you can think it, Pinterest has got a blog for it. You can check out articles now, or of course pin them for later perusal.
When traveling abroad, you'll want reliable navigation. Google Maps enables offline map downloads so you can navigate new cities, even if your wifi goes down.
Google Maps is surpassing Trip Adviser and Yelp as a source for reviews as well as a search engine to find nearby restaurants, bars, cafes, and points of interest. If you've pre-researched your destination, you can save pins on your map so you can put your plans into action on arrival.
A really useful feature Google Maps offers is the ability to create maps or collections of pins, share them, and add contributors. If you will be traveling with friends, everyone can contribute to the research and pinning. You can categorize and store your best pins, and share them with friends that will travel to your favorite cities.
If you're traveling carry-on only, Skiplagged can help you find great rates on fights with their hacker fares. You can find unique flights and fares other sites won't show you, including their Hidden City flights -- a flight with your destination as a layover, and a different end destination. With carry-on only luggage, you can get out at the layover and save hundreds of dollars.
This of course comes with some risks. If your flight is delayed, canceled, or you are rerouted, you may not end up at the destination you hoped for. Additionally, if your baggage gets checked, you may arrive at your location without any luggage.
If you accept the risk, Hidden City flights can be a great way to save money on airfare
Download today on their site
It's always useful to understand a little bit of the local language. Download Duolingo before your trip and get some practice in. The app starts with very basic vocabulary and phrases that will help you get around in a new country.
With their Pro features, you can even download lessons and podcasts offline to get some practice in while on a plane or long bus ride.
The app is fun and very gamified. It's perfect for folks motivated by streaks, points, and badges. Add friends and keep each other motivated to keep going!
What did travelers do before they had a pocket-sized translator? Google Translate is a staple every traveler needs for sticky situations where miming and pointing just isn't cutting it. Google Translate has an offline feature, so you can download a language for offline use later.
The camera feature is especially useful. Walking through a museum not translated to English? No worries. Hold the camera up to the placards and watch it change before your eyes. Highlight the text and put it in the translator for more accuracy.
Group travel can complicate keeping finances straight. Stop stressing over who owes who what! With Splitwise, everyone can be invited to one travel group, where it's easy to input expenses as they come up. You can split costs evenly, by percentage, or even itemized. Tax and tip are calculated according to how much each person spent. The app also has a web interface for easier input on large bills.
Splitwise is free to use, but has some paid features like currency conversion. At the end of your trip you can convert your expenses, and settle up in cash or via another transfer app.
Easily split bills and transfer money internationally. While apps like Venmo are convenient for sending payments between Americans, Revolut has become the standard for international transfers. Conversion fees and exchange rates are low, and Revolut works in 30+ countries.
Additionally, Revolut has some promotional partnerships with Kiwi and Uber. Save a percentage of your purchases when using Revolut at checkout.
Sign up with the link below to give it a try!
On the Road
Buying physical SIM cards at the airport or convenience store can now thankfully be a thing of the past. Gone are the days of difficult top-ups in foreign languages. With Airalo, you can search by country and buy an e-sim from a local provider. From within the app, you can always check how much data you have left, and top up. E-sims have easy installation and are usually available in different package sizes for much less than your cellular company's roaming costs.
E-sims do not come with a phone number, so you will need to keep your old sim for talk and text, or switch over to Google Voice if you need to make phone calls. You can choose local, regional, or global e-sims for the best variety of plans and coverage. Unlike Google Fi, you can even hotspot from them if working from a cafe with slow internet.
Try out an e-sim and get $3 off your first order with code SHARON273
Want to receive calls and texts from a consistent number without having to pay for an expensive phone plan? Google Voice might be your answer. You can transfer your phone number or make a new one, and receive calls and texts. In combination with an e-sim, you can piece together a full international phone plan on the cheap. Google Fi may eventually crack down and pause your service for excessive data use outside the US, but Google Voice will always be an option available internationally.
If you're a frequent traveler, you are likely savvy with airline points; but are you aware of shopping portals? If you make online purchases, airlines such as United and American offer miles per dollar spent at many online stores and services. You can also download the United MileagePlus app so that any purchases made from your phone will count towards miles.
If you do online shopping, and you're not using portals, you're leaving money on the table. Download and start earning miles faster!
1 Second Everyday
One second doesn't seem like a lot, but it can be just enough to trigger personal memories that would otherwise be forgotten! This is the magic of 1 Second Everyday. On your trip, select the most exciting or significant moment from each day (or upgrade to select more than one). At the end of your travels you will have a beautiful compilation, one second at a time, that you can share out on social media, or keep as a personal journal.
You can also create collaborative projects. Invite all members of your trip to contribute their videos to have a complete memory of your journey when you return home!
After returning from your trip, you'll want to post high-quality photos of your adventure. Lightroom may be just the tool you need to boost your pics from your travels. Lightroom allows you to use presets- or filters created by Adobe, photographers, influencers, and friends. Some are free to download while others come with an associated cost. You can download them online to find the best filter for your photo's color palette and location.
Lightroom provides a solid range of editing tools, such as the heal button which can remove other tourists from the background of your photos. The app is a paid subscription, but in my opinion, the best photo editing app available.
Lensa is the best free* app for portrait editing. With one tap, quickly enahnce colors, naturally touch up faces, and adjust the background of your photos. While the app is free, you are allowed three photos per day to edit until you hit the paywall.
A handy feature of this editing app is being able to edit the background and foreground separately. Take a photo where you're completely in the shade? Now you can adust your lighting without washing out the background, simply on this app.
Did we miss any?
Drop us a comment and let us know what apps you can't travel without!
Disclosure: Please note that some app links are referral links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. I only recommend things I personally love, and any earned credit goes to costs for Overlap App!