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16 Free Travel Apps that will Change the Way You Travel



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With everything from travel organizers to a national parks guide, this collection will help you find the best free travel apps for the traveler on your mind.

Posted March 3, 2014 by

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Why add free travel apps to a gift list, you ask?

Because you might already be giving your favorite traveler a Kindle Fire HD 7 (Price Not Found at Amazon) or a GSM unlocked cell phone (that near-perfect travel accessory). Why stop with the hardware?  Load that gadget up with fantastic free travel apps before you hand it over to the lucky traveler.  You’ll be the best gift-giver of the year.

Like everything else featured on TravelGiftList, these popular apps have earned top ratings around the internet.  With everything from travel organizer apps to a fantastic national parks guide, you’re sure to find the perfect set of free travel apps for the traveler on your mind!


Best Free Travel Apps for Local and World Travel:


1. Tripadvisor

best-free-travel-apps-tripadvisor_appWith detailed traveler reviews of everything from five-star hotels to hole-in-the-wall bars, Tripadvisor let you break past superficial barriers to find the travel sights, hotels, and restaurants that are right for you.  Their free travel apps include city guides, which offer offline access to maps and reviews for lots of major cities.



2. Google Goggles

best-free-travel-apps-google-gogglesCan’t remember the name of that famous temple down the street?  Determined to figure out what that foreign food product actually is?  Take a picture of that eye-catching landmark or scan the barcode of that food box… and Google Goggles can use that image to give you useful information.  It’ll even translate from a photo of foreign text!



3. Foodspotting

best-free-travel-apps-foodspottingEven if you’re halfway ’round the world from your usual dining spots, Foodspotting can help you find the local dishes you’re craving.  This visual guide to food lets you look through user ratings, search for foods in your area, or just browse through photos of delectable foods nearby.



4. City Maps 2Go Offline Maps


City Maps 2Go Offline Maps
 features  6,700 interactive maps and Wikipedia travel guides for destinations all around the world.  This  travel-friendly app is 100% online, so you get access to all that information without having to worry about expensive roaming charges.



Best Free Travel Apps for Trip Organizing:


5. Tripit

best-free-travel-apps-tripitTripIt will make sure all your travel information’s right at hand just when you need it.  It “automagically” organized all provided trip details into an organized, easy-to-navigate itinerary.  Not only that, when confirmations are emailed to you, you can forward them to Trip-It and they’ll be added to your trip!  You can also enter the system easily to “tweak” your trip information manually.


6. tripcase

actually beat out TripIt, its older rival, in LifeHacker’s 11/2013 poll for the “Most Popular Travel Planning App.”  The two free travel apps are very similar, with enthusiastic followings and slightly pricier (read: not free) pro versions available.  Tripcase stands out because it has flight alerts, which will notify you up to 48 hours before your departure if any changes come up.


Best Free Travel Apps for Road Trips:


7. YP Local Search and Gas Prices

best-free-travel-apps-YP-Search-PricesPlanning an RV trip this summer? YP Local Search and Gas Prices is one of the best free travel apps for finding out about everything from nearby gas prices to local businesses.  Explore everything from business hours to 300,000 restaurant menus.



8. GasBuddy

best-free-travel-apps-GasBuddyIf you’re looking for cheap gas and don’t need any other frills, GasBuddy‘s user-powered system for tracking local gas prices has earned fantastic reviews around the internet.  This is one of the best free travel apps for travelers who never want to overpay for gas again.



9. Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic

best-free-travel-apps-waze-social-gps-mapsWaze Social GPS Maps & Traffic‘s community-generated maps and real-time road alerts will help you find the absolute best route to your destination.  A GPS, gas price finder, and traffic reporter with great reviews, Waze is a great all-in-one app for anyone who spends a lot of time on the road.


Best Travel Apps for Globetrotters:


10. iTranslate

best-free-travel-apps-iTranslateThe incredibly popular, top-rated translation app iTranslate can translate from speech or text into any of 50 different languages.  With simple navigation and top-notch voice recognition, this app could quickly become indispensable for any international traveler.



11. Currency Converter

best-free-travel-apps-OANDA-Currency-ConverterNot sure how many Hungarian forints are worth 5,000 Croation kuna?  OANDA’s top-rated Currency Converter is your answer to the puzzle.  This app uses the same exchange rates used by banks to let you convert between over 190 currencies and even precious metals.  As far as free travel apps for currency conversion go, this is one of the simplest and most accurate options on the freebie market.



12. Onavo Count | Data Usage

best-free-travel-apps-onavoSick of worrying about roaming fees?  Onavo Count will help you track your mobile data use so you don’t accidentally go overboard (or over budget) during your travels.  With easy setup and accurate monitoring, this app’s worth keeping in mind next time you’re looking for a free tool that’ll help set your mind at ease on the road.



13. Skyscanner

best-free-travel-apps-SkyscannerSkyscanner is a great resource for searching for cheap flights on the go.  This is my favorite flight finder because of its flexibility: you can plug in weeks of dates and an entire country as your destination, or just search for flights to anywhere!  It’s the perfect tool for finding cheap flights when you’re still figuring out where and when to go.



Best Free Travel Apps for Outdoors Travel:


14. MyTopo Maps

best-free-travel-apps-MyTopo-MapsThis top-rated mapping and trip-planning app by Trimble Outdoors gives you access to more than 68,000 topo maps in the US and Canada.  MyTopo Maps features up-to-date maps that are stitched together for easy viewing, and the search feature will help you find 10 million trails, peaks, lakes, rivers, and ghost towns.  The app linked above is for Kindle, but you can check out the MyTopo website for phone and everything-else apps perfect for planning your off-roads travel.


15. Chimani National Parks

best-free-travel-apps-Chimani-National-ParksChimani’s National Parks app is a fantastic tool for anyone planning a national parks trip.  It offers up piles of information on 400 different national parks along with links to activities and a slide show.  As one Amazon reviewer says, it’s “hard to believe something this good and useful is free.”



16. Sunscreen Re-Applying Reminder App

best-free-travel-apps-sunscreen-reminder-appPlanning to enjoy the great outdoors during your next vacation?  The Sunscreen Re-Applying Reminder App will let you enjoy the trip without worrying about sun damage along the way.  Just schedule your manual or auto-reminders, then head out to enjoy the sunshine.



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16 Free Travel Apps that will Change the Way You Travel
Find the perfect set of free travel apps for the traveler on your mind!


I'm a travel addict and shopping lover with six years abroad and seventeen countries under my belt. Now that I've settled down in Cambridge, MA for a couple years, TravelGiftList helps me keep up with the world of fun, quirky, and practical travel gifts!



    Great list. Now all I need is an app that will make my battery last longer!


    I am having a trip soon. This is very helpful. Appreciate.

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