It’s true, there is an app for everything. While I love my “Words with Friends” app, it’s a diversion – not necessary or particularly helpful. The latest travel apps, on the other hand, can save you money, time and frustration. No matter why you travel, your smart phone can be your best friend. These ten apps rank among my favorites.

Airbnb – It’s not just couch surfing, folks. You can find outstanding accommodations around the world through Airbnb these days. Use this free app to research, read reviews and communicate with owners as you travel. I stayed in a room in Perth Australia and the hosts loved to entertain and show people around. Because I was traveling alone I welcomed the opportunity to hang out with my new friends. They took me to their favorite restaurant, the local jazz club and even to the Rottnest Island. There was also a place in Fremantle that offered you free use of their car. You can discover some great finds on Airbnb!

bravolol

Bravolol – If someone had told you five years ago that you could fit a 13-language phrase book into your pocket, much less your phone, you would have laughed. This app makes communicating easier than ever. You can pick the language and learn key words and phrases. It even gives you pronunciation advice. Right now they have English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Turkish, Portuguese, Arabic & Vietnamese. 

currency

Currency – Simple. Direct. Less ads. If you are traveling without data, be sure to download it to your phone before heading out. Currency has been a top iPhone app for the past six years for good reason. When in a new place it’s nice to know how much something is going to cost in your own currency. Something may seem like a great deal when you are abroad but when you get home and see the charge on your credit card converted to your money it can sometimes be a shock. Having this information at hand can save you that unfortunate discovery and help you decide if it’s truly a good deal or not.

field trip

Field Trip – Whether you like to skip the tours and explore independently or if you have specific interests you would like to focus on, Field Trip offers you an alternative. It will help you design an itinerary that is tailored specifically to your interests, budget and time frame. It runs in the background of your phone and can notify you of cool things around you. It can even read the information to you. It’s great for those history buffs or if you just like to discover cool local eats.

hoteltonight

Hotel Tonight – It happens. You miss a flight. You decide to extend your stay. You decide to take a long weekend at the last minute. Get great rates and hotel suited to your tastes – as late as 2 am with Hoteltonight. You can often find great hotels with steep discounts by booking last minute. No more guessing games as to whether a hotel has a room available and what the cost is. Simply pull up the Hotel Tonight app and the guesswork is taken care of. You can see pictures of possible hotels along with reviews to help you decide which hotel is the best bang for your buck.

life360

Life360 – This app is a lifesaver if you’re traveling with kids or a group. In the heat of the moment, you won’t mind the creepy implications of knowing everyone’s exact, real-time location. If you are traveling with kids, try a test run before your trip. That way, when someone takes a wrong turn in Harry Potter World they’ll know to stop moving and let you come to them. It’s the perfect app for those family reunion vacations where you don’t want to spend every minute together but it’s nice to know where everyone is in case you need them. Life360 might save your time and sanity.

snapchat

Snapchat – Yes, snapchat. Learn about your destination by using this instagram-like resource. As you navigate the app, you’ll find compatible travelers to follow and learn from. Use the geofilter to target destinations. Discover fun places that you might not have discovered otherwise. It’s like a preview of what you could experience once you are there. A local favorite restaurant, market or bar! Once you’re on the road, you can return the favor.

tripcase

Tripcase – If you travel often, Tripcase lets you keep track of flights, hotel, and points. An added bonus is the share feature. If you’re traveling with a group, you can keep track of their flight times and other information as well. The feature I love the most is if you discover a place on your travels like a great restaurant or bar you can simply add it with a + button and it will remember it for the next time you visit that city.

turo

Turo – It’s the Airbnb of car rentals. You can get unique vehicles at budget rates with insurance and the knowledge that they’ve been screened and certified. Vehicles are personally owned and available at 300 airports and in most major cities – minus New York. Turo, as with Airbnb, works best when you use due diligence. Read the reviews. Read the owners specifics and rules before you commit.

viator

Viator – Books tours and activities quickly and easily with Viator. Use it at home before your trip and receive discounts. Skip long lines and frustration – know in advance you’re booked and ready to go before you arrive at your destination. Viator is a TripAdvisor company that gives you access and suggestions to all the greatest attractions in the places you visit. There are also user generated photos and reviews just like the website we know and love.

It’s called a smart phone for a reason! Use yours to make the most of your time and money. What’s your favorite travel app?