We can’t travel that much right now, but it’s the perfect time to prepare! These days, we can hold everything we need for a great trip in our smartphone. The sheer amount of apps out there can be a bit overwhelming right? Of course, many apps may be useful, but in the interest of minimalism, we’ll keep our list short. So let us reveal 5 absolutely essential travel apps for smart travellers in 2021.
Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers That Cover You Offline
There’s nothing worse than being stuck somewhere with no internet and not being able to access an app when you need it. We can never accurately predict what kind of internet, if any, we can access when we travel. For this reason, all of the apps in this article are useable offline, as well as online.
What’s even better is that each of these essential travel apps for smart travellers are free and simple to use. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without them!
Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Maps.ME
In the 21st century, no one carries a paper map around. We have apps for that! But not all map apps are created equal, so how do you choose the best one? Smart travellers use open-source map apps like Maps.ME.
The advantage of Maps.ME over other map apps is that it uses OpenStreetMap. This means that users can update maps via the Open Street Web page. This ensures that maps are up to date and most importantly, accurate! Maps.ME is literally streets ahead. Pun intended!
Maps.ME has a long list of features that will keep you moving in the right direction in both city and country areas.
Point to Point Navigation for Walking
Input your destination, either by touching it on the map or using the search tool and Maps.ME will calculate your route. The icons at the top of the map will change the mode of transport.
Maps.ME can also be used to find hiking trails.
It will give you information about the distance and elevation gain on a route, but it won’t show you contours or trail condition.
You can also set up to 3 waypoints, or stops, if there are things you want to see that require a slight detour.
Point to Point Navigation for Driving and Transport
Driving routes are also available with some extra options. You can set it to avoid tolls, unpaved roads, ferry crossings and motorways, or show speed cameras. It even has the annoying chatty woman that semi-seductively instructs you where to go. Or voice navigation, if that’s what you prefer to call it. Either way, it’ll help keep your hands free for driving.
One function that has been added rather recently is transport routes.
These routes work best in cities and will show available public transport options between your start and end points.
They’re such a time saver.
You’ll never have to be *that* lost traveller again!
Another useful function on Maps.ME is night mode. It will automatically make the app screen dark around dusk. This ensures that your eyes adjust to the dark and the screen is easier to read. Your eyes will definitely love you for it.
How Does Maps.ME Work Offline?
You might think that some kind of phone or internet signal is needed for a map app to function properly. Thankfully, it’s not. All smartphones have GPS, which ia all a map app needs. You just have to make sure that you’ve downloaded the maps you need before you go.
Why is Map.ME One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?
If you want an accurate map app with amazing functionality, even in the middle of nowhere, then you need Maps.ME! If you don’t want to waste time getting lost, then you need Maps.ME! I have personally used it in 50 countries across Oceania, the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, including China and Turkmenistan where other map apps are known to be useless!
Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – XE
It can get confusing constantly trying to convert the local currency back to your home currency when travelling. So why not let the third on our list of essential travel apps for smart travellers, XE app do it for you?
XE lets you add an unlimited amount of currencies to your list.
All you need to do is drag the currency you need to know the rates for to the top of the list.
Then input the amount you want to convert.
The app will give you the exchange rates between all currencies and the top one.
You can even look at daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and 10 yearly trends between currency pairs.
How Does XE Work Offline?
It downloads the latest rates when you are online and uses those to calculate rate and amounts when you’re on the go. While it is true that rates can fluctuate during the day, they never really fluctuate enough to make a huge difference.
Why is XE One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?
I bet you’ve had that awkward moment while travelling where you’ve found out your calculations were off, right? That won’t happen with XE! Instead of trying to calculate in your head, just ask XE for an instant answer. It’s an absolute time-saver. If you like saving money and time, you need this app!
Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Sweatcoin
There’s no doubt that we all do a lot more walking when we travel. Whether it’s wandering around a beautiful medieval old town, hiking to a waterfall, climbing stairs to the top of a monument, or just getting lost. Why not earn while you walk? That’s where one of my favourite essential travel apps for smart travellers, Sweatcoin comes in. Not only is it an amazing motivator to get moving, it may even help you buy something you never knew you needed one day!
Sweatcoin tracks your steps and converts every 1000 steps you do into 1 Sweatcoin. The amount of Sweatcoins you can earn per day depends on the plan you choose.
The basic Mover plan lets you earn up to 5 Sweatcoins a day.
In other words, you only earn on your first 5000 steps.
This plan is good for the lazy folk.
The next plan up is called Shaker and allows you to earn up to 10 Sweatcoins a day which is around 10,000 steps.
It costs 4.75 Sweatcoins a month.
After Shaker, you have Quaker which is 20 Sweatcoins a month to earn up to 15 Sweatcoins a day.
By far the best plan for smart travellers, who love nothing better than exploring all day, is the Breaker plan.
It costs 30 Sweatcoins a month and you can earn up to 20 Sweatcoins a day. Or around 7,000 a year!
Then there’s the Daily Boost, which can be used to earn several hundred more Sweatcoins a year.
You just choose 20 minutes of the day where you’ll be the most active and double your Sweatcoins!
You can also earn extra Sweatcoins each day by watching some ads. It turns out that ads aren’t that annoying if you get something for watching them!
How Does Sweatcoin Work Offline?
Like Maps.ME, Sweatcoin uses the GPS on your phone, so it works without internet and doesn’t require phone signal. Both apps can share your phone’s GPS with no problems.
Why is Sweatcoin One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?
Sweatcoin is a great motivator. Sometimes the only reason I go for a walk is to get my daily boost! There’s just something great about knowing that walking can help buy something in the future.
You can join Sweatcoin here and start getting rewarded while you walk :o)
Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Google Translate
So you’ve found your destination with the help of Maps.ME and worked out how much your souvenir will cost you with XE. You may have even earned a few Sweatcoins on the way. But now you have a question you really need to ask about the item and the shopkeeper doesn’t speak English. Uh oh!
Enter Google Translate. Arguably one of the most essential travel apps for smart travellers. I’ll have to admit that some of its translations can be a bit dubious. Others can be downright hilarious, but it probably still knows the local language better than you!
Google Translate Features
The Google Translate App is a very simple app to use. Anyone who has used the webpage will have no problem navigating it.
Just input your query and it will translate in real-time for you.
It will even offer suggestions.
If you have a phrase you’ll use regularly, you can click the star on the right to add it to your phrasebook.
That means it can be accessed easily with just one tap later.
It can get a bit awkward passing the phone back and forth and waiting for someone to write, so this Conversations function is a real time saver.
It’s almost like having a real conversation.
Well as real as it gets when you speak different languages.
Just press the microphone for your language and the funny computer voice will translate to the other language.
It will also put the written version on the screen for you.
Instant Scan and Read
This is a really cool function that can help you figure out what you’re ordering at a restaurant Or if that tube contains toothpaste or shampoo at the supermarket. Or.. well the list is endless.
The little camera icon will take you to the scan screen.
Place it above the text you need to read.
And viola, instant understanding. Hopefully.
It is very sensitive and will lose focus and retranslate if you move the camera the tiniest bit.
How Does Google Translate Work Offline?
Once you’ve downloaded the language files to your phone, Google Translate can access them when you’re offline.
Why is Google Translate One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?
If you don’t like long games of charades or trying to communicate without words then Google Translate is for you!
Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021 – Troposo
Now we’ve covered maps, language and currency, but what about attractions and guides? Our final app in our list of essential travel apps for smart travellers, Triposo will give you all the information you need to plan your trip.
To say that Triposo is loaded with features would be an understatement. It has an amazing amount of information covering things you may not have even thought of yet.
If you want a broad idea of what a country has to offer, then you’ll find everything you need in that country’s guide.
The guide provides information on the regions, cities, national parks and islands in the country.
You can read up on the country’s background.
Then, most importantly, Practicalities.
Everything you need to prepare for your trip.
And guide you while you’re there.
For a more in depth look at a specific city, check out a city guide.
You’ll see slightly more option to peruse in a city guide.
Find out where all the sites and attractions are.
Look up the best places to eat or drink, with prices and reviews!
Find tours and accommodation
Search for all your practical needs like transport, groceries and tourist information.
How Does Triposo Work Offline?
It’s a similar concept to the first of our essential travel apps for smart travellers, Maps.ME, where you download the guides before you go and the app uses the GPS on your phone to show your proximity to the city’s attractions.
Why is Triposo One of the Most Essential Travel Apps for Smart Travellers?
Triposo is like a one-stop app for the organised traveller. It could possibly save you hours/days/weeks of research about your destination by placing almost all the information you need at your fingertips. Who wouldn’t want to use an app with those kinda time-saving powers?
So what are you waiting for? If you’re not already using them, download your own copies of these 5 essential travel apps for smart travellers in 2021. If you’re already using them, or other essential travel apps for smart travellers, we’d love to hear about your experiences with them below!
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35 Replies to “5 Absolutely Essential Travel Apps For Smart Travellers in 2021”
Wow, this is a great list and it will come in handy. I didn’t know about 3 of these apps, just learned something new.
Glad I could introduce you to something new! Which 3 did you know about?
Very informative post! Love all these app suggestions. I’m taking this time to plan out any travel this year and appreciate some new tech to add to the list. Thanks for the insight.
I cant wait til we can go from the planning stage to the traveling stage!
Thanks for sharing these. I have heard of Maps.Me but I’m so scared to switch from Google Maps…like Google Maps has saved me so many times cuz obviously I didnt know where I was going. Definitely great apps that you need!
Funnily enough, it was a Google Maps fail that prompted me to swap to a Maps.ME many years ago. It’s so much better!
Ah, no doubt that Google translate has came in handy many times and has lead to some funny interactions as well.
Great list, certainly a few that I didn’t know about.
Yes, Google Translate sometimes has some interesting ways of putting things!
This is a great list! I really like the instant scan one, I will definitely be getting that app!
Glad you found.it helpful :o)
Thanks for reading!
Wow! I had never heard of any of these apps… Thanks for the information, it will definitely come handy in my next trip.
Yes, they definitely are handy! :o)
I love this list I’ve used XE and Google Translate but am definitely looking into Sweatcoin next time I travel – it just makes sense to get rewarded for all that walking!
I know right! Sweatcoin is great!
Google translate is one of my new favourite apps! So handy to have and easy to use.
Yes. Some of it’s not quite right translations have provided some of the more hilarious moments on my trips, hehe.
This is a great list. Maps are so important and needed anywhere you go. I love the detailed description of each app.
Yes! Reliable maps are a must.
I already use several of these (the text reader in google translate is pretty impressive isn’t it!) and I looove maps.Me! I also like alltrails, but I find maps.me works better offline.
What kind of thing can you purchase with the sweatcoins you earn? I have not heard of that one, but I don’t think I quite understand what you do with the coins once you have collected them…
I actually use Maps.ME to prepare my hiking routes for new hills because I have found it better while hiking than the local trail apps.
What you can purchase seems to be regional, but I have seen things like holidays in glass-roofed hotels in Scandinavia, 4K OLED TVs, watches, headphones, drones, VR and game consoles, soaps, cash, memberships, fitness equipment and gifts cards.
Oooh very cool! :)
What great apps. But now I need a list for dumb travelers like me. :)
Haha! Maybe the apps can be smart so the travellers don’t have to be.
Awesome! I’ve never heard of any of these!
You should definitely try them then! :o)
I had used MapsMe years ago when it was still new and did not have many attractions listed. It seems that it is better now. I had also tried Waze, but hated that it sent me on wild goose chases and that it did (still does?) not have an offline mode. For years, my preferred GPS app is google maps.
As for google translate, I can tell you that its translations were often strange when I was brought to a hospital in Peru and tried to explain my illness to the local nurses. Well, at least the translations made us laugh a few times.
My wife speaks Chinese and she told me that the google translations from English to Chinese are often non-sensical.
Google Maps always did the same to me that Waze did to you! The last straw was when I had to spend hours back tracking in Ecuador when a road that that was supposed to continue didn’t. I’ve not once had that problem with Maps Me!
I speak Chinese too and there was a particular Chinese question clause that Google always translated weirdly. I used it as an example for my students on how fallible electronic translations are. It has gotten better over the years, so now instead of unintelligible sentences, you just get weird sentences that make you laugh.
These are all great finds! Other than Google Translate, I haven’t heard of the other four but I’m especially interested in Sweatcoin. It’s very unique that there are different tiers and you pay via the in-app “currency” for the option of earning more per day. I’ll have to check that one out! Same with Maps.Me! I’ve only ever used Google Maps and it would be good to have a backup.
This was an informative guide on all the apps must for travel! I love the maps.me and Sweatcoin features, how cool that one could even possibly earn basis their step count! Woah! Google translate is funny with their pronunciations sometimes!
Yes! Earning for walking is a great idea!
Sweatcoin has actually motivated me to get out and walk a few times during this pandemic. My Sweatcoin earnings are pretty abysmal at the moment, but I earn so many Sweatcoins when travelling. I can’t wait to travel again.
Wow. These apps sound great, and your descriptions will be so beneficial to the person about to embark on a trip. I took notes as my daughter is the traveler in our family.
They are definitely super helpful apps!
oh wow! I don’t know any of these apps! I am still mainly using Google maps when i travel! I will check maps.me, seems awesome.
I’ve found Maps.Me to be much more accurate than Google Maps. Because Google relies on surveying, it’s not always completely up to date, especially in areas that are newly constructed or under construction. I found that out the hard way, haha.