Six Essential Travel Tools

| Words by Neil Villadolid

Whether it’s traveling to Chile to see the solar eclipse or road tripping down south to surf Puerto Escondido, getting out of our daily routines and experiencing the pleasures of travel is something we all should seek. Traveling brings us new adventures and introduces us to different cultures— we meet people from all over the world and get the opportunity to learn about their way of life. Spontaneous adventures and getting lost in the natural world is about as epic as it gets. But sometimes, we do need a little bit of guidance. Luckily, there are plenty of apps out there to make your travel experience a little less hectic. Here’s a list of some of the best apps to use when traveling.

1. HipCamp

A Yurt Deep in the Woods of Seward, Alaska

Hipcamp is one of the most unique travel apps out there. It allows you to set up camp in some of the coolest locations you’ll ever come across. From a local cattle ranch in Ripon, California, to a yurt deep in the Colorado Rockies, Hipcamp brings you the most undiscovered campsites straight to your phone. Think of Hipcamp as Airbnb but for camping and with much more rad locations. The app offers a few different camping options— tent sites, cabins, RVs, and, my personal favorite, yurts. Hipcamp has revolutionized the camping game and is something everyone should experience at least once. Here are some of the places I’ve been keen to get to:

2. Hostelworld

King Kong Hostel in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Hostels have quickly become the go-to housing choice for any excursion, and, luckily, Hostelworld has more than 36,000 hostels across 178 countries to choose from. Whether you want a remote hostel by the beach or an upbeat hostel in the heart of downtown, Hostelworld will hook you up. Their easy-to-use system lets you customize your hostel experience to guarantee you’re getting exactly what you are looking for. You’re able to filter hostels by price, location, room size, and utilities to fit your specific needs. Are you planning a trip that navigates through multiple cities? If so, skip the hassle of dealing with hotels and download Hostelworld.

3. Roadtrippers

On the Road | Photo Courtesy of James Barkman

Roadtrippers is a must-have app for any road trip— big or small. It helps you plan your road trip and suggests nearby or en route locations to stop at. Local diners, state parks, wineries, museums and hiking trails are just some of the attractions Roadtrippers will lead you to. It also includes obscure and less touristy places for you to check out, like abandoned houses and scenic viewpoints. If you don\'t feel up to planning your road trip, no problem— Roadtrippers comes with pre-planned road trips. All you have to do is pick one, hop in a car with a buddy, and go.

4. Microsoft Translate

Bridging Language Barriers in Downtown Tokyo With Microsoft Translate

Have you ever found yourself in a country where you don’t speak the native language? If so, Microsoft Translate is an essential app to have. It has over 65 languages programmed into it, so it’ll be hard to find yourself in a place where it won’t be useful. You can speak or type a message into the app and it will automatically translate into any language you choose. What separates Microsoft Translate from other apps is that it works offline. You can download up to five languages and use them without service or wifi. More times than not, when traveling out-of-country, you don’t have service. This app solves the language barrier in remote locations. When our team went to China this past summer, Microsoft Translate was by far our most used app. It will make your life that much easier.

5. Journiapp

Photo Book Created With Journiapp

Want a fun app that turns your travel adventure into a beautifully documented story? Then this app is for you. Journiapp app organizes your photos, notes, maps and stamps and creates them into an aesthetically-pleasing photo album. It’s an awesome way to keep track of your favorite moments, and share them with friends and family. Journiapp can also turn your travel pictures into Polaroids. Their partnership with Polaroid will give your pictures an authentic, vintage feel. If you’re thinking of cool gift ideas, Journiapp is the way to go.

6. Matrix Airfare

Don't Choose Your Flights at the Airport, Use Matrix Airfare

Matrix Airfare isn’t an app you can download from the app store, but it’s a necessary tool for any trip that requires flight. Matrix Airfare’s website is the hack to cheap flights. You simply search what city you’re going to and it will compare all flights and give you the most ideal option. You can also use it to create extremely specific itineraries. Want to take a flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok with an overnight layover in Tokyo? Matrix Airfare’s search engine and filters got you covered. Their algorithm works for both new and experienced travelers alike. It is easily the most effective tool to use when traveling via plane.

Of course, not everything that makes your travel experience better is on your smartphone, always remember to stay in the moment and experience your journey. Oh-and don't lose your passport: losing it will derail even the greatest trip. That's why we make a passport wallet with Tile tracking, so you don't have to sweat losing that most important of travel documents.

If you're planning a trip anytime soon, be sure to download these apps to make the most out of your traveling experience. These apps are some of the Nomad team's favorites to use, and we're more than happy to share them with you. Do you have a go to travel app that didn't make our list? Drop us a tweet and we'll be sure to check it out!

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