21 of the Best Apps That Are Perfect for Summer Travel

Hit the road this summer with all your travel needs right on your smartphone

Summer
Photo © Westend61 / Getty Images

Ah, summer. Finally, the weather is so nice and there's so much to do that you actually have a reason to put down your smartphone and embark on new adventures.

While unplugging for at least a day or even for an extended period of time is a good idea, there's no shame in turning to the Internet to help take some of the confusion out of your summer outings and travel plans. You're much better off using Google or an app to help you figure out what it is that you want to do rather than wasting time trying to figure it out yourself (or even going about doing it the wrong way all together).

Whatever you've got planned this summer, you can be sure to find at least a couple of apps in this list that are worth checking out. Most of them are already very popular and include great ratings from their users.

Browse through the following list to see which apps may be useful for your summer adventures.

Screenshots of Foursquare for iOS

You've probably heard of Foursquare. It was the location app of choice a few years ago that everyone was using to check-in and share their locations.

Since then, the app has gone through a lot of changes and was broken up into two main app—Foursquare City Guide for location discovery and Swarm for social sharing.

Because Foursquare City Guide has so much valuable information from people who've left tips and ratings and recommendations at places all around the world, having this one installed on your phone when you're in an unknown place and looking for something to do is a very good idea.

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Trip by Skyscanner: Get Personalized Venue Recommendations

Screenshots of Gogobot for iOS

Trip by Skyscanner (formerly Gogobot) is a lot like Foursquare, but brings a more tailored experience to travelers and people who want personalized recommendations.

The app lets you select as many differentinterests that appeal to you— like adventure, design, backpackers, budget and more—so that it can give you suggestions based on what you like. It will even consider the time of day and the local weather when recommending venues to check out.

You might not need both Foursquare and Trip by Skyscanner on your device, so consider checking out both before you head out on the road to see which one appeals to you the most.

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Google Maps: Find Out Exactly Where You're Going

Screenshots of Google Maps for iOS

No matter where you are, whether you're local or halfway around the world, there's always a need to know exactly where you are and exactly how to get where you want to go if you're not already familiar.

If you don't already have Google Maps installed on your smartphone (which you should have already if you have an Android device), you're really missing out on a helpful tool. Not only do you get a fast and accurate look at where you are and where you're headed, but you also get voice-guided GPS navigation as you drive, bike or walk.

Transit directions are available for over 15,000 cities, and you can get extra information like traffic and incidents where available. You also get Street View!

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Google Translate: Understand Foreign Languages

Screenshots of Google Translate for iOS

Visiting a different country this summer? Not so fluent in their language? Not to worry—Google Translate can help.

The Google Translate app can translate 103 languages in a natural way, using your voice, camera, keyboard or handwriting.

You can bookmark your favorite translations for easy access later, and if you use the recently added camera translation feature, you can scan any signage to have translated instantly for you.

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Waze: Get Live Navigation and Traffic Updates

Screenshots of Waze for iOS

Traffic can get nasty in the summer, especially with all those road trippers, cottagers and event enthusiasts.

Although Google Maps can help you out a bit with traffic, Waze is a popular app worth having for more detailed and up-to-date information.

Because it's a community-based social app, you get live results from real people who know and see what's happening out on the roads.

It also works as a GPS navigation tool, offering you turn-by-turn directions by voice, automatic rerouting for conditions, information on places and so much more.

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Uber: Get an On-Demand Ride and Pay for It Through Your Device

Screenshots of Uber for iOS

If you find yourself in a major city this summer and need to get somewhere fast, Uber is the app you need to instantly hail a private driver.

The app detects your location, then sends a driver to pick you up after you tap your finger to hail a ride. Your payment is automatically processed through the app, along with your tip.

Don't care much for Uber? You can also check out five other popular on-demand private driver apps here.

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WifiMapper: Find Wi-Fi Hotspots Wherever You Are

Screenshots of WifiMapper for iOS

With all these amazing apps to use, you're probably going to want to give your data a break and connect to a free wireless signal where there's any available.

OpenSignal's WifiMapper app has the world's largest Wi-Fi database and helps you find hotspots near you.

The app also has a community component to it, so you can get more information about a particular place and Wi-Fi from comments left by others.

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Airbnb: Find a Unique Place to Stay

Screenshots of Airbnb for iOS

Airbnb is an extremely popular accommodation service that helps people rent out their spaces so travelers can easily find somewhere to stay. It's a popular option for people who are looking to stay in interesting places while usually sticking to a budget.

The app features hundreds of thousands of listing in over 34,000 cities, with last-minute stays and long-term sublets also available in addition to regular short-term rentals.

You can message a host to find out more, get directions to any place you've booked, build your itinerary and so much more.

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TripAdvisor: Get Information and Reviews About Travel Destinations

Screenshots of TripAdvisor for iOS

You might've already heard about TripAdvisor, which is the world's largest travel site. The company claims to also have the world's most popular travel app as well!

With the TripAdvisor app, you can browse through millions of reviews, ratings, photos and videos from other visitors.

Whether you're looking for a great restaurant, the lowest airfare on a flight, the best hotel, or an awesome place for nightlife, TripAdvisor can help you do it all.

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World Clock: Know What Time It Is in Different Time Zones

Screenshots of World Clock for iOS

If you're headed out of the country this summer, maybe even to another continent, the time change can be difficult to adjust to during those first few days. And if you've got family and friends back home you expect to call or Skype while you're away, then knowing the time difference is absolutely essential.

TimeAndDate.com offers its very own World Clock app to help you through the jet lag and time zone confusion, allowing you to pick your favorite cities for easy and accurate time tracking.

The app even has a time zone converter and syncs with data taken from the official website to always reflect the actual time (including Daylight Savings time changes).

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Zomato: Find the Best Restaurants and Food Venues to Try

Screenshots of UrbanSpoon for iOS

Foursquare City Guide, Trip by Skyscanner and TripAdvisor have built-in restaurant search and user review features, but if you're a big foodie who's set on finding the absolute best places to dine, you might as well download the Zomato app (formerly UrbanSpoon)—the number one app for finding the best restaurants at over one million different places.

Not only can you find what's near you, but you can also compare places by rating, cuisine and distance.

As if that weren't enough, you can get an actual look at food choices by browsing through photos and reading what's included on the menu.

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SitOrSquat: Find the Nearest Bathroom Facilities

Screenshots of SitOrSquat for iOS

One of the most inconvenient things everyone has to deal with while traveling is finding a nearby washroom.

With the SitOrSquat app from Charmin, your location will be detected using your device's GPS system and you'll be shown a map of where you are with the closest washrooms.

You can also check out the ratings left by other users (or leave one yourself), so if you're picky about disgusting washrooms, this app takes the surprise out of discovering it by having to physically go there first.

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Hipmunk: Find the Best Travel Deals by Comparison

Screenshots of Hipmunk for iOS

Looking for great deals so you can stick to your budget this summer? If so, you could use Hipmunk to help.

This useful little app helps you compare the top travel sites so you can easily find the best deals on hotels and flights, with instant booking available directly through the app.

You can also find and sort by specific features and see what other users had to say about their experience by reading their reviews.

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PackPoint: Plan and Organize Your Travel Packing List

Screenshots of PackPoint for iOS

PackPoint is another packing helper app that's similar to Travel Butler, but really shines for its intelligent packing list builder that virtually packs your stuff for you.

Simply open the app, select the type of trip you're going on (business or leisure) and then start choosing all the activities you expect to do while there.

PackPoint also checks the weather for you and then builds a detailed list for you based on your activities, international considerations, types of clothing and more.

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XE Currency: Get Exchange Rates in Various World Currencies

Screenshots of XE Currency for iOS

When you're traveling abroad, figuring out the exchange rate while shopping or site seeing can be difficult to calculate in your head.

XE Currency's app can help you easily convert every world currency, with up-to-date and accurate currency rates and charts. 

And if you find yourself in a place without an internet connection, the app always stores its last updated rates, so you're never left wondering what's worth the given price and what's not.

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Camp & RV: Find All the Best Camp-Related Places

Screenshots of Camp & RV for iOS

For anyone who's heading out on the road or to a U.S. campsite this season, the Camp & RV is must-have app.

It's the most popular camping app out there, bringing you the ability to search and discover everything from resorts and campsites, to gas stations and parking lots.

The app gives you a map of your location and immediately points out all the amenities around you, which you can filter out for more specific and clear results.

Best of all, you can use this app in even the most remote places with no access to the internet!

Since this is a very complete app with all sorts of incredibly useful features, it's not free like the rest on this list. It is, however, worth it if you're a big camper!

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Meteor Shower Guide: Get the Latest Meteor Shower Forecasts

Screenshots of Meteor Shower Guide for iOS

While the Camp & RV may offer almost everything you need for an outdoor adventure, it does lack one thing that many outdoor enthusiasts love to do in the summer—stargaze and watch the night sky for meteors.

The Meteor Shower Guide app acts as a complete reference for finding out when the next meteor shower is expected to occur, along with peak dates and times according to wherever you're located.

The app also takes the weather conditions into consideration, so you'll know whether it's worth staying up late to watch for anything.

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Bandsintown Concerts: See Which Bands Are Playing Near You

Screenshots of Bandsintown Concerts for iOS

Summer is a great time to indulge in some good entertainment, and what better way to do that than by going to a concert?

Bandsintown Concerts is the number app for location-based concert discovery, even allowing you to track your favorite musicians and receive alerts when they're planning to play near you.

The app can also recommend musicians to track through its convenient feature that scans your music library from iTunes, Pandora, or Spotify and looks at which musicians you've liked or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

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GasBuddy: See Gas Prices and Find Stations Near You

Screenshots of GasBuddy for iOS

GasBuddy is a popular website that helps people find the lowest gas prices near them (in Canada and the U.S.).

You can get the same experience when you're out and on the go with the GasBuddy app to help you save money as you make your way to your destination.

This is an especially useful app to have on your smartphone if you're not familiar with the place you're visiting and aren't aware of how many gas stations are around.

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MiFlight: Get Updated on Flight Wait Times and Delays

Screenshots of MiFlight for iOS

Going to new places is exciting, but all that time spent figuring things out at the airport can be a pain.

MiFlight is an incredible social app that helps you stay informed about all those inconvenient airport wait times, crowdsourced by the people who are there experiencing it and reporting on what's happening.

With this app, you can find out how long you'll have to wait at security checkpoints and get access to terminal maps for over 50 of the largest airports in the world, with more airports expected to be added soon.

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