25 Popular Apps That Are Perfect for Summer Travel Planning

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These Useful Apps Are Just What You Need When You Head Out This Summer

Photo © Nico De Pasquale Photography / 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.

Click through the following slides to see which apps may be useful for your summer adventures.

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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 apps -- Foursquare for location discovery and Swarm for social sharing.

Because Foursquare 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.

Foursquare is free for iOS and Android

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Screenshots of Gogobot for iOS

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 different styles that appeal to you -- like adventure, design, backpackers, budget and more -- so that it can give you suggestions based on what you like.

Gogobot has also reviewed tens of thousands of hotels across the word, which you can browse based on your personal preferences and budget range.

  • How to Plan Your Next Trip with the Gogobot Travel App

Gogobot is free for iOS and Android.

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Google Maps

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!

You can get Google Maps for free on iOS and Android.

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Google Translate

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 90 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.

Google Translate is available for free for iOS and Android.

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Waze Social GPS Maps & Traffic

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.

Waze is free for iOS and Android.

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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.

You can read my review of Uber here.

You can also check out five other popular on-demand private driver apps here.

Uber is free for iOS and Android.

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Screenshots of Sky for iOS

Anyone who has a smartphone probably has a weather app installed, even if it's just the default weather feature that comes with the device.

The problem with a lot of weather apps is that they're often very cluttered and require lots of navigating through tabs to see the most essential information.

Sky is personally my favorite minimal weather app that gives me the current temperature and condition, along with what I can expect over the next four days.

You can find more great minimal weather apps here.

Sky is available for free for iOS devices only.

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Screenshots of Songza for iOS

Everything is better with music. You've probably got some great playlists on your device already if you use iTunes, Spotify, or any other music app, but what if you're for more variety?

Skip the manual playlist building process and instead use Songza.

Its unique concierge feature takes into consideration what day and time it is so that it can suggest pre-made playlists for you with all sorts of great tracks from past and present artists.

So whether you're driving, having a pool party, camping or doing anything else, Songza likely already has a playlist for you that can fit your theme.

You can get Songza for free for iOS and Android .

*Note: Songza is now defunct (as of January 2016) but the founders joined Google Play and many of its features have been incorporated there.

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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 just launched a great new app called WifiMapper, which 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.

WifiMapper is available for free for iOS devices only right now.

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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, even making last minute stays and long-term sublets possible.

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

Before you go ahead and use this app, be sure to see what our Bed & Breakfasts Expert had to say about it.

Airbnb is free for iOS and Android.

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Screenshots of Instagram for iOS

Instagram is the number one app you need to share photos while on the go.

Its fast and easy interface makes snapping a photo and sharing it a breeze, complete with location geotagging.

And if you've got more than one photo to share, or even a video, you can try sharing it through a photo collage or Instagram's very own Hyperlapse app.

Check out these Instagram beginner tips if you're just getting started.

Instagram is free for iOS and Android devices.

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Screenshots of TripAdvisor for iOS

You've probably heard about TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel site. According to them, they 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.

You can get it for free on iOS and Android, and be sure to try their offline city guides app -- also available on iOS and Android​ devices.

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World Clock

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).

World Clock is available for free for iOS and Android.

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Screenshots of UrbanSpoon for iOS

Foursquare, Gogobot 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 UrbanSpoon app -- 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.

UrbanSpoon is free for iOS and Android.

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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.

SitOrSquat is free for iOS and Android.

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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.

Hipmunk is available for free on iOS and Android.

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Travel Butler

Screenshots of Travel Butler for iOS

Before heading out to a new place, it's common to feel like you're forgetting to pack something you might need when you're there.

Travel Butler is an app that helps take the guesswork out of packing for your trip, by acting as a virtual travel assistant that suggests things you need based on where you're going and what type of trip it is.

The app even checks the weather for you and gives you recommendations on trending restaurants, bars and cafes as an added bonus.

Travel Butler is free for iOS devices only at the moment.

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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.

Like Travel Butler, 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.

PackPoint is free for iOS and Android 404.

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XE Currency

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.

XE Currency is available for free for iOS and Android devices, with Pro versions also available (iOS and Android).

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Camp & RV

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 -- and is actually a bit more expensive than the typical app that costs $1 or $2.

Camp & RV is available for $11.99 for iOS and $9.99 for Android.

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Meteor Shower Guide

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.

Get this app for for $1.19 for iOS.

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Screenshots of Mangia for iOS

 If you love Tinder, then you'll love Mangia too.

Mangia is a location-based restaurant and dining app that takes inspiration from Tinder's unique interface (swipe left to pass, swipe right to like).

The app works by showing you images of food choices nearby, which you can like or pass to narrow down your search and find a place that suits your taste.

It's a great app to have if you're indecisive about what you want to eat because the app basically decides for you!

Mangia is available for free for iOS devices only at the moment.

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Bandsintown Concerts

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.

Bandsintown Concerts is available for free for iOS and Android.

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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.

GasBuddy is free for iOS and Android.

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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.

MiFlight is available for free only for iOS devices right now.

Next article: 5 Location Apps to Get User Reviews & Tips about Places You Visit