10 Essential Apps for Travelers

It’s the decade of the smartphone. Well, and Artificial Intelligence too. Everything is available to our generation at the push of a button on our phone. But in a space that can often get very crowded, we select the best apps at your disposal for the frequent business traveler or adventure seeker.


Whether it is hotel accommodation in Accra, or maps and directions, commuting, and restaurants, there is an app for every need. Do not say we never did anything good for you.

1. Google Maps

The great thing about Google Maps is that it has the ability to be embedded on third-party websites. Google Maps offers amazing satellite imagery, street maps, real-time traffic conditions, street view, route planning and GPS turn-by-turn navigation system in the mobile version.

Google Maps is great for finding your way around a town or city you’ve never been and goes as far as showing you points of interest around the area such as hotels, restaurants, museums, parks, markets and other places of interests to tourists. In 2013, over 54% of smartphone users had used the app at least once. I particularly find myself using it every other day.

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2. Jumia Travel App

The Jumia Travel App allows you to search for and book hotels around you. With well over 200,000 hotels available users who book hotel rooms with the app get as much as 10% off. Available on the Play Store and App Store. With its new progressive web feature, the app lets users browse through its list of hotels even with slow data speed and 2G connectivity.

3. Uber

The app that disrupted the taxi industry, Uber allows you to summon, I like that word, cabs at the push of a button. But they aren’t just old-fashioned cabs, Uber provides an opportunity to ride in style and comfort. Drivers are trained in best practices and customer service that allows them to deliver extra on taking you to your destination.

4. Foursquare

Foursquare is an app that allows users to enter locations and destinations they visit, review and rate them, thereby allowing other users to browse through and review these places before they visit.

Foursquare provides recommendations on where people can visit for various purposes when they are new in a city of location.

5. Google Translate

Salut, comment Allez-Vous? Exactly, the same thing I thought. Google Translate allows you to navigate and overcome the barriers of communication when you are in a new city.

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It might be awkward and a tad difficult when trying to communicate directly with strangers, but it can allow you read signs at airports, bus stops, parks, markets, museums and other public places.

6. WhatsApp

With its new Video call feature, Whatsapp is increasing its usefulness for communication in the lives of everyone with a smartphone.

For speaking to friends and family while away on your adventure, Whatsapp is an essential app for the Traveler. With its new Story feature, it is, even more, fun as you can share the exciting new places you are visiting.

7. Bonjournal

Bonjournal is an app that allows you keep track of your memories and experiences on a travel. The simplistic travel app integrates with Foursquare to provide all the details of your travel destination as well as create notes and commentary while on your trip. It also records the history of all your travels making it easy for you to pull out data in future. Available on Apple devices.

8. XE Currency

New country? Different continent? Need to change your currency? Get live rates with the XE Currency app as well as locations where to change your money. It also has currency converter calculator to calculate rates if you are buying a product or paying for a service.

9. Airbnb

The homestay peer to peer network for people who want to rent homes for short stays or users who want to enlist their homes for rent.  It offers a great opportunity for people who want to live in historic homes on a short time basis, or network and do business outside the hotel environment while away from home. Many hotels these days even list on Airbnb.

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10. Couchsurfing

Like Airbnb, couchsurfing links an international community of travelers together, connecting hosts with guests in new cities they visit.

The website and mobile app help travelers to arrange to stay in the home of a guest in the location they are travelling to, be it a room, an apartment, or even a couch.

Many have used the app to make their travel cheaper, staying in the home of fellow couchsurfers and spending less on lodging and accommodation as they travel. It is also a great way for travelers to network and makes actual friends when they travel.

This is a guest post by Caleb Olorunmaiye, a Freelance writer and Political Scientist from Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria. Connect with him on twitter @CalebMaiye

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