Must Have Apps for Your Next Adventure

Whether you’re a seasoned backpacker, or heading out on your first solo-travel adventure, it’s important to make sure you have the best apps to help you save money, time and keep you safe. Here is a list of apps that I’ve compiled that I can’t live without while travelling. I highly recommend downloading them before you leave to make sure you have them all set up and ready to go. They will be sure to make your life alot easier while traveling!


One of the most important things when traveling solo is security, and some of these apps will keep you safe, and keep your data safe.


Arugably one of the most important apps on this list. It has become all too common for us to be locked out of our social media for “suspicious activity” while travelling and not having access to our phone number from home. I actually lost access to my first Instagram account because of this and still have not been able to get it back, which is why I stress how important this app is. This form of 2-factor authentication allows you to have an encrypted key that changes every 20 seconds, eliminating the need for a text to be sent to your phone.

I highly recommend setting this up BEFORE beginning your travels, and also on a separate spare phone.


There are many different VPN services out there and it’s hard to argue which one is best, but they all serve different people. For all intents and purposes I’ve recommended Nord VPN, and have been using it for about three years now with no complaints. For security purposes, and for watching content from other countries on Netflix and YouTube, I could not live without my VPN.

Sign up here and get 3 months free!


ProtonVPN is a security focused VPN service that has a free plan with some limitations.


Fing allows you to test internet speeds, and scan routers for devices. I like to use this whenever I check into an AirBnB to make sure there are no hidden cameras.


Whether it’s by bus, plane, train, or even on foot, this list of apps will help you get you where you need to go!


Hopper is a great app to find flights and hotels. I like to use Hopper because it has great features that other airline apps don’t offer. One thing they offer is the ability to cancel for any reason up until the flight departure for a fee, and I haven’t seen any other apps offer this. Another feature that I love is that they show you flight trends, and when prices will rise in price based off of historic data. You can even pay to lock in a rate until you’re ready to book if you’re worried the price may increase before you’re ready to book.

Sign up here and get $10 off!


This is usually my go to app for flight booking. It’s user interface is really easy to follow and it includes search results from most budget airlines. You can also search multi-city to save money on round-trip flights through different airports, and you can search for flights to “everywhere” to save money on a discounted flight to somewhere at random.


Booking has recently started offering more flight options and usually is in the top 3 of sites I use to search for cheap flights. I highly recommend them.


This app is incredible when you are traveling with ONLY A CARRY-ON. A lot of airlines like to fluctuate their prices based on demand and certain destinations are more expensive. Skiplagged finds flights that have a layover through these expensive cities and if you’re traveling with just a carry-on you can skip the other legs of the flight. I’ve saved thousands with this app and airlines have attempted to sue them in the past!


Expedia is a great service when it comes to booking flight and hotel packages. It does the legwork for you and usually you can save money depending on the hotels they’re partnered with. I’ve booked trips to New York where the hotel is pretty much free because the cost of the flight is only slightly less without the vacation package option.


This is an app I use fairly often, when Google Maps doesn’t have up to date information, for information on trains and busses traveling inter-city. Rome2Rio shows you the fastest, cheapest, and recommended routes to get from A to B. It also usually includes links to trains and busses and schedules. This is a must have.

This app is fantastic for those of us who have limited data or don’t want to spend for the extra data. It allows you to download offline maps and alot of them have customized pins by other users.


Ridesharing has become a very popular way to save money while traveling safely, and these apps will help you avoid getting scammed by the predatory taxi cab-als… I mean cabs.


Uber is arguably the most popular rideshare company in the world, and although I disagree with their business practices and actively avoid using their services, it’s hard to compete with the service they provide. The app is very convenient for tourists and people who don’t speak the local language and the user interface is quite simple.


Lyft offers a similar service to Uber but is available in less destinations. Their prices are competitive usually the same or slightly cheaper than Uber. I use Lyft quite often in the United States.

Sign up here and earn 20$ credit for your first ride!


DiDi offers a similar service to Uber and Lyft but is available in less destinations. I used it occasionally in South America. Their prices are cheaper than Uber but find it to be often times less reliable.


inDrive is my favorite option while traveling in South America but is slowly gaining traction internationally. The fees they charge drivers are much less and they accept cash. The app allows the rider to offer an amount for a ride, and drivers are able to accept the offer or counter-offer until the rider and driver reach an agreement.


PicAp is a cheaper option in Colombia and parts of South America, and connects riders with motorbike & scooter drivers. It is not for everyone but is definitely faster in big city traffic and more fun, but probably more dangerous depending on the driver.


Grab is the biggest rideshare service in SouthEast Asia and my favorite! I actually loved it so much during my time there that I bought a helmet off one of the drivers and have it as my only souvenir. The service offers motorbike/scooter drivers and regular vehicles. This is a must have for any Asia trip!


Beat is a very interesting service up until recently operating in Mexico City that connects riders with drivers in only Electric vehicles like Tesla’s. It is still available in other places but your miles may vary.


99 is a very popular rideshare app in Brazil. It’s services are similar to the other local rideshare apps. This is definitely a good app to have if you’re planning on stopping off in Brazil on a South America Trip.


BlaBlaCar is the most popular inter-city rideshare app in Europe. The service connects drivers and passengers travelling longer distances. This gives the drivers a way to save on gas money, and the passengers to save time by avoiding busses, trains or other inter-city connections. This app is a must-have for any Europe Trip


Poparide is the most popular inter-city rideshare app in Canada and is available in the United States. The service connects drivers and passengers travelling longer distances like city-city and allows the driver to add stops along the journey to attract new riders. It is much like BlaBlaCar, and is very convenient because the North American train system is decades behind Europe, Japan and many other countries/continents.

Sign up here and receive $5 off your first ride!


Gone are the days where you could just show up to a city and then find a local to take you to a homestay or hostel. Although it was more adventurous, things have gotten alot easier and safer. These apps will help you find the best place to stay.


Booking is an internationally known brand at this point, and is one of my favorite apps to book hotels, hotels and even peoples homes for short term stays. It is normally the cheapest out of the big brands and their loyalty program offers discounts after just a few short stays. It is almost always cheaper than AirBnB for short term stays and has less rules and fees.


AirBnB is arguably the most popular short-term rental in the world. I actively try and avoid it due to it’s higher fees but like Uber, sometimes it’s difficult to compete with convenience. The user interface is very easy to follow, and the review system offers a sense of security. One thing I dislike about AirBnB is their high minimum charge, and high fees, making stays more expensive than they should be in less expensive areas. The options available on AirBnB are usually higher quality, or better located. AirBnB is also excellent when looking for stays longer than 28 days with a high monthly discount, making this much cheaper than hotels.


Hostel World is my favorite booking platform for Hostels and often have sales. The interface is very user friendly and the fees are straight forward. Hostel World charges you a deposit, and you can pay cash and sometimes credit, depending on the hostel, on arrival. They also have a policy where they offer a best price guarantee, and will refund the difference if you find it for less within 24 hours. They also normally offer free cancellation or free breakfast add-ons in app.


I personally have never had any success with Couch Surfing, but I’ve heard testimonies from fellow travelers that swear by it. A lot of creepy dudes only accept female guests, or guests who pay for their verified service. For me it’s never worked out, so I don’t rely on it, but your miles may vary!


I personally have never used VRBO but it offers a similar service to AirBnB but focuses on entire homes only and prides itself on the quality of homes it accepts.

Click here for VRBO.


I already mentioned Expedia earlier under the transportation option, but they’re also a really good option for finding cheap accomodations. If you’re only going away somewhere for a weekend or for a shorter period of time, it’s always a good idea to see the vacation packages they offer, because you can usually get the flight and hotel combined for much cheaper than booking individually.


Travelling has gotten a lot easier with the countless money managing apps available. Here are some apps and tips to help you in your travels.

Travel Money

There are many money splitting apps available on the market but I personally love this simple to use app. It allows you to create trips and add friends to split up the costs of things and services. It allows you to export a PDF with a detailed breakdown of who paid for what, and the amount owed by each person. The user interface is dated, but don’t fix what isn’t broken! It unfortunately is only available on the Google Play Store, but there are other alternatives like it for iOS.

XE Converter

XE Converter is the best app for displaying and converting currencies. It used to offer only 5 currencies at a time on the free version, but that has since changed and you can now list out as many as you want. One thing to take note of , is that it only displays the Official bank rate of each country, so if you’re traveling to countries like Cuba, Venezuela or Argentina, it’s good to check elsewhere and convert it yourself.

Paypal / Venmo

PayPal and Venmo are owned by the same parent company but offer similar services. It allows users to make payments or transfer money to other businesses or users. Be wary that the fees can be quite high if you don’t use their Friends & Family option and if you are transfering money directly to another user in a different currency from a bank account. It’s good to keep spending money in the account or keep it simple and send the same currency.

Your Local Banks

Always make sure to download your local banking apps before you leave your country and if possible set up 2 factor authentication with Authy. Otherwise if possible, send push notifications to your trusted device, or set your authentication phone number to a friend or family you trust’s number, so they can send you the authorization code. There is nothing worse than being on the other side of the world, and locked out of your bank account because you can’t receive a text to your home number.


Wise is a great option for all travelers, with it’s ease of use and ability to hold many different curriences in your digital wallet at once. Their fees are all up-front and they don’t have any shady tactics, and opening an account is free!


Google Translate

Google Translate is probably the best free translation service app in the world. This app has improved immensely over the years and the translations have gotten much more accurate. The camera option to take pictures of menus and translate them real time is also amazing when you’re out dining in another country. This is a must have app for travelers.


Duolingo’s free option is a great service to pass the time and learn simple phrases in different languages. The graphics are fun and the user interface is very easy to follow along. I would not rely on this app alone to learn a knew language because it’s based on short games and rewards to learn phrases and words. It doesn’t effectively teach the verb structure. For that reason I wouldn’t pay for the app. But the free version is fun and the ads are not too invasive.


Preply is a paid service that allows you to connect with private teachers around the world. This is a service that I personally use and can testify that if you find the right teacher is a fantastic option. Some teachers are quite affordable and will offer deals to increase their rating, so your miles may vary. But remember nothing good in life is free.

Sign up here and receive 70% off your trial with any teacher.

Social Media & Communication


If you’re travelling and not on Instagram, then you’re missing an amazing opportunity to showcase your amazing photos and videos off. It’s become all too common for backpackers to skip the “what’s your number?” and ask you for your Instagram handle.


TikTok sprung out of nowhere during the 2020 lockdowns. The app is similar to Instagram, with the features that Instagram stole as usual, but focuses primarily on videos. This is a great place to showcase your travel content. Be wary though, as there are many privacy concerns with it.


Facebook is far less popular than it once was. It went from being one of the best social media platforms, to a clunky and disorganized ad and spam ridden disaster. I personally don’t use it but we have a Rarely Worried account if you want to follow us. Personally I only use it for Messenger and Marketplace which are great.


Twitter is very popular for news and politics. It’s got alot of the same features as other apps but on a timeline. It is a lot less clunky. It’s a good place to get information on travel advisories and important news in real-time.


WhatsApp is the most popular communication app in the world. Everyone in almost every country uses it, including businesses, hotels, transportation companies and even some government offices. Even we’re on Whatsapp, feel free to shoot us a message anytime. It is owned by Meta, the parent company of Facebook, and so the privacy concerns are something to take note of and try to avoid sending out any sensitive information. This is a must have app for travelers.


Signal is similar to Whatsapp in the sense that it is a communication app but one with privacy in mind. Your messages are encrypted and only stored on your device. It is unfortunately much less popular than Whatsapp but the interface is very clean and simple.


Telegram is a very popular communication app with privacy also in mind. What I like more about Telegram is the groups options are much better and the ability of file transfer and use stickers and gifs is much more smooth. Like Signal, it is far less popular than Whatsapp. Be careful though because if you don’t use your account for a certain amount of time it will self-destruct.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is very popular for users with a Facebook account. Like Whatsapp it allows users to communicate with a lot of businesses and corporations. This is a very convenient app to have for travellers and if you already have Facebook, a must have.

Music & Entertainment


This is probably the most popular music streaming service. A lot of musicians and artists will release content exclusive to Spotify also. They have a free version with ads if you don’t want to pay.

Youtube Music

Youtube Music is similar to Spotify but is owned by Google. I personally use Youtube Music because it includes Ad-block on Youtube and Google accounts. Youtube music also allows you to save audio or video from Youtube Videos you like and stream them later.

Apple Music

Apple Music is similar to Spotify and YT Music but is owned by Apple. It’s popular with iPhone users. Personally I don’t use it, so I don’t have much to say about it, but it all comes down to your personal preference.


Netflix is a good app to have for those rainy nights, or long bus & plane rides. Their monthly costs are quite high and all these subscription services add up, so if you can split an account with friends, it’s ideal. The app allows you to download shows and movies to view offline. Make sure to have a VPN though if you download stuff in one country and want to watch it in another.

Amazon Prime Video

If you have an Amazon Prime account, then it’s a no brainer to download this instead of Netflix. They have much less content but it’s only getting better daily, and if you’re already a member of Amazon it’s a great alternative to Netflix.

Sign up for an American free 30-Day Trial Here! (You can change your region to the right of the Amazon search bar)

Sign up for a Canadian free 30-Day Trial Here!


Shazam is the best service available that will listen to a song and tell you the name. This brings your content to another level when you’re in another country and want to add local music to your posts. Shazam is a must have app. There is also an alternative SoundHound but I prefer Shazam.


Read Era is a great offline e-book reader that is completely free. It allows you to bookmark and tab also. If you don’t have a built in e-book reader on your phone, then this is a great alternative.


Google Photos

Google Photos is great to have for those traveling and taking a lot of photos. The photo editing software that is built in is also quite good for a free service. The first 15GB are free at the highest quality setting for both photos and videos. This is a must have app for android users. If you use iPhone than iCloud will likely be easier for you.

Amazon Photos

If you have an Amazon Prime account, then it’s a no brainer to download this instead of Google Photos. It allows you to upload unlimited photos, and 5GB of video for free for Prime Users.

Food Delivery


Rappi is very popular food delivery service in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. This is a great option for those lazy nights where you want some good local food delivered.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats is an internationally known brand, and if you already have an Uber account then integration is quite simple. This is a convenient app to have but their services are quite high, so your $5 burger is going to be priced like it’s wrapped in gold.

Sign up here and receive $10 off your first order of $35+!

Fast Food Chain Apps

This is a trick I found out while traveling on a budget. Companies like KFC, Burger King, and McDonalds normally have standalone apps for the country you’re in. They offer great coupons that will save you a lot of money for fast junk food. You’ll usually have to change the country of your app store, or if you’re on Android just download the APK and install it yourself. This has worked for me in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Mexico, USA, South East Asia and Canada. Your miles may vary, but it’s almost always the case.

Dating & Meeting New People


Tinder was the original dating app and has been around for over a decade. Nowadays it’s known primarily as a hook-up app but it’s a good way to meet people while traveling.


Hinge is the dating app “designed to be deleted” according to their slogan. It allows the user to add a little message with their like which makes it less superficial than Tinder.


Bumble has all the features of Tinder, but makes it so the girl has to message the guy first. They have also since copied Hinge and allow you to include one free message with a like per day. They also have a Bumble BFF option that is good for making friendsThis is more popular in North America.


Badoo is similar to Tinder but is less popular in North America


Meetup is not a dating app but is a great app to meet new people. You can join clubs, or join game nights, go out drinking, or many other options depending on the city and host. It’s a great place for expats to meet people in a new city.

Facebook Expat Groups

This is not an app but I thought I’d mention it. Facebook is a great place to meet fellow travelers. Just search for “Insert City Name Here” followed by expats or backpacking and normally you can find a group of like-minded travelers!

International Calling & Texting


Rebtel is a great option for long distance calling to anywhere in the world. Top-up your credits and use either wifi or your main phone.


Fongo is my favorite app for North America, primarily Canada calling. It gives you a free local Canadian number and offers free calling country-wide. It comes with an additional cost for texting, or long distance calling.


TextNow is great for free texting to local numbers all across North America. Enter your zip or postal code and get a number for that region. The number expires on a free plan if you don’t use it often enough.


Talkatone offers free texting to local numbers all across North America. Enter your zip or postal code and get a number for that region. I like talkatone because if you pay 99 cents for credits, you can receive free short codes for apps like Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, food delivery apps, etc. and not worry about receiving spam. You also have to use it at least once every 30 days or your number will be reassigned to someone else.

Sign up here and receive a bonus!


Airalo or Numero

If you’re using a newer model phone and it supports e-sim then this is a good alternative to going out and buying a sim for a new country you visit if you’re only there for a few days. Anything longer than a few days, then I would recommend getting a local Sim because with Airalo and Numero, you don’t get a local number. I’ve used both and their fees are pretty consistent, Airalo a bit cheaper. My only caveat was that on the web browser or on Google, the search results would show up sometimes in Hebrew or Chinese depending on the app you use, and the currency in the wrong currency.

Sign up for Airalo here!


All Trails

All Trails is a must have app for people who love to hike and adventure. It has user created and professionally created trails all over the world and allows users to review the trails, add pictures, and mark down which they’ve completed or hope to complete. The free version doesn’t allow you to download the map so always make sure to pre-load the trail and keep the app open, or take screenshots before losing service on trails.


Maps.Me is a great app to download. It allows you to download offline maps, and user created content in new cities, without relying on data. This is a convenient app to have.

Travel Insurance

Safety Wing Digital Nomad Insurance

I have used this and it’s been a great asset. The prices are fair and it is very flexible, approved instantly and can be cancelled at any time. I highly recommend having this just in case! It’s never wise to travel without insurance especially when it’s available for such an affordable rate.

Sign up for Safety Wing insurance here and find which plan is best for you!

Missing anything?

Did I miss anything? Send us your suggestions on any apps that you can’t live without while traveling!

Make sure to bookmark this list or share it below with your friends and family who you think could use the help!

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