20 Must-Have Travel Apps for an Epic Summer Vacation

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

young people taking an epic summer vacation using must-have apps

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Planning a vacation can be stressful and expensive, and the right mobile app can make things easier for you. But the App Store and Google Play Store have countless travel apps, so it’s important to know which apps will enhance your trip, not distract from it.

“A good travel app for me is easy to use and updated frequently,” said Suzanne Wolko, a travel blogger at PhilaTravelGirl. “I only want to press a few buttons to get the information I need and also make sure it doesn’t consume my data plan.”

To help make your summer travel plans easier, we’ve put together a list of our 20 favorite travel apps, all of which are available for iOS and Android unless otherwise noted.

1. 7 Minute Workout

Why it’s great: 7 Minute Workout can help you get your daily exercise in without sacrificing precious time on the beach or exploring a new city.

Not good for: Folks who aren’t used to high-intensity circuit training exercises.

2. Airbnb

Why it’s great: Airbnb connects you with a local host who rents out their home or apartment so that you can have an authentic experience. In some cases, the cost could be cheaper than a hotel.

Not good for: Travelers who like the amenities of a hotel, such as a gym, daily cleaning, food service, and more.

3. Amazon Prime Photos

Why it’s great: Amazon Prime members can upload pictures they take on their phones while traveling, which can preserve your memories if your phone gets lost or damaged. Plus, you’ll get unlimited storage.

Not good for: Non-Prime members. A Prime membership costs $119 a year or $12.99 a month.

4. Bivy

Why it’s great: Bivy helps you find the best hiking trails, waterways, and climbing routes in your area for a staycation, or in areas you plan to visit.

Not good for: Travelers who don’t want an outdoors-oriented vacation.

5. Citymapper

Why it’s great: Navigating a new city’s public transportation can fill anyone with anxiety. Citymapper shows you all the ways to get around.

Not good for: Folks visiting places that aren’t on the app’s list of 39 cities.

6. CoChange

Why it’s great: CoChange helps you find and compare currency exchange offices to get the best rates in more than 100 countries.

Not good for: Travelers who plan to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees or a bank account with no international ATM fees.

7. Couchsurfing

Why it’s great: If “free” is your favorite word, Couchsurfing is worth considering. You can stay with fellow community members around the world at no cost per night.

Not good for: Travelers who feel uncomfortable with staying at someone’s house or apartment while they’re there, or want better accommodations than sleeping on an actual couch or basic mattress.

8. ExpressVPN

Why it’s great: ExpressVPN not only allows you to browse online securely, but it can choose your server location, which allows you to visit websites that are blocked in certain countries.

Not good for: People traveling on a budget who don’t want to pay for a subscription, which can cost between $8.32 and $12.95 a month.

9. GoEuro

Why it’s great: The transportation system in Europe is vastly different than what we have in the U.S. GoEuro can help you find the right tickets for flights, trains, and buses.

Not good for: People not heading to Europe.

10. Google Translate

Why it’s great: When you’re in a foreign country, the Google Translate app can save you from misunderstanding something important. And as of June 2018, Google will make the translation service available even when you’re offline.

Not good for: Folks who need translation for a language that isn’t included in Google’s list of 103 supported languages.

11. Google Trips

Why it’s great: Planning and organizing a trip can be hectic. With Google Trips, you can keep all your trip information in one place, and even get some recommendations for what to do when you get there.

Not good for: Folks who prefer a different travel planner app such as TripIt, Roadtrippers, or Travefy.

12. Hopper

Why it’s great: It’s almost impossible to know when to book a flight or hotel to get the best deal. Hopper not only predicts when you can score the lowest price on a flight or hotel stay, but it’ll track your itinerary and let you know when there’s a price drop. It claims savings up to 40%.

Not good for: People who don’t have a lot of time to book their trip.

13. HotelTonight

Why it’s great: If you’re the spontaneous type, HotelTonight can provide you with last-minute hotel stays at an average discount of 17%.

Not good for: Travelers who prefer to book in advance.

14. Maps.me

Why it’s great: Maps.me allows you to download detailed maps that you can view offline if you lose data service on your phone.

Not good for: People who prefer other popular map apps, including Google Maps and Waze.

15. Packpoint

Why it’s great: If you’re not sure what to pack for your trip, Packpoint can help. Simply tell it where you’re going, and it’ll construct a packing list for you based on the weather and activities you plan to do. You can add or delete items as necessary.

Not good for: Someone who already has a good packing system when traveling.

16. Polarsteps

Why it’s great: Polarsteps is the ultimate travel log, tracking your routes, stories, statistics, and photos. You can keep it all on the app or order a travel book with everything you added. You can also live vicariously through your friends as they share their trip stories.

Not good for: Folks who aren’t interested in documenting everything they do on their vacation.

17. Postagram

Why it’s great: Sending postcards might seem like a hassle. But with Postagram, you can upload a photo you took and write a message, and they’ll send your personalized postcard for you.

Not good for: Travelers who prefer to send traditional, handpicked postcards from a destination or don’t send postcards at all.

18. Pruvo

Why it’s great: Most hotels don’t require that you pay until you finish your stay, and Pruvo takes advantage of that. Once you book a room, forward your reservation to Pruvo, and it will send you price-drop alerts. You can then cancel your reservation and rebook it at the lower price.

Not good for: People who prefer mobile. Pruvo is the one web-only service on this list — it has a Google Chrome extension — but is still valuable for its benefits.

19. Skiplagged

Why it’s great: Skiplagged offers a unique service of finding hidden-city prices for flights. This means that a flight with a layover at your destination might be cheaper than a flight with your destination as its final stop. That said, while it’s legal — United Airlines sued Skiplagged and lost — airlines don’t like the practice, and it’s against their contract of carriage. So if you’re going to do it, don’t check a bag and only buy a one-way ticket because if you miss one of the legs of your flight, the airline will cancel a return flight.

Not good for: Folks who want to check baggage. If you opt for a hidden-city fare and abandon your flight on a layover, your checked bags would continue on to the final destination.

20. Smart Traveler

Why it’s great: Offered by the U.S. Department of State, the Smart Traveler app gives you access to travel alerts, travel warnings, U.S. embassy locations, and more.

Not good for: People who only travel within the U.S.

How to pick the right travel apps for your next trip

Picking the right travel apps really boils down to what works best for your travel needs. Some that we’ve listed could be super helpful or completely worthless, depending on your travel plans.

“When there are similar apps [such as Google Trips and TripIt], I often download both to test out what features I like best and [for] ease of use,” said Wolko. And in some cases, like with hotel apps, it might be good to have a few to compare rates.

Whatever you do, find the apps that work best for your needs and are easy to use, and start your search long before your trip so that you can get the most out of your new apps. The right ones can make traveling the world easy and affordable.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.899% APR to 8.179% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.570% APR to 6.980% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 14, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.570% APR assumes the current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 0.740% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.

5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

  1. Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). The following table displays the estimated monthly payment, total interest, and Annual Percentage Rates (APR) for a $10,000 loan. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) shown for each in-school loan product reflects the accruing interest, the effect of one-time capitalization of interest at the end of a deferment period, a 2% origination fee, and the applicable Repayment Plan. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment, which is reflected in the interest rates and APRs displayed. Variable rates may increase after consummation. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.08% effective July 25, 2018.

6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.57%-8.17% (2.57%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.75%-8.69% (3.75%-8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Estimated average savings amount is based on 14,659 Education Refinance Loan customers who saved on loans between August 1, 2017 and July 31, 2018. The calculation is derived by averaging monthly savings across Education Refinance Loan customers whose payment amounts decreased after refinancing, calculated by taking the monthly payment prior to refinancing minus the monthly payment after refinancing. We excluded monthly savings from customers that exceeded $4,375 and were lower than $20 to minimize risk of data error skewing the savings amounts. Savings will vary based on interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of loans to be refinanced. Borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if monthly payments are lower.

2.57% – 6.98%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 5.87%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.47% – 8.03%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.80% – 6.22%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 6.25%5Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.57% – 8.17%6Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.