I live with one of my phones in my hand, pretty much at all times. We’re the most connected we’ve ever been, and I’m not ashamed to say I check my email and social media networks before bed and right when I wake up. When I travel, I rely heavily on my devices to get me through my trips. When I was younger I used to play Oregon Trail and more often than not ended up dying of dysentery and losing all of my oxen while trying to cross the river. I would have easily made it to Portland if I had the WebMD app and transit maps!

So, as connected as I am, what three apps am I currently obsessed with that are making my travel life so much easier? Check out my list.

  1. Tiplr

While it’s still in the early phases, I fully believe this app is going to take off, and I’m glad to be using it now and loading in my travel tips first. The platform is really quite simple: You connect your Instagram account, click on the + and either start a collection if you have several tips from one city/country/region, or load in a single tip. The interface takes you through a few simple steps like writing a title, a short tip about what you experienced, something to do, maybe an item on a menu, or a beer people must try. Then, you create some tags, just like hashtags, and select a category for easy navigation. After this, you select “Publish” and load in your tip. In this age of knowledge sharing it’s quite rewarding knowing you’re helping others find great spots all over the world.

WHY I LOVE IT:

It’s fun to give information to fellow travelers, but I really love reading about other people’s experiences around the world. I’m starting to plan a vacation exclusively off of tips I’m seeing in Tiplr.

2. Duolingo

Learning a language is hard, y’all. I currently speak two languages fluently: Southern and English. Isn’t that enough? Nope. Not if you want to travel the world. Duolingo makes learning a new language easy, and the best part is it’s completely free. It uses your Google account to sign up, but once you’re in you can select just about any language and take introductory courses. If you studied French in high school and college like me, you can attempt to test out of different categories of the test. For example, I remember the names of animals and the basics of French, so I tested out of the first 3 lessons. Currently, I’m trying to learn German! Ich bin ein mann! (I am a man!)

WHY I LOVE IT:

This is a fun activity when you’re sitting in the airport with nothing to do. If you aren’t genuinely interested in learning a new language, it’s still a fun game to play, and the accents are kind of hot…

3. Open Table

This is great for traveling to a new city, especially if it’s a big city. Open Table allows you to read reviews, view menus, and make reservations within the app for any available restaurants around you. It’s very user friendly, and most of the time you can find a reservation within a few minutes of the current time putting you ahead of the hordes of people waiting outside at that trendy New York hotspot.

WHY I LOVE IT:

I obviously love good food, and this app connects it to me fast!

What are some of YOUR must have travel apps?

Read more about my travel adventures and tips in my new book, I Know Where I’ve Been: A Year Long Journey of Self-Discovery, available now on AMAZON, or here:

Originally written for and published by Bear World Magazine.