No matter what shade of traveller you are, you could be seasoned backpacker getting by with 2 pairs of underwear and a t-shirt or a deep pocketed flashpacker with a penchant for the finer things in life, a traveller is always seeking for avenues through which experiences while travelling can be enhanced.

And in the hyper-connected world we live in, there’s no better way to enhance your travel experiences than by knowing the right travel app to have at your disposal. Whether you’re looking for hookups, parties, secret local hideouts, travel buddies or just want to book tickets for your onward destination, I’ve come up with a definitive list of travel apps that you have to try on your next trip.

Let’s begin with finding you a travel buddy first.

1. Travel Buddies

Well, you could be genuinely looking for a travel buddy or a hookup, either way, travel buddies is the perfect app for you to find people who are heading to the same destination as you or even have the same travel style and tastes as you. The app requires you to list your travel style, budget, travel dates, profile pictures and other optional personal preferences. This helps you select or be selected by others who match your profile. Overall an excellent concept neatly wrapped into a functional travel app. Here’s letting you in on a little secret, Anthony Bourdain and Denise Keller are rumoured to have been looking for travel buddies on this platform. 😉
Available on: IOS
Cost: $0.99

2. Backpackr

Don’t let the name mislead you here because you don’t necessarily have to be a backpacker to use this app. Although the app is frequented mostly by backpackers, it is a good junction for all travellers looking to meet up in the same city. The app is less stringent than Travel Buddies, in that you do not need to input your travel plans and preferences. It works on a simple model where a ‘common room’ brings together all the users in a location under one forum where they can share their plans and decide whether to meet or not. There is another cool feature that functions as a virtual passport where you can get your ‘passport’ stamped from all the places you’ve been to and share it with the community. Drawbacks are that there aren’t enough users on it for all locations.
Available on: IOS and Android
Cost: Free

backpackr 1 backpackr 2

Now that we know you wont be travelling alone and will always have a travel buddy, she or he may not necessarily be ready for a hookup or a party animal, so let’s see how we can fix that.

3. Tinder

Seems like a no-brainer, I know, but Tinder works, period! Just about everyone who’s single (well, maybe attached too) is probably on it and no matter which city you travel to, you will always find hotties/notties to swipe through. Don’t be too picky and you’re bound to meet someone on Tinder. In addition to having a large user base, the  app is super easy to use and it works like a charm every time. If you’re still thinking, “nahh..give me something new, man”, then you should check out the next dating app on this list, Bumble.
Available on: IOS and Android
Cost: Free

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4. Bumble

Ok, so perhaps the novelty of Tinder has worn out and you’re looking for something new and exciting. I present to you, Bumble! Feels cool and is easy to use. While it may not have the same user base as Tinder, there are a considerable amount of users on it despite being the new kid on the block. What’s different about Bumble? For men, this is one app where the rules state that ladies go first, so if you’re the shy kind then this one’s perfect for you. And ladies, you’ll have to bring your A-game to this hunting ground – plenty of fishies in the sea, the way I see it. For gay men and lesbians on Bumble this restriction does not apply and either party from a same sex match can start the conversation, essentially just doubling up as another Tinder, so Bumble will have to step up if it’s going to attract more LGBT users. The app also hung a couple of times when I was uploading pics, I would like to think it couldn’t take my awesomeness 😉 but something tells me it’s probably just buggy and needs more work. Bumble seriously looks like it could give Tinder a run for its money.
Available on: IOS 
Cost: Free

Bumble 1 Bumble 2

5. Kickon

This seems to be the only legit party app that works. Story goes that the founder got the idea to make this app when authorities in Sydney called for bars to shut down after 1:30am, leaving revellers down under high and dry. And thus was born Kickon! The concept is simple, you sign up and gatecrash private parties! Works on a review system where you will be reviewed as a guest by the party host and you can also review how awesome (or boring) the party you attended was. Get on it and you could possibly get to gatecrash one of the epic parties thrown by celebrities! Here’s to wishing Hugh Hefner gets on Kickon too!
Available on: IOS and Android
Cost: Free

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We’ve found you some travel buddies, hookups and even a way to gatecrash private parties, how about exploring and interpreting the cities on an intimate level ?

6. Indie Guides

Every once in a while you stumble upon a travel resource so valuable that you would rather keep it all to yourself for fear of the masses ruining it. Indie Guides is one such resource. The only drawback of this app is that their coverage is limited to 9 cities for now. Among the hundreds of travel guides out there, this is by far the most creative and you can tell that a lot of work and thought has been put into making these guides. Indie Guides set themselves apart by listing only 50 addresses in every city which are hand-picked by locals. The selections include indie live music venues, art workshops, and art galleries in the underbellies of a city. Essentially, the creators of this app have made a resolute decision that their app does not have to please everyone. I love it! Download the free Paris app and see for yourself. Every city guide even comes with it’s own soundtrack! How cool is that!
Available on: IOS and Android
Cost: $1.99 per city (Paris guide is free)

Indie guides 1 Indie guides 2

7. Google translate

The hopeless travel-romantic will often quote “Get lost to find yourself”, and it sure is a wonderful thought, but I think you’ll ‘find’ yourself better and with more meaning if you had google translate with you. Sure, you can get away with sign language but let’s face it, having a translator handy like Google translate just makes things so much easier. The app allows you to input translations through three mediums: you can type, take a picture or even speak into this travel app. That said, just prepare to receive a glass of Tigers milk when you order a beer in rural Asia. :p Translations aren’t always perfect but it gets the job done.
Available on: IOS and Android
Cost: Free

Translate

Look at you, all ready to hit the road and try out all these fancy new travel apps. Not so quick, let’s first look at some apps that will get you to your destinations and even plan an itinerary for you.

8. Tripit

Tripit creates a travel itinerary for you. It’s quite simple to use really, all you have to do is forward all of your confirmation emails to the app. So anything from hotel bookings, flights, car rentals, restaurants, sightseeing.. the whole works, and Tripit transforms these emails into a master itinerary. That way all your plans are conveniently located in one place. The app also features real time alerts and can also find you alternate flights in case your original booking were to be cancelled.
Available on: IOS and Android
Cost: Free

9. Kayak

Perhaps the most comprehensive of all the travel booking apps, Kayak should be your go-to resource for searching and booking. Be it flights, hotels or car rentals, Kayak lets you search for all of them with ease. What makes Kayak special is it’s partners like booking.com from where it pulls in information from if it can’t populate on it’s own.
Available on: IOS and Android
Cost: Free

Kayak 1 Kayak 2

So there you have it, 9 cool travel apps and you’re now all set! Go forth and conquer! 😉

Anil Gurung

Anil likes devouring copious amounts of Pho Cuon in Hanoi, Momos in Kathmandu and Kachoris in Udaipur. When not eating, you will find him bungy jumping off bridges or listening to talks by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Alan Watts.