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A trip is not a trip if we don’t share it on social media, right? We all need to Instagram those sunset cocktails and send Snap Stories of ourselves at the beach. But Snapping, ‘gramming and surfing the web eats up a lot of data, as does accessing maps, reservations and email. All that online action can quickly turn into an astronomical phone bill. Avoid forking over all your dough to your phone carrier with these smart travel apps that get the job done—without needing to be connected to any network!

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Pocket: If you find yourself looking for reading material, be it on a plane, at a cute Parisian cafe, or on the beach, this app can be a godsend. Save articles and blog posts that you want to read later without needing a data connection. You can also use this for saving emails if you want to get some work done (we don’t judge) via your phone or even your desktop computer. Just fire up the app when you’re offline and they’ll all be there waiting for you to digest.

Libby: The Libby app is awesome for downloading library books that you want to read on the go. Sync up with your local library using your library card number and you can search for and download books to read later.

Kindle Reading: If you’re an Amazon customer, you don’t even need the Kindle e-book reader to read books, articles and newspapers. Just download the Kindle Reading app and you’ll have your library sitting there waiting for you.

Trebel: Many of us can’t budget in that $9.99/month that streaming platforms charge for premium service, but this music app offers free, licensed tracks that are available for offline play from today’s top artists like Drake, Cardi B, Post Malone and more. Download and listen offline, no mobile data use or requirement during playback, It also allows for background play while other apps are being used.


HappyCow: If you are vegan or vegetarian or traveling with someone who is, finding food that will satisfy is sometimes hard when on the road, especially if you don’t want to end up eating a plate of lettuce or only sides at dinner. HappyCow is a crowdsourced directory of vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants and other businesses all over the world. In order to use the app offline, create a “trip” for your upcoming destination and it’ll source all the spots you may want to visit. Once a listing has been added to your trip, it will be available for offline viewing.

Snapseed: This free photo editing app is made by Google. It works completely offline and saves photos to the camera roll afterwards, meaning you can handle all those fancy filters you want to do and then upload them to Instagram once you are back on Wi-Fi.

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Navigation and organization

Local SIM: Local SIM is an application that connects users to a local cellular network provider (carrier) while traveling or moving to another country. The mobile app accesses a database and gives users a way to quickly and easily discover a provider that fits their needs best as well as guides them to the closest point where they can register for the network.

Sygic Travel: Use this app to create detailed itineraries for all your trips. The app is free but the premium version allows you to download any maps so you can access your itineraries offline.

Mobile Passport: This app lets you skip the long line at customs and immigration, and head to the fast-track Mobile Passport line, and it’s free. Just enter your passport and flight information into the app, and answer the four immigration questions. A QR code will be generated for you, and will be scanned by the immigration officers at the airport. Be forewarned: The Mobile Passport app is only available for use at certain airports in the United States, so make sure you’re flying into an eligible airport before using!

Citymapper:  This navigation app gives you intel on a city’s transit systems, various route options, and so much more.

Google Maps: Google Maps is full of nifty tricks. You can fully download a map by typing in a destination and hitting the download key (located underneath the blue Directions bar), but this does eat up a lot of bandwidth. You can also plug in a destination while online and get a route, but then switch to offline and the route will still be there. Additionally, use the “your places” feature to highlight all the restaurants, museums, cafes, etc. you want to visit in a particular destination. Maps will bookmark them all for you and those bookmarks will still appear even when offline. This awesome offline map can be used for navigation, and even to help out with finding nearby gas stations, bathrooms, restaurants and more. It’s also great for walking directions and hiking trails.

TripIt: TripIt Pro costs $49 annually, but this app, which can be used offline, is amazing. It organizes travel plans and sends helpful travel alerts and reminders throughout a trip so you aren’t caught off guard by flight delays or cancellations, gate changes or expiring points. This means no more scrambling to find a flight number when it’s time to check-in, or frantically searching for the address of your hotel after landing.

Splitwise: This is useful for tracking travel expenses and even splitting expenses with travel companions. It works with different currencies, random percentage splits, photo receipts, group expenses and more.

Google Translate: If you are traveling and don’t know the language at your destination, Google Translate is endlessly useful.  You can type in full sentences and get a translation of how you say what you need to say, or have the person speak into the phone and it’ll translate for you. Make sure you download the languages you want, as well as the app, before you leave for your trip.

XE: A popular currency conversion app is XE. It also stores currencies for offline use, but in our experience, its interface is a bit unfriendly to the user.

Oanda Currency Converter: If you open the app before a trip, it will load all the current exchange rates for all currencies, and give you a great ballpark for how much you’re paying for that bottle of water.

Tagged: Feature, Top 10 Lists

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Aly Walansky
Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer.

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