Best Apps For Backpackers

What Are The Best Mobile Travel Apps for Backpackers? Which Apps For Backpackers?

In today's digital era, mobile apps have revolutionized the way Travel Backpackers navigate, plan, and connect with the world around them while they travel. Whether you're exploring bustling cities or immersing yourself in rural local cultures, these are the best mobile apps for backpackers.

The Best Mobile Travel Apps For Backpackers

Google Maps

Google Maps is an indispensable tool for Travel Backpackers, providing detailed maps, real-time navigation, and public transportation information in cities worldwide. With offline maps and customizable routes, it ensures you never get lost and always find your way to your next destination.

This app will be your single best friend as it helps you get from Point A to Point B and provides different options on how to get there. Another great thing about Google Maps is that they allow you to download the map you need so you can use it offline; meaning you wont be paying or using your data to access directions.

While it is an amazing app to work with, I have encountered some issues on my backpacking travel adventures in the past. Once I was using Google Maps when I rented a car in Croatia and it took me down a one-way ally in the city of Split. It then wanted me to turn left down a PEDESTRIAN STAIR CASE! I was definitely in driving mode and not walking mode if you're thinking that. Thank God I was paying attention and didn't proceed down the stairs. However, you can only image trying to backup down this one-way street. It was a very narrow street in the old neighborhood of Split. I have a vivid memory of my brother outside of the car pushing it it away from other parked cars. A fellow Travel Backpacker stopped me and told me to take my time and relax; I honestly think she was an angel for helping me not panic.

Hostelworld

For Budget Packers and Flash Packers, Hostelworld offers a vast selection of budget accommodations. For the most part they will be, you guessed it, hostels. But I have seen many guesthouses and budget hotels on Hostelworld as well. With reviews, ratings, and filters, it helps you find affordable and comfortable places to stay wherever your adventures take you.

Hostelworld is great as you can book a bed reasonably priced and last minute. You can also see the reviews beforehand. I like to see what the "atmosphere" of any hostel is before booking. I want to know what the hostel vibe will be. Will it be a hostel more geared to working Digital Nomads that are working or a party hostel etc.

Another thing to keep note about hostels is that the term "hostel" isn't synonymous with being cheap. Yes, it will have some of the least expensive accommodation options. However, I've stayed at hostels with luxury amenities likes pools and gyms. I've also stayed at hostels in popular tourist cities where a dormitory bed was priced over $100 USD per night.

Airbnb

Experience local hospitality AND experiences with Airbnb. Airbnb offers unique and personalized accommodations ranging from cozy apartments to quirky treehouses and houseboats. Connect with hosts, immerse yourself in local neighborhoods, and create unforgettable memories wherever you travel to.

Airbnb really lets you try unique accommodations and experiences brought to you by locals. I've had awesome experiences from renting out a castle to sleep in England to joining cooking classes at somebody's house in Colombia.

Booking.com / Expedia

Booking.com and Expedia are popular online travel agencies offering a wide range of travel services, including booking flights, hotels, rental cars, hostels, and activities. With their comprehensive platform, Travel Backpackers can conveniently search, compare prices, and book various travel services, making it a go-to choice for planning trips efficiently and affordably.

Expedia is US-based and Booking.com is Europe-based. They are the largest online travel agencies in the world some. One may be more popular in one market and not in another. So I like download both to compare my options.

Globe Convert

You'll need a currency converter app while backpack traveling. Image going to Vietnam and seeing something priced 350,000.00. You'd think it's expensive, right? Well, it turns out to be just $14 USD. You can manage your finances with ease using Globe Convert, providing real-time exchange rates for over 100 currencies. Whether you're budgeting for accommodations, meals, or souvenirs, it helps you stay on track and avoid overspending while traveling.

Google Translate

Break down language barriers with Google Translate, offering text and voice translations in over 100 languages. From basic phrases to complex conversations, it facilitates communication and cultural exchange, enriching your travel experiences wherever you go.

The best thing about Google Translate is that you can turn on your camera and it can translate on the screen what the camera sees in real time. This is especially helpful when a menu or sign is not in English.

Duolingo

Speaking of foreign languages, you can learn the basics of the local language on the go with Duolingo. It's an interactive language learning app offering lessons, exercises, and quizzes in over 30 languages. Whether you're brushing up on essential phrases or diving deep into a new language, it enhances your cultural immersion and connection with locals. This is perfect for that extra time you have on a bus or train ride. 

Couchsurfing

Experience authentic cultural exchanges and connect with locals by using Couchsurfing, a community-driven platform that facilitates free accommodation and social interactions. Whether you're looking for a place to stay or eager to meet new friends, it offers unique opportunities for meaningful travel experiences.

Staying at somebody's place for free isn't as easy as it looks. Hosts get tons of requests and for a new person to the app, you'll get overlooked. Also, staying for free isn't exactly free. There is an unspoken rule that you should give the host some kind of gift or take them out to dinner.

Personally, I prefer Couchsurfing for the Couchsurfing Meetups. You can find a lot of Travel Backpackers and Locals on the app that are nearby to hang out. There isn't much small talk since its not dating or anything. You can easily find a handful of people to meet up for a beer and grab dinner. I've done this so many times and met such awesome people.

Uber / Local Ride Share

Get around cities conveniently with ride-sharing apps like Uber, offering affordable transportation options and cashless transactions. With reliable drivers and real-time tracking, they provide seamless mobility wherever you go.

Uber may not be the most popular ride-sharing mobile app in certain countries. Check out the below map and also download the local riding sharing app if needed.

Skyscanner

Find the best flight deals and compare prices with Skyscanner, a flight comparison app that searches thousands of airlines and travel agencies to help you save money on airfare. With flexible search options and price alerts, it enables you to book flights that fit your budget and schedule.

One thing I like about Skyscanner is that it also lists budget airlines that sometimes are listed with Booking.com or Expedia. Another thing is that you can select your destination as "Everywhere" and just see what the least expesive destinations are from a certain city.

WhatsApp

Travel Backpackers should connected with friends and family back home using WhatsApp, a messaging app that offers free text, voice, and video calls over Wi-Fi or data. Share your travel experiences, photos, and updates in real-time, keeping loved ones informed and involved in your adventures. WhatsApp uses data and not your home cellular service.

AirAlo

Airalo is an innovative eSIM marketplace providing travelers with affordable and reliable eSIM data plans globally. With Airalo, users can easily purchase and activate eSIM plans for their destinations, ensuring seamless connectivity without the hassle of physical SIM cards or roaming charges. Offering a variety of plans from trusted mobile operators, Airalo is a convenient solution for staying connected while traveling.

What I like the most about AirAlo is that there is no physical SIM card. Once you pay for the specific country's data, all you have to do is download it and activate it on your phone. I've used this is so many countries! 

OMIO / Road2Rio

Omio allows users to search and book trains, buses, flights, and other transportation options, all in one place. With its user-friendly interface and extensive network of partners, OMIO enables travelers to compare prices, schedules, and routes, making it easier to plan and book multi-modal journeys across Europe efficiently. A similar App that also works outside of Europe is called Rome2Rio.

GuruWalk

GuruWalk is a platform that connects Travel Backpackers with local guides for free walking tours in cities around the world. Travelers can browse through a variety of guided tours offered by local experts, ranging from historical landmarks to hidden gems and local experiences like food tours. GuruWalk operates on a tip-based model, where travelers can choose to tip their guide based on their satisfaction with the tour. It's a great way for backpack travelers to explore new destinations, learn about local culture, and connect with like-minded Travel Backpackers.

This best part of GuruWalk is if you are solo travelling. I would book a GuruWalk on my first day in a city and then meet other solo travellers during these tip-based walking tours. Then I have new friends for my stay and people to hang out with for drinks or a bite after the tour.

LuggageHero

LuggageHero is a baggage storage service that offers convenient and secure storage solutions for Backpack Travellers in cities worldwide. Travelers can use the LuggageHero app to find nearby storage locations, book storage space for their luggage, and drop off their bags for safekeeping while they explore the city. With flexible pricing options and insurance coverage included, LuggageHero provides a hassle-free solution for backpack travelers who need to store their belongings temporarily while they sightsee, shop, or wait for transportation.

I've used LuggageHero mostly when I have to check out of an accommodation in the morning and my transportation isn't scheduled to the evening. I don't want to carry around a large backpack all day. So I can drop it off and lock it up for a few hours and its perfectly safe.

Citymapper

Navigate public transportation systems with ease using Citymapper, a transit app that offers real-time information, route planning, and fare estimates in major cities worldwide. Whether you're taking buses, trains, or subways, it ensures smooth and efficient travel within urban areas.

The best apps for backpackers serve as the ultimate backpacker's toolkit, offering everything you need to navigate, plan, and enhance your travels. From accommodation booking and language learning to budget tracking and cultural exchange, these apps empower Backpack Travellers to embark on unforgettable journeys with confidence and ease.

 

WRITTEN BY

MARK CIPOLLINA

I’m Mark, the Founder of Generation Nomad, Avid Travel Backpacker & Digital Nomad. I am passionate about helping others discover the world through my experiences. I solo backpacked for months at a time, lived abroad, and even speak two foreign languages. Besides collaborating on the best lightweight travel accessories for Travel Backpackers, I also love sharing my travel photography.
Favorite Trips: Spain, Egypt & Vietnam 
Favorite Cuisines: Italian, Peruvian & Japanese
Quote: “Be a circle and just roll with it” 

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