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The best travel apps for finding activities and things to do when planning a trip

Written by Kalvi Bhoomi

A suitcase a traveller's suitcase

Traveling is one of the most rewarding activities we can undertake. It enriches the soul, soothes the heart, and fills the mind with a world of exciting possibilities. The richness of the world and all it has to offer, however, opens up its own unique set of problems that any intrepid traveler needs to deal with. There are a lot of places to go and even more things to do when you get there, and there is no possible way you can know about all of them. Don’t worry though, the best travel planning apps can help you. We’re going to show you how to find things to do when you’re planning a vacation.

When you’re planning a trip, you need to research the towns and cities you’re visiting, the different parts of all the countries you’ll be traveling through. You can do this at home before you leave, or you can do it once you’ve hit the dusty road that leads to your destiny. Either way, there are some great digital tools that can help you discover the things you’ll want to do on your next adventure. These are the top travel apps for iPhone and Android to help you discover things to do on your next big trip.

The best travel planning apps

Useful travel apps #1 Culture Trip

Vulture Trip guides

Culture Trip is a relatively new travel app and website. Its simple mission is to be the go-to travel app for all intrepid adventurers. No matter where you go, Culture Trip wants to be able to show you something special that you’ll need to do. The app is split into locations and sections with comprehensive guides offered hundreds of towns and cities around the world, and a seemingly endless list of specialized local activities to do, foods, to taste, drinks to sample and people to meet in all of them. No matter where you’re going if you turn to Culture Trip, there is a good chance you’ll find something interesting to do that you didn’t know about before.

 

Useful travel apps #2 Wikipedia

Wikipedia app travel screenshots

The Wikipedia app might not strike you as a travel app, but it is one of the must have travel apps. The world’s encyclopedia offers you a fantastic way to learn about the culture, history, and buzzing contemporary scenes of all the places you’re planning to visit. When you’re up to speed with these you’ll easily be able to fill an itinerary of any length of time. On top of this the Wikipedia app also offers some pretty cool location services. If you activate them, you’ll be able to view a map that contains all the nearby places of interest that have been added to Wikipedia. This is an absolute gold mine and can help you out, if you find yourself visiting somewhere you haven’t already researched properly.

 

Useful travel apps #3 Visit a City

Visit a City travel guide app planning

The excellent Visit a City travel app offers free access to over 3,000 travel guides for over 3,500 different locations. All you have to do is enter your destination and then the length of your stay and the app will serve you up a number of travel guides tailored to your stay in the place you’re visiting. Visit a City also offers a comprehensive ticket purchasing portal for local attractions and makes it easy for you to choose all of your top locations from the many thousands recommended on the app. The app also works offline, which will come in handy if you’re worried about hefty data roaming charges.

 

Useful travel apps #4 Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor app for travel planning

Trip Advisor is like the big daddy of all travel apps. For anybody who is looking for something to do on their next adventure, Trip Advisor’s strength comes from its community. A lot of Trip Advisor is geared around marketing operations for restaurants, hotels, and activities but you’ll find that what you’re really looking for is what other travelers have said about all these different types of places. You can simply type in a city on Trip Advisor and then see all the highest rated activities, voted for by other visitors. The Trip Advisor forums are also full of gold. As well as learning about strange and interesting things to do, you’ll also learn about the best, safest, and most reasonably priced way to do them.


Useful travel apps #5 Lonely Planet

lonely planet travel apps planning

Lonely Planet is another well established name in the world of travel discovery. We’ll have all seen one on somebody’s bookshelf at one time or another and if you’ve ever traveled yourself there is a good chance, you’ll have had one stuffed in your suitcase or backpack. The Lonely Planet apps for traveling try to take that guidebook experience and cram it into your mobile phone. It is a little similar to Visit a City with expertly curated location guides, interactive maps, and various other top recommendations. This app is more for cities though, so if you’re venturing out into the country you might want to check in on Culture Trip, Wikipedia, or the Trip Advisor forums for some extra suggestions.


Useful travel apps #6 Your favorite Podcast app

podcasts are great for planning a trip

I’m opening a bit of a can of works here that may lead to an article in its own right. Travel podcasts are an excellent source of inspiration. On a recent trip to Colombia we ended up heading to the city of Pereira so that we could stay on a coffee plantation for a few days. It was a magical trip, and it all came from a recommendation we took from the Amateur Traveler podcast. Other great travel podcasts include Conde Nast, The Rough Guide to Everywhere, and the Indie Travel podcast. The trick though is to simply search for podcasts on the places you’re visiting to see if anybody has done a specific edition on somewhere that is on your itinerary. Another little tip, if you want to go the extra mile is to search for history podcasts on the countries you’re going to visit. Revolutions is an excellent podcast and will give you a lot of detail on the brutal things that went on in countries like Great Britain, France, the US, and Mexico.


About the author

Kalvi Bhoomi