Your vacation begins long before you leave for the airport. It starts the very second you start researching and doesn't end until you're back home and sleeping in your own bed again.
Where should you go? When should you leave? What should you do when you're there? What if you're in a country where English isn't the main language? What if you want to connect with locals? How will you find your way around?
Wouldn't you know it, we here at Komando.com have come up with a list of apps that can put all of those answers into the palm of your hand. Before you start planning your next trip, make sure you have these seven must-have travel apps for Android and Apple.
1. Find the best days to fly
If you are flexible with the days and where you want to travel, you can easily plan a trip with a rock-bottom price with the Skyscanner app.
With Skyscanner you can see flight prices on a color-coded calendar, which helps you quickly spot the days with the lowest prices. Plus, if you're up for an exciting new destination, Skyscanner has an "Everywhere" search option. Use it to find cheap travel deals around the world. Just enter your nearest airport, and let the adventure begin.
2. Book your flight and room
Need to find a flight or book a hotel room? Kayak has you covered. Need to track your flight status or check baggage fees? Kayak does that, too. You can even call an Uber, find rental cars and create an itinerary for your trip. The app contains hotel reviews, so you don't end up sleeping on dirty sheets. You can look at a hotel's overall score and see what other users are saying.
3. Get packing
PackPoint Packing List Travel Companion is a handy app that builds packing lists specifically for you, and specifically for your destination. Just tell the app how long your trip will be, where you're going, and any activities that you might have planned. PackPoint will check the weather for you, and build you a list of appropriate items to take with you. You will see a list of basic essentials like socks and underwear, as well as your tech checklist, which includes things like your tablet and smartphone charger.
4. Navigate the airport Gate Guru
If you're going to be hanging out at the airport a little while between flights, you'll want to have GateGuru on your phone. Besides offering real-time flight status reports, security wait times and other gate information, GateGuru offers a full look at airports themselves with lists of airport restaurants, shops and services complete with more than 35,000 reviews and tips with 10,000 photos from fellow travelers. Not only that, you can use GateGuru to reserve airport rental cars at a discount too.
5. Go where the locals go
Want to know the best place to get coffee in New York? Ask Yelp. What about the best place for sushi in San Francisco? Yelp can tell you that, too. From restaurants and food trucks to doctors and dentists, nail salons and spas, to gyms and yoga studios, Yelp has you covered. There are more than 50 million reviews on businesses across the entire world, so you're bound to find something to fit your fancy.
6. Getting around without a rental car
Instead of renting a car, a cheaper option for strange cities is Uber. Use it to take you to and from the airport, or if you're headed out for a night on the town.
To call for an Uber ride, you need the Uber app on your phone, which will also require a credit card number. Next, request a ride at your current location and you'll get confirmation in almost no time that a driver is on the way.
7. Translate street signs into English
No matter where your travels take you, Google's got you covered. At least, it's got you covered in 103 languages with its newly updated, amazing Google Translate app.
With the app, you hold up your phone to a sign, then turn on your camera. Almost instantly, you see that sign translated into your language. Plus, if you want to communicate in another language, just type what you want to say in English. Then translate your words into one of 90 languages on Google Translate.