Elva Ramirez is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Brooklyn, New York.

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The Best Travel Apps In 2018 - Tips From a Travel Writer


Originally published in Forbes. 

As a travel writer, I'm on the road at least once a month, and sometimes more than that.

Within just one year, I've been to Mexico, Scotland, Canada, Japan as well as U.S. cities such as Miami, Park City and Austin. I rely on apps to get me through to flights, to keep me updated on gate changes, to track my bags and to speed me through customs.

Here are the essential travel apps you should have, as recommended by a travel writer.

Airline Apps

This sounds completely obvious, yes, but it's been my experience that even savvy travelers make a few mistakes with airline apps. They don't update the app in the days leading up to the trip, and again on the night before they fly. (An old or outdated app can't help you.) Also, travelers don't always turn on push notifications (the app can't help you if it can't reach you.)

Whether you fly Delta, American, United or any other airline, always start with downloading the app of the carrier you're flying with. Link your frequent flyer number and enter all your contact info. International airline apps are hit or miss, and a few are downright useless, but it's better to have one than not.

In the best scenario, not only can you use your phone to scan a boarding pass, but most airline apps will send updates on your checked bags, changes in gates and any delays in boarding. For example, one night last winter, a major storm was due to hit before a planned morning flight to Mexico. Just as I would have been falling asleep, United's app buzzed with news that my 7 a.m. flight was cancelled. Within the app, I booked myself onto an earlier flight and left before the storm arrived.

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