9 Travel Apps for the Thrifty Student

Everyone likes to travel, but not everyone can afford it. And if you’re a broke college student, it’s time to get inventive and thrifty about the globetrotting you can do. Whether it’s armchair tourism, skirting TSA issues, or finding a place to stay when you’re broke and stranded in a strange country, we’ve got you covered. For the traveling or wannabe traveling students, here are our nine top travel apps.

  1. 50 Places of a Lifetime: The World’s Greatest Destinations

    Thanks to National Geographic, the broke college student can see the world from their iPhone or iPad. Available in several different languages, this visual app gives you 360 degree views of several of the world’s most breathtaking places. For $1.99, you can hear and see the world from the convenience of your armchair.

  2. Beautiful Planet HD: A Photographic Journey of the World

    And if you’re into armchair travel, this iTunes staff favorite is bound to be one of yours, too. Beautiful Planet HD, by Banzai Labs, features even more of the world in its natural beauty. With superb image quality, you’ll really want an iPad to take advantage of the pretty pictures. If you’re stuck studying, you can scroll through the images to take a mental break. Beautiful Planet HD is breathtaking and available for only $1.99 at the app store.

  3. Kayak

    Need to book a flight on the go? Kayak is your favorite Internet travel resource, only downsized into an app. Book flights, search for options, and enjoy a cleaner interface than the website. You’ll be saying “Sayonara!” in no time!

  4. Flyrights

    College students love to know and exercise their rights, and if you’ve ever wasted time with TSA, you’re not alone. And there’s an app for that. Those that have been profiled for no good reason have a brand new app from which to file their complaints. Civil rights groups and minority communities have given their input, which is presumably for those who feel they have been profiled. Homeland Security has promised to review all complaints filed through this app. Good luck with that, travelers.

  5. TripIt

    TripIt is the little organizer that could, and you can do just about everything on it. If you have trouble keeping your itineraries straight, and want to sync or show other fliers and travelers, you’re bound to need this handy little app. TripIt makes everything easier to read, show, and handle. And that’s a big value for the cost — it’s completely free.

  6. Instagram

    It’s everyone’s favorite picture app, but it could change your travel life. Don’t want to forget the sculptures in that Florentine square? Need to remember the coffee you had on the streets of gay Paris? Never fear. You can snap, filter, and update on the go. You’ll never lose a picture (or a follower) again.

  7. Twitter

    As annoying as social media can be during any vacation (Seriously. Give it a rest.), if you’re globetrotting or studying abroad, Twitter might just be invaluable. You can stay up-to-the-minute with lists from your destination cities, and know what’s going on in other parts of the world. You can connect and possibly make new friends if you get stranded, and it’s easy to let those who are curious of your whereabouts

  8. Jetsetter

    This one’s just for iPad, but it’s really great. Not only can you armchair travel, but you can book hotels, flights, and tours — all from this handy little app. You’ll have to become a community member, but you’ll want to after having a taste of the jetsetting lifestyle this little app can provide. It’s run by Gilt Travel, Inc., a group with a great reputation for finding luxurious deals. And it’s all available at a price any student can handle: 100% free.

  9. Language Translation Phrasebook

    Where is the bathroom? How much does this cost? Have you seen my roommate? I’m not sure where I am; I’ve been drinking for four days straight. Learn how to say these things and more with Language Translation Phrasebook. It’s the handy little translator app that every student needs — no matter where on the globe you wake up with a hangover.

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