Since smartphones have become the norm, travelers have been able to do away with a whole range of gadgets. No longer do we need to pack an alarm clock, phrasebook, map, compass or even paper tickets in our luggage; we can keep it all on our phones.

The travel experience has been streamlined and accelerated, right down to being able to book flights, hotels and trains on our phones, on the go. For the most part, this can also make us look just a little bit less like tourists (no standing in the street scrutinizing fold-out maps) and can certainly keep us more organized.

But these benefits often depend upon one thing: access to the Internet (Well, three things, as battery life and not being pick-pocketed are equally essential). Sure, you may have a glamorous global 4G roaming deal through your provider, a local sim or excellent Wi-Fi in your accommodation; however, you never know when you’ll be stuck in an Internet dead zone. This is when travel apps that work offline can be a godsend.

Here are some of the best travel apps that work without access to the Internet:

1. Off Maps

Price: $0.99

Works with: iOS

Not only do maps help you save time and navigate a new place, they can also help keep you safe. There’s nothing more disconcerting than getting lost, alone, in a strange city at night. Don’t experience the horror of the blue dot on a plain gray background when you can’t find a connection. Off Maps offers thousands of city maps you download and have forever.

2. TripIt

Price: free

Works with: all systems

A handy little app that stores all your accommodation, flight and other booking info, TripIt turns your various tickets and bookings into a user-friendly itinerary. And once you’ve downloaded your bookings to the app the information remains available offline. Gone are the days of hoping for Internet to access your email for booking confirmations and attachments thanks to one of our favorite offline travel apps!

3. Dictionnaire Français

Price: free

Works with: Android

There isn’t much need to lug a clunky paper phrasebook around these days, but when visiting a country where you don’t speak the language, it’s courteous (and often downright essential) to make an effort in the native tongue. This great little offline dictionary, Dictionnaire Français, is for French, but a quick search will lead you to many similar options in a range of languages.

4. Pocket

Price: Free

Works with: all systems

While Pocket is helpful at home and work, it’s also excellent for traveling and one of the best offline travel apps. This app lets you save articles and other links while you’re browsing online and sends them to your account, where you can access them later, offline. This is particularly useful for storing reading material for plane trips.

5. XE

Price: free

Works with: all systems

Unless you’re traveling domestically you’re going to need to convert some currency. The mental math of converting from dollars into Euros is difficult enough, let alone into Icelandic Krona or Thai Baht. While XE isn’t some magical program that retrieves of-the-moment currency rates without a connection, it does update every time you’re online and stores that data. So unless the entire market has crashed since you were last on Wi-Fi, this currency calculator will be accurate enough.

6. Triposo

Price: free

Works with: all systems

Triposo is filled with mini city-guides and recommendations for hundreds of destinations around the world. When you download the app just make sure you also download the guides for the places you’re visiting, and you’ll have restaurant, accommodation, walking tour, museum and bar suggestions at your fingertips, without needing to consult Google.

What are your favorite offline travel apps? Please share in the comments below.

Jessica Festa

Jessica Festa is the editor of Epicure & Culture as well as Jessie on a Journey. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia, agritouring through Tuscany, and volunteering in Ghana.

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  1. Thanks for recommendations! There’s one more cool app that works offline and I love it – Spyglass nav app. It not only saves the last opened map in a cache so you can use it offline, it also allows to mark waypoints and locations, shows your speed, altitude, gps coords, distance to the target and estimated time of arrival to it. Really cool

    1. @rollercoaster: Awesome! I’ll have to check this out.

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