10 iPhone apps for backpackers

In this article I share with you the 10 apps that I used most during backpacking. With these apps you’ll travel without missing your laptop. If you have any more favorite apps, please send them to me!

Camera - Free

This app is already installed, but there are some handy tricks for getting more out of it when traveling. You can take pictures of timetables in railway stations, pictures of maps (for example, floor plans or city maps) and pictures of things you want to remember.

OffMaps - $ 0.99

The app I use the most when travelling is OffMaps. It allows you to download maps from OpenStreetMap and save it for offline use. When you don’t have a data plan that allows for free roaming, this is a great app. You can still use your GPS and locate exactly where you are on the map. In the old version you pay a one-time fee and can download as much as you want, in OffMaps 2 this behavior has changed (you pay for maps too).


  • Free

The Hostelworld app allows you to find and book hostels from your iPhone. It does the job perfectly, allowing you to find accomodation with no pain.

DB Navigator

  • Free

When you travel by train within Europe the DB Navigator app is a must. Use it to find connections and to see where you are while you’re on the train (especially handy on longer trips).


  • $2.99

Tourist downloads Wikitravel articles and saves them for offline use. The app is handy but sometimes crashes and is a bit buggy. Nevertheless, the app is worth the money. I sent an email to the developers regarding the bugs and hope they will fix it soon.

Skype - Free

I use Skype on my iPhone to stay in touch with friends and family. If you buy Skype credit you can even make cheap phone calls to normal phones.

Evernote - Free

Evernote is great for keeping track of your ideas, store trip information, addresses and everything else. It syncs automatically so you can edit it on your laptop too.

Instapaper - $4.99

I use Instapaper to read articles offline. Simply install the app and a bookmarklet, and whenever you come across an interesting article on the web add it to instapaper. When you’re connected to the internet, sync your phone to download your articles and read them offline.


  • $1.99

Usually travelling inspires me and helps me think of new ideas. I use the awesome Captio for quickly capturing ideas and sending them to my inbox. It is my favorite iPhone app, also when I’m not traveling.

TrackMe - $1.99

Of course, I should end with some self promotion. TrackMe keeps your location data and allows you to export it later on. For example, here’s a screenshot of my last backpacking trip through Romania, Ukraine and Moldova.