Looking into the best adventure travel apps of 2019 it’s clear there’s a lot to choose from. Some are sport or activity specific, some are generally useful and others can even inspire us to travel.
Best adventure travel apps of 2019
Personally, I’m trying to reduce phone time, so when it comes to choosing them, they need to be good! It’s true there’s an app for just about everything so I’ve looked at what those included here could be used for.
I’ve broken the apps down into Community, Navigation, Travel Planning and Sport Specific categories. Not all the apps below were launched in 2019; it’s more a list of those still really useful in 2019.
Community adventure apps
Alpacr The Adventure App
Price: Free (Android + iOS)
The last thing we need is another social network, right? But what if there’s one that’s specific to adventure which is actually useful?
Well, Alpacr is an app-based social media platform that’s seen significant growth from its recent launch – there are already over 4,000 active users. Plus there are new features due soon that will inspire you to travel and have adventures.
It’s a place where you can post short stories and images that give more details to a trip or activity. It’s almost a micro-blogging platform with community features. You can follow friends and influencers as they travel, and meet travel mates based on your location.
Uploading images is simple as the app is fully integrated – it even has a mapping location display which should develop to display the routes you’ve taken. And pretty soon it’s newsfeed function will serve up what you want to read based on your interests.
Navigation travel apps
Price: Free basic and free trial of £2.99 a month option (Android + iOS)
If, like me, you firmly believe in keeping those analogue map and compass skills, you may have turned your nose up at digital mapping. Well it’s time for an update.
Outdoor lovers in the UK will be very familiar with Ordnance Survey maps. In its move to digital the company has delivered its excellent OS Maps app. To make the most of it you’ll need the Premium option (£2.99 a month), for this you’ll get access to all the OS Explorer and Landranger maps, with offline access on your mobile (essential when out of data).
Augmented reality adds another dimension to one of best adventure travel apps of 2019, Plus there’s useful route finding and planning tools even in the free version. Award winning and for good reason. And with a free 7-day trial, too.
It’s also worth following them across social channels. Look out for their #GetOutside Champions who are sharing some incredible images of adventures around the UK.
Price: $5.99 (Android and iOS)
An ‘augmented reality navigator and compass’. If ever you’re in a discussion about using compasses and not digital apps, whip this out. By using your camera as a viewfinder, Spyglass then overlays everything your device can grab.
It’s a compass, waypoint tracker, tactical GPS, altimeter, Sun, Moon and star finder, and a rangefinder. What’s most impressive is how many activities/ people this app could be useful for.
The ‘compass over map’ is excellent – there’s a lot of detail though and you’ll struggle with a smaller screen. In a world of free apps sometimes you need to cough up the cash to get something special. $5.99 and not the most recent development, but it’s still one of the best adventure travel apps of 2019. Time to get a backup battery as this app will be getting used.
Apps for travel planning
Price: Free basic and $2.99 premium (Android and iOS)
For some people packing is hell. I kinda like it so I’m sceptical about an app that might help me with such an essential travel task. PackPoint organises what you need to pack based on the activities you will be doing, the length of your trip and the weather.
Start with the location, add the duration, and select activities and you’ve got plenty of suggestions to get going with. Once you’ve refined your list you can also easily share it.
Clever idea for arguably one of the best adventure travel apps of 2019. But you’ll need the Premium option to add your own activities and packing list items.
Roadtrippers / Plus
Price: Free download but $29.99 annually (Android and iOS)
Wouldn’t it be useful to pull together everything from that first map/route search to destinations and accommodation options? Well, that’s the idea with Roadtrippers which is a direct competitor to Google Trips – also worth considering.
You set your route and then pull in ideas for points to visit along the way – which will open up some adventures you’ve not yet considered. And you can invite other people to edit trips, guaranteeing more inspiration for your road trip.
It’s worth checking back in May for a big upgrade. Soon you’ll be able to check live traffic conditions, use the maps offline and save as many of the trips as you want.
Currently it covers USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. I’m looking forward to it developing into one of the best adventure travel apps of 2019 and delivering ‘more in-depth stories about the world’s most famous places’, too.
Sport specific apps
Price: $4.99 (Android and iOS)
Some peaks are easy to spot, but scanning a mountain range it’s often tough to see what’s what. PeakFinder work likes other apps in that it makes use of augmented reality to overlay information captured by your camera.
The display is great on this app, but again you’ll benefit most when using it on a larger screen. What I like most is thanks to its database and peak directory, you don’t need to be online to use it.
PeakFinder might appear more gimmick than a serious nav tool. But it’s got some useful features: the telescope function allows you to zoom in and identify less prominent mountains and features; compass correction helps you align the compass manually; and you can also raise your view above what you see through the viewfinder to reveal the topography behind.
Price: Free basic, Pro account $9.99 a month (Android and iOS)
For windsurfing and kiteboarding the wind is everything. It dictates which size sail to use and whether it’s worth even going at all. General weather conditions are also big deciding factors, as are tide times. In fact most of these things matter for surfing, sailing and other water sports, too.
WINDYAPP brings detailed wind, weather, wave, snow and tide forecasting with reports from more than 30,000 weather stations. It’s now expanded to show relevant conditions to pretty much any water, snow or air activities.
The latest addition is public profiles where you can share your favourite spots, pictures and weather reports.
Price: Free basic, $3.99 Premium (Android and iOS)
As with the other best adventure travel apps of 2019 this app integrates community features with functions. Claiming to be the largest scuba diving community, it’s all about logging dives and connecting with other undersea explorers to find new spots.
It incorporates equipment suggestions for spots. It also hooks you up with the nearest dive shops should you need a new regulator – or more of the gadgets that scuba divers love so much.
I especially like the cleverly thought out option for dive masters to share dive details with divers to help update their logs.
I get outdoors to escape the digital world, but it’s catching me up. The capabilities of the best adventure travel apps of 2019 are impressive. There is a huge amount of useful info available – especially with augmented reality.
I’m still determined to only use my phone when truly necessary, increasing real time over screen time. That said, when there’s genuine benefits to be had from using an app, why not?
Do you have a favourite adventure travel app you cannot do without? Then click on ‘load comments’ below to let us know your thoughts. Oh and don’t forget to check out our adventure travel discounts as you could save a packet!