Your smartphone is one of the best travel photography accessories you own. When equipped with the right apps, your phone can save you time, put you in the right place for amazing images, and enhance the photos you’ve already taken.
But which apps are best for travel photography? How do you pick the apps that are right for you?
Fortunately, whether you have an iOS or Android phone, there are plenty of apps perfect for travel shooting. Below, we share a roundup of our favorites – all of which are guaranteed to make your trip, and the photos you take, better than ever.
The best travel photography location apps
When you first arrive in a new location, it can be challenging to find your way around the area. That’s where location apps will come in handy, such as:
1. Maps.ME (for iOS and Android)
Maps.ME is a great mapping app that you can use without an internet connection. Once you have Maps.ME installed on your phone, you can download maps for pretty much any location.
These maps will provide you with turn-by-turn directions for each destination – and the app relies on open-source software, so it’s always up to date.
The app will direct you to your hotel or any other specific address, and it can also help you find points of interest, trekking trails, etc.
Maps.ME is free for both Android and iOS devices.
2. Citymapper (for iOS and Android)
Most of us don’t have endless time at each location; the faster and more efficiently we can arrive at each location, the more time we have to be out and about. Citymapper is a clever little app that helps you make the most of your travel time.
With the Citymapper app installed on your phone, you can find the nearest bus stops and train stations. You can even book tickets and compare travel time and prices across different transport modes. And if you prefer to walk, scooter, or ride a bike, the app can help you with that, too.
Bottom line: Citymapper is a terrific app for navigating around larger cities pretty much anywhere in the world – and it’s free for both Android and iOS devices.
3. Spot (for iOS)
Casual photographers are often satisfied with snapshots of the most touristy places – but more serious photographers want to discover interesting locations that are off the beaten path. They know that these less-popular locations will offer the opportunity to capture unique photos that don’t appear on every other Instagram feed.
So how do you find these hidden gems? You can use apps like Facebook and Instagram to search through location-tagged photos. But in my experience, there are better ways to locate top-notch areas. For instance, you can use the Spot app!
This free app is like a social media platform that shows you the locations photographers love; in fact, the developers boast that their app will help you find “the best places in the world.” Users are able to upload photos and share the cool places they visit. The app also pulls data on locations based on discussions elsewhere on the web.
You’ll even get recommendations for nearby places to eat or grab a coffee. And the app offers a strong social aspect; you can follow other users, see places they’ve visited, and build your own lists to share. In other words, Spot is more versatile and diverse than just a location tracker.
Spot is only available for iOS devices.
The best apps for travel photography editing
Sharing photos on social media is all part of today’s travel culture. Naturally, these photos must look stellar, so editing must be done on the fly.
Any rundown of the best apps for travel photography should include a selection of post-processing apps. Here are our picks:
1. VSCO (for iOS and Android)
Learning to use new editing apps, especially those that are very comprehensive, can be tricky. But not VSCO; you’ll notice how easy the app is to navigate as soon as you fire it up.
There are plenty of quick and easy presets for enhancing the colors and contrast in your pictures. And once you’ve applied a preset, you can tweak it to match each photo you work on. You can also save your adjusted presets for later use.
There’s a free version of VSCO, but if you want more control over your images, consider grabbing the paid version, which offers extra tools and filters.
2. Snapseed (for iOS and Android)
Snapseed is the go-to photo-editing app for many professional and amateur photographers. It’s quick and easy to use, it offers a great selection of filters and presets, and you can create pretty much any edit you imagine.
The app offers tons of options for manual adjustments. The tools let you manage curves, apply vignettes, do selective edits, and so much more. You have a great deal of control over how your images look, and Snapseed even includes a feature that allows you to batch edit photos for a faster workflow.
Snapseed is free for both Android and iOS devices.
3. Lightroom Mobile (for iOS and Android)
If you already have an Adobe subscription, then this editing app is a must-have. If you don’t own an Adobe subscription, you can still use the app, but the functionality is (slightly) limited.
Lightroom Mobile is easy to use for both beginners and experienced photographers. It provides tons of tools and features that give you plenty of control over your wonderful travel photos.
Within the app, you have dozens of adjustment options; you can clone unwanted elements, correct exposure issues, enhance contrast, and reduce noise. And the split toning, masking, and sharpening options make Lightroom Mobile one of the more advanced photo-editing apps available.
LR Mobile is free for both Android and iOS phones with limited functionality. But you can unlock the app’s full functionality with an Adobe Photography subscription.
A few more handy travel photo apps
These three additional apps are bound to make your travel photography experience more enjoyable:
1. PhotoPills (for iOS and Android)
PhotoPills is like a toolbox for photographers. Take a peek inside, and you’ll be amazed at the array of features to help you make better travel photos.
The app can help you calculate exposures, explore and manage the locations you want to visit, produce time-lapses, and much more. It’s basically an all-around photography assistant you can carry in your pocket.
Do you need to know what time sunset is? Do you need to determine the phase of the moon? PhotoPills maps all of this out for you based on the date and location. It will help you plan your photos and execute them, too.
PhotoPills is a paid app available for both Android and iOS devices.
2. WeatherBug (for iOS and Android)
WeatherBug isn’t strictly a photography app, but it’s one that photographers love – and it can certainly help you capture better photos while traveling.
WeatherBug helps you take the guesswork out of weather prediction. There’s nothing worse than heading to a sunrise location you’ve been wanting to capture for months only to find the sky obscured by clouds. Thanks to this app, you’ll know how the weather will pan out, so you can plan your shoots for the most suitable times.
WeatherBug will give you a forecast for up to ten days in advance. And it’s customizable, so you can tweak it to best suit your needs.
WeatherBug is free for both Android and iOS devices.
3. Phonto (for iOS and Android)
Phonto is a fun little app that lets you add text to your photos. It’s simple to use, and it’s a great way to enhance your travel shots with some fun text! There are tons of different fonts available, and you have the option to rotate, resize, and generally manage the text to get the effect you want.
In my opinion, adding text to your travel photos with Phonto will make them stand out on social media. Plus, it can let people know how much fun you’re having!
Phonto is free for both Android and iOS devices.
The best travel photography apps: final words
Hopefully, you found this list helpful – and you’re ready to download one (or more!) of our favorite travel photography apps.
The apps we’ve shared will ensure you find the right locations, plan your photoshoots, edit on the fly, and more.
So enjoy your travels! And capture some amazing photos.
Which apps do you plan to get? Share your thoughts in the comments below!