Apps for traveling like a local

Find your home away from home with these travel apps.

Planning a trip this summer? You can easily arrange flights with Kayak (iOS, Android), train or bus rides with Wanderu (iOS, Android), or automotive adventures with Roadtrippers (iOS, Android). But it's trickier figuring out where to go, what to do, and who to talk to once you reach your destination. Go from outsider to insider with these travel apps.

Airbnb (iOS, Android)

Anyone can stay in a sterile hotel room devoid of local flavor. If you want to live like a local, book a room, apartment, or entire vacation home with Airbnb. The rates are often a fraction of the price of a hotel room, and you can book lodging in 34,000 participating cities. If you're lost or have any issues, Airbnb offers directions and a messaging feature to contact your host.

Couchsurfing (iOS, Android)

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You can learn a lot about people in other cities by sleeping on their couches -- and save a lot of money in the process. The Couchsurfing community is almost 6 million strong in 120,000 cities. With the companion app, you can book a couch, find events happening nearby, or get alerts about nearby Couchsurfing meetups. You'll have an instant group of friends to explore with.

Phind (iOS)

Travel can feel very disorienting, but no one wants to lug around a big guidebook or phrasebook that screams "tourist." Phind helps you find local attractions with the snap of a photo. See an interesting building, historic site, amusement park, or restaurant? Take a picture and Phind will deliver info, reviews, and (for restaurants) reservations. The app also recommends points of interests nearby so you can keep exploring.

YapQ (iOS, Android)

Don't pay for expensive guided tours. YapQ offers informative audio tours in 12 languages for thousands of cities around the world, and it's free online or 99 cents for the app.

BonAppetour (webapp)

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Break bread with locals using BonAppetour. Search your desired city to locate a list of hosts who'll prepare a home-cooked meal for you. BonAppetour offers a variety of experiences, from casual to fancy, depending on your budget. Just connect with your preferred host, reserve your spot at the table, make your payment, and indulge in a taste of home abroad.

Party With a Local (iOS, Android)

If you're all about cool, under-the-radar hotspots, then try Party With a Local. Open the app and scroll through dozens of user profiles, filled with bios, bar and club preferences, relationship statuses, and a few photos. Find your perfect match and message them in-app to get the party started.

About Joshua Rotter

Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.

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