5 useful apps to make your travels more eco-friendly


If you are traveling to Latin America in the coming months, you will want to help preserve the pristine landscapes and beautiful regions as much as you possibly can. Protecting the environment is a noble cause, and travel can put a good deal of stress on the environment considering the waste products of most vacationers. You know you can do better.

One of the best tools for doing so is possibly in your hand right now. Apps give smartphones new versatility, and fortunately for all of us, app developers have been hard at work developing products that help us protect the environment through services or advice. All it will take is a few minutes of your time to improve your vacation and lessen your environmental impact.

Here are five apps that will make your vacation better for both the environment and yourself:

Google Maps

While it may seem obvious that Google Maps (or a similar application) should be on your phone to save you from lugging around tons of maps, you have probably used it mostly to get to a friend’s house in your car, yet there is a public transport setting and a walking setting that will allow you to get around unknown cities without using wasteful taxis and rented cars. Most tourist cities have developed great public transport systems, and it’s these features that will prevent you from getting lost as you save the environment one ride at a time.


You should take Zinio with you instead of a bunch of paper magazines that you’ll likely have to throw out anyways. It is an app that allows you to access your magazines on your smartphone and read them while traveling or otherwise indisposed. They almost certainly have your favorite travel magazine available, and discovering new options will be easy. Think of the paper and ink wasted on useless ads alone and you’ll realize just how much of an impact Zinio will have in helping you reduce yours.

Trip Journal

Trip Journal is the perfect travel app for yourself and those back home who want to see your adventures. You can make real time updates about your vacation and share them with others, allowing you to keep some of the clunky or wasteful logging equipment back at home and focus more on you and your personal journey. You can take notes or photos and integrate them easily into your blog or journal. You can put your scrapbook away and just worry about keeping your smartphone safe from the elements instead (which you were going to do anyway).


Farmstand helps you eat healthy and organically while you travel. It will spot farmers markets and similar events in your immediate area that you can get to so you can eat healthy wherever you are. These markets are much better for the environment than dealing with the extra costs of transport. Its catalog may not be complete everywhere you travel due to farmers markets not being registered, but when you go to major cities, it will prove extremely useful.

A Virtual Private Network

Without the protection of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) you won’t be able to safely use public networks (a necessary and dangerous evil) while you travel. On them hackers and cybercriminals will be able to intercept your information, which can include your online accounts and financial information. This may tempt you to waste paper and print out bank statements and other vital documents you need, but VPNs eliminate the need for a financial paper trail. Not only that, but you can also use it to stay anonymous online and access otherwise blocked services and websites such as Netflix so you have something to do on a day when nature doesn’t feel like cooperating with your itinerary.

Our use of the planet’s resources is expanding, but our technological advancements are allowing us to bring ourselves back from the brink of ecological ruin. You can help, and it won’t even be an inconvenience.

Do you have any thoughts on any of the above apps, or do you use any others to help you stay while you travel or otherwise? If so, please leave a comment below and give us your thoughts on this important subject.

Brought to you by Jess Signet

RELATED: Our picks for the 2018 hotspots in Latin America

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