Going on a vacation? Looking to make traveling a breeze? Check out the following travel apps to make your next getaway or travel experience easier!
Apps for Booking
Flights, hotels, rental cars — Skyscanner has got you covered. The app searches for the most affordable and best options via its travel partners. Like with Google Flights, you can see the cheapest dates to fly through a month view calendar, and you can also get alerts when prices change. If you’re not sure where exactly you want to go, Skyscanner offers a category that lets you explore “Top Deals” from your nearest airport, as well as a curated list of destinations at affordable prices.
For many, Kayak has been the go-to trip planning destination for quite a while — and for good reason. Kayak searches across various travel sites for rental cars, hotels, and flights. Kayak often has exclusive deals you won’t find on other sites, and you can set price alerts and use Price Forecast to see whether you should buy now or wait. Kayak also acts as a trip planner, offering up important details at a glance like your hotel confirmation number or gate number.
If you’re really looking to get the cheapest possible price for a plane ticket, you need to download Hopper. Like Kayak and Skyscanner, you can look at the cheapest dates to fly via a month-view calendar, but Hopper prides itself on telling you when to buy your tickets via push notifications.
AirBnB offers far cheaper prices, and a more authentic experience by staying with a local, or their home. The app offers experiences to choose from during your stay — these are curated events you can partake in with local guides.
Hotel Tonight is a reliable service that thrives on last minute deals. The company says its partnered hotels offer it discounts on empty rooms, and you’ll be able to book one in under 10 seconds. You also get 24/7 customer service from the Hotel Tonight team, in case something goes awry.
Apps for Getting Around
Active in about 77 countries and 527 cities, Uber is the global king of ride-sharing apps. The app pioneered on-demand services, and it can be particularly handy when you’re abroad. You can quickly request a car directly within the app after perusing an assortment of differing vehicle rates and fare quotes. Afterward, you can connect with your personal driver, track the approaching car’s location, and securely pay your fair using a credit card — no cash needed. Rather than trying to find a taxi or a taxi stand, just bring one straight to you.
Google Maps is widely-regarded as one of the best navigation apps around, and it has reigned king for quite a while. You’ll find it fairly reliable in offering up local public transportation options in many countries, and you can also download specific areas for offline use.
Citymapper is one of the best tools to find and utilize public transportation. It connects with a few ride-sharing services, offers the fastest way to arrive at your destination, and best of all, you can check out subway and train times offline for a number of cities. You can subscribe to specific train or bus lines, and the app can even alert you when you need to get off — handy when you’re riding for the first time in a new country.
This app creates a digital journal of your travels so you can look back on your trips on an interactive map. Tracking you as you go, marking a red line along a map on the exact route you take. It also monitors your speed and altitude, making it great for adventure travelers. It also has the capacity to add pictures, video, audio & text along the way, creating a multimedia travel diary that you can share!
If you’re a runner and want to stay in shape at your destination, WalkJogRun offers you a huge selection of the safest running routes in more than 1.6 million cities worldwide. Take advantage of the most accurate iPhone GPS and discover new routes while exercising without injury. There’s a training plan for everyone, from beginners to advanced walkers and runners.
Apps to Keep you on Track
What's better than an app that has a packing list already made for you? PackPoint looks at the weather forecast for the dates and location of your trip. It will also ask you to select activities you may participate in during your trip, like a meeting for business, a swim at a pool, or a fancy dinner. It will then offer up a list of items you should pack based on these activities, along with general items you’d need on any trip. You can remove items you don’t think are necessary. You can share lists with others, in case your friends need some help, too.
XE Currency is one of the more robust currency converter apps available. It’s constantly being updated and offers live exchange rates for “every world currency and precious metals.” What’s neat is that it can store the most recent rates so you can access them if your device is offline.
Traveling to the U.S.? Mobile Passport is officially authorized by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and it lets you skip the regular line to enter the country. These lines can get long, so all you need to do skip them is download this app and add your passport information — you can do this quickly by scanning it with your phone’s camera. Mobile Passport is accepted at 20 airports in the U.S., so chances are you’ll be able to use it — we’d recommend checking ahead of time if your airport supports the app.
A bit like a pocket travel agent, Tripit pulls together travel information from your confirmation emails for flights, hotels, rental cars, events bookings and converts it into a single itinerary. Just forward your emails to the app and it will do the rest. If you’re traveling with others you can easily share the plans, making this a useful app for coordinating a group trip.
App in the air is a smart, straightforward, flight tracking app that has the best coverage of airlines and airports. It will keep you updated about flight status, even if you don't have international coverage. It helps you manage your time at the airport, breaking down each flight into four stages; check in, boarding, takeoff, and landing time. It integrates with Tripit (above) allowing you to import all of your flights.
If you need a little help to pack properly and not forget your charger or toothbrush at home, the Travel List app helps you easily organize the items you’ll put in your suitcase. You can add a reminder for the things you have to pack at the last minute, so you’re all set before you leave. This app can also help you plan every stop of your trip and won’t let you miss out on anything. Add events to your calendar or set one-time or regular alerts.
GateGuru helps you manage your full day of travel. You enter your itinerary and GateGuru connects the dots for you. Some of the relevant info a traveler can get are: airport food and amenity information customized to your arrival and departure terminal; airport weather; and airport maps and tips, which are useful if you’re in an unfamiliar airport.
In case of emergency, ICE gets you covered. The last thing you’d want to happen to you when you travel abroad is to have any medical issues. But, just in case, the app keeps details about your medical conditions, your doctor’s primary contact details and insurance information that can be accessed even if your phone is locked. Among other features, it also translates the stored information in 10 different languages.
Where to Next Apps
Google Trips app can pull reservations from your email — it can add hotel bookings, car rental details, and more. In doing so, it creates an underlying framework for your trip without you having to do much. Once it’s set up, you can browse through the app to look at curated day trips, suggested and popular places to visit or eat at, and you can plan your whole day. Trips lets you store this data offline as well, so you can access at your itinerary and important information at any time.
TripAdvisor is a catch-all app when it comes to travel. You can quickly peruse millions of reviews, opinions, videos, and photos pertaining to just about anything related to your trip — bars, restaurants, hotels, airlines, and more.
Yelp has officially become the Yellow Pages of restaurant and bars, and its use extends not just in the U.S., but all around the world. Its most powerful feature is the sheer number of reviews housed in the app — it’s an excellent resource for when you’re looking to hit some of the best spots in the country you’re visiting. Yelp also offers hours of operation, a phone number for listings, and sometimes even a menu, so you can be as prepared as possible before heading out.
Time Out is a great dictionary of ideas of things to do in cities around the world. With coverage in many different countries, this app covers everything from bars, restaurants, attractions and events. The event finder is a particularly useful tool, giving you the ability to find the most popular events going on around you. You can also book restaurants through the app and create a customized travel guide for your vacation.
Apps for Speaking the Language
The app provides translations between 103 different languages, allowing you to listen to translations out loud and translate dictation and your own handwriting on-screen. You can star your favorite words or phrases for offline access, or view dictionary results for a single word or phrase.
Duolingo offers beginner level language courses, but it’s also a great tool for those looking to brush up on a language. You can also chat with bots in select languages, and this can particularly be helpful when you’re trying to learn the phrases you’re likely to use the most abroad. You can take placement tests to move up levels to tougher sections.
Memrise has more languages than Duolingo, and the app also uses mnemonics to help you memorize words and phrases. The app adapts to your learning style over time, and best of all there’s a pro version that lets you unlock even more features, such as an offline mode.
Day to Day Apps
If you’re traveling through multiple countries in a short period, it can be a little tricky to keep track of the time. Circa is a beautiful and simple timezone tracker that lets you check what time it is where you are, and where you’re heading. You can also add your home time, in case you want to keep in touch with people back home. The app will show times that overlap where both parties should be awake.
WhatsApp is an easy way to keep in touch with people back home. You’ll still need a data connection or Wi-Fi to be able to send messages.
On a business trip? Expensify will solve all your expense-related problems. Create a report and start adding every receipt — you can do this manually, or use your phone’s camera to scan the receipt and have the app fill information in. Once your trip is complete, all you need to do is email the full report to your supervisor — they’ll see every receipt, and a quick breakdown of how much you need to be reimbursed.
In your travels, you may find that certain countries block select websites, like Facebook and Google. One way to get around them is to use a VPN, or a virtual private network, to securely access those blocked sites. New to VPNs? Check out The Ultimate Beginners Guide to VPNs for a comprehensive and up to date breakdown. Hotspot Shield doesn’t require you to log in, and has a wide coverage that includes 17 countries. Your information is completely private, and connecting to a VPN is dead simple — it just requires a single tap.
Splittr is geared up to help you split bills for traveling, providing a simple platform to share costs between friends. You can enter expenses as you go, including who paid what and the app will do the rest. A nice touch is that currencies are supported and you can mix currencies without having to do the conversion yourself.
Going somewhere hot? Wolfram helps you manage your time in the sun safely and offers the most detailed information to keep you informed. You enter your skin type and it calculates how long you can spend sunning yourself before getting burned, based on the time of day, where you are and the strength of the sunscreen you're wearing. It also provides UV forecasts for your location.
With Foodspotting you can find the dishes you crave the most in any restaurant, from dumplings to the juiciest burgers. The photos, at least, are totally to die for! Learn from what your friends, experts and foodspotters love to eat and share.