Do you travel a lot? If yes, you know it’s not always a 100% smooth experience.
No matter if you’re a first-time traveller or a travel pro, why not try an app or two to help you out? Some of these apps you probably have heard of, while others will be new to you. The good news is they are all free and work on any smartphone!
Some can help you with packing or booking a flight and a hotel, while others serve as dictionaries and guidebooks. And that’s just the basics. There are so many kinds of apps to choose from!
We’ve selected the best travel apps that will definitely make your trip easier and stress-free, as it should be.
Let’s check them out!
Starting from the beginning - finding and booking the best deals and preparing for your trip!
That’s one of my favourite and most used apps, and it has an almost excellent rating. Basically, on Airbnb you can find and book places to stay (often cheaper than hotels), as well as experiences. You can apply different filters and once you’ve selected your accommodation, book it and easily communicate with your host. After you’ve checked out, you write them a review.
Pros: Functional, great options, frequently updated
Cons: Can be unintuitive, poor customer service
Another one of my favourite and go-to apps. You can read and review hotels, restaurants, and more. It’s especially useful when planning your trip. You can search for the best restaurants in the city you’re going to, find recommendations from locals or cheap eats if you’re on a tight budget. You can also see things to do, and based on other travellers’ photos and reviews you can decide what to add to your itinerary.
I always consult it when planning my next trip. Of course, you can just be spontaneous but it’s always worth it to have some ready options in mind.
Pros: Helpful, easy to use
Cons: Could be updated more often
This is not a typical travel app but lots of people like learning a few sentences in the language of their next destination. It’s fun and will make you feel more prepared. Besides, you’ll have the wonderful opportunity to practice your new skills.
You can learn about 19 languages for free! Of course, Duolingo doesn’t cover everything, and it’s best for tourists and people who just want to have a taste of a foreing language or those who wish to brush up on their foreign language skills. It’s also great for beginners who are learning a new language and need additional exercises. Definitely one of the top apps for me.
It has an almost perfect score and is handy to use on a commute.
Pros: Very easy to use, provides the basics, fun
Cons: Not advanced enough, you can’t skip lessons
Hopper predicts prices and notifies you when to book a flight and hotel so that you can save up to 40%. They boast an accuracy rate of 95% up to 1 year in advance. According to its website, about 30 million travellers have already used this app and saved more than $1.8 billion.
It has an overall high rating but a lot of users report some issues when trying to book directly through the app. So it’s best to just use it to monitor prices rather than as a booking app.
Pros: The “watch flights” function, great design and interface
Cons: It lacks filters such as time and travel class, poor customer support
This is an app that helps organize your travel plans. You simply forward your hotel, restaurant, flight, and car rental confirmation emails to the app, and it creates an itinerary for your trip that you can access offline. Instead of planning everything yourself, you can leave it to TripIt. It instantly sends plans to your calendar or anyone you choose.
This trip planner app has an overall high rating but some users report several issues, so it’s best to always double-check your itinerary.
Pros: Useful alerts and keeps everything at one place
Cons: Poor map functionality, not so user-friendly
PackPoint is a smart packing list app. You simply punch in the city you’re going to, the departure date and the number of nights you’ll be staying. PackPoint will make a list of what you need to pack, taking the weather forecast and your planned activities into account as well. You can even share the list with fellow travellers.
It has an overall high rating but some users might find it too basic.
Pros: Great for last-minute packers and not only, the pro version is customizable
Cons: Could be more flexible, the free version can be too basic
After you’re done booking flights and packing, it’s time to get on with your trip! Here are the best apps to have when travelling:
We can’t go without a Google travel app! This well-known app works best when you turn your location on. It helps you orient yourself and navigate foreign countries easily.
It is an app I personally use constantly and rely on in my everyday life, not only when going abroad. It provides real-time GPS navigation, traffic and transit info, restaurants’ locations, etc. It can also work with no Wi-Fi. Definitely one of the most useful apps.
Pros: Functional, extensive, informative, real-time navigation as well as offline maps
Cons: Drains your battery more quickly, some information might be missing depending on the country
This is another one of Google’s apps that I can’t live without. It’s definitely among the best language translation apps for travel. We all make jokes about how inaccurate Google Translate is sometimes but the truth is, it does the job, and that’s all that matters. It doesn’t need to be perfect to be helpful.
You can paste or write a text you want translated, use the voice option or your camera (especially when you’re in a foreign supermarket and need to know what you’re getting to eat), and you instantly get a translation. An internet connection isn’t necessary.
Pros: Quick and easy to use, various options, works offline
Cons: Different options support a different amount of languages
XE Currency Converter
XE Currency Converter & Money Transfers is one of those essential apps - it’s great for currency conversions on the go. It is the most trusted resource for currency exchange rates worldwide. So anywhere you travel, it will help you get the best deal at the current rate. Now it can also help you send and receive money globally.
It has an overall high rate but still some issues to clear up. The best thing is that when it comes to confusing foreign currencies, it does the job for you.
Pros: Functional, quick, frequently updated
Cons: Not very intuitive
This is a ridesharing app available in over 700 cities worldwide. You usually pay with a credit card or PayPal, but cash payment could also be an option in selected cities. Getting an Uber can be cheaper than a regular taxi, especially if you request an UberPOOL where you ride with other people in the same direction.
The difference here is that after the ride, you can rate your driver and provide immediate feedback.
Pros: Convenient, no more waiting for public transport, could be cheaper than a taxi
Cons: There could be issues with the GPS
This app is among the best discount travel apps. It finds hotel rooms at the last minute at lower prices. If you are flexible or just happen to need a room at the last moment, you can take advantage of the heavily discounted room rates that the app offers.
Pros: Great discounts and the more you use the app, the better the deals get
Cons: Could have some bugs
This is a great app especially for solo travelers. It’s a wonderful opportunity to keep your accommodation costs to a minimum, and meet locals too. Couchsurfing connects you with those who have space in their home for you to stay for free. It’s usually nothing fancy, but saves you money and helps you meet new people who can give you additional information about your destination.
Besides, you can choose to use only the Hangouts option, which is for meeting fellow travelers or locals for coffee, drinks or other activities. That way, even when you’re on the road without your friends and family, you won’t get lonely - you can be social whenever you feel like.
Pros: Could have more customization options
Cons: Poor customer service
This app gives you lounge access at airports. You simply search for an airport, select a lounge and purchase access to it on the day of travel or up to 2 months in advance and enjoy travelling in style.
Pros: Functional, easy to use
Cons: Needs some updating
App in the Air
This is the perfect app for frequent travellers. It keeps track of your itineraries, boarding passes, and more. You can also track boarding and landing times of flights, current waits for check-in, security and customs, the weather at your destination.
You will also see travel tips from other travellers - like which cafe is open early in the morning and where to charge your phone. This travel tracker app has many more options, and you can turn flying into a game and keep track of your score.
Pros: Useful and fun
Cons: Could use some updating
Have you been in a foreign city frantically looking for a public toilet? Yup, we’ve all been there. But this app will spare your bladder!
It tells you where the nearest toilet is and you can even rate it after you use it to help out fellow travellers. Fun, right? And it’s not necessarily a tourist app - you can use it in your own country when on a road trip, for example.
Pros: Works offline too
Cons: Could use some updating
Now you know there are so many useful apps out there, just waiting for you! The best travel apps will always be by your side, helping you orient yourself in the foreign country and language and even guiding you to the nearest toilet!
You can rest assured you’ll never feel lost or helpless again while travelling the world! Go out there, forget about all worries and explore!