When you’re traveling, having the right apps can help make your trip a success—from finding the best place to eat, to finding a hotel room at the last minute, to translating a useful phrase, having the right app can be a lifesaver. These 15 apps will help make sure you have the tools you need when you’re traveling, whether it’s across the city or across the world.
Best Travel Apps You Should Download For Your Next Trip
When you’re thinking about taking a trip, the price of flights to your destination can be a significant factor in whether or not you can afford to go there. Skyscanner compares flights from hundreds of airlines to find the most affordable flights to your destination. If you’re not sure where you want to go, you can use the app’s Everywhere search function to find cheap flights headed anywhere, making it easy for a spontaneous trip. And the app will even send you a direct link to the airline so you can book the ticket from your phone.
After you’ve booked your flight, you’ll need to head to the airport, and GateGuru will make sure that your experience there is as positive as possible. With the ability to view your travel plans, check and update security wait times, and find comprehensive lists of the facilities and shops that are available in over 200 airports, you’ll be able to skip the longest lines, find the food and magazines you want, and get to your gate with plenty of time to spare. Airports are always stressful, but GateGuru helps makes them less so.
One of the biggest names in travel organization, TripIt provides a lot of convenient features for keeping your travel documents organized. Plane tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals, and other documents are neatly organized in this app, where departure times, addresses, confirmation numbers, directions, and more are stored where you can easily find them. All you need to do is forward your confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll be automatically added to the app. Never lose a confirmation number again!
Whether you’re a foodie, on a budget, feeling artsy, or traveling with your family, Gogobot will have suggestions for where you should go and what you should do. By choosing a Tribe, you can tailor your recommendations to restaurants, events, and hotels that are best for your particular situation. And by checking out photos and reading reviews, you can get an idea of which city hot spots should be on your list. You can even use Gogobot to find new places in your own city!
With the biggest name in travel reviews, TripAdvisor is many people’s go-to app for finding out which restaurants, museums, parks, and other highlights are worth going to. The Near Me Now feature helps you find attractions that are close to you, whether you’re looking for a restroom or a restaurant. Over 225 million reviews mean you can get lots of information on just about any city around the world, and the constantly growing user base will only help expand their reach in the future. In addition to getting photos, prices, reviews, and maps of destinations, you can book flights and hotels directly from the app. If you only download one travel app, it should be TripAdvisor.
If your hotel plans fall through, or you have an unexpected overnight in a city, you’ll need to find a hotel fast. Hotel Tonight specializes in last-minute reservations and will help you get a good deal on a room when you need one quickly. Choose the category of hotel you’re interested in (like Basic, Luxe, or Hip), and book right from the app. Don’t get stuck walking from hotel to hotel trying to find an available room! Use Hotel Tonight to compare prices and locations, and make the booking fast.
Alternatively, You can also use the Airbnb app to see if someone has a room they’re willing to rent.
Having an accurate map is crucial when you’re trying to find your way around a new city, and Maps.me has maps of cities all over the world. What makes it better than Google or Apple Maps? You don’t need an internet connection to use it. Maps are stored offline so you can access them without paying an arm and a leg to get roaming data. You can use GPS navigation to get directions to your destination, finding hiking trails, and discover points of interest. With maps of 345 countries and islands, you’ll be hard-pressed to get lost with Maps.me on your phone.
Maps of cities aren’t the only maps you might need while you’re traveling–you might need a map of a zoo, a museum, or a ski resort, too. Maplets has you covered. US state parks, metro and subways, bike trails, university campuses, theme parks, and more types of maps are available through the app. You’ll need to be connected to the internet to download your maps, but once they’re downloaded, you can access them offline. Some maps even include GPS support so you can get directions to where you’re going. The number of maps is increasing all the time, making Maplets one of the best travel apps you can download.
Having completed its transformation from curiosity to full-blown city guide, Foursquare can help you find the best places to hang out, eat, drink, stay, and play in any city. The app gets to know your preferences over time to provide better suggestions for where to go, provides short reviews that other users have written, and lets you save places that you want to go so you don’t forget when you get to your destination. If you still want to use the check-in feature that FourSquare built its reputation on, check out their new app Swarm, which lets you compete with friends for prizes.
With so many options for finding out where you should go while you’re visiting a city, you’re going to need a way to get around. Navigating public transport can be difficult, especially if you don’t speak the local language—but Uber is here to help. Use the app to get a lift from an Uber driver from wherever you are to wherever you need to go. With drivers in more than 50 countries, you’ll have the ride you need wherever you are! (If you’re in the US, you can also try Lyft.)
Whether you’re paying for a cab or debating whether to buy some art, you need to know how much money you’re talking about. And if you’re in another country, that can be difficult, especially if they’re not on one of the major global currencies. With Currency Converter, you can easily convert between any of over two hundred different currencies listed. Just put in the number, select the two currencies, and you’ll get the information you need.
When you need an internet connection in another country, you need to find free wifi. This app makes the process much easier than walking around with your phone in the air trying to get a signal. A map view shows you the nearest public and private wifi hot spots, tells you which signal is strongest, and will give you directions on how to get there. Don’t pay outrageous amounts to use your cellular data when you’re traveling—use Wi-Fi Finder instead to get on the internet whenever and wherever you need to, for free.
As the most popular messaging client in the world, WhatsApp needs no introduction. Send messages and make calls for free to anyone who also uses WhatsApp. The app is free, and you’ll pay $0.99 per year after the first year, making this a phenomenal deal for any world traveler. You’ll need an internet connection, but if you’ve used Wi-Fi Finder to get on a local wifi network, you can send all the messages and make all the calls you want. (If you don’t like that Facebook owns WhatsApp, Here are some fantastic WhatsApp alternatives.)
If you’re not fluent in the language of your destination, a translation app will come in handy. Google’s app translates between 90 different languages, and also includes a cool feature where it will translate what you show it with your phone’s camera, helping you make sense of signs and menus. You can even draw characters on the screen to get a translation. While Google’s translations aren’t perfect, using this app will be extremely helpful when you’re traveling around the world. (You can also check out our list of best translation apps, if you need an alternative to Google Translate.)
15. Dark Sky (iOS, $3.99)
Keeping an eye on the weather will help you have a successful vacation—getting caught in the rain when you’re on a hike is no fun, and spending a day on the beach should probably be postponed if there are gale-force winds in the forecast. Dark Sky shows you the weather in a way that’s easy to understand, and with a focus on precipitation, makes it easy to find out if it’s going to rain or snow in the near future. Check it before you leave to do anything on your trip to stay safe. (If you are on Android, here are some of the best weather apps for Android to choose from.)
Whether you’re headed on a day-long getaway or a several-week odyssey, these 15 travel apps will help you make sure that you’re as prepared as you can be, no matter what situation you find yourself in. And because most of them are free, you don’t need to spend tons of money getting ready to travel.
What are your favorite travel apps? Which do you find to be the most useful? Share in the comments below!