Travel apps serve as inspiration, money-savers, navigation, and keeps your stress levels down while you travel. Here are the best apps for travel.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2019. Since then, it’s been freshened up with new pictures and commentary on January 18, 2020.
- Benefits of using travel apps
- The official TSA app
- Best for travel planning: TripIt
- Finding the best fares: Kayak
- Best currency converter: XE Currency
- Best for finding affordable destinations: Skyscanner
- Best for tracking flights: FlightAware
- Best for translation: Google Translate
- Best for same-day reservations: Hotel Tonight
- Best for transportation: Uber or Lyft
- Best for communication: WhatsApp
- Best for finding things to do: TripAdvisor
- Best for home rentals: Airbnb
- Best for getting around the city: CityMapper
Benefits of using travel apps
From banking to social media, mobile apps have become handy tools that you use daily. When it comes to travel, there are many apps that can help you book hotels, flights, rent a car, convert currency, and navigate your way through different places.
Apps make travel more efficient and organized. The following are benefits of using mobile apps for travel:
- Flights, hotels, dining, and schedule in one place.
- Less paperwork.
- Mobile flight check-in and boarding pass.
- Some apps offer push notifications and offline access.
- On-the-go assistance.
Using travel apps saves you time and money while you’re on the road.
The official TSA app
MyTSA is the official government-sponsored app by the Transportation Security Administration. In the app, you can check how busy your selected airport is, see wait times, delays, and figure out what you can or can’t bring.
Best for travel planning: TripIt
TripIt organizes your itineraries and documents in one place. You can sync the app with your inbox or forward your reservations to [email protected] to quickly organize your plans.
Also, you can share your plans with others which makes sure that everyone is on the same page.
Finding the best fares: Kayak
Kayak scans through various travel sites to find you the best rates. You can easily change travel dates, destinations, number of people and flight classes.
A great feature if you’re flexible with the destination is the explore tool. Take the following steps to utilize the explore option:
- In the app, press Explore.
- Select your desired flight duration.
- Set your budget.
- Choose how many stops you would like to take.
- Select the exact dates of your travel or choose a range.
- If you selected Date Range, set your desired duration of the trip.
Based on the preferences you’ve set, Kayak will show you different options and the costs. After you’ve made a booking through Kayak, it’ll keep your plans organized and gives you updates on flight status, airport terminals, and security wait times.
Best currency converter: XE Currency
XE Currency quickly and accurately gives you the current exchange rates. If you travel internationally, this app will ensure you get the best deal while you’re in another country.
A unique feature of XE Currency is that you can save and store the most recent rates so that you can access it offline.
Best for finding affordable destinations: Skyscanner
Skyscanner searches for the most affordable and best options through its travel partners. By selecting “everywhere” in the destination box, Skyscanner will show a list of destinations at an affordable price.
There’s also a chart that allows you to look at the cheapest days to fly to your destination and sends you notification of price changes. Along with the flight prices, they’ll show you the cost of a hotel and give you a guide to the city.
Best for tracking flights: FlightAware
FlightAware allows you to track flights, check for delays, gate changes and see a live map. This is helpful for the people who are picking you up too because they can see when they need to be at the airport.
Best for translation: Google Translate
Google Translate is not only one of the best apps for travel but it’s also a great app for everyday life. Google offers this free service which can translate more than 100 languages.
Best for same-day reservations: Hotel Tonight
Hotel Tonight is a great app for getting deals on same-day reservations. The last-minute nature of the bookings is how you get discounts which make this app one of the best apps for travel and booking hotels.
Although it’s focused on getting last-minute deals, you can still book ahead of time.
Best for transportation: Uber or Lyft
Rideshare has become a popular and effective method of transportation. It’s a convenient way to get around and you don’t need to worry about finding a parking spot.
For both Uber and Lyft, just request a ride, confirm your pickup location and destination, then wait for your driver and enjoy the ride.
Best for communication: WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a great and free messaging system. It’s a smart way to communicate with people when you’re in other countries.
Many phone carriers offer international messaging plans for a fee. Use WhatsApp instead because it’s free which will save you money.
Best for finding things to do: TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor is a well-known and established travel resource. Check TripAdvisor to find things to do, read reviews, find restaurants and get advice from travel experts based on your interests.
Best for home rentals: Airbnb
Airbnb allows you to book homes instead of hotels. It offers cheaper prices, and more authentic experiences by allowing you to stay with a local, or in their home.
The app offers a streamlined booking system and communication with your host in case you need to change your reservations.
Best for getting around the city: CityMapper
CityMapper is a helpful tool that’s available in specific cities defined on the CityMapper website. It’s a great app that helps you get around the city using the method of transportation of your choice.
It also shows you in real-time how long each of the different routes will take and cost which is beneficial for deciding the method you’ll take.
Travel apps will make traveling more enjoyable and less stressful. You’ll feel organized and can focus on maximizing your experiences.
Additional travel resources
Want to learn more about travel, or getting perks while you’re traveling? The following are a few more resources:
- Complete list of Priority Pass restaurants
- The entire list of IHG hotels and resorts
- Best premium credit cards for travel
Featured photo by Unsplash.