This article was updated for accuracy and relevance on December 24th, 2021.
If you’re like us, you’re itching to go on your next trip as soon as the one you’re on is over. And these days, it’s all about using helpful travel apps. It’s like giving yourself the ultimate travel gift when using these apps. Not only can they help with the trip planning process, but they can also assist you while taking on the open road. Apps can make travel hassle-free and breezy. However, there are so many on the market to sort through, so how can you know which one is the best for you? Well, we can help. Now, we’re giving you the 10 best travel apps for iPhone and Android to have in your arsenal.
Maybe you’ve been wondering, what are the best free travel apps? Or, what are the top travel apps for iPhones and Androids? The good news is everything on our list is free and compatible with either app store. Whether you’re hopping in the car for a spontaneous weekend away, trying to decide where to fly on a budget, or are looking for the best travel accessories for your trip, these apps are a traveler’s best friend.
Useful Apps For Booking and Planning
Grab a glass of wine, sit on your sofa, and prepare to map out your next adventure. Explore the endless travel possibilities, then cement your trip with the touch of a button.
All that’s left to do is plan outfits and pack your travel bag, which we all know is the most important part.
Jetsetters love this iPhone and Android app, and it’s easy to see why. Hopper tracks billions of prices to tell you the best time to book flights. It lets you know when to wait for a better price and when prices are predicted to increase, so say goodbye to the stress of guessing.
With a 95% accuracy rate for prices up to a year in advance, this app is a must-have for savvy travelers looking to find the cheapest flight and save on airfare. Spending less money on booking means there’s more money in your pocket for the adventure itself.
Additionally, it integrates a “Deals Feed” so you can find trips that are priced unusually low and buy them on the spot. And why stop with flights? You can also find hotel deals on Hopper, and they will notify you as soon as prices drop. With incredible savings and helpful price alerts, it’s easy to see why Hopper is one of the top travel apps for trip planning.
We like to think of Roadtrippers as the best road trip planning app. If you want to take a road trip on a whim, but still have that type A personality to consider, Roadtrippers is the road trip app for you. It helps you plan your road trip, showing hidden treasures like natural formations, diners, and dive bars, and even odd attractions like the world’s largest spool of twine.
As you go off on your adventure, you can use the route planner to have the trip planned to a T or simply use the app as a spontaneous Sherpa.
Renting accommodation while traveling has become the “it” thing and often makes you feel more like a local. The Airbnb app makes it easy to find and book gems all over the world, from romantic Parisian apartments to cottages on the coast of Maine. The app also offers the chance to book one-of-a-kind experiences so you can try new things like pasta-making or mountain horseback riding.
Explore every whim.
Having a host is also a major perk, and even better if you book with a Superhost. Message them on the mobile app to ask about their favorite local spots (or what sights are overrated) to curate the best trip possible. It’s like having your personal concierge.
Let’s face it, picking where to fly for your one week off isn’t easy. For those seeking travel inspiration and recommendations when booking, Skyscanner is a great app that will give you all that and more.
Along with showing you the cheapest months to fly and the best flight and hotel deals, the Skyscanner app helps you get to know the world from afar. It shows popular attractions, hot hotels, and even shares what kind of travelers enjoy each place. You can also read reviews from people who have actually visited—wouldn’t it be nice if dating apps had the same feature?
The cherry on top is that the app integrates beautiful pictures from all the locations. This means you know beforehand what kind of buzz your Instagram posts will create, especially if you have chic luggage and 2 - 3 piece luggage sets in the photo.
Similar app: Google Flights
TripIt is undoubtedly one of the best travel planning apps for getting organized. You can book on all different websites and then TripIt will compile your travel itinerary in one convenient place.
Just email booking confirmations and restaurant reservations to email@example.com and the app takes care of the rest. With your itinerary in the palm of your hand and reminders set up, there’s no excuse to miss flights or check out late. Although, when you add kids to the equation, we all know it may happen anyway.
The Best Apps For While You’re On the Go
Once your plans are set and you’ve packed your bags, there are a whole slew of other travel apps to enhance your getaway. Keep these handy to feel like a travel pro in any situation.
Similar to and , but 10x better when it comes to traveling. Many know the struggle of visiting a new city with limited cellular data, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Maps.me is a lifesaver for offline navigation. You’ll never worry about getting lost or missing landmarks again. You can download an unlimited amount of maps while you have WiFi then head out with the confidence of a local.
Without any internet, you can search for top-rated restaurants while exploring or find the best route to iconic attractions. It’s like having a tour guide right in your pocket. Though you might meet an enchanting stranger and spend the day on a movie montage-esque tour of Los Angeles or Buenos Aires, download the offline map app knowing you always have something to rely on.
Similar app: Google Maps
Probably the coolest travel app for connecting with people, EatWith is all about embracing culture and cuisine. Book a backyard Southern barbecue in Nashville or a dinner party with artists in Berlin.
No matter where you are, you’re guaranteed authenticity. You can reserve an entire table or join an open table to get to know the other guests, perfect for the solo traveler who loves to make friends. You can also book food tours and cooking classes, is your mouth watering yet?
Nothing is worse than having flight trouble or a long layover on the way to your much-needed vacation. The only silver lining? Putting your feet up in a plush airport lounge with great internet connection, endless drinks and food, and sometimes even spa services.
LoungeBuddy is a useful app that lets you search and gain access to amenity-filled airport lounges around the world. Plan it out and purchase access up to two months ahead of time or use LoungeBuddy as soon as you hear your flight is delayed. Knowing you have a place to recharge (both your own and your devices’ batteries) will make any long wait at the airport that much more comfortable.
Similar app: Priority Pass
Not available in the Google Play Store, iOS only. Free to download on iTunes.
Though GasBuddy might sound like LoungeBuddy’s long lost cousin, this mobile app is all about the open road. It tells you the lowest gas prices and best stations all over the US and Canada, so you spend less on fuel and more on fun.
You can also put your travel plans and your vehicle information into the Trip Cost Calculator, then voila, your least expensive route is charted. We all know that for adventurous road trips, you can’t rely on the car staying tidy or on your group sticking to the schedule, but this A+ app ensures you’ll always get the most reasonable gas around.
#10 Google Translate
This travel app is no underrated treasure, but it is a must-have. While it’s a great goal to learn a language before a trip, there’s no shame in using Google Translate as a resource.
Of course, there’s the standard feature of typing in what you want to be translated, but the translation app has so much more to offer. Thanks to the camera tool, you can translate signs or grocery labels on the fly, something that is critical when snack options are on the line. The conversation feature records voices and translates the meaning, making it possible to have a full conversation with someone when a language barrier presents itself. There’s no question this app is truly a translating fairy godmother.
The App-solute Bottom Line
These 10 free smartphone apps that work for both iOS and Android will make your phone the ultimate travel toolkit.
To have the ultimate travel gear to complement your setup, BÉIS has you covered. Stylish and functional, the BÉIS travel essentials look even better with time as marks of your adventures make them completely yours. They’ll be there when you put the apps away and look out your car or plane window, breathing in the bliss that is adventure.
If you're still looking for more travel apps, consider these:
- XE Currency: For easy currency exchange rate calculation
- Mobile Passport: To bypass long immigration lines when coming back to the US from abroad
- OpenTable: Easily book a restaurant reservation
- Trip Advisor: Travel tips, rental car booking, excursion offers and more
AppGrooves. Best 10 Offline Maps & Navigation Apps. https://appgrooves.com/rank/travel_and_local/offline-maps-and-navigation/best-offline-maps-and-navigation-apps
Airbnb. Experiences. https://www.airbnb.com/s/experiences?redirectSource=slash_experiences
LoungeBuddy. How does LoungeBuddy work? https://www.loungebuddy.com/#howItWorks
Maps.me. 2020 MY.COM, 2020. Ver. 10.0.5. Apple App Store. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/maps-me-offline-maps-gps/id510623322
Skyscanner. Skyscanner, 2020. Ver. 7.17. Apple App Store. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/skyscanner-travel-deals/id415458524