You can’t go on vacations every day, and you certainly want your trip to be going all the way perfect. You might have probably considered consulting with travel agents, but in this era of modern technology, your smartphone can become your personal travel advisor.
There are available apps for your phone that can help you book flights, reserve a hotel or a place to stay, navigate through the new fantastic city you chose with so much care, and much more. Just reaching and accommodating in a new town is not enough. You’ll need way more than that.
You may get stuck at understanding the local language of the place you’re visiting or be unable of measuring the value of the new currency you’re using. And even though you are running away from the monotony at home, you’ll still want to maintain contacts with your family and friends. Also, you’ll want them to see what you’re finding special at this new place. Here’s a listing of some of the best apps for mobile travelers must have. You probably cannot download them all, but there will be something for everyone with some on the list already being installed on your phone.
Download links for each app are located at the bottom of each app description. This listing excludes apps that are always with you, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Twitter.
- 1 Airbnb
- 2 Skyscanner
- 3 Booking.com
- 4 Trivago
- 5 TripAdvisor
- 6 Kayak
- 7 Google Trips
- 8 Expedia Travel
- 9 Cleartrip
- 10 Momondo
- 11 Hipmunk
- 12 Hopper
- 13 TripIt
- 14 App in the Air
- 15 Packpoint
- 16 Mobile Passport
- 17 Hotel Tonight
- 18 Circa: World Time for Travelers
- 19 Duolingo
- 20 Google Translate
- 21 Guides by Lonely Planet
- 22 Hotspot Shield
- 23 XE Currency
- 24 Time Out
- 25 Citymapper
- 26 Yelp
- 27 Google Maps
- 28 Uber
- 29 Marbl Travel app
- 30 Expensify
Airbnb aims at helping you save money on hotels by offering cheaper alternatives that may add to the excitement of your trip. It allows you to find locals that will let you live with them or rent you a room or house. It can be used as a hotel alternative for solo, family, and business trips. You’ll also get a chance of making new friends while your vacations are a breeze. Airbnb app also enables you to be introduced to the unique experiences that are available only in the particular place you’ve just landed or see the most exotic locations and other points of interest such as cinemas, restaurants, bars and more.
Skyscanner is the app you need to know how much your vacations will cost before you take the flight. It will even help you with the flight. Skyscanner simplifies searching for flights, hotels, and car rentals. You can search for cheapest flights ahead of your scheduled traveling date and pick the option that suits you best or easily find a last-minute flight. The same feature is added to hotel searches and car rentals. The app allows you to book flights, hotels, and rent a car by visiting the official website from within the app. In case you aren’t sure about where will you spend your holidays, the Skyscanner Everywhere feature will suggest some of the most adventurous places from all around the globe, you can also instantly find best deals from airports around your place of residence.
Booking.com is one of the highest rated travel apps and certainly is one of the most recommended tools you need for planning your vacations on your own. Booking.com app specializes in finding suitable hotels and motels to stay during your holidays or business trip. Rather than just finding you affordable places to stay, it also allows you to book hotels and look for best travel deals available at any given time. To help you with finding the hotel you booked, the app features an internal map app that will help you with navigations once you reach your destination.
Trivago is a popular hotel finder that focuses on comparing hotel prices from all around the globe. Trivago collects data from over than 200 booking sites from 190 countries worldwide and has special discounts when you make a booking via the Triago app. The app supports voice commands to search for hotels and travel deals and assists you with an embedded Google map to find the hotel you booked once you’re there.
TripAdvisor the all-in-one travel app you definitely need on your phone for a well-planned trip. The TripAdvisor app lets you search flights, hotels, vacation rentals, and restaurants and shows you reviews for them all. Also, it suggests you best places to visit in the location you’re looking to book a vacation house or a flight and allows you to see each of these vacation targets on a map. It also comes with travel guides for tourist attraction points from the whole world.
Kayak is another feature-rich app for travelers and one of the best for vacation planning. It lets you find flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. It also shows reviews and lets you track a flight. But what may make you consider downloading Kayak app is its trip planning feature. You can select your budget and see every destination on a map along the required budget to enjoy the most of your trip. This app will save you time and frustration you’d normally experience on trying to make an expensive trip somehow affordable.
Google Trips is the trip planner app developed by Google that provides you with the necessary tools to plan your vacations from scratch. The app automatically collects data about reservations from your Gmail and brings them in one place for quick monitoring. It also lets you create daily plans and finds interesting nearby places. Besides, you have access to deals and travel discounts. Google trip planner works in offline mode, and you’ll not have to rely on the Internet connection once you are at your destination.
Expedia is another solid travel app that will help you before you begin packing your things up. It lets you look for and book flights, hotels, car rentals, and plan your trip. Expedia app has an embedded map from Google from where you can see how far your booked hotel is from your airport and find the closest taxi service. There are special vacation booking deals on the app and a guide on most interesting things to visit once you’re there.
If you’re planning to visit India, the best app you can have as your travel companion is the Cleartrip. This app specializes in everything you need to reach India safe, quick, and affordable means, and as well as see the most of it. The app separates its functions into two labels, travel and local. On the travel section, you have the opportunity to search for flights and find discount offers and deals. While in the Local section you can order railway tickets and find attractive places, activities and latest events, restaurants, and hotels.
Momondo is a subsidiary of Kayak, and it also makes a great travel app for its extended functions on finding cheap flights and cheap hotel reservations. Momondo focuses only on these two categories. It lets you search for flights for all price ranges, a feature you can find on many apps for travelers. But its hotel searching feature is really a thing that makes the difference. You can look for hotels in any city from any country around the world and filter your results by guest ratings, price, and type such as hotel, apartment, hostel, or guest house, amenities such as WiFi support, swimming pool, parking, restaurant an more. Is one of the best apps to find hotels and rental houses that suit best to your needs and budget.
Hipmunk is widely used as an alternative trip planning app. It finds flights and hotels for you with just one tap. You can sort flights by price and view hotel reviews and supportable amenities. However, this app also brings its own filters when highlighting tourist attractions, and it allows you to see top destinations for food, skiing, romantic places, and best destinations for regions or subcontinents. Hipmunk tries to offer something for everybody, to help with navigation, it comes with a built-in map.
Hopper focuses on flights only. It enables its users to watch flights and find lowest prices on airfare by trusting the bunny’s predictions booking flights at best days. The app has a built-in calendar accompanied by a price labeling. Days on the calendar are colored from green to red, and the green days are those days when flying is cheaper. Hopper actually saves you a lot of time you’d normally spend by checking flight prices day-by-day. Unfortunately, there is no hotel booking support or anything that goes post-flight.
TripIt is an all-in-one travel planner app for your smartphone. It lets you pick a destination and start a new trip. On the new trip, you can add plans. Such as searching and booking a flight, train, cruise, or bus. It also thinks of your accommodation and allows you to find and book hotels. The rest of the features are made to help you with organization and time management, and you can set up a whole schedule of your trip by entering information about what you plan on doing after you reach your destination. TripIt is also a mini navigation app, it has an embedded Google map and a directions section that shows you navigations for driving, bicycling, and walking.
App in the Air
App in the Air is a travel companion and a good extension for TripIt. App in the Air is the second flight tracker app for mobile created by TripIt. It has a clean and simple interface, its “My Flights” section shows past, current, and upcoming flights. On your “My Flights” profile it takes you to a detailed report about how many hours you have flown, and it has different badges that indicate various milestones for you to share with friends on the social media. This app supports importing flights from Google Maps, TripIt, and iMap.
Well, you’ve booked your flight, reserved a room where to stay and you’re ready to go. The last thing you need is to remind yourself that you’ve forgotten your camera home just when you reach the airport. Packpoint is a specially designed app for travelers that lets you list everything they plan on taking on the trip. It has a decent number of categories for your widgets that everything you need will be listed up there. You can also add a new type of item for each category in case its makers missed it. It also shows the weather for the particular place you’re planning to visit so that you know if you need an umbrella or not. Packpoint isn’t only made for long trips, and it has everything you need for planning a camping with your family.
Mobile Passport is the app you need for your smartphone to expedite long lines to fill in paperwork and submit passport to U.S customs at a short time, bypassing lines and crossing straight to waiting for your luggage. The app is authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and has the same results you’d have at a standard automated passport control kiosk. This app is so good that it is said to be better than Global Entry for frequent travelers. Using Mobile Passport is easy, you can submit your passport by going to the New Trip section and tapping on Select Travelers, it will automatically start your phone’s camera on the rear and scan your passport, then you should enter your passport number and fill in the rest of your personal details. In addition, you’ll have to answer to five CBP’s questions, take a selfie of yourself, and submit it. All that can be completed in less than five minutes, and you avoid lines of some of the busiest airports of the United Stine. Mobile Passport can be used for citizens fo the U.S and Canada in 24 airports nationwide. View here the full list of support airports.
In case you were all excited about visiting the amazing place you wanted to visit, booked a flight and took your necessary items with you but forgot one major thing. Where you’ll be staying there? There are many apps to assist dummy travelers that cared little about booking a hotel or anyone that just happens to be one a new town to book a last-minute hotel. However, the most popular one is Hotel Tonight. Hotel Tonight app will not only instantly find hotels around your location but will actually be getting you hotel deals with major price drops. It uses the GPS on your device to track phone location and serve you deals in hotels, and there’s a map coming with this app to help you navigate and judge how far a hotel is from your location at any given time. If you choose to sign up for an account, you can as well book a room. Hotel Tonight offers a $25 off in bookings for you if you invite friends to join the app, the same promotional discount will be offered to your friends as well.
What’s better than visiting your dream place? Visiting your dream location and being capable of behaving like the native. Of course, you can’t do that if you don’t know their language and that will always give you for a foreigner. Before taking your flight and leave, you may want to consider learning the basics of the spoken language in the destination you’re planning to travel. You can also work with the language after you’ve arrived. The best app to assist you with learning a new language is Dualingo.
The Duolingo app makes it incredibly easy for anyone to learn the basics of a foreign language, such as pronouncing and necessary words that will come handy when you need assistance. Duolingo supports Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Hebrew, Welsh, Romanian, Swahili, and English. For languages that use a different alphabet, such as Cyrillic, the basics begin with the learning of pronouncement of letters and their correspondence to letters in the English alphabet. Duolingo can quickly teach you to know what to say when you want to buy products, and the seller doesn’t understand your language or when you want to explain to the taxi where you want to go. If you take months working with languages, you may even be able of having conversations and make new friends wherever you go.
If you’re lazy to learn languages of the places you plan on visiting or if they’re just too many countries where each has its own language, or you’re visiting a country where different groups speak different languages, you can make use of Google’s translate app. Google Translate app lets you translate between 103 languages by typing, draw characters for 93 languages (handwriting), and use Google Translate Conversation Mode for 32 languages. The conversation mode offers a two-way instant speech translation, you can also hear word pronouncement for every supported language, but some less-spoken one have a clumsy robot-like speech. Still, Google Translate can help you get the services you need in a foreign country. You can also use Google Translate app to translate documents by tapping the camera icon on the app or translate text from other apps by just tapping and holding your finger on the words. You can use Google Translate offline for translations between 59 languages when you have no Internet connection, with the rest of the languages supporting download for offline use.
Guides by Lonely Planet
Every city has much more to show you than what your guide or a travel agent told you. Lonely Planet offers a solid app for travelers that primarily focuses on city guides. Guides by Lonely Planet enables you to download guides for any city from all around the globe and have a direct access to everything that place has to offer. This app labels locations of interest into multiple categories, it tells you the best places to see, best restaurants to have your meals, motels, and hotels for your stay, malls for you to buy goods, bars to pass evenings, and as well cultural centers and theatres to enjoy excellent shows. All city guides are downloadable and come equipped with maps that can be used online and offline for navigation.
It may come to you as a surprise, but not every country will allow you to visit the web freely as you do in your homeland. As a matter of fact, Facebook remains to be banned in China since long, and some of the countries in the Middle East and Africa may not allow you to have access to any of the popular social media and social networking sites. You may either store photographs on your camera or phone or break the rules and regain access to your apps and websites by using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN software allows you extend the private network across a public network and will enable you to send and receive data as if your device is directly connected to that public network. To make it less complicated, a VPN app will make you look like you are using the device from a network in the U.S or any other country where there is no blockage of websites or apps.
The most popular VPN app is Hotspot Shield, and it allows you to instantly connect to a network in the U.S. You may as well automatically turn on the Hotspot Shield when launching any of the apps on your phone. The premium version of this app lets you manually switch your server location if the one you’re already connected is not fast enough.
Something that can turn your holiday vacations into a struggle is the local currency used in the country you’re visiting. Not every country uses the same currency and while you may be well familiar with U.S Dollar and Euro, some European countries, including those that are EU members still maintain in use their own currency that differs in value from the currency you use every day. Almost all countries in the East are equipped with their own currencies and maintaining expensive without being aware of their exact cost is easier said than done. XE Currency app will assist you with currency conversion based on live rates and always be there for you to prevent you from any unpleasant surprise when making payments or exchanging currency through any local cambist. Although XE will do much more than tell you live exchange rates, it lets you create alerts on currency rates and get you the best exchanges, in addition, you can also use the app to transfer money without paying any additional fee.
The Time Out makes another good alternative trip planning app for any traveler that wants to explore new cities and places. The only downturn in this app is the limited number of supported cities and countries, and its makers could do much better here. For those cities or states that are covered for trip planning, Time Out lets you browse for latest events near you, exciting places to see, restaurants, bars, theatres, and more. A built-in map will assist you with estimating distances and navigation.
When you’re in a new city or country that you know little about (seeing new places is what might be pushing you to travel and obviously your knowledge about it is limited) you’ll really need help to navigate through it. One of the best transit navigation apps for mobile to help you get anywhere you want in around cities is Citymapper. This app has an extremely user-friendly interface. It lets you find stations and timetables for buses, tram, metro, ferry, or any other mean of public transport. You can also book a taxi or an Uber car through Citymapper. What you can use for moving around cities in the country you’re visiting is related to what that particular city supports, if the city has it, Citymapper will have it as well, and you’ll be able to either navigate to the station by using the map that comes with the app or book it straight from your mobile phone.
Yelp is the ultimate app for you to know what people are saying about local businesses. As a newcomer, you don’t want to be tricked in by fancy advertorials, but you want to see the quality of the service. Yelp has user reviews and other detailed information about businesses of all kinds. On the Yelp Categories section, you can filter results for local places that suit your needs. Usually, they’ll be hotels, restaurants, bars, or fast foods. With Yelp Reservations you can also order goods from the app or book hotels. You can always add to what Yelp has by reviewing businesses you visit on the go.
Navigating in a new town is tough. You know little or nothing about where the local transport stations are, you don’t know how to find a taxi, you might not even know the local language and also how to ask for help. When traveling to somewhere you’ve never been before you need something that works to help you with navigation and moving around, the best maps app you can have on your phone (chances are it already is installed on your device) is Google’s Map app.
Google Maps does much more than showing you the route from point A to point B. You can use it to find nearby points of interests just like you’d use Google Search. Google lets you download its maps for offline use to be able of assisting you when you have no Internet connection. The app tracks your location and shows you the best route and means of traveling to reach your hotel or any other place. You can also find valid information to contact a taxi service on the app or to reach the nearest bus station. Also, you can explore the new town via Google Street View and know where you’re heading whenever you try walking around on your own.
Uber is the on-demand car service you need when you just reach a new place. Uber is available in 77 countries and over than 500 cities worldwide. You’ll not have to look around for a taxi but make use of the Uber app and make the cab come to you. Uber rates aren’t that much high, if you’re thrilled to know how much will an Uber car cost you, take a look at the Uber Estimate software.
To use Uber, just open the app and enter your destination. The app automatically tracks your location and estimates the timing of your trip. The price of your Uber drive will be based on the distance and the type of Uber service you demand. The Uber X is the cheapest ride for individuals, but there’s a cheaper option called Uber Pool. The later lets vehicles heading your way to pick you up. If you don’t mind spending some more bucks, opting for Uber Black or Uber Suv will add some luxury to your ride.
Marbl Travel app
What’s better than traveling the world and having holidays of a lifetime? Meeting people like you and sharing experiences of course. Marbl is a social community that brings travelers in one place for travel recommendations and connections while on the journey. There isn’t another similar social network that dedicates its self to travel destinations alone. Thus, Marbl is the best travel community you can find. Although the app is still in beta and sometime geotagging becomes messy, it will soon have all the issues fixed, and everything will go smoothly. Marbl app for travelers is currently available only to iPhone users.
After your trip ends and you return home everything returns to normality. Only then you’ll have to start calculating how much did your vacations cost (don’t do it while still being on a trip, it may ruin your mood). Expensify is the best app for managing your spendings and generates automated reports regarding how much did you spend and what’s left in your bank account. With Expensify you’ll not really have to wait long before knowing how much money you’re spending. It lets you import data from your bank account to monitor transactions continuously. In addition, you can take photos of receipted bills if you’re not always using your debit card for making payments.