Our Top 25 Travel Apps

If you’ve ever been lost in a foreign city, overpaid for a flight or spent hours looking for the best hotel deal you need an app to ease your pain!   Travel apps can save you time, effort and money when planning a trip. They can keep you from getting lost, help you communicate and get you where you need to go when you are on the road. The following is a list of proven ones that are worthy of being put in your ‘Travel’ app folder on your phone.  

Apps for Trip Planning/Organization:

TripIt: TripIt organizes all your separate trip details (flights, car, hotel, airbnb, driving directions, etc) that come from various sources (emails) into a single itinerary.  Hopper:  Hopper helps estimate your flight costs based on your intended days of travel, saving you money if you have a bit of flexibility. Input where and when you want to go and a calendar pops up with days color coded by the estimated cost of flying. It also predicts when prices are expected to change, and by how much, and gives you alerts of any price drops. SkyScanner: Skyscanner is another great option to start with when planning your trip as it searches flights, hotels and rental cars for the best options available via its travel partners. Find the best times to go and set alerts for price changes. Don’t know where to head next? Be sure to check out their ‘explore map’ which shows you how much to fly to cities around the world based on the date you input. Kayak: Kayak has been a travel go-to for years, and continues to deliver. Search hundreds of travel sites at one time for flights, hotels, and cars plus see exclusive deals offered only to Kayak users. Like Skyscanner, you can set alerts for price changes and see whether it’s recommended to buy now or to wait for a price drop. There is overlap with Hopper/SkyScanner etc but we have included a few top apps given that some travelers are particular/loyal to one more than another. So test them out and see what works best for you. RoadTrippers:  When planning your next road trip simply enter where you are going and what you are interested in doing along the way and RoadTrippers will lead the way. Find what route to take, hotels to stay at, where to eat, and fun offbeat things to do en route. Hotels can be booked directly via the app as well. Trip Advisor: Know where you are going but need some recs on where to eat, stay or take a tour? Trip Advisor has been a go-to for travelers for many years. Look up reviews, photos, tours, restaurants, hotels, guides etc and it is hard to find a location that isn’t covered. The active forum is a great place to pose questions to fellow travelers or see if your issue has already been addressed by others.  Booking.com: Booking searches for flights, hotels, car rentals, tours, packages, activities and airport taxis when planning your next trip.  Scotts Cheap Flights: Officially this is not an app, but is a site/email newsletter. But it should be on the list for budget travelers (or anyone who wants to save money on flights). Sign up to get email alerts about airline deals departing from your chosen airport(s). Members are said to save $550/ticket on average given the great deals that are discovered and shared. Premium members get notified of special deals, mistakes/rare deals and info on peak season and holiday flights.  

Apps to Use On the Road:

XE Currency Converter:  Be sure you know how much you are paying for something before you buy! This app easily converts any currency for you. It also allows you to send money should you need that service. All Trails: Knowing where to find a hiking or running trail when traveling used to be difficult. Not any more! All Trails has over 75,000 trails in its database. Download to your phone and hit the trails. DayUse: Need a hotel for the day to shower and rest during a layover, to enjoy a swimming pool or just have a ‘daycation’? This is the app for you, offering up to 75% off an overnight stay. Over 5000 hotels in 25 countries are offered, with different time slots available based on your needs. Mobile Passport: If you are entering the US from another country this free app is a must-have! Download the app and enter your passport info before you leave as it allows you to enter the US via a special line and skip the regular….long…line at entry. It’s accepted in 26 airports in the US – so just check ahead to see if your point of entry is one of the lucky ones. WIFI Map: Need to get online but don’t have a cell connection? This crowdsourced app (it has over 100 million users) will show you the nearest free places to get online and their mapping function will help you get there. An advanced version will let you know the passwords necessary as well at many of the locations.  SplitWise:  SplitWise makes it easy to keep track of joint spending while on the road. Enter each expenditure you want to track, easily indicating who paid for it and how it’s to be split amongst the group, and at the end of the trip, you have a simple list of who owes who what to settle up quickly.   CityMapper: There are a lot of map options available out there but CityMapper shines as a way to utilize public transportation. Type in where you are and where you want to go and it will provide multiple options (walk, cycle, cab, etc) , along with the time, cost and details (how many calories you burn with each option!) of each. It has additional bells and whistles as well, and it currently covers 40 cities.  PocketEarth: Offline maps and travel guides to ensure you never get lost, even when you don’t have a connection, whether you are exploring a city or hiking on trails. Waze: When driving it’s the waze to go for directions as it gives real-time traffic conditions and suggests alternate routes as conditions change. Google Maps: Great for walking, public transport and driving directions plus it lets you explore nearby restaurants, events, hotels and more. For events, it gives you suggestions for ‘day of, tomorrow, this weekend, this week or this month’.  Download Google Maps (to your phone) for the city/cities you are visiting. This enables you to use the map offline and not waste valuable cell phone data. You can also ‘star’ ahead of time places of interest (your hotel), restaurants you have booked or places you want to visit so you get a sense of where the places are in relation to each other, and so you can easily get directions offline when you arrive and can hit the ground running (without using data). Here are instructions on how to download Google maps for offline use. Google Translate: Another game-changer. Translate via your camera (hold it overwriting and it will convert like magic to another language), via handwriting and via voice. You can translate offline by downloading an offline translation file as well. So before your trip download the language of the country you’ll be visiting to ensure you will always have a way to communicate.  HotelTonight:  Same day heavily discounted hotel reservations to properties all over the world. Uber/Lyft: Great to have a rideshare app ready to go, or two to be safe.  Be sure to check where you are traveling to make sure you have the correct app downloaded and ready for use.  Priority Pass: Access to more than 1200 airport lounges worldwide is provided via Priority Pass. Some credit cards (Platinum American Express and Chase Sapphire Reserve card) offer membership for free so be sure to check if your card does as well. If not you can join for an annual fee. The app lets you see if the airport you are using has a lounge and if so where it is located, the hours, the facilities and any conditions of use. LoungeBuddy: LoungeBuddy lets you purchase access to airport lounges worldwide. Search your airport, select a lounge (you can do it up to two months in advance) and purchase your access. Show confirmation code at the front desk and you’re in. If you use the app to create a trip it will also show you which lounges you already have access to. Whats App: While traveling abroad WhatsApp is a great messaging service. Create your account, add friends and family and then you can call or message all over the world.  WhatsApp uses your phone’s internet connection to send messages so you can avoid SMS fees. – you will need a data connection or WiFi to be able to send messages.  TodayTix: Available in about 15 cities worldwide TodayTix lets you purchase discounted theater tickets not only for same-day performances but also weeks ahead of your visit. You can also enter lotteries for incredible deals, be alerted of special ‘rush’ tickets and more. Have any favorite travel apps that we missed and should check out? Email me at chrissie@jamboguides.com – I’d love to hear from  you. 

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Chrissie Kremer
Chrissie Kremer

I am a mixed bag traveler - I go the budget route on some things and splurge on others. I love family adventure travel, trips with girlfriends, or solo trips with my kids. I like urban exploration but prefer it coupled with outdoor activity (and when traveling with my kids it's more outdoor activity coupled with a dose of urban). I have been to 62 countries... and counting.

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Chrissie Kremer
Chrissie Kremer

I am a mixed bag traveler - I go the budget route on some things and splurge on others. I love family adventure travel, trips with girlfriends, or solo trips with my kids. I like urban exploration but prefer it coupled with outdoor activity (and when traveling with my kids it's more outdoor activity coupled with a dose of urban). I have been to 62 countries... and counting.

JOIN THE COMMUNITY!

and receive the “Carry On Only Packing Guide”, free. 

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