Smart phones have become a vital part of our every day lives and traveling is no different. When I travel, I use my phone for GPS, pictures, translation, currency converter, recommendations, and so much more. It's become my best resource while traveling and now I can't imagine life without it!
I've complied a list of all my Favorite Travel Apps that everyone should download on their phone! They're categorized as:
Essential Travel Apps
Best Apps for Recommendations & Reviews
Best Apps for Flights
Best Apps for Overnight Accommodations
Best Apps for International Travel
Additional Travel Apps I love
The Essential Travel Apps
Why You Need It: Trip Planning & GPS
There is an ongoing debate about which is better: apple maps or google maps. To me, they're relatively equal when using it for GPS.
BUT! Google Maps has an amazing feature called "My Google Maps" that allows you to pin spots in advance and plan an itinerary. I use this for all trip planning to stay organized. I'll begin pinning anything and everything that sounds interesting to me and then can rule some out based on how far away it is from my other activities. It's truly my number one resource I use when planning a trip.
Bonus: You can also download the offline version of a particular location if you're worried about service. This was insanely helpful on the Road to Hana (Maui) where service is scarce.
Why You Need It: Accurate Weather Information
When you're traveling, you want to make the most of your time. This means taking advantage of any and all great weather you have! I always utilize Accuweather to track the upcoming 15 days weather patterns. This way, I'm prepared if rain is on the radar and I can plan accordingly. It is far more accurate than other weather apps.
Find My Friends
Why You Need It: Keep track of your friends whereabouts
When I travel I always turn on my location and give my family & friends access to view it. This is a great tool for loved ones back home to know you are safe! Plus, it's great if you get lost or separated from your travel buddies because you can easily look up their location!
Why You Need It: To Keep Track of Expenses Among Friends
If you're traveling with friends, it can be tricky to keep track of expenses and who owes what. Sally paid for the hotel, Martha paid for drinks last night, Abby paid for breakfast, etc etc. Well, Splitwise will instantly solve that problem. You can easily log each expense in this app and it will automatically divide the expenses accordingly.
Uber and/or Lyft
Why You Need It: Easy access to Rideshare
Both Uber and Lyft are changing the way we travel. Instead of needing to rent a car or always hailing a taxi, you have 2 apps always available at your finger tips. It's as easy as typing in your location and pressing search - you'll instantly be paired with a driver who will pick you up and drop you off. I think it's important to have both apps on your phone because pricing varies and I always like to check which is cheaper!
Note: If you're traveling to Asia, GRAB is the most used rideshare option!
Why You Need It: Safely Hike anywhere!
AllTrails has a huge database of over 50,000 different hikes around the world. You can categorize your search by difficulty, dog friendly, accessible, and more. There are reviews and pictures from previous hikers who rate the trails accordingly. The best part is that the app has a GPS inbedded so you can safely hike.
Best Apps for Trip Recommendations & Reviews
Why You Need It: Restaurant Recommendations
Yelp is an essential app for me both when I'm traveling and when I'm at home. I love to check out places that have 5-Star Reviews. I've found some of my most favorite restaurants through Yelp based off other users pictures and recommendations.
Why You Need It: Attraction, Hotel, and General Recommendations
Trip Advisor is the number one resource people use when planning a vacation. This app allows you to quickly search by destination to find out what the top attractions are and unique things to do!
Best Apps for Flights
Your airline app
Why You Need It: Easily Accessible Ticket & Notifications
Before I leave for the airport, I always make sure I have the airline's app that I'll be flying downloaded on my phone. This way, I can easily log in and see updates about my flight information - ie changed gate or delayed departure. The notifications also help me keep track of time so I never miss my flight.
I always have the following airline apps downloaded since I fly frequently: Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, United, JetBlue, Frontier, and Spirit.
Why You Need It: Track your flight price
Have you ever wondered "maybe if I wait to by the flight, the price will drop". Well, let Hopper answer that question for you! They're 95% accurate in tracking flight prices to see when the best deal will be. You can also set up price alerts for specific flights you're interested in!
Why You Need It: Search the best flight deals for all destinations
Have you ever wanted to fly somewhere and you don't even care where it is? Yeah, me too. This is definitely an app for you! Skyscanner allows you to search "Everywhere" as a destination to find the best flight deals from your city. When I'm feeling spontaneous I love using this feature. Otherwise, you can always search other flight deals for specific destinations.
Best Apps for Overnight Accommodations
Your hotel app
Why You Need It: Mobile Check In
If I'm staying at a large hotel chain, I always make sure I have their app downloaded to my phone. Most companies now offer mobile check in which allows you to bypass the front desk altogether. You'll be able get your room number via the app and use your phone as your key! This is a great time saving resource when I don't want to waste time checking into my hotel. Some large hotel chain apps I always have downloaded include: Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt.
Why You Need It: Unique Stays
Airbnbs are a great alternative to hotel stays. You can find cheap options for a room in someone's house or renting an entire house. This can really come in handy if you want to cook while you're traveling.
Hotels . com App
Why You Need It: Compare Hotel Pricing
I'm a huge fan of booking directly with both hotels and airlines. However, I do love to easily compare my options by using Hotels . com's app.
If you do prefer to book through Hotels . com, you'll earn 1 free night after booking 10 nights!
Why You Need It: Easily search all available hostels
If you're looking for the cheapest accommodation options and don't mind staying in a Hostel, then HostelWorld is for you! This app has a huge database of various hostels all over the world and allows you to book instantly!
Best Apps for International Travel
Mobile Passport (US Citizens Only)
Why You Need It: Quickly Bypass Customs Lines
Talk about a time saving app!! The Mobile Passport app has a separate line in customs that is typically much shorter than the regular line.
Why You Need It: To Translate Other Languages
Google Translator is essential for anyone traveling abroad. This app allows you to translate your language into both written and verbal translation.
Why You Need It: Talk to family/friends via WiFi
When you're traveling internationally, chances are your network will not work (unless you pay extra). That's why I use WhatsApp to communicate with friends & family while I'm abroad. This app uses WiFi and doesn't require cellular network to call & text.
XE Currency Converter
Why You Need It: Easily convert Local Currency
There's nothing worse than thinking you found a great deal abroad only to realize you got ripped off and paid way too much. Never let that happen by downloading the Currency Converter to easily convert the amounts to USD. This way, you'll always know how much money you're spending on something while abroad!
Why You Need It: Easily find areas to connect to WiFi
When you're traveling abroad, WiFi becomes your best friend. It's also a tricky thing to track down since most all are password protected. Use this app to find WiFi near you!
Additional Travel Apps I Love
Why You Need It: Edit Your Photos like a pro
Lightroom is my favorite photo editting app. It is very user friendly with a lot of options to adjust the photo how you'd like it! Many people buy presets (similar to a filter) from their favorite bloggers for easy on-the-go editing!
Why You Need It: Another photo editing app
Why limit yourself to just one photo editting app?! Snapseed has a few additional features not offered in Lightroom. For instance, you can select certain areas to adjust instead of always changing the entire picture.
Why You Need It: Track where you've been
This app is the most simplistic thing in the world. Simply check off all the places you've been! It's fun to see laid out as a visual representation of your travels. It will also make you want to check more places off your list!!
Why You Need It: Great for navigating public transportation
Citymapper is one of my favorite ways to navigate public transportation. They make it so user friendly and easy to understand that anyone can do it! Apple Maps now has this feature too so it's not a mandatory download, but I still go to this one because I find it easier and more reliable.
Why You Need It: Find the best routes
When you're traveling to a new place, you'll rely heavily on GPS if you rent a car. Waze is the best app for finding the quickest route. It will also give you the Speed Limit, possible cop sitings, and more! Great resource for traveling and for driving around your home town!
There you have it - the full list of all the travel apps you need for your next trip! I use each and every one of them and can't imagine life without them!
Do you have any other travel apps you love? Tell me below in the comments!