Last Updated on 16/07/2019 by secretmoona
Back in the days, all you needed for your trip was a map, a compass and for the more adventurous a Swiss knife. Nowadays, people will not travel abroad without their passport, credit card and a smartphone. This little gadget has evolved from being a simple accessory to call one another to becoming our best travel companion offering a myriad of travel apps.
Here are 16 tried and tested travel apps you should download to make your travel experience smoother and less stressful.
Travel apps to get the best travel deals
Skyscanner is a great app to find the best flight deals whether you are travelling to another city or country. If you are flexible on your destination, you can select “anywhere” and search for the cheapest deal available. You also have the possibility of searching by date or the entire month.
• Free, iOS and Android, skyscanner.com
Booking.com offers a wide range of accommodations all around the world. Best used when your travel is not guaranteed as you can book hotels that do not require advance payment or have flexible cancellation policies.
• Free, iOS and Android, booking.com
Get organised before your trip
TripIt organises all your itineraries in one place. All you need to do is forward your transport, accommodation, car rental or activity booking to TripIt and the app creates a single itinerary for you that you can access anywhere with or without WI-FI. You can easily share the travel plans with others as well. Perfect if you are travelling with someone else making it easy to coordinate a group trip. It is also useful if you are travelling solo as you can share with a friend or family member so they are aware of your whereabouts. The free version which I use also tells you any flight disruptions and refund notifications.
• Free, iOS and Android, tripit.com
Similar to TripIt, Google Trips offers collects all your travel information from your Gmail inbox. The app offers most of Google functionality so you can get access to guides, tours, restaurants and points of interests located close to your hotel. Bonus: you can access Google Trips with or without WIFI.
• Free, iOS and Android
Airport lounges are great if you want to relax before your flight, get some work done or simply find somewhere comfortable to sit down in the busy terminals. LoungeBuddy is a service that allows people to access private lounges all around the world for a fee. All you need to do is to select your airport and pick a lounge. You’ll get to enjoy the complimentary food and drinks, comfortable chairs and in some cases have access to shower rooms. Sometimes, you can access lounges if you hold certain credit cards, the app tells which lounges are accessible for cardholders.
• Free, iOS and Android, loungebuddy.co.uk
For a well deserved break
To avoid plastic bottles that end up in the trash soon after use, many people carry refillable bottles. Not many people are aware that there are restaurants and drinking fountains where you can refill your bottle. RefillmyBottle app can help you make sure you’re always hydrated, by providing walking directions to the nearest fountain or restaurant with a fill-up station.
• Free, iOS and Android, refillmybottle.com
Once you are well hydrated, you will for sure need to use the toilet. Even, with thousands of public toilets around, finding one when you need it can be difficult. Thankfully with this app, you can find nearby public toilets around the world that are free, in working order and those that offer disabled access.
• Free, iOS and Android
Travel apps to discover the city without getting lost in translation
This app is more useful as a quick tool to translate word you come across rather than help you in your language learning. For example, it’s perfect for translating a Japanese menu to English. You just need to hold your phone camera to the text you want to translate and Google will translate it fright away. It’s a simple and easy travel app.
• Free, iOS and Android
Before travelling to a non-English speaking country, it’s always a good thing to learn some of the languages. Learning key phrases to get by can make your holiday a lot more interesting and rewarding. Duolingo is the perfect app to learn in an interesting way. The app made like a game lets you learn in a fun way. Whether you are learning to say “hello” in French or “thank you” in Japanese, Duolingo has more than 20 languages on offer.
• Free, iOS and Android, duolingo.com
Travel apps to explore the city without getting lost
You’ve just arrived at your hotel and is unsure where to go to grab something to eat? AroundMe is just what you need. It displays on a map all the restaurants, bars, cafes, ATMs, supermarkets and other points of interest around you. It also offers the best route to get to your chosen destination including travel times.
• Free, iOS and Android, aroundmeapp.com
HereweGo is a good alternative to Google Maps as you can download maps before your trip or when you have an internet connection which you can then view offline.
• Free, iOS and Android, wego.here.com
Citymapper is one of my favourite apps. I love using it on city breaks as I found it to offer a more detailed planner than Google. Just enter your location and destination and the app offers you the best routes possible from fastest to cheapest. Big bonus: it tells you which carriage to get on for a quick exit on the underground. You can save all our tips and check them offline.
• Free, iOS and Android, citymapper.com
Having to carry several heavy travel guides can be a pain especially if you have a weight limitation. Izi. TRAVEL is an app that offers guided audio tours, museum audio guides and even walking tours. Anyone can contribute by suggesting routes or tours.
• Free, iOS and Android, izi.travel
Travel apps to manage your budget
The popular conversion tool is obviously an important app to have on your phone while travelling. The app can convert every currently in the world allowing you to know the value of the thing you are about to buy. There is nothing worse than realising that the good deal you made was not really one! Bonus: the app stores the latest rates allowing you to access the app offline.
• Free, iOS and Android, xe.com
There is a French proverb that says “les bons comptes font les bons amis” meaning “good accounts make good friends”. If you are travelling with friends make sure to download Tricount or Splittr. These apps help share costs between several people. You enter details of all the expenses (who paid and amount) and the app does the rest.
• Free, iOS and Android, tricount.com
When you travel abroad, you tend to spend more than you would in your day to day life. So if you want to track your travel expenses, TrabeePocket is worth checking out. It’s simple to use. First, you enter your destination then add your expenses. It allows you to know where you spent your money (card and cash payments).
• Free, iOS and Android, trabeepocket.com
Other Helpful Transportation Apps:
- Rome 2 Rio – Shows flight, bus, train, ferry and driving routes to get to your destination with estimated times and fares
- Wi-Fi Finder – Helps you find free and paid WiFi on your trip
- Been – Shows on a map all the countries you have visited
- Revolut – Best travel card with no fees for most services
What apps do you use when you travel? Let us know in the comments below!
22 thoughts on “16 of the Best Travel Apps to Be a Smarter Traveller”
Great post 🙂
Wow what an incredibly handy list of travel apps. I had been using some of them on the list already but you have also introduced me to several new ones through the post. The Refillmybottle app is a great idea – eco-friendly way of refilling water bottles and staying hydrated rather than buying plastic bottles. Will refer to your post when we get ready for our next vacation
Love it! I love to be organized so I’ll have to check out the TripIt app. Looks just like something I’d love to include with the other apps I already use.
As a person who still does things the old water….maps and papers I loved seeing all of the travel apps available. I especially liked the citymapper. This one would come very handy
I love this. I’ve been looking for an app to keep all my travel information together without having a stack of printed papers with me. I particularly love the Flush app. It will be a godsend on an upcoming trip. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Kristina. Yes, Flush is very useful even more so in countries like France where public toilets are hard to find.
Very interesting suggestion, especially Refillmybottle, as I drink a lot during summer and I don´t like to buy plastic bottles. Also Flush seems very useful 🙂
RefillmyBottle is particularly useful in summer. It not only prevent buy plastic bottles but also saving money!
Hello Mayi, I really enjoyed reading your post on the best travel apps to be a smart traveller. I liked the way you arranged the the apps by category and will try out the navigation apps you recommended on my next international trip since google offline maps doesn’t work well when you’re walking.
Thanks! I know Google Maps can be a pain sometimes. Plus there are a few countries where it doesn’t work at all.
This is the best list of apps for making traveling easy! I know I use google translate a lot when I travel.
Great list! You have definitely hit on some of our favorite travel apps as well! We were joking on our last trip to Europe about what did we do before our apps? We had to actually use a paper map!! 🙂
I think I owe you a huge thank you for collecting this. I’m like 10 years behind on technology (I always think I’ll catch up and figure it out when I get a break…but you know, breaks don’t really happen!). This, though, saves me ooooooddles of time!
I really need to step up my app game – I don’t think I have any of these lol. I especially loved the Refill My Bottle one – GENIUS!!! That has been forever my struggle on long days exploring lol. The XE Currency one and the Citymapper ones also look super helpful – downloading now!!
I’m going to download Refill My Bottle, Flush and City Mapper before my next trip. On my last few solo trips google maps was invaluable so I’d like to see how it compares to the other one.
Great! You’ll love City Mapper too but the only downside is that it is not available everywhere. Refill my Bottle and Flush are life savers, especially the latter!
I already use loads of these, but I love the sound of refill my bottle and flush! I will have to download those to.
Btw, another great free map option is maps.me. It is all offline, and I find it is really helpful if you need to find hiking trails (that are often not shown on google maps)
I’m glad you like the post 😉 Thanks for the tips about maps.me, will have to check it out!
These are so useful!! I use a lot of these but can’t believe I’ve lasted so long without refill my bottle and flushed… I am literally downloading them now!!!
I know right! Flush which is really a brilliant idea!
This is the best app list ever. Really helpful. I’ve pinned it for future reference
Thank you, I’m glad you found it useful!