12 best travel apps

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Last updated:
By David Em
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Travel apps can provide trip inspiration, language translation, planning for your trips, and information to streamline your vacation.

Person looking down at their phone.

Benefits of using travel apps

From banking to social media, mobile apps have become handy tools that you use daily.

When it comes to travel, there are many apps that can help you book hotels, flights, rent a car, convert currency, and navigate your way through different places.

Apps make travel more efficient and organized. The following are benefits of using mobile apps for travel:

  • Flights, hotels, dining, and schedule in one place.
  • Less paperwork.
  • Mobile flight check-in and boarding pass.
  • Some apps offer push notifications and offline access.
  • On-the-go assistance.

Using travel apps saves you time and money while you’re on the road.

The official TSA app

MyTSA app logo, and screenshots of what the app can do.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

MyTSA is the official government-sponsored app by the Transportation Security Administration.

In the app, you can check how busy your selected airport is, see wait times, delays, and figure out what you can or can’t bring.

Get MyTSA.

Best for travel planning: TripIt

TripIt app logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

TripIt organizes your itineraries and documents in one place. You can sync the app with your inbox or forward your reservations to [email protected] to quickly organize your plans.

You can also share your plans with others, which ensures that everyone is on the same page.

Get TripIt.

Finding the best fares: Kayak

Kayak app logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

Kayak scans through various travel sites to find you the best rates. You can easily change travel dates, destinations, number of people, and flight classes.

A great feature if you’re flexible with the destination is the explore tool. Take the following steps to utilize the explore option:

  1. In the app, press Explore.
  2. Select your desired flight duration.
  3. Set your budget.
  4. Choose how many stops you would like to take.
  5. Select the exact dates of your travel or choose a range.
    1. If you selected Date Range, set your desired duration of the trip.

Based on the preferences you’ve set, Kayak will show you different options and the costs.

After you’ve made a booking through Kayak, it’ll keep your plans organized and gives you updates on flight status, airport terminals, and security wait times.

Try Kayak.

Best currency converter: XE Currency

XE Currency app logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

XE Currency quickly and accurately gives you the current exchange rates. If you travel internationally, this app will ensure you get the best deal while you’re in another country.

A unique feature of XE Currency is that you can save and store the most recent rates so that you can access them offline.

Get XE Currency.

Best for finding affordable destinations: Skyscanner

Skyscanner app logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

Skyscanner searches for the most affordable and best options through its travel partners.

By selecting “everywhere” in the destination box, Skyscanner will show a list of destinations at an affordable price.

There’s also a chart that allows you to look at the cheapest days to fly to your destination and sends you notification of price changes.

Along with the flight prices, they’ll show you the cost of a hotel and give you a guide to the city.

Get Skyscanner.

Best for tracking flights: FlightAware

FlightAware app logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

FlightAware allows you to track flights, check for delays, gate changes and see a live map.

It’s also helpful for anyone that’s picking you up because they can see when they need to be at the airport.

Get FlightAware.

Best for translation: Google Translate

Google Translate app logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

Google Translate is not only one of the best apps for travel but it’s also a great app for everyday life. Google offers this free service which can translate more than 100 languages.

Get Google Translate.

Best for same-day reservations: HotelTonight

Hotel Tonight app logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

HotelTonight is a great app for getting deals on same-day reservations.

The last-minute nature of the bookings is how you get discounts. It makes HotelTonight one of the best apps for travel and booking hotels.

Although it’s focused on getting last-minute deals, you can still book ahead of time.

Get HotelTonight.

Best for communication: WhatsApp

WhatsApp logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

WhatsApp is a great and free messaging system. It’s a smart way to communicate with people when you’re in other countries.

Many phone carriers offer international messaging plans for a fee. Use WhatsApp because it’s free, which will save you money.

Get WhatsApp.

Best for finding things to do: Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

Tripadvisor is a well-known and established travel resource. Check it to find things to do, read reviews, find restaurants, and get advice from travel experts based on your interests.

Get Tripadvisor.

Best for home rentals: Airbnb

Airbnb logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

Airbnb allows you to book homes instead of hotels. It offers cheaper prices, and more authentic experiences by allowing you to stay with a local, or in their home.

The app offers a streamlined booking system and communication with your host in case you need to change your reservations.

Get Airbnb.

Best for getting around the city: CityMapper

CityMapper logo, and screenshots of what the app looks like.
Screenshots courtesy of Apple App Store.

CityMapper is a helpful tool that’s available in specific cities defined on the CityMapper website. It’s a great app that helps you get around the city using the method of transportation of your choice.

It also shows you in real-time how long each of the different routes will take and cost which is beneficial for deciding the method you’ll take.

Get CityMapper.

Conclusion

For better planning and an enjoyable trip, use travel apps to help you. Using the right apps will save you time and money. They’ll also give you ideas for things to do and places to eat. Make your trip better by using a travel app.

Additional resources:

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.

Portrait of David Em.

About David Em

David Em is the founder of Nola & Luna Travel, the destination for travel advice and inspiration. He launched Nola & Luna Travel to share expert advice, useful tips, unbiased reviews, and inspiration about destinations across the globe.