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40 Best Travel Apps for 2024: Plan, Book, Tech, Tickets & More

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Updated: 24th November 2023

During the last decade, how we travel has been thoroughly reshaped. The internet and, more significantly, the smartphone have revolutionised how we plan our trips and explore this planet. Yet, with so many websites, apps, guides and resources now available, it can be overwhelming to decide which travel apps deserve a space on our home screens.

Of course, the travel apps you’ll need to download before your trip will vary depending on where you’re visiting, the type of traveller you are, and your priorities on the road. From those pre-trip essentials, such as finding cheap flights and securing hotel deals, to the boring but necessary tech to manage reservations, money and sometimes even access to the internet, there truly is a travel app for organising everything these days.

Then there are those glorious pocket-size pieces of tech that make our experiences so much richer. Travel apps that allow us to read constellations in the sky above Peru’s Andes, mind-blowing translation software which instantly reads a menu on a long train journey through China, or friend-finding solutions which can connect us with fellow travellers, generous hosts, road trip buddies and even waste-avoiding discount food. Sure, this little device might have taken some of the spontaneity out of our journeys, but there’s no denying that the best travel apps can also enhance our experience while exploring.

Editors note (AI): While I’m sure later in 2024, I’ll update this article again to include some AI travel apps, I haven’t as yet found one I believe is reliable enough. Having tested a selection of itinerary planning AI travel apps using Portugal as a destination (the country I live in, know very well, and write guidebooks for), I’ve received results littered with errors, out-of-date suggestions, or proposals that skip some of the best offbeat experiences in the country — likely because the training material that has been used is also not in-depth or up-to-date. I’m sure when live information integration arrives and things advance this year a few apps will start to stand out. But for now, I’ve skipped any solely AI-powered tools, especially as some seem to have been built exclusively to sell affiliate-linked tours and activities.

Cheap Flights
Find the best travel apps for cheap flights

Best travel apps for flights, lounges and compensation

These are my go-to apps for all things flying. You might also want to consider signing up for cheap flight-finding newsletters so you can get the best deals directly to your inbox.

Skyscanner (free travel app)

For over a decade, Skyscanner has been my preferred travel app for finding flights. While there are plenty of other options these days, such as Kiwi or Kayak, I still always opt for Skyscanner. It has a clean interface, there is no cookie tracking or worries about going incognito, and I nearly always find the best deals here.

Of course, the ‘search everywhere’ feature is always a winner for finding those bargain flights when you are up for going on a trip but don’t really mind where. The app also features ‘Price Alerts’ so you can track fares going up and down and third-party reviews to know how reliable the company advertising the flight is. As a bonus, the Skyscanner travel app now has a ‘Top Deals’ tab for spontaneous trips away alongside additional searches for hotels and car hire.
Download on iPhone | Android

Colibra

If you’ve ever dealt with trying to claim for a delayed flight under EU regulations, you’ll know it can be a challenging process. While there are various protections across the world to ensure compensation when delays or cancellations happen, sometimes it can be a drawn-out and even unsuccessful process. That’s where Colibra comes in, as it takes a different approach and pays out compensation for delays of over one hour or more due to any reason, such as strikes or weather, with the money supposedly hitting your account within 24 hours.

However, it’s good to know that the compensation you’ll receive through Colibra isn’t as high as doing it yourself. Their model works by getting you to download the app and register your flight before arriving at the airport — essentially taking a gamble as you then assign the legal right to Colibra to make the full claim. The advantage is that whether Colibra is successful or not in getting the compensation to them (often, if delays are just an hour or two, there is no cash compensation), you’re guaranteed to get your share of the pot.

The funds for this come from those who have been delayed for over three hours and get compensation via EU rules but take a lower share of their cut from Colibra’s claim, leaving money in the pot for those with shorter delays. There is also a flight booking feature called “Fly Now, Pay If Okay”, which allows you to book flights and pay after flying – thus, if there is a delay of three hours or more, you don’t pay anything. You can read more about how this works on their website. Let’s see if they become one of the best flight booking apps as they expand this feature.
Download App

Priority Pass

Frequent flyers who don’t usually fly premium or own a credit card that comes with the benefit of lounge access may want to consider signing up for Priority Pass.

Offering membership to more than 1000 lounges in some 140-plus countries, this travel app, in connection with the Priority Pass Airport Lounge program, allows you and potentially a guest to enjoy all the amenities of a lounge; this usually includes both pre-flight and layovers. There are a few different pricing models, including a lower option with paid entrance to the lounges and a mid-range membership, which allows for ten free lounge visits. Of course, this means if you’re only flying a couple of times a year, it’s most likely not worth it.
Sign up here and download the app

Glenfinnan Scotland
Scenic train journeys and bus rides

Best apps for booking travel by train, bus, ferry or car share

These are some of the best apps for travel planning in Europe; especially helpful if you’re considering an overland trip across the continent to seek out some of Europe’s hidden gems.

Rome 2 Rio (free travel app)

This website really is a leader in finding the best way to travel within or between countries. For example, I didn’t think getting a reliable bus timetable in Sri Lanka was possible until I fired up this trusty app. But where it really excels is when it comes to working out more complicated journeys, especially those that cross borders.

Simply type in your start and end point, and you’ll get a whole list of overland/water/air routes for your trip, often ones that other similar booking sites don’t bring up. The reason for this is that Rome2Rio was created to be a useful resource rather than to make affiliate income (the commission websites make by selling something), and therefore formed one of the most impressive databases of transport options in the world; it even often helps me where Google Maps fails. That said, they have recently started shifting into selling more tickets (also handy), but it seems they still show every option they know. With heaps of helpful info, such as approximate prices, distances, route numbers, and which operators to book with, it’s honestly the travel app I use most, and I can not praise these heroes enough for making multi-country travel so much easier to plan.
Download on iPhone | Android

Omio (free travel app)

Omio is one of the best travel apps for planning your travels around Europe, allowing you to book and manage various transport and accommodation options in one interface. They proudly boast of an extensive collection of bookable bus and train options that some other aggregator websites and apps miss.

That said, they don’t cover all operators in every country. So, while this is a handy app for researching, planning and keeping your bookings together, it’s always worth checking local operators too. Often, smaller local players don’t have an integration with travel apps (or don’t want to pay them a commission for taking reservations), so you might need to hunt them out and book directly.
Download App

Eurail / Interrail (free travel app)

The Eurail app is a godsend for planning train travel across Europe, as it covers more than 30 countries. While it’s actually designed for Interrail/Eurail pass holders, anyone can access and utilise the planning feature for free. Their travel app particularly stands out when it comes to planning multi-country train trips, often showing far more choices in connections than the other applications and websites I’ve detailed in this section.

For example, I just searched for Lisbon to Paris, and the Eurail planner highlighted all the train connections across Portugal, Spain and France I would need to take. Omio, on the other hand, tells me this journey isn’t possible by train as it sometimes struggles with cross-border rail searches.

While you don’t need to have purchased a pass to use the app, it’s well worth considering buying one if you plan to do a lot of rail travel on the continent over a month or two. If you live in Europe, you should look into the Interrail Pass, while non-European residents will need to learn how to use the Eurail Pass to be sure they get their money’s worth. Either way, their travel app is a great tool to have on your phone, especially as it even works offline.
Download iPhone | Download Android

Rail Europe (free travel app)

Acting as an official agent for many of the leading train operators in Europe, Rail Europe is something of a one-stop shop for searching for and booking train travel on the continent and unlike the Eurail app, you don’t need a pass to book your tickets with these guys — hence my inclusion here.

However, not all countries are signed up. For example, in Portugal, you would still need to book with the local CP rail service directly, although much of central and western Europe is covered.
Download the Rail Europe App

Travel across Spain by train
Plan your train travels from the palm of your hand

12Go (free travel app)

While many of my recommendations here are particularly geared up for planning travels around Europe, one of the best websites for researching and booking flights, ferries, buses and trains in Asia is 12GO. They cover a large range of countries, operators and transport options, and you can even book taxis in some countries too. That said, the Android version of their travel app seems to be much better quality than the iPhone version (which is unsurprising given Android holds more than 70% of the market share on the continent), meaning IOS users may find the website more helpful than the app.
Download iPhone | Android

FlixBus (free travel app)

FlixBus (and now FlixTrain in Germany) has quickly grown to be one of the biggest inter-country bus operators in Europe. I remember when it first launched, and you’d be on a random local bus that sold tickets through the platform. Nowadays, the majority of the bus routes are operated by the official, modern, and green FlixBuses, although some remain franchises.

While Flix certainly isn’t a luxury option – what is on an 18-hour night bus? – They are fairly reliable and affordable, have toilets, and usually have wifi and plug sockets. Mainly operating in Europe, they also offer limited services in the USA with plans to expand into other markets in 2024.
Download App

BlaBlaCar (free travel app)

BlaBlarCar might not appeal to everyone due to safety concerns, but it’s one of the most helpful travel apps for travellers like myself who can’t drive and are reliant on public transport. Sometimes, it’s hard to reach certain places, or you have restricted bus options, and that is where this app can be a life saviour. Think of it as a mix of Uber with normal people driving and pre-planned hitchhiking — it’s essentially a carpooling app which helps drivers split the cost of fuel. If you’re doing a big road trip and are looking to split some costs and share some company, you might even want to add your own trips to the app as a driver rather than a rider.

On the travel app’s simple interface, you search where you are going to and from, like on any other ride-share app, and it will show you any drivers doing the same route on the date you’ve searched for. If you find a good match, you can book a seat in their car and join them on a ride. The price usually is based on sharing the gas. Not only does this help you get from A to B, but it also helps you make new travel friends. I’ve mainly used this in Portugal and Spain, but they cover 22 different countries across Europe & Latin America. Recently, they have started offering bus services in France.
Download on iPhone | Android

Best travel apps for accommodation

These are some of the best apps for finding alternative accommodation ideas, hotels, hostels or even free hosts. Just remember, you can often get a better deal directly from a hotel or hostel if you email them directly. This way, they won’t need to pay a commission to the OTA (Online Travel Agency) and can often pass that saving on to you. I haven’t recommended Airbnb here because I’ve seen first-hand how it sucked the life out of Lisbon, but there are a few more sustainable and community-concerned websites that I do love, Faribnb and Ecobnb; however, as of 2024, they still haven’t launched dedicated apps.

Couchsurfing

Sadly, Couchsurfing is no longer as useful as it once was, which has led to plenty of alternative hosting sites cropping up, such as the free-to-use BeWelcome and women-only Travel Ladies app. However, in terms of membership numbers, Couchsurfing still seems to lead the way — even if it now costs a few dollars a month. There are a lot of complaints from long-term members about how the ethos of the company was destroyed after it went from community-owned to private, yet it still remains one of my favourite resources for both finding cool hangouts and traveller-focused events in new destinations, as well as offering to host, or finding a place to stay while on the road.

That said, the actual travel app isn’t the best (the website is easier to navigate), but it’s still worth having if you’re a member to use the ‘hangout’ and ‘local event’ features. Even though the app was born as a place to offer, or seek, a sofa/bed/room to crash for a night or two, even those who aren’t keen on staying with strangers will find good connections. While the payment model introduced has reduced the number of people active on the platform throughout 2023, I still made plenty of connections in person via the travel app, but mainly in larger cities.
Download App

CozyCozy (free travel app)

One of the most interesting and newest accommodation search engines that has cropped up in recent years is CozyCozy, which has both a travel app and a website. I particularly like that it searches not just hotel booking websites but also the likes of Airbnb and VRBO, so you don’t need to run different searches on different platforms to find the best listings or the lowest prices. The filtering for the searches is also quite interesting and helpful. For example, you can look for camping or select the ‘Unusual Places‘ tab, which is always interesting for finding a different kind of stay. Think of unique stays such as hiring a houseboat in a marina to call a temporary home, treehouses, or mountain chalets.

The additional filters are also convenient, whether it be free cancellation or accessibility filters, which means not only do you need to search only one website, but you also don’t need to click into individual stays to check they meet your criteria. While CozyCozy only searched in around 40 destinations when it launched, it’s now expanded, with plenty more countries added heading into 2024.
Download on iPhone | Android

Bali Hotel Guide
Finding the best stays in Bali

Booking.com (free travel app)

I used to be a big hotels.com fan due to the book ten nights and get one free, but their app sucks. It’s slow to load, you need great wifi, and I’ve realised that the reward nights for booking ten and then getting an allowance for a free night means the costs are more than rivals. As such, I’ve returned to using booking.com as my go-to travel app for hotel stays. Yes, I know it’s not the best business model for the industry, and often you can get better rates if you email a hotel directly (Booking usually requires that the best ‘public-facing’ price is on their website, something I talk about more in this article on finding luxury travel deals), but for ease of use and range of accommodation offered, it’s unrivalled.

Two other reasons that Booking is such a catch-all is they now have heaps of Hostel listings (hence why I no longer feel the need to recommend Hostel World) and even plenty of apartment stays, many of which are better value than those I see on Airbnb, particularly because cleaning and platform fees are nearly always included in the final quote.

Booking’s travel app also often has ‘Mobile Only’ pricing, meaning stays can be cheaper on the app than on the website, and after you have booked a certain number of nights, you’ll get access to ‘genius benefits’ such as additional discounts, late checkouts, in-hotel extras and quicker customer service. Having had a few problems in the past — such as hotels not existing or no one available for check-in — I’ve personally always had excellent service in resolving the issue with the support chat, and often an upgrade apology elsewhere at no extra cost.
Download App

The Alhambra of Granada is well worth the provincial detour
Some tickets, such as The Alhambra in Granada, you really must buy in advance

Best travel apps for tours and tickets

In many destinations, booking tickets for attractions directly is best. However, sometimes you want to book in advance or arrange a tour in a rush, and in those cases, these tour and ticket apps will come in handy.

Get Your Guide (free travel app)

Offering tickets to attractions around the world and a huge range of tours and attractions on their website, Get Your Guide also now has a handy app where you can make use of those tickets without the need to print anything — and I genuinely believe it’s better than competitors like Viator, though recently I have also started to use Tiqets for some museums that were better deals than GYG. I first started using this when I went to Milan to skip the lines for the Duomo rooftop, and if you have ever spent ages waiting to get into a big-ticket attraction, you’ll know how handy those fast-track tickets can be.

Likewise, when you’re planning a trip, it’s a good place to get some inspiration and see what activities are around. Recently, I was looking at stuff to do near home in Portugal and only found out about mountain Quad Bike tours from the app — so it can be a handy research tool too. New users of the app get a host of discounts and exclusives, such as discounts on luggage storage and partner bookings.
Download App

TourRadar (free travel app)

TourRadar is another tour booking app, but it covers lots of big operators, such as G Adventures and Intrepid, alongside small local companies. This makes it a great search engine and one of the best travel apps for finding and booking multi-day tours, as they all appear in one place. While GYG is going to be helpful while travelling in general, the TourRadar app is a great resource for finding and booking a group or private tour before arrival.
Download App

Scottish mountains and lake
Wild camping amongst the nature of Scotland

Best travel apps for maps, road trips, camping and hiking

These are some of the best apps for travelling overland, whether you’re in an RV, hiking, camping, or just looking for the best way to get from A to B.

Roadtrippers

For those who are planning an epic road trip across the USA, this travel app is a great starting point. You can punch in up to 100 stops when planning your route, and the app provides interesting suggestions for other places to pause on the way. Additionally, it allows you to collaborate with friends to pull plans together; it’s a super helpful pre-trip tool. Then, while on the road, the app provides live traffic updates, ensuring you don’t wast valuable vacation time.
Download App

Google Maps (free travel app)

I’m not gonna lie: I find the recent November 2023 update to Google Maps frustrating. There seems to be more clicking and a more complicated interface than before. However, it’s still an absolute must for me when travelling, mainly because of the vast database of reviews, photos and public transport options — especially in destinations where it’s linked with public transport GPS to show you bus or train locations — that it provides. I also appreciate that when I’m travelling somewhere without a data connection, I can select which parts of the map to download to my phone to use offline. It’s a staple for me; I just hope in 2024, they revert back from this slightly more clunky interface.
Download on iPhone | Android

Maps.Me (free travel app)

Sometimes, Maps.Me is the superior choice, and this can be especially true in more offbeat destinations. I was especially impressed at how much more helpful this travel app was compared to the big players when I visited Oman and Tajikistan.

The maps are downloadable, so you can be offline and still use them anywhere, but the best thing is they are powered by OpenStreetMap, which is open-source, so anyone can update details and add new openings and finds. Often, people also had helpful points for trails and viewpoints. This community aspect (rather than Google’s more curated, business-centric approach) ensures that not only is this one of the best travel apps for navigating more remote destinations, but it can often be the most helpful on certain types of trips.
Download on iPhone | Android

All Trails

While nothing can usually beat a local walking guide’s knowledge, the All Trails app comes pretty close. Hosting a huge database of official — and not-so-official — walking routes, reviews and crowd-sourced paths, this travel app can really help you explore more of a destination on foot or by bike. The free version is okay, but for those often hiking in new destinations, the paid additions may be handy. Go Janutly is another excellent app to have if you’re looking for local walking trails and routes.
Download App

What3Words (free travel app)

This is a unique map that gives a three-word name to every spot in the world. If you are travelling to more remote places where street names aren’t a thing or streets don’t exist, this can help you to get there. Likewise, in case of an emergency, it can be used to give a very precise location to emergency services. When I first listed this travel app here a few years back, it was very niche, but now, as we enter 2024, even delivery companies and guidebooks are using it.
Download on iPhone | Android

Best app for travel itinerary management: TripIt (free travel app)

TripIt is a super handy piece of kit that will even auto-scan your emails and compile all your travel plans into one place. If you are a frequent traveller, this can become a super handy PA in your pocket.

The free version is still one of the best travel apps for most average people planning a trip, but if you are often on the road, the business upgrade will make things much more streamlined, compiling all of your plans into one place.
Download on iPhone | Android

Dan is sat in a red coat to the left, with the clear blue waters in various hues beyond him. A group of rockhopped penguins are dotted on the rocks to the right.
Some destinations just need a little more planning

Best travel apps for documenting (and inspiring) your trip

Beyond the normal suspects, such as TikTok, Instagram, or even starting your own blog, there are a few travel app newcomers for documenting and keeping track of your travel.

Framey (free travel app)

So, if you have become as fed up with Instagram as I have, then you might be seeking a photo-focused app to document your travels and inspire your future trips, and Framey does exactly that. No more endlessly scrolling through random reels; Framey’s feed is the perfect place to share your photos with specific locations and find inspiration from your friends or travel ambassadors/creators. The search function also works great, so you can scan your next travel destination and find quick, bite-sized information underneath fantastic visuals or scroll through ‘collections’, bringing together everything in one place.

While on the road, it’s also a helpful travel app to find your way to key sights and great photo points around your location, thanks to the inbuilt map feature, which pins photos on an easy-to-use road map. Both during and before your trip, you can easily save your favourite finds to your own collections so you don’t miss or forget that perfect spot.
Download on iPhone | Android 

Visited App (free travel app)

Simple and easy to use, VisitedApp is one of the best travel apps for country counters to keep track of everywhere they have been. Simply add in your visited destinations, and you can see them both on a list view or a highlighted map. The inspiration section, which works a little like Tinder where you swipe left or right depending on if you want to add it to your ‘wishlist’ is a nice feature as it doesn’t just focus on countries as a whole but also cities, national parks, and regions — with nice photos for inspiration — so you can use it both for documenting where you have been but also where you still want to go.

There are also specific categories for various types of travel, such as Art Museums and Wonders of the World, so you can keep adding to your lists of places you have visited and want to visit. The paid pro version allows you to record the places you have visited in even more detail, such as specific cities or regions.
Download on iPhone | Android

Crossing the border between Lithuania and Latvia on the Baltic Coastal Trail
On a backpacking trip, luggage storage is always welcome!

Best apps for backpackers and solo travel

These are some of the more useful travel apps if you’re travelling solo or as a backpacker.

Radical Storage (free travel app)

One of the biggest hassles when backpacking is finding a place to stash the bags, especially if you’re not able to check in early or are just stopping somewhere for the day before taking the bus or train. Radical Storage is one of many new handy travel apps (others include Luggage Hero and Bounce) that will help you find a pre-booked place to store your bag if the local bus or train station does not have an option. Usually, the fees are pretty decent, and both times I’ve used it, I’ve had no problems, although sometimes the storage options can be a little obscure, and the exact location isn’t always displayed until after booking.
Download App

Travello (free travel app)

Travello has made some significant inroads in the travel world over the past few years and has even been named one of the top apps by the Apple store — it’s come a long way since I first met the founders back in 2016. Still, this will mostly come in handy if you’re travelling in Australia and, to a lesser extent, New Zealand and Asia.

But what is it? Well, think Tinder, but for travellers. With a well-developed interface, this travel app will help you find other travellers with similar interests who are already in or heading to the same areas. You can also search the noticeboard for your upcoming plans and arrange shares/swaps in advance. Recently, they have expanded into selling tours and travel experiences through partners, so you can also book activities directly in the app too, and discounts are applied depending on how many ‘points’ you’ve earned through activity within the app community.
Download on iPhone | Android

Meetup (free travel app)

Meetup is great whether you’re travelling or not; I’ve used it to attend events in my home city before. It will help you connect with fellow travellers nearby to attend group events and activities, which can be searched and filtered by interests. If you’re travelling and seeking new connections and people to share experiences with — but don’t want to get Couchsurfing — this is a useful app to have on your phone while travelling.
Download App

Dan using a mobile phone to take a photo in Brussels
Most modern phones can accept an eSIM, but be sure to check your device

Top travel apps for staying connected

VPN, eSIM, internet-only mobile numbers — the web has provided a whole new world of ways to stay connected while travelling, and these are some of the most handy travel apps to ensure you don’t get lumped with a hefty data roaming bill.

HolaFly eSim

An eSim is a virtual sim card and provides an alternative to having to buy a new sim card at each destination. There are many benefits to this, such as speed, ease and forward planning, although the costs can sometimes be more than buying a local card. I’ve written a detailed guide to the pros and cons in this eSim for Europe guide. However, HolaFly is my go-to choice, especially since they have started offering some unlimited data packages in certain destinations.
Get a 5% discount with my code: DANFLYINGSOLO when you sign up, then Download the App

ExpressVPN

A VPN is handy for security, but in some places, like when I went on a tour through China, it is essential to keep you connected to all your favourite apps that may be blocked in other countries. I would love to recommend an underdog here, but ExpressVPN is the best and most consistent I have used, so they are the winner. A free alternative is Windscribe, which I’ve found useful in many situations, though sometimes it’s unreliable and doesn’t always work.
Enjoy a free trial of ExpressVPN via their website

WhatsApp (free travel app)

I feel like everyone should know and use WhatsApp, but I’ve discovered that plenty of folks in the USA still don’t rate it — though perhaps that’s changing since Meta brought it into the Facebook family.

An end-to-end encrypted communication app, it provides all the benefits of iPhone devices, such as calls, video chat, and messaging over data, but it is open to Android users as well. But the reason this is one of the most helpful travel apps is that in many regions (particularly in some Asian countries), nearly everything is organised through WhatsApp. From booking guest house stays in Indonesia to arranging tour guides in Kazakhstan, without this app, I’d have missed out on a lot of local experiences you won’t find on the big travel aggregators.
Download on iPhone | Android

Rebtel

I haven’t personally used Rebtel, but a good friend in the USA recommended I include it in this article as it offers cheap international calls (via actual phone numbers, so it is a good alternative to internet calling) without always needing an internet connection. Thus, it’s a handy app to have if you’re going to be travelling and need a way to call physical numbers rather than communicating through WhatsApp.
Signup is required to download the app

cooking the nopales in mexico city
Learning language basics always helps

Best apps for language translation and learning

These are some of the best language learning apps to master some basics before arriving at a new destination. Of course, these are quite generic, so if you want to take a deeper dive into a specific language, such as learning Spanish online, you’ll likely want a more in-depth course. 

Duolingo (free travel app)

I spent all of 2022 using Duolingo Plus (the paid version of the app) and covered the first half of the Spanish course and all the (Brazilian) Portuguese courses. For me, the adverts in the free version are now really annoying, and I didn’t love the recent redesign; however, as far as free language travel apps go, Duolingo remains one of the best if you have a little patience.

I like the fact it is more like a course in the palm of your hand than a list of jumbled words. It uses repetition and reviewing to make sure you have grasped it and mixes audio learning with visual prompts. You aren’t going to become fluent here, but you will have more than enough to get by. They also have a relatively wide range of languages, although some courses, such as French and Spanish, are more in-depth than others.
Download on iPhone | Android

Drops

I seem to go through phases with different language apps, dropping in and out when travelling, but now, having moved to Portugal, I’m using language apps not just for a short trip but to support myself in learning a brand new language, Portuguese.

Drops is a relatively new language app, and my favourite thing about it is the different mediums it uses to support learning words. You get both written and audio words, but also visual graphics to help support the learning. You also have complete control over the phrases that you go through this process with, so if you are already confident with certain words, you can tick them off, and they won’t show up in the lesson format. Another thing I love about Drops is their commitment to lesser-known languages and preserving traditional and regional dialects, such as Samoan and Ainu.
Download on iPhone | Android

Google Translate (free travel app)

Okay, so it might not be teaching you a language, but it is undoubtedly one of the absolute BEST travel apps that you absolutely must have on your phone. Be sure not just to download the app itself before your trip but also to download the language of the country you’re visiting. Then, the translations will continue to work offline. But it gets even better, as you don’t actually have to type; pointing the camera at a menu or an info board at a translation will near-instantly give you the image back in your own language. The app will even work with voice translations, and I can’t tell you how happy it has made me to be able to talk to locals on night trains in Uzbekistan or hold a basic conversation while hitchhiking in Georgia. Honestly, it’s the best thing Google has ever created.
Download on iPhone | Android

Chinese language app
A VPN in China was essential

Best travel apps for money management

These are some of the best travel apps for money management, whether it’s splitting bills, sending transfers, or working out the exchange rate.  

Splitwise

This super handy and simple travel app will help you keep track of costs on a group trip. I’ve used this on a few of my non-solo travels now, and it’s as easy as tapping in the costs as you go along, so you can easily divide and balance who owes who what at the end of the trip. It is much easier than manually keeping tabs on different people’s payments, and it takes the stress out of talking about money when you just want to make the most of being on the road.
Download App

Wise (formerly TransferWise)

A complete game-changer in sending money abroad, the (Transfer)Wise app works uniquely. Rather than physically sending your cash overseas, they have bank accounts in multiple countries, which reduces conversion costs. Say you want to send money from Germany to the UK; you add the money into their German account, and someone else’s money, which is being held in the UK account, goes to yours. Given how low the fees are and the savings you can make when withdrawing cash from certain ATMs, it’s an excellent travel app to have. Another solid alternative is Revolut, which is particularly good if you want to set up a joint account with someone while travelling.
Download App

XE Currency Exchange (free travel app)

This is a great and lightweight travel app to keep track of various currencies in your pocket in real time; it also works offline as long as you have updated your rates before leaving the internet connection. XE also has a new premium feature which will alert you when a rate hits the target you have set — handy if you want to withdraw or convert a big amount.
Download on iPhone | Android

Star Gazing moments from my balcony
Use an app to plan star gazing

Best travel apps to improve your trip and experience

These are some of the best apps for travel which will enhance your experience. From stargazing and pollen counts to tracking the time of the month, these are some nice additions to make for a better travel experience.

Too Good To Go

This isn’t so much a travel app, but it is amazing, both for travellers and also in day-to-day life. To combat food waste, it offers businesses the chance to sell their products that may be going out of date or the day’s leftovers at a heavily discounted price to minimise food waste. Not only are you getting some great food at great prices, but you are also helping the environment. For those seeking sustainable travel tips, this could be helpful in a few ways.

Say you are staying in self-catering accommodation; you could order a ‘magic bag’ of discounted fruit and vegetables to help you cook and collect them at the end of the day. Or, perhaps you fancy a hotel-style buffer breakfast but aren’t staying in a hotel? Then you can look for hotels nearby, and often, there is something to collect around 11 am. When I lived in Granada, I would often do this to get a cheap carry-out brunch. You’ll also find restaurants on the app, so if you don’t mind eating later than usual, you can often find delicious meals that are going spare for a fraction of the price of a takeaway. Sadly, the app mainly works in European countries, Canada and the USA.
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Weather Bug

While nearly all smartphones come with basic weather apps, Weather Bug takes it to a whole other level. Whether you suffer from hay fever and want to know the pollen count or need to keep track of lighting and storm warnings, this is a one-stop-shop for all things weather. There’s a whole host of different map options, 18-day forecasting and plenty more nifty additional features, and given how much the weather can impact your trip, it’s a handy travel app to have on hand.
Download on iPhone | Android

Flo (free travel app)

Trying to make this list as broad as possible, my dear friend Vicky suggested this travel app, which is especially useful for long-term travellers. In her words: “It monitors when your period is and sends you alerts so you can plan it with travel. It’s SO useful when you’re on the go and don’t know what day it is”.
Download on iPhone | Android

SkyView (free travel app)

I started digging this app when I got into night photography, but it’s a staple for anyone who has an obsession with the stars. Simply point it at the sky, and it will tell you which constellations are in the viewfinder. If you want to start photographing the Milky Way, this is a great travel app to get on your phone.
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28 replies
  1. Emma says:

    Being techy types as well as keen travellers here are a few different apps that my husband and I like to use:

    * TripMapper: great for building our travel itineraries and keeping track of our budget. It also has interactive ‘inspiration’ itineraries you can download and customise which is super helpful.

    * Dataman: to keep on top of our data. Our plans give us roaming, but it’s less than our typical monthly amount, so we just set the data cap to our roaming limit when we’re away.

    * Surfshark: we got an excellent deal on a multi-year plan. It has been pretty good, and the unlimited device feature works really well for us as we have too many internet-connected devices.

    * Flighty: for checking the status of our flights. It’s a beautifully designed app, too.

  2. RailRecipe says:

    Nice piece of information specially for those who wants to explore the world by him/her self. I also used to travel and looking for advice which is handy while traveling. Usually, I have few pre-installed apps which are enough for me like Google Maps is the only maps who acts as travel explorer for me in every way like tourist places I need to go, nearby hotels I need to stay, restaurants etc.

  3. Alex Watson says:

    How come Xnspy didn’t make the list? It is such a cool app and its GPS location tracking and geofencing works in real-time. If you are traveling with kids and plan to split up and explore, you must get this app. You won’t regret it.

  4. christoper lee says:

    Like your list. Its got some of usual suspects, but the apps for handicapped plus meeting locals are great gems.

    I’ve just come across this neat mobile app: potty poche. It highlights visiting the south of France: Languedoc and Provence, with the unique added feature of a public toilet locator for the places to visit; a necessity for France. And it identifies those that are handicap accessible plus has five language versions.

    The app categorizes seaside towns, historic Cathar sites, beautiful and perched villages, famous french village movie venues, as well as practical guides to the lavender fields, favorite market towns, and places associated with famous painters.

    I found the app on Apple and Google play stores

  5. Dubrovnik island boat trips says:

    superb! I really wanted to know about which apps are the best for travel. Its really helpful and informative. Thank you sharing this post. I’ll share with my friends too. I love this blog and really happy to come across this exceptionally well written content.

  6. Sagar Trivedi says:

    Very descriptive article it is…!! I usually use the google translate app for travel purposes. It is the best app from the above list. Thank you for the best suggestion I will try other apps also.

  7. petter says:

    There are so many programs do download. I think it would be nice, if someone will made one platform for using all of these benefits on an app. I don’t have all of them, I use usually Airbnb, Skyscanner, Google maps or Maps.me and NordVPN Teams for mobile security. Till now it’s enough for my trips, maybe in the future I will need more, who knows!

  8. Rahul Rema says:

    I have found your article very informative and interesting. I appreciate your points of view and I agree with so many. You’ve done a great job with making this clear enough for anyone to understand.

  9. Zhou Wang says:

    I am a big fan of Airbnb, and I think the good thing is I can go anywhere with my Chinese card. That’s the main reason for me to choose that App. I think your article is really useful for traveler. Thanks!

  10. Asha says:

    Nice list! One app which I use a lot is Leap. I heard about it from a movie on a German couple traveling the world. They basically used it to find out how much money they will need for their world travel depending on the countries where they want to go. I got inspired by them to travel the world so I have started using the app as well. It has a financial planner so I hope I will have my savings ready soon :-)

  11. Kierstyn says:

    Wow! I really enjoyed reading this post a lot because whenever I travel in a different country I tend to get lost. A couple summers ago, I went abroad to Spain and got lost many times! One of the apps I saw on this list was Google Translate, which I totally used all the time when I lived with my host mom. WhatsApp was another one I used all the time and I would agree it is very important when you are in another country. One of the favorite apps I read about on this post is Weather Bug because it seems very useful. A lot of the time my usual weather app was not accurate so this app would definitely be beneficial. I liked how you split up each up by using numbers to differentiate each app. It made it very easy to read!

  12. Joseph Ivy says:

    i m still amazed why Make My Trip is not included in the list. No doubt that the apps which you mentioned above are great but we cant ignore make my trip too.

  13. Simona says:

    Great list. But what about Sygic Travel? It has offline maps and virtual reality videos… I am missing it here. I can activate you a Premium licence Daniel, if you want. Let me know. :)

  14. Point Gadget says:

    Each country have their own favorite travel App. I prefer to use Tripoto while travel and it gives me good ideas about various places and things to do ! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful list !

  15. Caitlin says:

    This is a great post! Apps are so useful for every day life, but for travelling they can really make the experience much smoother and cheaper. Apps like skyscanner are a must for going around the world on a budget and making your travelling hassle free!

  16. Mike Lee says:

    Awesome list. I have been hearing only good things about Skyscanner and Rome2Rio looks
    like heaven sent with all the local transport timings around the world. Herepin seems like a
    nice startup as it might make it easier to connect with fellow travelers rather than posting
    on Social Media and asking “who’s around”. A very useful list, thanks.

  17. MidgesAbound says:

    Thanks for the great list, these are super handy – didn’t know about half of these.
    Another app I’d really recommend is Postsnap (https://www.postsnap.com), it’s a postcard sending app that’s perfect for sending travelling snaps back home when you’re abroad. Great to be able to use your own photos and write a personal message.

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