In today’s tech-savvy world, travel apps are an indispensable component of most travelers’ essential tools. A well thought out travel app can save the day, keep that trip running smoothly, and help find just the right restaurant, activity or hotel room on the go. Like many travelers, I too consider travel apps an essential component of my own bag of traveler’s tools.
Here are 15 travel apps I have on my own mobile device. I consider each of these apps essential, and won’t leave home without the most recent updated version. Each one offers a free version, and several include a more feature packed paid version. Without exception, I use the free version, and find them plenty sufficient for my travel needs.
Keep your travel logistics in order with TripIt. This easy to use trip planning powerhouse stores and organizes vital trip details, including flight information, hotel and car rental confirmations, pre-booked events and activities. Tripit also creates a customized, day-by-day travel itinerary based on the information you provide, provides maps and directions to your destinations, and even shares your plans with those who need to know!
Why I like TripIt: All my reservations and day-to-day details are available in one easy-to-access location, as are directions and maps to my destinations.
2. Gate Guru
Gate Guru helps ensure you arrive at the right gate for your flight. But Gate Guru is more than “just” a flight gate finder! It’s also a powerful airport resource guide designed to not only get you to your gate on time, but also keeps you informed while waiting for your flight to depart. Gate Guru provides additional information like flight and gate change notifications, airport maps, places to eat, and where the Wi-Fi signals are the best.
Why I like Gate Guru: I like to know where I’m going! And because gates change. Gate Guru’s gate change notifications have saved my flight on several occasions.
Need on-the-go travel booking advice? Trying to decide on which tour to book for tomorrow, or what restaurant to eat at tonight? TripAdvisor can help! The TripAdvisor database includes millions of reviews, advice, and opinions on practically everything related to travel to help you make the best possible decision for your travel needs.
Why I like TripAdvisor: On-the-go access to a plethora of travel reviews. The app is quite handy when searching for a tour service to book, or which restaurant to try in unfamiliar places.
4. Gas Buddy
Need gas? Then you need Gas Buddy! Gas Buddy will find the best gas price wherever the road takes you. With GasBuddy you can search real-time gas prices for where you are right now, or where you plan to be in 100 miles. Search gas prices by city, state, and zip code. Once your best fit gas option is identified, Gas Buddy can even navigate you right to the gas pump!
Why I like GasBuddy: Finding the nearest best-priced gas stations has never been so easy! I can plan ahead to ensure there will be a gas station for when my vehicle is running low.
5. Google Maps
Whether your travel plans take you into the city, or out exploring the country-side, Google Maps can point you in the right direction. Voice-enabled, turn-by-turn directions gets you where you need to be, whether traveling by four wheels, two wheels or on foot. Simply switch from navigation by vehicle to navigation by pedestrian and head on out!
Why I like GoogleMaps: It’s voice-enabled, turn-by-turn directions helps ensure I get to my intended destination, even when it’s just me in the car. No need to read the map!
Navigating in unfamiliar places? Don’t want to use up your cellular data? CityMaps2Go has the answer! CityMaps2Go provides off-line city guides and maps for destinations across the world, as well as recommending nearby spots while on the go. It gets you where you want to be, without leaving you mapless due to lack of connectivity.
Why I like CityMaps2Go: Its free version lets me save up to five location guides. Its off-line map feature ensure I don’t eat up all my cellular data.
Navigating the open highway? Driving through an unfamiliar town? Want advance notice of traffic jams up ahead? Then you need WAZE! With WAZE, you’ll receive alerts before you hit that miles-long traffic jam, drive past a nearly hidden police speed trap, or encounter a road blocking hazard. WAZE’s real-time updates keeps you on top of potential road delays and incidences you need to know about to keep that drive moving in the right direction.
Why I like WAZE: I like to keep on top of the local traffic situations. And I hate getting stuck in traffic jams and speeding tickets!
8. Uber & Lyft
Need a ride tonight? No taxi in sight? Call Uber! Call Lyft! Whether you prefer Uber, Lyft, or both, having a car booking service app for on the go travel needs is a must! Book an affordable ride for when you need it, and where you want it, without the hassles of frantically waving your arms up and down in the street to catch a taxi’s attention.
9. Key Ring
Is your wallet loaded down with loyalty and club cards? Dump the excess weight and use Key Ring instead! Key Ring digitally stores club, loyalty, and other reward program cards on your mobile device, eliminating the need to drag along the plastic. Never leave home again without all your loyalty and club cards!
Why I like Key Ring: Easy access to my loyalty and club cards without the weight. And if I do need to go shopping while on vacation, I’ll still have access to store coupons.
10. Google Translate
Do your travel plans include a foreign country where you don’t speak the language? Google Translate may be your best friend! The app helps you understand and communicate in over 100 languages so you don’t miss a beat. The photo-enabled text translation feature ensures that restaurant menus and road signs can be interpreted!
Why I Like Google Translate: The ability to communicate where I don’t speak the language. The camera translation feature helps make sure I’m ordering food I like!
11. XE Currency
Traveling outside your home country? Foreign currency involved? Then you need XE Currency! Easily calculate currency conversion rates on the go so you’ll know whether or not that souvenir is a good deal, or a major rip off! Currency is base on most recent conversion rates.
Why I like XE Currency: It’s easy to use, no more miscalculations in my head!
12. U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler
If you are an American citizen traveling abroad, then Smart Traveler is a must-have! In today’s tumultuous world, it’s a good idea to keep on top of where unwanted action is, and to know where to turn in an emergency situation. Smart Traveler keeps you up-to-date on travel alerts and warnings, as well as where the nearest embassies are.
Why I like Smart Traveler: Having traveled internationally during recent world events, I want to be in the know if something is going on where I’m at, or where I’m heading!
13. Your Favorite Weather App
Be prepared for all kinds of weather before you head out the door! Weather apps are an essential travel tool for both before and during your travels. Because, well, weather changes, and you don’t want to get caught out in the rain without the right gear!
What I use: The Weather Channel. I like to be prepared for the day’s weather possibilities.
14. Your Preferred Airline App
Do your travel plans include air travel? Then don’t leave home without your airline’s app loaded onto your mobile devices! Your airline app is essential for all your flight details, from boarding passes to departure and arrival gates, gate changes, flight cancellations, and flight re-bookings. Set alerts before you fly to receive last minute flight changes.
Why you want your airline’s app: Because gates changes, flight delays and cancellations happen. Your airline app can save the day!
15. Your Preferred Hotel App
Whether you want to book a room on the fly, check in from the road, or let your hotel know your arrival time has changed, having your favorite hotel apps easily accessible is just so convenient! Most also include mapping links to help you navigate to the hotel.
Why you want your hotel app: Because travel plans change, and having your reservation easily accessible helps smooth the check in process.
What Are Your Essential Travel Apps?
These 15 apps are the foundation of my own essential travel apps whether I am traveling by airplane, train or car, and whether my travels take me across the United States, or across the world. What are your essential travel apps? What travel apps would you not leave home without? Do share!
Read more about my other travel essentials posts at:
- 11 Essential Travel Documents You Shouldn’t Leave Home Without
- 6 Digital Ways to Keep Essential Travel Documents Safe, Secure & Handy