27 Best Travel Apps Every Traveler Should Have

27 Travel Apps You Need to Download

Technology has made traveling easier in so many ways! From being able to buy your tickets online instead of having to go to the ticket counter, to having the ability to do almost everything on a cell phone, travel has gotten much easier. So, to take it a step further, I am sharing 27 travel apps that will help you save on flights, get through customs, find hotels, and just make the process of traveling better.

As a full-time travel writer and content creator, I have learned a thing or two since quitting my corporate job in 2018 to travel!

Torrey pines beach is perfect for a weekend in San Diego. Looking down from the cliff at the ocean

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Flush – Great Travel App for Frequent Restroom Users

One of the coolest travel apps I’ve just recently learned about is Flush. This app allows you to find toilets just about anywhere. This app knows the location of over 100,000 public toilets that can be located all around the world. Not only that, but Flush also has a feature where you can see which toilets have disabled access, which toilets will charge you to use, and which toilets require a key to get in.

Arguably, the best thing about this app is that you can search for bathrooms without needing Wi-Fi or any type of Internet connection, so even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, you can still find a toilet close by. While this app is so useful within itself for solo travelers or couples, it is the perfect tool when traveling with children! Because when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go!

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Google Maps

Whether you have cellphone service or not, Google Maps is an essential app to have on your cellphone. If you plan on not having service, you can even download the offline map, which is a huge saver! Google Maps is popular for a reason. With written and spoken directions google maps make it simple to navigate to your location. One of the best features of Google Maps, in my opinion, is that you can choose the style of transport and it will provide you with the quickest route.

You can choose from walking, biking, driving, and getting public transport, all of which include estimates of how long it will take for you to arrive and exactly how to get there! Google Maps also updates the maps regularly, so it’s unlikely you’ll find a place that doesn’t exist on the maps or get lost!

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.

Death Valley in One Day Map with attractions
Courtesy of Google Maps

Waze

Some countries rely more heavily on Waze for navigation. This maps app will tell you the quickest route to your destination and allow you to add in the stops along the way. I think a great feature of this app is that you will get notifications of traffic alerts and road hazards. When these notifications come through you will be offered a new route that you can take to avoid getting stuck in traffic.

Also, speed limits and cameras will be shown while driving, which is largely beneficial in countries where you are not familiar with driving in. It is definitely another one of the travel apps you will want to have on your phone!

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.

City Mapper

City Mapper is an excellent app if you plan to use public transportation while getting around. Our host in Paris first recommended us to use City Mapper, and its been one of my favorite travel apps to use in cities. Cities can be extremely busy places and even harder to navigate and make your way around when it’s your first or second time visiting somewhere new.

Citymapper gives you clear simple directions to find your location in the city. It also gives you a variety of options for transport including walking, scootering, and cycling which are all popular modes of transport in large cities.

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Google Translate (Great for Non-Native Speaking Countries)

Google Translate is a must when traveling to a country where you don’t speak their language! Not only is this app extremely useful for speaking with staff but using this app can help you to create connections with the locals! The amazing thing about Google Translate is that you can convert almost any language to English and you can also convert English to any language with just a few clicks!

With an added audio option, you can speak the sentence you are trying to translate and play it back to people in a different language. This app breaks down language barriers making it so much easier to travel!

It also has the ability to convert website text into the language of the country you are in which can be especially helpful when looking at services websites or menus. This app is popular for a reason!

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Rome 2 Rio

Rome to Rio is a traveling app with a search engine that can access any city, town, landmark, or attraction from all around the world. It provides over 200,000 different routes that allow you to get from A to B. It has an accessible website with options like ‘Dublin to London’, ‘Barcelona to Paris’, and ‘Florence to Venice’ which makes using the app very simple to understand.

It also gives you the option to compare your transport methods. It has over 100,000 different train line routes, just under 100,000 bus routes, over 10,000 ferry routes, and 50,000 airplane routes. This is the perfect app to navigate quickly from one place to another.

This app is available on the Apple app store and Google Play store for free.


AllTrails

This free app is a travel necessity if you plan on doing any hiking. You would be surprised how often trails are not marked well. With over 200,000 trails, this travel app is a hiker‘s best friend. All Trials has many different options for the type of trail that you are looking for. Whether you are looking for dog-friendly, kid-friendly, or bike-friendly hikes this app really does have it all.

It also has the option to use your phone as a GPS tracker and navigate the route yourself so you’ll never get lost (hopefully!) A great safety feature of this app, which I love, is that you can share your location with your friends and family so you can go on these hikes knowing that your loved ones know exactly where you are.

This hiking app is available on the Apple app store and Google play store.

All Trails app screenshot travel apps
Courtesy of All Trails Screenshot

Skyscanner

Skyscanner has been one of my favorite travel apps for a very long time! This is because I am always looking for the best flight deal, and since I want to go just about everywhere, this app lets me search just that!

All you have to do is put it in your home airport and then choose everywhere. Skyscanner will then show you the cheapest flights. You choose specific dates you want to fly or even choose the cheapest month or whole month. The sky is literally the limit when it comes to Skyscanner helping you find great prices on flights!

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store. You can also use the Skyscanner website as well which I use often!


Hopper

Another one of the best travel apps to help you get the best deals when booking flights is Hopper. Once you have decided where you want to go, Hopper lets you know the best time to book your flight! Some of the key features of Hopper that I really enjoy is the ‘Fair Bear’ option which makes you aware of any hidden fees when booking. The algorithm within the app helps to provide you with flights and hotels that they think you will love.

Furthermore, Hopper will send you notifications which are (cute!) bunnies when there is a good deal on a place that you were hoping to visit! With all this included and 24/7 support from their customer service team, this app is up there being one of my favorites!

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.

Hopper for travel planning flights
Courtesy of Hopper – for planning flights

Uber

Uber is arguably one of the most popular ride travel apps in America and around the world, and rightly so. You can easily order a ride from your location to a new one with just a few, simple clicks.

The app is filled to the brim with useful features. It allows you to see how far away your Uber is from picking you up, down to the minute, you get to track the route that you are going while in the car and know the time that you will arrive at the location.

It also has a nice, safety feature where you can share your location, which is always something I like to look for when recommending apps.

Another benefit of using Uber is that you can make multiple stops along the way to pick up friends and family, which is cheaper than ordering two or three separate Ubers.

Uber also has a rating system where you can rate your experience with your driver, BUT they can rate their experience with you, so keep that in mind! The higher your star rating is the more likely you will be offered discounts!

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Uber Eats

Another great feature is being able to use Uber Eats. This is a great option for Solo travelers who might not feel comfortable walking alone at night or don’t have an easy mode of transportation. Not only can Uber Eats deliver food, but many times they can deliver groceries from participating restaurants and pharmacies.

Uber Eats Apple App store and Google Play store.


Grab

Planning on traveling around Southeast Asia? Then you will definitely want to download Grab! This is the equivalent of Uber and one of the cheapest and best ways to get around Southeast Asia. It’s described as Southeast Asia’s ‘super app’ which makes everyday life better. Not only does the app have a place for ordering taxis to take you to your desired location.

It also has an option included where you can have packages and groceries delivered straight to you, which is the perfect addition if you’re unsure of where the local shops are situated. A few other features that are readily valuable include, the ability to book amazing hotels, send gift cards and earn rewards to unlock benefits within the app!

Grab is also one of the safest options to use while in Southeast Asia because sometimes taxi drivers look to scam tourists and not run the taxi meter.

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Bolt (Europe Rideshare)

Another popular app for ridesharing in Europe is Bolt. You can find Bolt in Ireland, Paris, Italy, Portugal, and the rest of Europe. They work just like Uber and Grab. I personally like to use Uber when I can, but that is what I am used to.

The best piece of advice I can offer for any of the ridesharing apps is to make sure you download them before leaving home. Sometimes if you wait, you will have issues getting the app downloaded once abroad.


Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is a travel app that turns your road trip into an adventure. On this app, you can browse trip guides and plan the route of your next road trip. The Roadtrippers app is simple to use.

All you have to do is enter your current location and the place you want to go. Then Roadtrippers will provide you with the coolest locations along the way that you must visit.

The highlight of this app is that it usually picks places that are hidden gems that aren’t filled with tourists, so you can almost always go knowing that there won’t be large crowds.

If you’re looking for a specific stop along the way you can also choose from options of breakfast restaurants, coffee shops, or places to walk, which is massively helpful when planning a long car journey!

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Gasbuddy

With the rise in gas prices all around the world, this app is perfect if you’re choosing to hire a car for your next trip. This app compares thousands of different gas prices and provides you with a list of the cheapest anywhere that you go.

This app has helped to save $990 million when it comes to gas prices and I can only see this app becoming increasingly popular.

It is designed in a super simple way that allows you to filter your searches and also gives you directions to the nearest gas station. Another cool feature of this app is people leave reviews of the gas station, so you can always check the reviews before visiting to ensure the price of the fuel listed is correct and see how the service is.

This app is free to use and available on the Apple App store and the Google Play store.


Currency Converter

Currency converter. The clue is in the name. While this app is pretty self-explanatory, it makes converting between currencies simple and is the best app out of the hundreds of apps available that do the same thing.

With over 150 world countries included, this App is the perfect companion when traveling anywhere. The built-in calculator function aids in any type of transaction that you experience!

This conversion app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store 


Mobile Passport

Mobile Passport was the first app to be authorized by U.S customs and border protection. This app streamlines the process of customs at the most popular airports. This might be one of my biggest travel hacks to get through customs fast, and not too many people even know about it!

The way it works is by entering your flight/port information in the app. You can add family members as well. Then you submit your information once you land. The app will give you a bar code to show to the Customs agent.

Once you get to the Customs area, you won’t have to wait in the regular customs line but instead breeze through the Mobile Passport line. Sometimes it is combined with Global Entry. You just have to make sure your airport participates in the program!

This is one of the best travel apps to have if your airport participates!

The Mobile Pass app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


TripIt

TripIt is an all-around traveling app. This app is described as ‘the travel app that keeps up with you.’Traveling at times can be extremely busy and this app makes the process far easier. By just forwarding your travel plans to the app’s email address you have a detailed itinerary built for you in a matter of seconds, which is something I’ve never seen in another app.

This app also keeps up-to-date with your traveling plans and provides you with a ‘heads up for things that happen throughout your trip, which is always nice. It also sends little reminders to help you remember important details like when to leave for the airport and also provides you with destinations like hotels and restaurants that you should try that are nearby!

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Star Walk

Star Walk is slightly different from the other travel apps that I have previously spoken about but I still think it’s one worth mentioning. Star walk is an interactive guide that helps you to explore the night sky.

The app has details on over 200,00 celestial bodies and options to learn more about the things you are seeing in the sky, in real-time. This is amazing to use at night, in big open spaces that you are not familiar with! Star Walk can take your magical stargazing experience to another level!

This stargazing app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Seat Guru

Seat Guru is created by TripAdvisor to help you choose the best seats on flights. This can be especially great if you need special amenities but also just a great app to use when booking flights in general because there’s nothing worse than boarding the plane and finding out your seat is right next to the toilet!

All you have to do is choose from a list of professional airlines, the date that you want to fly, and if known, your flight number. This will then take you directly to a seat map where you can tap on any seat for more information.

The details provided are pretty comprehensive from the seat number, the proximity to the toilet, whether you will be bothered by other people walking up and down the plane and if there is space for personal items, the list does go on.

Update: This is no longer an app, but I would highly recommend using the Seat Guru site.


Flight Aware

Flight Aware is a flight tracking app that claims to be more accurate than airlines. Through this app, you can check for delays and specific weather conditions to see how they might affect your journey. With an easy-to-use function of ‘where’s my plane?’

This app can be used when traveling or tracking the flights of your friends and family to know that they have landed safely! Within the app, you can get free notifications that let you know the status of your flight, flight cancellations, gate changes, and more!

If you love traveling and tracking where you are, it will wind up being one of your favorite travel apps.

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store and can be upgraded at a cost to remove ads.

Flight Aware App Screenshot
Courtesy of FlightAware

Your Airline App

Whenever you are flying, you should always download the airline’s app and make an account. Making an account allows you to rack up points so you can fly for free once you collect enough. Having their airline travel apps also allows you to usually check in on your mobile device.

If you have no checked baggage, you will never have to go to the ticket counter to get a boarding pass because it will be right on your phone! You won’t have to worry about losing your boarding pass because, again, it will be right on your cellphone.

Additionally, most airline apps are pretty intuitive, allowing you to easily make changes to your reservation, including upgrades, seat changes, etc. Do I miss having that paper boarding pass to save, sometimes, but I much rather not wait in line, especially if I don’t need to check a bag!

This travel app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store and can be upgraded at a cost to remove ads.


Nord VPN

Having a VPN on your phone while traveling is essential. Not only will this help keep you safe from hackers in public wifi areas, but also depending on where you are traveling, not all your normal websites will show up. This is because you are in a different country. 

We especially notice this with Netflix. Also, some countries block websites, but with a VPN, you won’t have any issues! I use Nord VPN and got the 2 year plan and it is available for your computers and your cellphones. No matter what VPN you go with, having one of these VPN travel apps is a must!


Trip Advisor

TripAdvisor is a well-known app. From travel planning and booking places to stay, this travel app is popular for a reason. With access to over 1 million reviews on hotels, restaurants, tours, attractions, and other experiences, this app is really useful when it comes to spending your time at the right places.

Another cool feature of Trip Advisor is that it has really great deals on hotels and compares prices with over 200 booking sites, so you can always know that you are getting a good deal!

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store. The Trip Advisor web version works great as well!


Airbnb

Airbnb has over 1 million possibilities of unique homes to stay at all throughout many countries in the world. From getaways, national parks, and apartments in the heart of big cities, this app has a multitude of places to choose from.

Airbnb is known for its one-off kind of homes. These can be in strange locations or the style of the house itself could be something completely out of the ordinary, making your stay even more exciting!

The Airbnb app is really simple to use. Having the app makes it easier to check in with your host and communicate. They tell you to make sure you are always communicating on their platform, just incase any problems arise!

Apple store app and Google Play app.


RV Parks and Campgrounds

This app has been developed to help people find great RV Parks in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. The RV parks are filtered by a rating system. Additionally, you can see the surrounding areas to know which gas stations, stores, etc will be nearby.

This app requires Wi-Fi to view reviews, maps, and pictures, but it’s completely AD free!

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


WhatsApp

It’s unlikely that in 2022 you haven’t used or heard of WhatsApp. WhatsApp is a branch of Facebook and is a free messaging and video calling app. The app includes 180 countries so this makes it perfect to use when communicating with friends and family while traveling.

All you need to use is your phone number, and you have access to private messaging, group messaging, video calls, and phone calls. You can also share your location at any time through this app which is a great feature!

You will also find that many countries use Whatsapp to communicate which makes this one of the travel apps you need to have. For example, in Costa Rica, Whatsapp is the main way to communicate with locals, so in order to get in touch with anyone, you need Whatsapp!

This app is free to use and available on both the Apple app store and Google Play store.


Best Travel Apps Wrap-up 

This covers some of the essential apps every traveler should have! Did I miss any of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out my travel resource page for more travel tips and tricks!

Did you find these Travel Apps helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share this below!

TRAVEL APPS YOU SHOULD HAVE
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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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