LAST UPDATED: 4/23/23 – 11 Essential Travel Apps
If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for the latest-and-greatest new app that will make traveling easier. I think it’s only human nature to want to make things as easy and accessible as possible, and phone apps are very good at doing both. I have put together a list of the eleven essential travel apps that I frequently use for travel so that you might try them out to make your travels less stressful.
If you have an essential travel app that you use for travel that isn’t on this list, please be sure to share it with us. I am sure other readers will thank you for your suggestions as well!
Have you ever had a long layover at an airport and wanted to get out and explore the city while you waited? How many of those times did you not leave the airport because you would have had to lug your bags around with you?
If that sounds like a problem you are familiar with, then you are going to absolutely love the new Luggage Hero app.
Luggage Hero works with thousands of certified locations where you can drop your bags off to be watched while you explore, and then pick them up again when you are done. With Luggage Hero, the days of sitting in airports during long layovers is done!
The Kayak app is one of our favorite go-to apps for traveling. Not only does it allow you to search for flight, hotel, and car rental deals, but it will also organize your trips for you. Simply set up a free account with Kayak, and then forward all trip confirmation emails to email@example.com. Kayak will automatically store the reservation and itinerary into a neatly organized trip within the app.
This makes traveling such a breeze because you no longer have to worry about carrying paper copies of your reservations or searching thru your inbox to look for confirmation emails when traveling. This has saved us on trips countless times and now I don’t know what we would do without this app.
Kayak also lets you save searches for flights and be alerted when a flight becomes available for the rate you want. You can even go back into the searches and view the price history to see if prices to your desired destination have been trending up or down. It’s a great feature that we use frequently to monitor our travel options. It is why I think Kayak is one of the most essential travel apps you can have.
TripAdvisor is one of our favorite apps for travel planning. It is the premiere app for getting travel advice on destinations and travel activities. Whether you are looking for a hotel, a vacation rental, a restaurant, or a tour, TripAdvisor should be the place you start.
We love this app because we are able to pick a destination, and then start to browse things to do in that location. We can quickly start to build an itinerary for our trip, using reviews from millions of other travelers to help guide us. It really is one huge travel community.
In order to keep all of your ideas organized, TripAdvisor allows you to create trips within the app so that you can start to save activities, tours, hotel options, and restaurants ideas to your trip. No more having to write things down, take screen shots, or email yourself information. It is all saved for your future review within the app.
What is especially cool about this is that I have had people ask me for suggestions years after I have taken a trip and I am able to quickly look back at my TripAdvisor trip to pass along suggestions. This should be one of the first essential travel apps you download for travel planning assistance.
Much like Kayak, Google Trips allows you to save trip reservations and other information within the trip. However, it also allows you to browse tours, restaurants, and other activities, and save them to your trip as ideas. This makes Google Trips a very essential travel app for frequent travelers.
In essence, it works a lot like the Kayak app and the TripAdvisor app combined. I have done some early testing of this app with some of our upcoming trips, and I don’t like the reservation organization component as much as I like Kayak’s. However, I do love the fact that you can quickly and easily search for things to do and save them to your trip as ideas.
I also really enjoy the fact that you can download the maps for the areas you will be visiting offline directly within the Google Trips app. This is extremely helpful when you are traveling internationally.
Viator is arguably the premier tour and expedition sales leader in the United States, and their app is extremely helpful for searching for and booking tours. Viator is owned by TripAdvisor, so it is able to leverage TripAdvisor’s extensive network and user community to provide reviews and feedback. This is extremely helpful when shopping for a tour or expedition because it allows you to get first-hand feedback from other travelers before purchasing.
Viator screens the tours that they list in their system, so you know you aren’t going to get ripped off. And should you have questions or complaints, Viator has a customer service team that can assist you. This is extremely beneficial when booking tours overseas. I think it is such an essential travel app that it is what I use almost exclusively to book tours.
The Airbnb app is quickly becoming one of the most popular apps for booking travel accommodations, and for good reason. With hotel prices increasing annually, Airbnb gives travelers another option for booking accommodations at travel sites that can be both cheaper and more convenient.
With Airbnb, you are able to search for and rent a variety of different properties that others are renting out. You can search for a house by the beach, a condo downtown, or anywhere else that will get you closer to what you are doing when you travel. It is a fascinating app that has gathered a lot of steam in the past few years. It is definitely an app that we recommend for any travel enthusiast that is looking to maximize their travel experience and keep their budget in line.
Hopper is an app that I have been using for quite some time to monitor flight prices and trends. What is really great about this app is that it will give you a very good visual representation of when it would be cheapest to fly to a destination and when it would be the most expensive. You can use this information to make minor changes to your travel itinerary to save some significant money.
What I really like is that I can save several flight searches in Hopper and it will give me a forecast on what is likely to happen with prices for those flights in the coming months. I can use this information to determine whether or not I want to purchase now or wait for prices to fall. The app will keep me updated with notifications when prices for my flights drop.
Roadtrippers is a fantastic app that I found a few years ago that has really proven useful when talking road trips in the United States. The app allows you to access guides for certain cities and plan a road trip by adding attractions, accommodations, and restaurants. It is a very handy tool for those long road trips thru areas that you aren’t that familiar with.
What I really like the most about the app is that it has a feature that allows you to explore activities that are close by your current location. So, if you are looking for something impromptu to do during your trip, great suggestions are right at your fingertips. It also allows me to see what other travelers did on their trips and use their feedback to help me make decisions on what to do on my trips.
If you have ever traveled solo and been out at night by yourself, you know how intimidating that can be. Heck, it can be intimidating to be out on your own at night when you aren’t traveling. Thankfully, someone has invented an app that will help you breathe a little bit easier when in these situations.
With the SafeTrek app, you can feel more secure when you are out alone at night. Simply launch the app and then hold down the “hold until safe” button. Should you run into trouble, simply release the button and don’t enter in your pin code. The app will send help to your GPS coordinates to provide you assistance. This app can literally be a life saver.
I have very mixed feelings about this app. Not because I don’t like the app. On the contrary, this app is absolutely fantastic. That’s exactly why I have mixed feelings about it. A few years ago I invested $100 in getting TSA’s Global Entry status. I was tired of waiting in long Border Entry and Customs lines coming back into the country. And Global Entry has been great at minimizing that wait time.
Then along comes the Mobile Passport app. With this app, you can streamline the global entry process much as you can with Global Entry status. Simply use the app to enter in your passport info and answer some customs questions on your flight home, then submit your information when you land. You’ll be directed to a special line when you arrive where you simply show the app to the customs agent for expedited entry. This app is a no brainer for anyone who travels a lot internationally.
|Is Global Entry Still Worth it?|
If you are looking for a way to save money when traveling, and are open to meeting new people, this app may be for you. Personally, we have never used this app, but we know people who have. It is definitely not for everyone, but it is an intriguing enough app that we are planning to explore its possibilities.
Essentially, the Couchsurfing app allows users to find free accommodation in a local’s home (as a traveler), host someone in your home (as a host) or meet-up with other people from around the world (as a community member). If the app is used right, it can translate into huge cost savings when traveling, as well as new friendships. However, users of this app should always take the proper precautions when using this app.
Thanks for the tips Josh. There are a few here that I need to look into.
We are off to the airport in about an hour!!!
Have fun, safe travels, and take lots of pictures!! So excited for you! 😀
Thanks Josh…will do!
Some of these are new to me, I’ll be checking them out. Another app I only use while traveling (I live in a remote area) is Lyft and I always choose ride share so I meet locals and see more of the area I’m visiting,
Great suggestion on Lyft! Thank you for mentioning that and thanks for reading!
A very solid list! I just downloaded hopper! Think I’ll put it to some good use!
You will love Hopper! Thanks for reading!
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These are all winners Josh. Rocking list.