Best Essential Travel Apps and Free to Use
More than ever before, travelers who are making plans for their dreamy vacations are relying on their smartphones, in search of the Best Travel Apps.
Hence, there is no wonder why there are thousands of apps that will not only be a great source of inspiration but will guide you through the most amazing places and activities.
Useful for bookings, even managing the logistics, this travel planning software deserves your attention. Forget about those “traveling headaches”, as the apps we are going to talk about will make your vacations much better.
What restaurant should you go to? Is there any fitness class you can attend? Well, these apps will let you know.
The Perks of Travel Apps
Maybe you are that kind of minimalist, who hates seeing his mobile’s screen filled with various colorful icons.
However, have you ever tried looking endlessly for last-minute flight changes? Or how did you find the best local restaurant to have dinner in Philadelphia?
Well, you probably have used an app. Here are the main perks of travel apps you can take advantage of:
- Navigate through each city, anywhere in the world
- Make fast and convenient currency conversions
- Find the best airfares
- Access on-the-ground local expertise
- Get insights about the best local food experiences
- Navigate local maps
- Read guidebooks
- Open fast foreign-language dictionaries
One of the greatest perks is that this software is all free. Don’t know much about what to download firstly? Well, here are our favorite, 20 very best travel apps you can start planning your trip with.
What are the Best Free Travel Apps?
We wanted to help make your job easier this is why we did all the planning app research for you. Here are the most helpful, yet easy to use Best travel apps to make your vacations and holidays exceptional
Table of Contents
Travel Apps Best for Finding Flights Deals
1. Hopper App
Hopper is one of the travel apps best for finding the cheapest flights you could ever get. This is the best way you can save lots of cash and spend it on the best attractions at your destination.
Using the Hopper App is really easy, as you just put your home city, then the destination you want to travel to. Of course, you need to mention the dates you would like to travel to.
Once you press enter, Hopper will generate you a calendar with all the dates through the coming year.
The colors of these labels will reflect the historical price averages. As such:
- Days colored in green are usually the cheapest ones
- Light orange and coral are indicating averages prices, to expensive
- Red indicates the most pricey days to fly
The app has a special feature, named Watch This Trip. Once you activate this feature, you will get lots of alerts that will let you know once the price changes.
Furthermore, the app can be nicely customized so you will know exactly when the price is the same to fly nonstop, even with layovers.
Additionally, you have the chance to exclude all those useful fares that may double the price of the ticket.
The price predictor is the best tool to use here. This amazing tool will explain to you when the prices usually rise and how much you will pay extra.
An app is a tool loaded with knowledge, so travelers will be much more informed regarding their decision to traveling in a certain period of time. Is it worth booking the flight? Well, Hopper App will let you know.
Also, the app will allow you to book the flight and the accommodation from the same app.
2. Google Flights App
Provided by the giant Google, this travel app is best for finding plane tickets at their very lowest prices. With very little effort, you will get the best fares depending on where you want to travel and when.
Here are some of the best ways to use the Google Flights App:
- Find the best round trip and book it right from the app
- Choose one-way or multi-city tickets
- Enjoy the interactive calendar and follow the price graph in order to spend the best fares
- Filter the flights by searching the right cabin class for you, the right airlines, and the number of stops you are ready to make
Google Flights APP is great as it has a large opening to over 300 airlines you can book from, as well as hundreds of online travel agency partners.
Travel Apps Best for Fare Alerts
3. Hitlist App
Do you want to travel more and spend less? Then you should download the Hitlist App. This smart app will help you find and “catch” the best trips that suit your desires, as well as fitting in a certain budget.
The Hitlist App wants to make people connect and find the most generous offers to help them travel the world.
How to use the Hitlist App?
Here are the steps to using this smart app:
- First, you need to choose your destination
You can create a list, all manually, and specify which places you want to travel to. Moreover, you can make lots of connections with friends and see where they would like to travel. The app helps you get lots of tips from people you trust as well.
- Hitlist App sends you the best deals
Once you set your favorite destinations, the app will send you notifications with hundreds of price alerts. Luckily for you, its algorithm will scan millions and millions of fares that will make your itinerary much easier and less expensive.
- Start seeing the world
Once you get the best schemes and traveling offers, you are ready to board. Don’t hesitate to share your fav list with the ones you love and make them travel with you.
4. Skyscanner App
One of the most popular apps and methods to find cheap flights is the Skyscanner App. This smart mobile app will search through 1,200 sources, then give you the top options, in order for you to spend less money.
Whether it is the cheapest route, or the easiest one, Skyscanner will present you with all the options.
You will have access to a full chart where you will find the cheapest days and months, as well as the best deals.
Travel Apps Best for Tracking Update Airline Information
5. FlightAware App
Don’t you know if your flight has been delayed or if there are some flight changes?
The FlightAware App will offer you full-screen maps, that will:
- Show the NEXRAD weather
- Track airline programs
- Track charters, private and general aviation aircraft
- Push you lots of notifications and flight alerts
- View the amazing and breathtaking worldwide airport activity
This app can be downloaded for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. All you need to do is to search by aircraft registration, airline, flight number, or route. You just need to have the airport code, and the app will be tracking all the data you would like to know.
If you like to always be on time, then you can rely on FlightAware App. The app will push all the notifications needed so you will know everything about the arrival/departure time, as well as possible changes at the gates, cancellations, diversions, and delays.
Travel Apps Best for Easy Airport & Cruise Ship Entry
6. Mobile Passport App
One of the best ways to ease the first process at the airport is by using an authorized app that will verify your passport. Mobile Passport Control (MPC) is a special app that streamlines all the travelers’ arrival into the United States.
This app is available for downloading for U.S. citizens and also for Canadian visitors. Once you are eligible for travel, you can submit your passport information. Then you will receive some security-related questions via your smartphone or tablet app prior to approval.
You can download the app from Google Play Store and Apple App Store and it is all free.
How is MPC (Mobile Passport Control) working?
In order to be able to use MPC, you need to firstly download the app, then create a profile. Your account or profile needs to include the passport information, as well as your name, gender, date of birth, and finally the country of citizenship.
If you are landing in the United States, then you need to complete the “New Trip” section. Then, you need to select the airport you arrive at, as well as the airline you chose. Once selecting all these, take a self-photo, and answer that series of security-related questions.
Once you follow all these steps and then submit your transaction through the app, and the traveler will receive a special electronic receipt. This receipt comes with an Encrypted Quick Response, also known as a QR code.
Travel Apps Best for Booking Buses & Trains
Ok, let’s say you hate traveling by plane, so you would prefer a “grounded” means of transport. As such, you need to have a helpful app, that will search for hundreds of ground travel and flight options, in order to show you the best travel deals. North America is finding out that the up and coming Wanderu App is already known to be one of the Best Budget Travel Apps out there in Europe.
This app will do all the hard work for you, so it will search for buses, plane routes, and trains all across different countries from the USA, Canada, and Europe. Whether you are traveling to Italy, Croatia, Ireland, Iceland, maybe Austria, this app got you.
Wanderu App scores the best deals on tickets from all its official partners, including Deutsche Bahn trains, Turimex Grupo Senda, Peter Pan Bus Lines. Now includes many more partners from North America. Megabus, Amtrak, Greyhound, Via Rail and Kayak to name a few.
There are also European partners in this direction, such as Flixbus, National Express, OUIBus, and many others.
The best part of the Wanderu App is its versatility, as it covers a wide selection of trips. Imagine that you can find some bus tickets that are as low as 1 dollar. You may be hitting the road with only one dollar.
There are new features when it comes to this app. As such, you can even book flights to thousands of destinations all across North America, Europe, and other places.*
Along with the bus tickets, you can search for flights, bus and train routes, some means of transport that will suit best your needs, as well as the budget.
Travel Apps Best for Finding & Booking Hotel Deals
One of the top most popular travel apps when it comes to finding the best deals for accommodations is Hotels.com. This is the easiest to filter you can use for finding the exact type of accommodation you would like to stay at.
One of the coolest features of this app is “Deals for Tonight”, a cool way to obtain big discounts on last-minute bookings.
Another great feature is “Your Secret Price”, the best way to save up to 50% off your usual expenses. You can install Hotels.com on Android, as well as on iOS.
Travel Apps Best for Finding & Booking Private Beach Houses and Cabins
Where do you prefer to spend the best days of your vacation? Chose to stay in a villa, cottage, maybe a cool apartment? Don’t worry about this. The VRBO App will help you find the perfect vacation home for you and your family.
What does VRBO app do?
- Search through more than 2 million unique places to stay
- Different types of accommodation in 190+ countries
- Using Trip Boards, you can collaborate and plan the accommodation with friends and family
- Book fast, secure and easy directly from your tablet or phone
- Travel any place in this world and share the details of your trip with others
What can you SEARCH on VRBO App?
- Find millions of vacation homes to stay in that you won’t find in other sites
- Browse through holiday homes with beautiful gardens, pools, and other great amenities
- Filter what is truly important to you: the price, location, amenities, and so on
- See lots of photos and reviews of the accommodations you want to book
- Ask the questions when you need a quick answer. There is a virtual assistant always available to you.
Make Favorite Boards
- Do you see some properties you like? Tap the heart to create your board
- Invite your family and friends to see your trip board
- Leave comments, or vote your favorite accommodations
BOOKING AND PAYMENT
- You can book, as well as pay securely on the VRBO app with your app or with the credit card
- If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask them about the property.
- Make a “favorites board” and share the important information with your friends
- Quickly access all the information and details about the accommodation, such as WIFI passwords, check-in instructions and so on
- Make conversations with the homeowners right from your device
Travel Apps Best for Finding Activities
10. TripAdvisor App
Needless to say too much about this beloved app. There are already millions of people worldwide using the TripAdvisor app. TripAdvisor is your help in planning and booking a great trip, as well as a perfect source of information.
As such, you have millions of travel recommendations from all kinds of travelers.
Whether you want to know about a specific hotel, maybe you are looking for must-do experiences, maybe you want more details about the top places to eat, go on TripAdvisor and find all you need.
It is safe to say that TripAdvisor will be your best pal and a great travel planner app. Do not hesitate to take your information about booking a table at the best restaurant or booking the least pricey flight for your next trip.
TripAdvisor is the ultimate travel planner you need. The best part? It is all free to use.
- More than 830 million reviews for flights, hotels, restaurants, vacation rentals, and so on
- Helps you plan, trip, and save money while you are organizing your holiday
- Brings together your favorite attractions to see them together on a map
- Look for the Best deals on hotels and accommodations that have the lowest prices
- Wide opening to more than 200 booking sites all around the world
- Search through the largest collection of attractions, experiences, and tours
- Edit, modify or cancel your booking, all for free
- Acces, directly from the app, the mobile ticket, tours, and activities
- Safely use Google Pay or PayPal in order to make activity bookings
- Make a booking for the best local restaurants
- Compare the best deals for flights, accommodations, and restaurants
- Browse through the “Travelers’ Choice” award-winning hotels, restaurants, experiences, and more
- Get the right answers to all your questions from the most like-minded travelers
- Enroll in the TripAdvisor forums
- Add your own photos and reviews
- Discover all those hidden gem travel recommendations
- Book the must-see attractions
- Access the locally recommended places during your trip
Travel Apps Best for Booking Tours
Whether you are traveling to Disney or to Venice, the Viator App offers best support in order to discover and book all the travel activities in this direction.
One of the best travel apps for booking amazing tours, travel activities, and local experiences is Viator App, a Tripadvisor Company.
Once downloading the app, you will discover and book the most unforgettable experiences. You just open the app, and:
- Make the most of your trip
- Access more than 200,000+ experiences you can book right through the app
- Visualize millions of trusted travelers reviews
- Have the power to skip most of the line access and bookmobile tickets
It doesn’t matter where you are going to travel, or if you are a sightseeing kind or adventurous person. This is one of the best travel apps you can rely on for great experiences.
Travel Apps Best for Cruising
12. Shipmate App
Are you looking for the only, yet best travel app for cruising? Well, here we can only talk about the Shipmate App, a smart app that will save you lots of time and share all the information about the entire cruise history.
Once downloading the app, you can save the entire cruise history, and also learn everything you need about the upcoming sailings.
Here are the best features of the Shipmate app:
- Meet all the fellow cruisers
- Make it possible to call them for specific sailing information
- Check all the fees, discount cruises and other deals
- Book all port excursions and other tours
- A special, personalized countdown to the cruise
- A personalized checklist so you can be sure that everything is all planed
- Learn everything about your future ship, with photos and other plans
- Set some price alerts in case you are interested in a special offer
- Scan the activities you can do in the port (shopping, souvenirs)
- Take a glimpse of everything that will be happening during your sailing
- Check the Ship Tracker and see where the voyage will be cruising to all around the world
- Much other information
Voted Best Cruise App
Needless to say, the Shipmate App was voted as the “Best Cruise App” by its users. With over two million downloads, this is the very first app for cruising, and you can totally rely on its information.
You have all you need to make your sailing experience a most perfect one, such as all the info about the vessel top to bottom, as well as detailed deck maps, and lots of pictures submitted by various users. Furthermore, you will be able to pick the ports you are going to dock at, depending on the tips and reviews that other cruisers have written.
Have a particular question? There are lots of forums to help you, where users and eager to share their opinions with newcomers.
Travel Apps Best for Camping
13. RV Parks & Campgrounds App
If you enjoy traveling by RV, or you just prefer camping, rather than expensive hotels, you must download one of the best travel apps for camping. This is RV Parks & Campgrounds App, special software developed to help people enjoy a cozy RV stay.
The information applies to North America, and it is completely free to download. Plus, there will be no ADS to get you mad.
Now, once you download it, you have more than 40,000 RV parks to check, as well as rest areas, stores, campgrounds, and gas stations.
One of the best parts of this app is that it offers its users reviews and ratings for every single commercial RV park.
Once you are able to zoom in right on the app, you will see the gas stations around, as well as the closest stores you can gather supplies from.
It is important to mention that this Best travel app for campgrounds uses a local database, as such, it will work faster and it won’t need a permanent internet connection. However, you will need some internet data for viewing pictures and maps.
Travel Apps Best for Taking Road Trips
14. Roadtrippers App
One of the best ways to explore the country or a new local place is by taking road trips. Whether you are planning a summer escape with friends or going to a place you never knew existed, you are just some minutes away from downloading a smart app.
Roadtripper is the best travel app for discovering thousands of places, scenic points, different national attractions, as well as the best overnight accommodations.
Once downloading the app, you will have access to pre-made trip guides, and interesting routes for road trips that you will hardly find elsewhere.
Each route you would like to take comes with up to 7 waypoints. Once you know which one is the best for you, start exploring it.
If you want to go all the way and you are that type of avid explorer, then you can upgrade to Roadtrippers Plus app, a great way to access up to 150 waypoints per trip. Moreover, you can open discussions with your friends and search the maps, even custom the existing ones.
Travel Apps Best for Navigation
15. Google Maps App
Who has never heard or used Google Maps?
Needless to say, this is definitely the best travel app for navigation, and it gives you real-time directions wherever you are in the world.
It does not matter if you are traveling by car, by foot, or by public transportations, Google Maps is going to tell you which route is the most crowded one, how much time you will take on the road, as well as the peak hours at the museum.
Developed by Google, this app allows you to make restaurant reservations, or write some reviews for helping other travelers. You can download Google Maps on both iOS and Android.
220 countries to Navigate
Google Maps is a very comprehensive app, and it covers over 220 countries and territories from all over the globe. Find the maps you need, as well as the businesses and places you might be interested to see.
The GPS is working in real-time, which means the app will continue to update the transit info, the traffic, as well as the navigation.
The Main Perks of Google Maps
- Explore local neighborhoods
- Find where to eat or to stay
- Get fast, real-time updates
- Know from where to catch the bus, train, or ride-share you need
- Beat the traffic jams by using alternative routes
- Save time with automatic rerouting
- Avoid accidents, live traffic, or any possible road closures
Explore Like a Local
- Google Maps helps you discover the best local restaurant or events
- Get to know about the most trending new-opened places
- Vote in real-time the best places to be discovered
- Create traveling boards with your friends
- Follow must-try places, add your own photos and road opinions
Travel Apps Best for Finding Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants
16. HappyCow App
One of the main problems for vegetarians while traveling is finding some good places to eat. As such, try downloading the best travel apps for finding vegan and vegetarian restaurants: HappyCow App.
Here you have a whole collection of top vegan restaurants, as the app works as a vegan food locator, and it’s suited for Android users. Don’t forget to use the app when you want some food delivery, even take away plant-based food.
HappyCow offers reviews and access to vegetarian restaurants near your location, as well as over 700,000 reviews to help you choose the best one for you.
If you are a novice in using apps, don’t worry, as this one is easy to use, and can help you have a great culinary experience, wherever you are traveling.
Make yourself comfortable and search through:
- Access more than 130,000+ vegan, plant-based, organic and vegetarian restaurants
- Lots of vegan-friendly options for hotels worldwide and B&Bs
- Search by location on a smart, interactive map
- Plan a healthy diet even when you are away from home
- Read more than 1 million reviews, with full photos and user’s feedback
- Learn about the top-rated cafes and restaurants
- Filter your options depending on the open time, how hungry you are, or the reviews
- Search by keyword (for instance, Japanese, Mexican, Gluten-free, Raw)
Travel Apps Best for Video and Voice Chatting
17. Skype App
Just “say hello” and keep the video contact with the loved ones. Once doing this, your message will be instantly sent. And downloading this best travel app for video and voice chatting is all free.
Moreover, using Skype, you can also send SMS messages to mobiles all around the world, and make an SMS connection right from your computer. Skype is available for mobile and desktop as well, so choose the one that suits best your needs.
What is Skype Best For?
- Make video calls: see your beloved ones with just one call. You can get together with only 1 or 24 of your friends
- Enjoy a total HD video call
- Chat instantly, using video calls
- Send messages to your friends or @mentions when you want to grab someone’s attention
- SMS Connect. Contact your loved ones by SMS messages in Skype, PC, or Mac
- If you are camera shy, make only voice calls
- Click + in the chat and add emoticons to make yourself more understandable
Travel Apps Best for Translating
18. Google Translate App
All free, flexible, and easy to use, Google Translate App is the best way to make yourself understood when traveling in foreign countries.
Google Translate has the capacity to translate into 108 languages, from which 59 are working even with no Internet connection.
There are lots of ways you can translate using this smart app:
- Draw the text you want to translate
- Type the text
- Scan a page
- Pick a special feature in the app that will do instant translation
Google Translate App is available for both Android and iOS. If you need immediate translation, just dictate the conversation and Google will translate everything for you in another language.
Travel Apps Best for Ride on-demand
19. Uber App
If you had lots of unpleasant experiences using conventional taxi services, why not upgrade the way you are traveling?
Uber App is the best travel app for ride on-demand, as well as the most popular worldwide. If you don’t speak the language of the locals, or maybe you don’t carry cash, call an Uber and it will take you places.
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Final words on the matter
Traveling has never been easier with technology at your very fingertips. The beauty of seeing the world only good things could happen.
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