Ever faced any problem with language in a different country where the driver wouldn’t even understand the meaning of ‘stop the car’? Or have you ever made an impromptu plan to drive on, reached the place and then started looking for a place to spend the night? Or you still have to call up travel agents for each and every small information in today’s’ world of smartphones?
If you do, like we have in many situations until we came across some wonderful tools and apps, you must read the list below. Planning a trip can be easier than assumed with the help of these apps which can make your travel a smooth sail. From trip planners and itinerary generators to online marketplaces for flights and hotels, there are number of apps however below is the list of some of the best ones.
Travel Apps for 2017- My favorite list
Let’s look at apps category wise since for travel planning, we need to first do the bookings (flights, hotel, sightseeing) then packing, then intercity travel which may require you to know some local words, currency exchange value and city maps. Besides, you need to track expenses, keep your travel and other important documents safe at one easily accessible place.
Travel apps for flight bookings
It’s a free award-winning travel app. The new version is all-in-one travel app. You can book flights, hotels and hire car all in one place. It searches millions of flights from over 1,200 travel partners in seconds, giving you the best airfare on cheap flights to anywhere in the world.
Features include charts to see cheapest days/months to fly, price alerts, access to recent searches and sharing option. If you’re not sure where exactly you want to go, Skyscanner offers “Top Deals” from your nearest airport, as well as a curated list of destinations (affordable).The new version has some additional features too like cheap flights to weekend getaways, hotels & cars synchronized with your flights, flight ratings and much more.
This is not just another award winning app for bookings. They claim to use predictive analysis to give users unprecedented access to big data for knowing when to fly and when to buy. Hopper analyzes billions of flights to get you best deals and best times for bookings. Main features include smart predictions based on historical as well as real-time searches, real-time notifications to let you know when to book and competitive prices to book the flight compared to any other place.
Travel apps for hotel bookings and trip planning
With over 350 million reviews and opinions by travelers, TripAdvisor definitely makes it to the top of our list in the travel app category. We realize that at every leg of trip planning, reviews and ranks are quite important in deciding what to book in hotels and restaurants category, which all places to see and what fun things to do besides the cost factor. Since TripAdvisor is arguably the web’s largest repository of hotel and destination reviews, ratings, photos, and other information, this app becomes quintessential. Additional features include destination information, travel tips and tricks from experts, business travelers, and enthusiasts. If you book through Tripadvisor, it also keeps all confirmations organized in your account for easy reference later.
Additional features include destination information, travel tips and tricks from experts, business travelers, and enthusiasts. If you book through Tripadvisor, it also keeps all confirmations organized in your account for easy reference later. It’s a must have.
One of the highest rated travel apps, with thousands of people finding hotel & home reservation deals at booking.com. We personally do most of my bookings through booking.com especially when we need apartments, villas, and hotels out of the country. The best thing about the Booking.com app? Instant confirmation, paperless check-in and offline maps, every time you book.
Prefer to stay with locals? Try Airbnb. The app undercuts hotels by offering far cheaper prices, and offers a more authentic experience by staying with a local, or in their home. You can rent places from local hosts in 191+ countries. Features include access to your itinerary, host details & directions, you can also check out user profiles, message your prospective hosts and keep track of your every detail. The app recently added another new feature called Trips, which offers experiences to choose from during your stay.
- Hotel Tonight
Flight got canceled, don’t know where to go for the night? Try hotel tonight. For last minute deals at great hotels, hotel tonight is a clear winner. The app uses unsold hotel rooms to find the best deals available. Rest assured that the rooms provided by Hotel tonight will be of good quality. Besides, it only takes a couple taps to book the room once you feed in your information.They claim that one can book a place within 10 seconds. You also get 24/7 customer service from the Hotel Tonight team, in case needed.
Travel apps for sightseeing and itinerary planning
One of most awarded apps again, packed with offline Maps, phrasebooks, currency converter, and advice from on-the-ground experts, the lonely planet city guides are the ultimate resource before and during a trip. You can browse points of interest based on categories including ‘see,’ ‘eat’ and ‘sleep,’ among others. Besides, you can even access the list of free activities or attractions, as well as a list of locations featured in films, and so on. You can also browse points of interest based on location. The app not only gives an overview of each city, but also tips to plan based on specific budgets.
Travel apps to keep your documents safe and easily accessible
Off late quite a popular app. Not an app for trip planning or booking or what to do in a city but it offers a complete, hassle free way to combine & keep all of your travel confirmations, itineraries, tickets, hotel bookings, rental car reservations, and the rest in one simple view. It connects to your email accounts to compile all your travel information for you automatically. Incredibly handy, it even tells you if there’s a better seat in your flight for you to switch to it and lets you share your trip plans with people who may need to know whereabouts or pick you from where you are.
- My eVault
It’s an award winning free app for personal tracking of valuables and insurance. It helps you keep all your important documents like copies of your passport, bank cards, frequent flyer cards, warranties, tax receipts and licences all safe and handy if/when you need them.
Travel apps to help you with packing for your trip
- Packpoint or Packing Pro
This is for forgetful travelers with pre-traveling blues to help them remember what to pack. You could use either of the smart packing list apps mentioned above. Simply enter basic information about your trip, and you’ll receive a customizable checklist of what you should pack based on your length of travel, weather at your destination and any activities planned during your trip.
Travel apps to help you within the City
- Here wego
Most poeple already would have google maps downloaded on their phones. Here is another app which offers just about everything Google Maps does, and a little more making navigation effortless. Its free and provides turn-by-turn directions for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and public transit riders besides real-time traffic information and nearby points of interest.
Here wego gives recommedations for all the ways to get around, so you can compare and pick the best one for you. It tells you about the route and costs for transportation, parking options and traffic delays.You can share your location (or the location of a point of interest) with friends and family members and offline map downloads . HERE WeGo offers transit information in 1300+ cities around the world, not bad!
- City mappers
Handy when you are in a new city. Whoever uses it once prefers this one at all times. It is a clear winner when it comes to giving the best route and the fastest way to reach any destination. You can subscribe to specific train or bus lines, and the app can even alert you when you need to get off. Interesting right but as of now it’s not available in many cities but wherever it is, you must use this one.
- World Around Me
Now I know why it is the top rated App by national Geographic traveller, BBC and The Guardian. If I knew about this app, I could’ve found a better restaurant in my location than KFC in Cairo.
WAM is a free app based on augmented reality .It uses your phone’s camera to give you a completely new way of exploring a place, anywhere in the world. Just point the phone in the direction and locate restaurants, ATMs, parks, hospitals, galleries, stations, pharmacies etc in your surroundings. You name it and you have it, total 31 categories you can search into.
Not just this you can see reviews, opening hours, directions, contact details and a whole host of other information (such as WiFi availability, outdoor seating, accepts credit cards etc). You can also set the distance you are willing to venture from the current location and get real time distance to your point of interest. See, you don’t have to keep asking people, ‘how long?’
Guess at least one taxi app or so to say ride sharing app is a must. Uber with availability in over 44 countries and 130 cities clearly stands as the winner in the category. These rides are safer since the driver details are well known at both ends (company and the consumer). You don’t need cash to pay. What else just open the app, order the car and get details on driver, arrival time etc and pay once you reach your destination. The app pioneers on demand services.
Travel apps for language and currency conversion
- Xe currency
Widely popular app and recommended by most people, this is the app for currency conversion. Calculate currencies on-the-go? With the XE Currency App, you can access live exchange rates, view historical charts, and calculate prices on your smartphone or tablet.
Learning a new language can be an daunting challenge but with the help of mobile apps some basic words, phrases etc can be really helpful when in a different country. Duo lingo is a one such app to learn the basic words, phrases, verb structure and pronunciation. Its not really a translator but a fun way to learn basics of a language. It gamifies language learning by presenting language lessons in simple, bite-sized minigames. If you need to stay abroad for long, start using Duo lingo in advance and proceed step by step.
Travel apps to track your expenses
We usually make excel sheet for estimating expenses during pre planning stage but who gets time to record each and every expense during the trip. In case you are particular about expenses especially when you are traveling with others too, here comes an app that helps you keep track of every penny you spend. Makes a little more sense for business travellers. It allows you to take pictures of receipts and the app scans, logs, and creates tedious expense reports for you
Another great app when you are traveling in group and sharing expenses. It lets you to divide costs between you and other relatives or friends. Simply add expenses as you go and Splittr will let you know who is next to pay, who owes what to whom, and generate a PDF report that you’ll be able to send . However, this app does not support syncing across multiple devices from different users which would have been a great feature.
After I finished writing, I can count there are total 18 apps mentioned here. Select the ones depending on your need and get going. Happy traveling !