Whether you’re a new or experienced traveler we’re all looking for ways to make travel easier. From finding affordable flights, attractions and making sure you don’t get lost travel can sometimes be overwhelming. In this article, I’ll share the best travel apps you need to download now to help you before, during and even after your travels.
The Best Apps to Save Money on Flights
Skyscanner is the best way to find affordable flights. Whether you have a specific location you’d like to travel to or have specific dates you have to travel on, Skyscanner quickly and easily finds you the most affordable options. Don’t like the price you see? Set an alert for when prices change. In addition to flights, Skyscanner can also help you with a hotel and car rental. Thanks to Skyscanner we found $400 tickets to Amsterdam and our $520 roundtrip flights from Miami to Kenya. The best part is Skyscanner is free and they are available on the web or you can download their free app here.
Who hasn’t searched for a flight and hesitated on purchasing it? Will the price go lower and you end up spending more money than needed? Or will it go and you’re making a big mistake if you don’t purchase it now. Stop wondering and download Hopper now! It predicts prices with 95% accuracy up to 1 year in advance that way you know if it’s the right time to buy.
The Best Apps to Book Affordable Lodging
Vacation home are always a more affordable option for families or large groups over hotels. Airbnb is one of the leading sites to find these options worldwide. Thanks to Airbnb we saved $600 over booking a hotel in Copenhagen and scored a $90/night 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment in Cartagena. Haven’t used Airbnb yet? Sign up here and save $40 on your first stay. You might also be interested in reading this 8 Tips to Guarantee a Great Airbnb Experience. Download the Airbnb app now for iOS or Android.
Have your plans changed or did an unexpected cancellation occur? Easily find the cheapest hotel with HotelTonight. Hotels give HotelTonight their unsold rooms which allow you to get the best deals on last minute bookings. Who doesn’t want a 5 Star hotel at a 2 Star price? Sign up for HotelTonight and use promo code “TTRAVELINGCHILD” for $25 off your next booking.
With Expedia’s new Add-On Advantage feature you can save a ton of money on hotels up to 24 hours before your trip after you’ve booked a flight or car rental. Traditionally you would have to book these at the same time to get the discounted bundled price but not anymore. On our recent trip to Disney World we were able to score a $129/night two-bedroom suite 15 minutes from the park using the feature. Download the app on any smartphone here.
The Best App to Check Reviews
Before booking any hotel or tour I always check TripAdvisor. I love that they allow photos from real travelers because it’s always the worst when the photos on the hotel’s website wowed you and you get there and it is not the same. Not only does TripAdvisor let you search reviews of hotels/tours there are also forums about specific destinations which you can search for any questions you have or pose your own. Within these forums are destination experts who will answer your questions plus you’ll get tips from others who have visited to answer the question you have. We’ve used TripAdvisor to help us choose hotels and tours in Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Bangkok. iOS users can download the app here, while Android uses can download it here.
The Best Apps for Discounts on Attractions, Restaurants, and Getaways
If you’ve never heard of TravelZoo you are missing out! They offer discounts on restaurants, spas, activities, and even hotels all over the world. We used them to get great restaurant deals in Chicago. In addition, they offer vacation packages where you can save thousands of dollars. These vacation packages typically include, airfare, accommodations, activities plus an expert guide. Download their app now!
Before I book anything I check Groupon to see if the tour company or restaurant I plan on patronizing has a deal. Not can you find deals directly from the companies but often times Groupon has promo codes for an additional 20% off. Even when we aren’t traveling but looking for something to do or somewhere to eat at home Groupon saves us so much money! I haven’t tried any Groupon Getaways yet but they look super appealing and affordable, hoping to try one soon! As a bonus if you log into your JetBlue TrueBlue account and visit Groupon through their shopping portal you will earn extra miles on your purchase. I wrote a post on 12 Ways to Earn Miles Without Flying, these practices have earned us roundtrip flights to Chicago for our family of four.
The Best Apps to Book Tours
Finding trustworthy tour companies can be overwhelming. Not with Viator! Search attractions for the destination you’re visiting with this platform that allows you sort by interests, tour length and more. We’ve used Viator in Morocco, Rome, Aruba, and Paris. Download Viator for iOS here or on Google Play here.
Get Your Guide
Get Your Guide also has tours all over the world. I love that they offer personal recommendations before and during your trip help with making sure you’re having the time of your life. Download their app here.
The Best Apps to Avoid Getting Lost
I know most people already have Google Maps on their phones, if you don’t what are you thinking?!? However not many people know you can download offline maps for you’re visiting for when you don’t have service. Here are the instructions to do so on Apple as well as Android.
Maps Me was a lifesaver for us when we visited Cuba. It’s one of the largest offline map systems you can find. There’s a reason over 100 million travelers use Maps Me. Download it for Apple or Android here.
The Best Translation App
I’m often asked how we survive in countries we don’t speak the language. The answer is Google Translate, available on the App Store and Google Play. You’re able to get text translation in 103 languages by typing out what you’d like to say. If you don’t have access to internet which might be the case when traveling there are 59 languages available in their offline mode. My favorite option in the instant camera translation where you can translate text in images instantly by just pointing your camera. This is available in 38 languages.
The Best App to Stay Organized on Your Trip
You’ve planned your trip to a t and now your at your destination. Your excitement causes you to forget where to get your rental car or the address for your tour after breakfast or tomorrow. Stay organized with TripIt and avoid sifting through hundreds of emails to find that address. TripIt pulls all your reservations and confirmations from your email and easily organizes your days for you. Download it here.
The Best Apps to Recoup Lost Funds
Is your flight delayed or canceled? Not sure if you are eligible for compensation or how to file a claim? Upload your boarding pass with AirHelp’s scanner and instantly check your flight’s eligibility for compensation. Download the app now from the App Store or Google Play.
The Best App to Speed Through Immigration
If you’re lucky enough to have your first city of entry into the US from overseas as one of the 25 airports that Mobile Passport operates in you want to download this app now! Mobile Passport speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The best part is there is no need to fill out a customs form (because really who ever has a pen, ok maybe that’s just me). You just take a photo of everyone in your family, scan your passport and skip the long lines. It’s typically even shorter than the Global Entry line and it’s free! Available at Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, both Houston airports, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburg, Raleigh Durham, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa, Washington Dulles, and West Palm Beach.
Found this list helpful? Share it to help a fellow traveler!! What other apps can’t you live without when traveling?