Trip planning has never been easier thanks to easy-to-use digital travel tools you can use at home or on the go. From booking last-minute hotels to reading fellow traveler reviews and ratings to comparing airfare prices, there seems to be an application for everything. And thanks to the speed of the digital age, innovative new apps for cell phones and tablets are updating and premiering all the time. Travel + Leisure editors track and test every new release to find the best travel apps out there, so you can travel smarter, safer, and cheaper.
The thing about traveling is that it prevents you from sitting down at a desktop computer—and laptop use can be limited if you’re already en route and without Wi-Fi. Smartphone apps keep you connected wherever you are. Sequestered on a bus without a place to sleep that night? There’s an app that lets you book hotel rooms last-minute. Wake up to an unexpected summer storm just hours before departure? Another lets you quickly check the status of your flight and notifies you of delays and gate changes. Upcoming layover longer than you expected? Find out what airport lounges offer free (or pay-as-you-go) entry and Wi-Fi. Eyeing that perfect spring break getaway but unable—or unwilling— to obsessively check in on rates? There’s an app that compares airfares and instantly alerts you when prices drop.
Once you’re where you need to be, there are apps that keep working for you. Need help navigating a new city? The app from UNESCO World Heritage provides a ready-made bucket list of major sights, while Eventseeker keeps you on the pulse of what’s happening in a city on any given day. Want to improve your photo-taking and photo editing skills? Photo apps like Vsco and PicFrame instantly transform your quick snapshots into works of art, and can be used whether you’re on the plane, in the car, or backpacking cross-country.
The best cell phone apps help streamline and solve your travel needs. Check back here for all the latest developments and releases.