50 Apps and Websites to Optimize Your Vacation
Technology has completely changed the way we travel. Even when going on an off-grid adventure, we document every detail to save as soon as we’re back in an internet connection. And that’s not even to mention the countless business travelers who rely on a connection to get work done while in transit.
But with thousands of travel apps on the market, it can be impossible to whittle down the bunch to what fits on a phone’s storage space. Luckily, we’ve done the hard part for you.
Here we present some of the best travel apps available that should be on any frequent flier’s phone. Whether looking for a restaurant while in a new city or trying to grab a taxi home from the airport, these are the 50 apps that will make every journey—and every destination—more accessible than ever before.
Nothing goes as planned while traveling. But luckily for travelers prone to losing their cool in high-tension situations, there are plenty of apps available for some calm on the road. SkyGuru ($19.00; for iOS) was developed to help nervous fliers by letting them know exactly what is happening onboard the plane. Meditation Studio ($3.99 on iOS and Android) is perfect to keep around during frustrating flight delays. And White Noise (free on iOS and Android) will help lull travelers to sleep even when the hotel walls are paper thin.
For getting around, there are two classics everybody needs on their phone: Yelp (free on iOS and Android) for finding the best of what’s nearby and Google Maps (free on iOS and Android) for telling you how to get there.
But for those who want to expand their list of potential explorations, Travelstoke (free on iOS and Android) gives recommendations from friends and fellow travelers around the world. FieldTripper (free on iOS and Android) runs in the background of your phone and pops up with notes every time you pass an interesting place. It’s kind of like a tour guide that goes wherever you want.
Sidekix (free on iOS) was made for pedestrians, wanderers and flaneurs. The app is best meant for exploring a city by foot and will provide interesting routes for all sorts of walkers. But when driving, use RoadTrippers (free on iOS and Android) to schedule stops that won’t delay the trip or lead you off course.
For those who travel to eat, Velocity (free on iOS) presents a curated list of the best restaurants in New York, London, Los Angeles and Miami and can even get users last-minute reservations in some of the world’s hottest restaurants. For vegetarians or vegans, HappyCow ($3.99 on iOS and Android) will give you the guide to the best restaurants in town for anybody with a dietary restriction.
Magnus (free on iOS and Android) is the perfect app for travelers who make a stop in every city’s art museum. Not only does the app identify the artwork that’s hanging on the wall, it provides a map of nearby galleries and museums with information on current shows and hours.
And anybody heading to a national park should add REI National Parks (free for iOS and Android) to their phones. The app includes data on hiking trails, information about important natural features and directions how to get to the closest park.
Traveling in style doesn’t need to break the bank. LoungeBuddy (free on iOS and Android) can get travelers into airport lounges for reduced prices—or match credit cards and reward status to free access.
For travelers who hate dealing with luggage, DUFL (free on iOS) will pack for you. The app was developed with business travelers in mind (keep a suit in a DUFL ready to go), but is an excellent option for anybody just looking to travel without worrying about checked luggage.
And no matter accommodation, it’s now possible to have a concierge at all times. Lola (free on iOS) and Mezi (free on iOS) are two new apps that help travelers at every step of their trip. Whether that’s when problems arise at the airport or looking for restaurant reservations in town, get the royal hotel treatment—even if you’re just crashing on a friend’s couch.
Instead of waiting at the never-ending airport taxi line, call an Uber (free on iOS and Android). It’s a no-fuss way to get around town that completely eliminates taxi drivers taking roundabout routes. Plus: There’s no need to worry about picking up a foreign currency for cabs when traveling internationally.
For those looking to save a buck, consider Skedaddle (free on iOS and Android). It’s an app that allows travelers to book a trip out of town as soon as nine other people are going the same way. It’s almost like renting out a private bus—except way cheaper.
And for those who want to save a buck on luxury, there’s JetSmarter (free on iOS), which advertises itself as a cheaper wait to rent a private jet to get wherever you’re going.
For the airport
Find out security wait times before even leaving the house with myTSA (free on iOS and Android). Once at the airport, check out GateGuru (free on iOS and Android) or Fleet (free on iOS) for information on what to do in the terminal to kill time.
But should something go wrong with your flight or delays become unbearable, AirHelp (free on iOS and Android) will assist in resolving the issue. For extra help, download Service (free on iOS), an app that will take care of customer service issues and get you compensated without having to spend hours on hold.
With that extra time, log onto AirDates (the Tinder for flyers; free on iOS) and try to snag a date for the airport bar.
If you’re traveling abroad to a country that doesn’t speak English, do yourself a favor and learn a bit—or at least have back up ready. Duolingo (free on iOS and Android) will teach the basics of a language but we also love Google Translate’s (free on iOS and Android) image scan to translate signs while out and about.
The need for travel apps starts long before the trip. For those looking to snag the best deal on airfare, there’s Momondo (free on iOS and Android), Priceline (free on iOS and Android), Hopper (free on iOS and Android), Skyscanner (free on iOS and Android) and Hipmunk (free on iOS and Android).
For those looking to book the absolute best possible seat on the best airline for them, there’s RouteHappy which tells you exactly which you get for ticket price and SeatGuru (free on iOS and Android) which ranks every seat on every cabin.
Airbnb (free on iOS and Android) is a great option for any city that supports homesharing. And for those that are more spontaneous, check out HotelTonight’s (free on iOS and Android) options for cheaper accommodations available that very evening.
Stay in touch
Even while traveling, modern road warriors have to stay in touch with the folks back home. Download the Skype app (free on iOS and Android) or Whatsapp (free on iOS and Android) to stay in touch while in Wi-Fi or with a data connection.
In addition, now you can use Messenger (free on iOS and Android) not only to stay in touch with Facebook friends, but to order food, book a flight or make a reservation. The app’s new chatbots have a plethora of new capabilities that travelers can put to good use.
And, of course, there’s the travel classic, Instagram (free on iOS and Android). Use the app to research places on upcoming trips or documents travels while they’re happening. But just remember that photographs take up storage space on a phone—unless you choose to use Google Photos’ (free on iOS and Android) unlimited cloud.
On the go
Emergencies pop up while exploring a new city. If rain is in the forecast, download Dark Sky ($3.99 on iOS and Android) to get up-to-the-minute updates for any type of precipitation fall. And for other types of emergencies, SitorSquat (free on iOS and Android) is a guide to a city’s public toilets. It will let travelers know which “public” bathroom is worth popping into and where it would be better to just hold it.