Streamline Your Travels with These Top-Rated Apps
If you're like us, you love to travel. These days, traveling is much easier to do, thanks to the abundance of apps to make every leg of your journey as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. As the saying goes, "There's an app for that," and as we'll see, you can find programs to handle virtually every aspect of your next adventure.
Whether you're looking to drive, fly, or hike your way around, these are the must-have travel apps to download today!
Breaking Down Must-Have Travel Apps by Type
Sometimes, your trip will take you to another country. In other cases, you may wind up practically next door in a nearby city or county. Since each trip is different, you want to categorize your apps based on what they can do and how they can help. So, with that in mind, we've curated our list of 20 apps by type, so you can pick and choose the ones that suit your needs.
That said, because your next trip might be different, be sure to bookmark this page for easy reference (unless you want to download all the apps at once).
The Best Parking Apps
Parking is always a hassle, especially if you're parking for a flight or are planning to park in a central location for the day. Parking fees and crowded cities can make driving feel like an immense chore, but these apps can come to your rescue.
The Parking Spot
Airport parking is almost universally a hassle, no matter where you live or which airport you're visiting. Fortunately, The Parking Spot app is the best way to find a spot outside the airport, so you don't have to pay exorbitant fees. Plus, we'll help you reach the correct gate on time, so you don't have to fumble with taxi or ride-sharing apps to get there. It's also available across the U.S. at 38 locations at 22 major airports. With The Parking Spot, hospitality comes first, parking second.
If you need parking while you're visiting a new town (or just going out for the weekend), Spot Hero can save you a lot of time and energy. All you have to do is find a spot in the app, compare pricing, and reserve the spot before you park. The app will also give specific instructions if necessary, so you know what to expect.
The Best Travel Planning Apps
If you want the best travel experience, you need to plan an itinerary, so you know where to go and when you need to be there. That said, these planning apps can also work for spontaneous travel accommodations, so you can go where the wind takes you when inspiration strikes.
No matter where you are in the world, Google Maps can show you how to get around. You can search for anything via the app, including restaurants, retailers, car rentals, and more. Plus, Google provides reviews and in-depth information provided by actual users. Finally, once you find a spot, you can get easy-to-follow directions.
As you book different accommodations for your trip (i.e., flights, hotels, and rental cars), you'll receive confirmations from multiple sources. Tripit can organize all of these messages into a single dashboard. This way, you can find tickets, QR codes, reservation numbers, and more from a single source instead of trying to keep track of it by yourself. Plus, with the Tripit app, everything is right at your fingertips.
Finding flights, hotels, and car rentals by yourself can be overwhelming and take a lot of time. Skyscanner can do it all for you and scour the internet for the best deals. Even better, you're still booking through the travel company directly, so if there's a change or issue, you don't have to go through Skyscanner to get it resolved.
One of the biggest challenges of traveling abroad is understanding currency exchange rates. Since these rates can fluctuate all the time, XE Currency can keep track of these updates in real time. You can also send and transfer money right through the app for added convenience. This way, you don't have to get stuck with unusable currency when it's time to come back home.
Another challenge of traveling to a foreign country is learning a new language well enough to get around. Fortunately, Google Translate is one of the better free apps out there. It can scan and translate text immediately, even if you use your smartphone to scan a sign or poster. Using the talk-to-text feature, you can have other people speak into your phone and get a translation in real-time for easier communication.
Google Sheets / Google Drive
Don't underestimate the power of a good old spreadsheet! The entire Google Workplace , which includes Google Sheets , has several apps that can be used to aid in travel planning. For example, my wife and I use Google Sheets to keep track of restaurant reservations, tickets to museums and attractions, and hotel stays.
The Best Last-Minute Travel Apps
Ideally, you can plan your next trip well in advance, so you can plot every detail as much as you'd like. However, sometimes you don't get the luxury of foresight, meaning you have to travel, like, right now. Here are some apps to help you make the most of your spur-of-the-moment planning.
If you need last-minute hotel accommodations, Hotel Tonight can give you some incredible deals on places within your area. This app really lives up to its name, as you can't book out more than a week or so in advance. Plus, it works in most major cities.
Hopper is now an all-in-one travel planning solution that tells you if you're getting a great deal or not. If you can afford to wait a little while, you can let the app notify you when a better price comes along. Through Hopper, you can book flights, hotels, and rental cars and manage each booking through a single dashboard.
Get the Flight Out
Usually, last-minute flights can be super expensive, but flight tracking apps like GTFO can help you save a bunch of money when trying to travel right now. As with SkyScanner, Get the Flight Out is a search engine that compares deals and presents them to you, so you don't have to do all the legwork. But you have to book directly through the airline instead of through the app, so plan accordingly.
The Best Solo Travel Apps
Traveling solo can be immensely rewarding, especially because it allows you to meet new people during your journey. Fortunately, solo travel is much more commonplace today, which is why there are apps dedicated to this kind of adventure.
Hostels are excellent options for those who want to make friends and save money on their journey. HostelWorld can connect you with hostels around the globe, so you can compare rates and see amenities before you visit. Plus, see reviews from people like you to get a better sense of what to expect.
Traveling by yourself can be challenging when you're in a new city and don't know anyone. Travello aims to alleviate this issue by connecting like-minded travelers with each other through a vast social network. You can ask users about where to go and what to do and get responses from people who have unique insights and experiences.
The Best Travel Apps for Families With Kids
Traveling is challenging enough, especially when you have children in tow. Fortunately, there are a few apps that cater to the family crowd, so you can get the best deals and have an excellent time.
Hiking is a great family activity that allows you to explore nature and see the other side of cities and locales you may not otherwise experience. AllTrails shows you the location of great hiking spots and allows you to filter the results based on different features (i.e., length or elevation).
If you struggle to find kid-friendly activities while you travel, you need GoWhee . This app works in over 60 countries and shows attractions that are sure to please your little ones. You can also see reviews from parents, so you know whether the attraction is worth your time and money.
The Best Beach Vacation Apps
What's better than relaxing on the beach? These beach apps help you plan the perfect day of sand and surf, so you can feel refreshed and rejuvenated before going back home.
Nothing is worse than going to the beach to find out that it's cold and rainy. WeatherLive gives you real-time updates and shows you what the weather looks like in your target area. Never miss a perfect beach day again!
Is the closest beach experiencing high tide or low tide right now? With the TidesChart app , you can receive real-time updates, so you know whether there's time to play in the water or if the sea is too rough. Perfect for making the most of your beach trip.
The Best Ski Trip Apps
From sandy beaches to snowy mountains, traveling allows you to experience all kinds of climates and terrains. If you love to hit the slopes, these apps can ensure you get the best ski trip possible.
Have you ever wondered about your stats while skiing or snowboarding? Ski Tracks will keep track of your position on the mountain throughout the day, so you can see how many miles you've traveled, routes you've taken, and other stats to impress yourself and your friends. Plus, you can save this data and compare it with future trips at the same location (or others).
Typically, it's best to reserve your ski lift tickets in advance, so you don't have to spend so much time waiting in line. Liftopia allows you to get real-time pricing and book your ticket beforehand. This way, you can be on the mountain faster and feel that fresh powder waiting for you.
Travel With Confidence With The Parking Spot!
Don't let your next travel experience start off on the wrong foot! Let The Parking Spot help you get to the airport smarter by keeping your car safe during your journey. Our app, combined with most of the other apps on this list, will ensure you have the best time during your next adventure! Happy travels!