top travel apps i can’t live without

Top Travel Apps for Smartphones

When we traveled throughout Europe last year and the year before, we relied heavily on smartphone and iPad travel apps to guide us to top tourist sites, restaurants and pubs. We also used apps to check flight status, convert currency, help with common phrases, and to find public transportation. Here are a few of the top travel apps I can’t live without:

1. TripAdvisor (Offline City Guides)
I love this app! We just arrived in Boston last Wednesday but I’ve already scoured TripAdvisor for must-see attractions, tours, shopping, and nightlife. You can also check in to places and view them in your trip journal later, and you can send postcards to people with messages like, “Greetings from Boston” etc. If you need help with public transportation, the transit option in this app is awesome. It shows you the nearest metro stop, metro system maps, and other information about each line.

Download the maps when you have Internet connection and use them offline while you’re walking around. Convenient!
Cost: Free

2. Triposo
Triposo is similar to TripAdvisor and has trip guides for different cities. You can go to the map option, click on a tourist attraction in a specific area, and read a description while viewing photos. We used this app a lot when we were traveling in Europe.
Cost: Free

3. FlightView
When we were in the Athens airport trying to fly back to Aberdeen, Scotland, our gate changed five or six times in a row. After basically making laps around the entire airport and being glued to various departure screens, I finally connected to the Internet and checked FlightView for updates. I’ve found that apps are sometimes more accurate than the screens at the airport. How insane is that? This app will definitely make travel a little more stress-free.
Cost: Free

4. Packing Pro
I tend to make mental lists as I’m packing for a vacation and this doesn’t always work out. I’ve forgotten to pack face wash multiple times (and day-um face wash expensive in other countries!), and sometimes I even forget chargers and converters. Packing Pro allows you to create your own packing list to check off, or you can view sample lists for a quick reminder.
Cost: $2.99

5. TripAdvisor (Hotels, Flights and Restaurants)
Since we always read hotel and restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor before booking anything, downloading this app was a no-brainer. It’s easy to search for a restaurant or hotel in a specific area and price range, and reading about other people’s experiences is always helpful. I also like the flight search feature.
Cost: Free

6. TripIt
Are you wanting to plan a big trip without having to hire a travel agent, but the thought of it overwhelms you? Then this app is for you. Simply connect your email to the app and TripIt will pull all of your flight, hotel and rental car information to create an itinerary. It’s an easy way to manage a lot of information.
Cost: Free

7. SpeakEasy
SpeakEasy is basically a compact phrasebook for your phone. The app contains phonetic translations and audio to make traveling in non-English speaking countries easier. You can search for phrases by category, which I think is a great feature.
Cost: Varies (some languages are free)

8. XE Currency
The best thing about this app is that you can use it offline. It stores updated currency rates so you can convert prices without access to the Internet. Quick, painless, and useful for when you’re souvenir shopping in a different country.
Cost: Free

Do you use travel apps on vacation? I’d love to hear about your favorites!


Filed Under: Travel, Travel Essentials38 Comments
  • Lauren W

    This is super helpful! Thank you so much! Xoxo

    LINK UP on my blog! xoxo

  • Rima

    waah… i use almost 90% of the apps on your list!!!! I need to try Triposo. Tripadvisor both offline and online helpsss alot.

  • LuluG

    Very useful thanks. : )

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

  • Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

    we just downloaded XE before our last trip and i tell you what, that thing is a lifesaver! i can’t wait to check out packing pro, because let’s face it, i’m about the most forgetful person out there.

  • Jenna

    All great apps! Have and love some of them already and downloading FlightView now :) xxx

  • Jess

    I love Tripit and FlightView. I also love Word Lens, which automatically translates words when you hold your phone over them. So useful for menus, road signs, etc. I used it during a few trips to Italy and got to expand my palette by trying things on menus I normally would have skipped over if I didn’t understand what they said. And it looks like something straight out of Harry Potter!

  • Alice Bradshaw
  • Kam

    I can’t live without Tripadvisor! I’m also one of those people who checks hotel and restaurant reviews before booking. I need to download TripIt – seems perfect for both business and leisure travels.

    Kam @ A Married Couple & Their Travels

  • Becky Kozak

    Great list! I love trip advisor, I’m always looking for places to go, even in my home town!

    xo Becky
    Seductive Mania

  • Becky Kozak

    Great list! I love trip advisor, I’m always looking for places to go, even in my home town!

    xo Becky
    Seductive Mania

  • Amanda

    I only really use Tripadvosr from this list but it is an absolute staple in my life! xx

  • Danielle @ The-Lifestyle-Project

    Very useful post, thanks for sharing Rachel! I’ve already downloaded three of these :D It’s especially useful to have the ones that store information so when you’re offline you can still access what you need. Can’t wait to use on our next trip!

  • kristin

    this packing pro app is amazing!!! thank you so much!

  • Leah

    Perfect timing! I need these apps for our upcoming trip.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Laura Hyde

    Great post! I do use a lot of those, but i also love the Frommer’s app, which gives great advice on things to see and do

  • Stephanie

    I don’t travel often, but I will have to remember these for when I do. :)

  • Rachel @ Well Worn Soles

    Great list! I live by TripAdvisor – love that app!

  • Alyssa

    This is so helpful–I haven’t heard of many of these!

  • Claire @ thegrassisdancing

    Great tips – thank you! Especially packing pro, as I have a tendency to arrive at airports having forgotten a few things – such as my passport. I like the FlightView too – I was once stuck at Naples airport for what felt like most of my life, and they kept making announcements in Italian, half the passengers would go running off then a full five minutes later would repeat in English and I’d trail behind feeling a bit sorry for myself!

  • Karm

    Thanks for posting. These will help me (:

  • Stephanie

    Great list!

  • Angelika DC

    I post reviews on Trip advisor often and have the app. Going to Mexico soon, so I may download a language app. I will be blogging about packing for and bringing 3 young kids to Mexico. Love your blog, Rachel, I always read. I’m Thanks for posting.

  • Casey Martin

    so many great ones… another is FlightTrack that is often ahead of the airport gate info, sometimes even ahead of the airlines!

  • Quyen Nguyen

    These are all great apps. I use all of the free ones. :) Gotta save money to fuel my eating habit while traveling! :)

  • Lisette

    This was very informative. You rock girlfran

  • Megan C. Stroup

    I also love the offline city guides and TripIt! I included both of those in my “Top Travel Apps” post a few weeks ago for my Travel Tuesday link-up:

    I’ll have to check out the other apps on your list and find some new ones to download before my next trip. :)

  • Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe

    Great info!! Thanks for sharing!

  • themovetoamerica

    I review on, and use TripAdvisor and think it is great – thanks for sharing the others too!

    Molly xo

  • Jessica

    Thanks, this list is helpful. That’s so interesting that FlightView was more up-to-date compared to the departure screens at the airport!

  • Sarah Shumate

    Pinned it!! This is great! We love using TripAdvisor, too. I never book a hotel without reading the reviews first. If there are too many mentions of noise complaints or unclean rooms then we move on immediately!

  • Isa

    The only travel app I ever really use is Couchsurfing… but the last one sounds great! I am terrible at mental math :P

  • Alyssa Baker

    Love all of these travel apps! Uber is a great app to use as well for if you are in need of a taxi in a big city!

  • Laci Carnes

    I’m getting ready to travel overseas and I’ll definitely have to check some of these out! Thanks!

    Feel Free to Follow me in Ireland!

  • Jay Nolan

    I found a way to protect my valuables while traveling, while maintaining privacy and security. It is a global lost and found service that I found online at My Stuff Lost and Found, but it is available from other sources as well. Your lost valuable finds you via text and email. Pretty cool if you lose your passport in Rome and you are headed for Germany in 48 hours. long island wine tastings

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  • Chloé Arnold

    Yes, I did just download 99% of these apps. Thank you!! :) Excited to use them!

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