Today we rely on cellphones so much and they have become an important part of your travel journey. We use them to take pictures, notes, but more and more we use them as a reference. If we need an information about a country we ask Google and in second the most relevant information is displayed in front of us. Likewise, we use travel apps to make our journeys as smooth as possible, and… of course, to snatch a good deal.
We are reviewing our absolutely favorite travel apps that we LOVE, always USE and can TRUST one hundred percent, so you don’t have to test but just enjoy.
First of all, If there was an award Best Travel Apps, it should be awarded to Skyscanner. But why? Because nowadays at the beginning of every journey is a flight.
We take trips more often than ever before. It is essential that you have the best app that can help you find the best match for your itinerary at the BEST price and much more. Skyscanner is precisely what it sounds. The mobile app scans all of the travel booking websites right from your fingertips. It can save you tons of money, and you are always in charge of your itinerary.
- Explore tab.
There you can find Inspiration and SAVE a lot of MONEY. You can initiate a search by destination, and it will show you a calendar with the best deals on flights as well as sample itineraries with the lowest price.
You also have suggestion tabs like:
- Popular Destination
- Quick Getaways
- Longer Trips and more…
Service is a really great app that can save you a lot of money and invest them toward your next travel adventure. Currently, the app has two modules that help you with your travels- flights and hotels.
First of all, the Flights section of the app looks for your booked flights and adds them to the record. Secondly, after the trip is completed, it checks the actual time of departure and compares it to the original advertised by the airline. IF there is a long delay or cancellation, the app can file a claim on your behalf to receive compensation. Usually, they are in the form of vouchers in your airline account that you can use toward next travels. Some airlines like Delta airlines offer gift cards. I got a gift card from Amazon for a flight from Salt Lake City that was 1h delayed.
The other feature that the app provides is to rebook your hotel room if they find a better deal. And all of that without you doing anything. Sounds great right!! I know! I have been using it for six months, and it has saved me 285$.
The Service App is paid, and there are two plans that you can choose from. One is “pay as you go”. With this plan, the company will charge you 30% of the reimbursement as a fee ONLY if the claim was successful. And the second one is a yearly subscription plan which costs $49 per year. For me, this option is much more worth it because I travel quite a bit. They also have a promise that they will extend your subscription if they don’t save you at least 49 dollars for the first year. How cool is that!
I love this app. All of this makes it one of the best travel apps out there that should never leave your cell phone home screen. I know it won’t leave mine.
What does Service DO:
Searches for delays and disruptions on your flight routes and can file a claim for a refund or reimbursement vouchers
- Files claims on your behalf with a touch of a button and SAVES YOU MONEY
The AMEX app is primarily a financial app that helps you manage your American Express accounts, generally credit cards. You can pay off your credit cards, check your benefits, add offers and much more.
But there is a reason why I am adding this app to a post about the best TRAVEL apps.
As you probably have or seen around, AMEX offers they are premier TRAVEL credit card- the AMEX PLATINUM. This is my favorite credit card, and I will quickly share with you exactly why.
With this card, you accrue points as a reward for using the card. In contrast with other travel credit cards, like Alaska Airlines’ credit card, for example, you can TRANSFER those points to various reward program like Hilton Honors, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, to name a few. This is incredibly powerful and makes the AMEX reward program extremely flexible, also considering that the points are of very high worth, similar to Alaska’s points, but you cannot transfer them, you can only use them on Alaska and their partners through Alaska’s website.
Other great feature of the credit card is that it gives you access to 1100+ airport lounges around the world in partnership with Priority Pass. Now, this is the all mighty feature for me, especially since my home airport SeaTac has an American Express Centurion Lounge which is fantastic. We will review the credit card in more details, and I will tell you all about it in another post because its perks are more than 40 and they deserve a more extended review.
What does AMEX app DO:
- Searches for the best lounge at the airport of your choice or nearby
- Shows you pictures of the lounges, their locations, and amenities like drinks, food, shower and internet.
Other good options here, worth mentioning are:
What does Momondo app DO:
Searches for the best travel airfare deals for a destination of your choice
You can very quickly see a Price calendar that shows you the best times to fly to save money. If you are flexible with the dates of course.
We covered this as one of the most important tricks to save money in “My Guide on How to Travel the World Easy Safe And Without Breaking the Bank” If you missed getting the FREE GUIDE subscribe now and save money in minutes.
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The Airbnb app is just as cool as the actual website. First, it is a beautiful app, makes you happy to use it, if you care about design at all, of course. Right from your home screen, you can search for Homes, Experience, and Restaurants. Then you can BOOK, MANAGE and PLAN the trip. You can also contact your host through the messages services. It’s so easy and convenient. The new feature Airbnb Plus is also introduced in the app. It is a new selection of homes verified for quality and comfort. You can also review and leave comments about the properties that you stayed at. The app is high up on my best travel apps list.
I cover the usage of Airbnb to book the best stay in my post that you can find below.
You can check out my post on How to Book the Best Stay with Airbnb.
What does Airbnb app DO:
- Searches for the best homes, experience, and restaurants
- Contact your hosts through messages and manage your bookings right from your screen.
Booking dot com is another useful app which is a massive database of hotels, hostels and recently added apartments and houses. It has tons of filters you can choose from to narrow down your search to your best options.
You can sign up for your account and manage all your trips in one place.
What does Booking.com app DO:
- Again a great search engine for accommodation
- Great variety of filter you can apply to your search to narrow down your results
If you are a member of the rewards programs for Hilton and SPG now including Marriott as well, you need those apps. They will let you book and manage your trips. On the app, you can update your preferences for room and preferred brand. They will also allow you to view and change your membership benefits. For example, SPG lets you choose whether you want to have extra 1000 bonus points for your stay as a Gold member or receive complimentary breakfast during your stay.
Last week I stayed at the Hilton in Los Angeles, and I chose to get the bonus points because this hotel has an executive lounge and there are snacks and drink available at all times and very basic breakfast in the morning, so I chose not to use the complimentary continental breakfast at the restaurant.
What do those app DO:
- The book stays, manage reservation and membership benefits
- Digital key to unlock your room when you stay at SPG hotel that supports it
This is my number #1 on my best travel apps for trip planning. FourSquare in a way might remind you of Yelp, but much less confusing and very user-friendly. Find the best places for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Are you a coffee addict like me? The app will show you the way to the best coffee shop around.
You can create an account and save all your favorite places on a list. For example, my New York list has all the places I want to visit in NYC, same for Tokyo and Kyoto.
The app can be partnered with another app called Swarm which can help you check in in the places you are, creating a history of your visits.
You can also share photos and write comments and reviews. But my favorite part is that you can filter the search results by rating that way you can only visit the top rated places.
What does FourSquare app DO:
- Shows you the best places to visit based on your location at the moment, or you can choose location manually.
- The ability to create bucket lists
Google maps are great for planning your trip. You can enter your locations and create an itinerary where you go through the places in order of their proximity, so you are saving time. The only downside is that you could add only ten places at a time or at least I couldn’t figure out how to add more.
Both apps are great and work perfectly to manage your rental car reservations and your membership benefits. You can add your discount codes right in the app and your credit card to pay for rental cars from the comfort of your smartphone. Lastly, you can also request upgrades of your vehicles and skip the lines especially if you are a Gold member. An emergency roadside assistance request form is also available.
What does Google Maps app DO:
Reserve and manage your reservation and membership benefits.
- Skip the lines and pick up your car right away.
Travisa is a small app with a bit of sloppy design. However, it is fascinating and compelling.
Travisa will tell you whether you need a visa or not and what are the conditions under which you can visit a particular country based on your citizenship.
For example, I am a Bulgarian citizen and US permanent resident, and I want to go to Russia. I entered my details and the type of travel in the app and clicked “view requirements.”
The next screen showed me all the information that I needed to proceed with my travel planning. After checking with the app, I knew that I would have to have a valid passport for six months beyond my stay in Russia, which is quite reasonable.
The second requirement was to acquire a visitors visa based on an invitation to visit the country. It also showed me the nearest visa centers where I can apply for one.
Next, it listed all the requirements for a photo that I need to bring during the visa application and some more details about the official invitation issued from a Russian hotel or citizen inviting me to visit the country.
What does Travisa app DO:
- Determines whether you would need a visa to travel to a country based on your citizenship.
- List of requirements if you have to acquire a visa.
Simple habit is the best meditation apps. You might be wondering why I include this app in the “Best travel apps” list. Only because as a traveler you are inevitably going to struggle with some stress and Jet lag. I find that Simple Habit helps me the most when I am trying to relax on the airplane or when I need to deal with a stressful situation like an airline losing my luggage.
What does Simple Habit app DO:
- It is a library of guided meditation sessions on different topics.
- Meditation on the Go gives you the flexibility to chose the meditation session length and theme based on your needs.
Elk is the fastest way to convert currencies on your trips. It knows where you are, and automatically picks the right currency for you. It is super easy to convert swipe the screen and see the magic happens. Especially useful for those currencies with a lot of zeros like Vietnam dongs where 100 dollars are about 2 million VND. It also works with your Apple watch if you have one.
What does Elk app DO:
- Converts currencies based on your location from the comfort of your home screen or Apple watch
- Super easy swipe right or left navigation, converts currencies without the need of typing
So folks, those are the best travel apps that we have found up to date. We use them everyday to book airfare or hotel, find a the best deals on rental cars and manage our reservations. All of our trips begin with careful planning using the helpful resources of those apps.
What are your favorite travel apps?