Travel Tips

Top 11 Travel Apps You Need for Your Next Trip

September 1, 2015

by Nate Lessnick

The age-old adage “There’s an app for that!” couldn’t ring any truer than in the trav­el world. The prob­lem is, you may often find your­self  bash­ing your phone and yelling: “There’s too many frig­gin’ apps for that!”, leav­ing you over­whelmed, frus­trat­ed and with a cracked screen.

True enough, there’s a crap load of apps out there aimed at solv­ing the mod­ern day traveler’s ail­ments, and a lot of them hap­pen to be absolute crap.  But fear not, fel­low trav­el­er; I took the fol­low­ing appli­ca­tions (and sev­er­al oth­ers that didn’t make the cut) for a test-dri­ve over the past few months of trav­el, and can here­by report that most (or all!) are wor­thy of any wan­der­ing Willie’s bandwidth.

Find deals on flights, book reli­able accom­mo­da­tions, get help pack­ing, trans­late signs with your cam­era, keep in touch with loved ones and find the best damn micro­brew in town, all thanks to these 11 apps. Best of all, most of them are free, or less than that microbrew.


Hop­per pre­dicts the opti­mal time to snag a flight deal by ana­lyz­ing bil­lions of air­fares dai­ly and pick­ing out those brief moments when a price drops below its his­toric aver­age. Trav­el­ers with flex­i­ble dates can use Hopper’s col­or-cod­ed cal­en­dar to spot the cheap­est dates in a month. Hopper’s hand­i­est fea­ture, “Watch a Flight,” sends a push noti­fi­ca­tion when the price of a giv­en route tends to bot­tom out.

Price: Free


Look­ing for the cheap­est flight option? Sky­Scan­ner works its mag­ic by com­par­ing prices across mil­lions of flights and hun­dreds of air­lines, and let­ting you book direct­ly from the app with pro­vid­ed links to trav­el agents or air­lines. Flights can be fil­tered by air­line, cab­in class, price or take­off and land­ing times, with week­ly or month­ly chart views to check out prices over time.  Its tagline? “35 mil­lion users can’t be wrong!”

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

3. Tripit

TripIt seri­ous­ly cuts back on trav­el has­sle by con­sol­i­dat­ing your trav­el plans into one sim­ple, con­ve­nient itin­er­ary. View­able online and synced to your phone, you can also share itin­er­aries with your con­tacts. Just link your email account to Trip­It, and the ser­vice will automag­i­cal­ly dig through your inbox for reser­va­tion con­fir­ma­tions and oth­er forms. Using that data, it builds an orga­nized itin­er­ary of your flight board­ing times, hotel check-ins and more. 

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

4. Packpoint

Pack­Point  is a trav­el pack­ing wiz­ard that pro­vides you with a check­list of trav­el essen­tials  depend­ing on the nature of your trip. You can cre­ate a trip pro­file, with your des­ti­na­tion, length of stay and pur­pose of trav­el. Pack­Point then cre­ates a cus­tomized pack­ing and lug­gage check­list that takes into account whether you’re trav­el­ing for busi­ness or plea­sure, the type and amount of cloth­ing to pack based on the weath­er fore­cast, and oth­er fac­tors. The app also comes with a vari­ety of pre­mi­um fea­tures, such as Trip­It inte­gra­tion (see above) for auto­mat­ic pack­ing list creation. 

Price: Free, with in-app purchases

5. Postagram

On your next trip, send a more  per­son­al post­card to grand­ma or your col­lege fling by upload­ing a vaca­tion pic­ture to Posta­gram, typ­ing in a greet­ing, and poof! Posta­gram will print out the card and send it through snail mail for 99 cents in the U.S. and $1.99 worldwide. 

Price: Free

6. Brewery Map

An inter­ac­tive beer-itin­er­ary for the best road trip of your life. Plug in your loca­tion and your des­ti­na­tion, and this nifty soft­ware uses crowd­sourced map data to help you hit every sin­gle awe­some  brew­ery between here and there. Best part is? Brew­ery Map will  find you a tasty brew­ery whether you’re in Lon­don, Eng­land, or Lon­don, Ontario.  May as well start look­ing for a des­ig­nat­ed dri­ver now.

Price: $3.99

7. Kamino

Hav­ing local knowl­edge on your side when it comes to expe­ri­enc­ing a city abroad seri­ous­ly can’t be beat­en. Kamino is just that. Sim­ply type in your city of inter­est and pick one of the many walk­ing tours cre­at­ed by locals and experts for new­com­ers to enjoy and expe­ri­ence the best of what a city can offer, while get­ting off the gener­ic tourist trails.

Price: Free

8. Google Translate

Google Trans­late  lets you type in or dic­tate short sen­tences from one lan­guage to anoth­er. Sim­ply select an input lan­guage and an out­put lan­guage, then either type or dic­tate your mes­sage. The app does its mag­ic, pre­sent­ing you with a trans­lat­ed text, or a short syn­the­sized voice mes­sage. The coolest part: visu­al trans­la­tion fea­tures have just been added, allow­ing you to trans­late text and sig­nage with the aid of your camera.

Price: Free

9. Skype

As long as you’re con­nect­ed to Wifi, Skype can save you a pret­ty pen­ny on roam­ing charges or high inter­na­tion­al call­ing fees while you’re abroad. For 2 cents a minute you can call any num­ber, which is great if you want to meet up with local friends, stay on top of work or keep your long-dis­tance rela­tion­ship alive.

Price:  Free, with cred­its to purchase

10. Tripadvisor

Mil­lions of trav­el­ers use Tri­pAd­vi­sor to rank restau­rants, bars, hotels and tour providers  on a five-star rat­ing sys­tem. Col­lec­tive­ly, they’ve enabled Tri­pAd­vi­sor to cre­ate a handy, crowd­sourced list of any giv­en city’s must-see attrac­tions (and those you should stay away from). For more curat­ed trav­el tips, Tri­pAd­vi­sor also offers a stand­alone Offline City Guides app to more than 80 des­ti­na­tions you can down­load and access lat­er with­out a mobile data connection.

Price: Free

11. XE Currency

XE Cur­ren­cy is every­thing you’ll ever need when you find your­self in need of prices and exchange rates abroad. The app sup­ports just about every nation­al cur­ren­cy used world­wide, with the abil­i­ty to track up to ten simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. Rates are reg­u­lar­ly updat­ed (you can set the fre­quen­cy of updates), and best of all, the rates of cur­ren­cies you’ve already looked up are stored, so that they’re always avail­able offline.

Price: Free