15 of the best apps for travel in 2024

The pandemic has changed travel. Journey smarter with the 15 best apps for travellers

So, you have an upcoming trip, and you don’t know where to start? Planning a vacation isn’t easy at the best of times, even if it is something you’re familiar with. While many keen travellers are itching to be elsewhere, it’s hard to deny that COVID-19 has changed the way we travel.

What was once an exciting journey navigating transfers and layovers (yes I’ll admit I find that fun) can now easily become a tangled mess of cancelled or delayed flights, rules, regulations, and every traveller’s worst nightmare: lost luggage (bear with me here). The reality is that while travel has opened back up, it’s not yet the same as it was pre-2020. However, these complications should be viewed as obstacles, rather than barriers to travel.

Choosing the best travel apps

Among all the changes to travel are, of course, the usual things to consider: destination, what to pack, the weather, the airfare, where to book for accommodation, where to seek help in case of emergency, etc. But you need not worry, all these can be taken care of by just downloading and installing the best apps for travellers onto your phone.

Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a wellness retreat, a road trip, or a family holiday, you may find yourself overwhelmed because there are a lot of things to consider.

You may not be aware, but the best apps for travellers can help you track your luggage, meditate in the sky and pick destinations depending on the goal of your travel. There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of leading travel apps available for iOS and Android. However, not all of them may be suitable for your situation. Some may not even be necessary for you at all.

best travel apps help you pack

Choosing a good travel app for the current climate isn’t a walk in the park. Using a combination of the right apps can be the difference between a holiday or a stressful event. If you’re looking for the best apps for travellers to download before a trip, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve taken the liberty of tracking down the 15 best travel apps to help you plan, navigate almost every obstacle and enjoy your journey with ease.

The Flight Tracker

First things first, let’s get across any flight status changes.

Just as the name suggests, this 4.7-star app tracks flights worldwide, offering important details such as arrival and departure times, flight cancellations and delays, gate changes alerts, seat maps, and terminal information.

If you fly frequently, this is one of the best apps for travellers. It will give you the option of labelling your routes, taking notes on particular flights, and syncing a mobile calendar with the app. This way, when you have scheduled some flights on the calendar, the app will help you keep track of these flights. Another advantage of this app is that you can set it to remind you about your flights.

These days it seems like we need more documentation to travel than to apply for a visa. This is where The Flight Tracker’s document folder comes in handy. App users can upload boarding passes, vaccination certificates and booking confirmations all to one place, saving valuable seconds in airport security.

This app is only available via iOS for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Get it here.

LugLoc luggage tracker

A luggage tracker app is arguably one of the most important apps to consider for current travel.

A few luggage tracking apps are popping up at the moment, but we find LugLoc to be the most reliable as the world’s first luggage locator. The LugLoc tracking app works with a locator device, which can be ordered online via LugLoc’s website.

If you’re only going to download one app from this list, this is probably the one. We’re hearing of more and more lost luggage nightmares, many travellers having to wait until the final days of their trip to be reunited with their belongings (if at all). This app has one goal: to give travellers peace of mind. LugLoc will help you rest easy on your return flight knowing your souvenirs are making it home with you.

LugLoc luggage tracker can be downloaded for free on the Apple or Google Play stores.

Airbnb

Sometimes peace of mind is more important than anything else when travelling. Booking an Airbnb instead of a hotel can help you and your family avoid the crowds and minimalise contact with others, while still enjoying a pleasurable getaway.

Guests can relax knowing that their stay has complied with Airbnb’s COVID-19 safety precautions, which require all hosts to complete a 5-step enhanced cleaning process between each stay. You can read more about this here.

Whether you want to rent a private one-of-a-kind home, a room, or even experience a tiny house, this accommodation booking app has you covered. You can easily search for any type of accommodation in whatever location you desire. With Airbnb, you can choose to rent a specific couch or room by filtering your search through reviews and photos.

Airbnb is not only among the best travel apps for searching for locations and accommodation, but it also lets users view photos of amenities like washing machines or pools — allowing for optimal planning. Airbnb covers over 100,000 cities in about 220 countries all over the world. The accommodation listings advertised on Airbnb vary in price, so you’re sure to find one that best suits your budget.

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This app is available for download on both iOS and Android.

just click to travel

Trip View app

Ah, public transport. It’s a necessity for travellers who want to save money on the go, but also a breeding ground for those nasty germs. A travel app is key to properly mastering the public transport network and minimising any route mishaps in a foreign city (hopefully helping you to hop on and off as quickly as possible).

If you live in, or frequently travel to Sydney, this is the perfect app for you. The Trip View travel app creates itinerary plans for metro, train, bus, ferry, light rail and coach services in NSW. It displays timetable data for public transport on the user’s phone. The data will be stored on your phone, meaning you can use it even if you’re offline and quickly view the times for any trips you’ve saved.

Just like with other holiday planner apps, this app works in a specific way: it will provide you with information on service and trackwork interruptions. Trip View has interactive maps, which you can use to create a trip by simply clicking on a station. It features a trip editor, which comes in handy when you want to change your location or destination.

If you are online, you’ll be able to see real-time data about destinations. When it comes to flight apps that can help you with planning trips, this app should be on top of your list.

Find out more about this travel planning app via the NSW Government website here.

Uber

I completely understand if you’re someone who has emerged from the pandemic with a hesitancy towards public transport. Stuffy shoulder-to-shoulder carriages don’t exactly have the once-romanticised tourist appeal they used to.

As the rideshare market has continued to explode, many on-demand car booking apps have emerged to help you get to and from your destination. Enter Uber. As the original, world’s leading rideshare hailing app, it has the best coverage you’ll find. This means that far from being limited to getting from A to B in your backyard, the Uber app can help you travel cheaply around the world without crowds.

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Available for download via iOS and Android.

best apps for travellers

Hipcamp

For many of us, the pandemic changed the way we want to travel. Lockdowns spent in urban centres have driven an outdoors travel trend, with many now travelling in pursuit of nature rather than anything else. Dubbed the ‘Airbnb of the outdoors’, Hipcamp is for those in search of unique outdoor adventure.

Whether it be a short forest hike or a camping escape in the remote wilderness, Hipcamp makes it easy to book stays in national parks, caravan parks, cabins and even yurts and treehouses. If you’re more luxury-inclined, Hipcamp can help you source glamping experiences all around the country. From group getaways to farm stays, there’s a travel experience for almost everyone.

Hipcamp currently operates in two of the world’s greatest road tripping destinations, Australia and the US, but has exciting plans for further international expansion.

Roadtrippers

Perhaps the pandemic chaos has put you off international travel altogether and no number of savvy travel apps will help. We get it. However, there’s no reason why travel should be written off completely, it gives us so much after all.

Domestic travel is still a fantastic way to explore new sights. From sunburnt red dirt plains to some of the best coastlines in the world, we’re truly spoiled for choice with remarkable natural landscapes in Australia.

From its name, you can easily tell this travel app is for those who like to embark on road trips. If you are in this category, we’d encourage you to download it and install it right away. This app will help you plan your next road trip with ease. It will help you find almost everything related to travelling on the road, from roadside attractions and national parks, to restaurants and hotels.

Roadtrippers is an essential app for travellers looking to discover useful stops, attractions, and destinations. It can be downloaded on iOS and Android for free.

PackPoint

This holiday planner app will take the stress of packing off your shoulders so that you can focus on other, more important pandemic-related travel planning. The PackPoint travel app allows you to create a comprehensive checklist of the essential items you need to pack for your journey.

You’ll be able to create a customised luggage and packing checklist depending on whether your travel is for pleasure or business. The app will provide you with a weather forecast that you can use to decide on which types of clothes to pack. If you are too busy or preoccupied with piles of documentation to create a list of your own, you can opt for the automatic list created by the app.

If you are a new traveller who is looking for assistance with what to bring on a trip, PackPoint is among the best apps to help you pack. No need to fret about over or under-packing ever again!

Grab it for iOS here and for Android here.

Triplt

When it comes to the best apps for travellers, Triplt is a personal favourite. I use it for organsing future travel itineraries. Once you install the app, you simply need to forward your flight details such as flight number, restaurant, hotel, car rental information, etc. to their email.

The information will be transferred automatically to your itinerary so you can view your travel plans on the go. TripIt could be an especially helpful app for those who prefer spontaneous travel and need a little extra help with planning things to a tee. Many users like this travel app because it has a web version, which allows users to share their travel itineraries with their contacts.

The basic Triplt app will serve you just fine. However, if you need additional features, you can update to Triplt Pro, a premium service charged at the rate of $49 per year. The premium features include tipping advice, real-time refund notifications and flight alerts, as well as the ability to track your miles and reward points, among others — all the fun things we’ve missed!

This travel app is available for download via iOS (including Apple Watch) and Android (including Android Wear).

AirHelp

If you have commenced regular travel since borders have opened back up, you have likely been frustrated by cancelled or delayed flights. In certain instances, the airline might have denied you boarding for one reason or the other. If you’ve faced such a situation, then you could deserve to get compensated. Though only a small number of passengers (1% or less) are entitled to such compensation, it’s always worth trying.

The process of seeking compensation is complex and time-consuming. This is where flight apps like AirHelp come in. As air passenger rights experts, AirHelp can help you find compensation where you’re entitled to it. By entering your flight detail and the nature of the problem onto the app, the flight company will get notified and will act accordingly.

Note that AirHelp will charge a commission if they are successful at finding you compensation for a flight cancellation or flight delay. This is an essential app for travellers wanting to stay on top of consumer rights.

Skyscanner

Travel is arguably more expensive than ever. The pandemic has driven airfares through the sky, pushing long haul flights out of reach for many travellers who are keen to get exploring again.

If you want to save on airfares, then this flight booking app is for you. This is among the best holiday planner apps for searching flights from multiple sources. It works by comparing the prices then giving users the cheapest options available. The app also helps users to find easier routes to their destinations — we’re all about simplifying the journey as much as possible right now.

The Skyscanner travel app has a feature called “Everywhere”, which allows users to sort their destinations based on their travel timeframes and budgets. For example, there are certain destinations you might think are too expensive for you to visit, but using this and other flight apps, you’ll realise these destinations are actually affordable.

The main reason why we use Skyscanner over other apps for travellers is that it can alert you when the airfares drop. This enables you to find the appropriate time to enjoy visiting your dream destinations, with the cheapest airfares possible.

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best apps for travellers

Google Translate

Picture this: you’re abroad, your flight was cancelled and you’re swiftly trying to book another to make your connecting flight. Time is of the essence and now is not the moment for anything to be lost in translation. Just as the name suggests, Google Translate is an app that allows users to input short sentences, phrases, and words before translating them to a language of their choice.

While it’s technically not a travel app, I personally wouldn’t travel without it when visiting a place where the language is unfamiliar. For example, if you want to translate a word from English to French, you’ll choose English as your input language and French as your output language. After doing that, you can input the word, and the app will automatically translate it to French. Has your Parisian cab driver hit you with a phrase you don’t understand? Try a French-to-English translation.

Où sont tes bagages?

You can also let the app read the text for you, so you know how it is pronounced. Google Translate is an essential app for travellers to use when journeying to a country where you don’t understand the language spoken. The app supports 103 languages while online and up to 53 languages while offline — this app could even help you if you find yourself lost in a remote part of the world!

best apps for travellers

Headspace

So despite all your planning (if we’ve learnt anything over the past few years it’s that sometimes planning only gets us so far) things went wrong. Perhaps your flight was cancelled, throwing your whole itinerary out of whack or your luggage didn’t follow you to your destination. Cue some deep breaths.

Sure, this isn’t a typical travel app, however, Headspace is still essential for many travellers who need to find a sense of calm when things go wrong.

The Headspace app will also help you to pass time or find sleep while on a flight, with seemingly endless ‘singles’ meditations to choose from across a range of categories such as sleep, anxiety, and commute (perfect if you do find yourself in one of those overwhelming shoulder-to-shoulder public transport situations).

Whether you need deep rest, or a quick refresher before landing, Headspace can have a profound effect on your mental state while travelling. Trust me, it’ll become the travel app you can’t live without.

This popular app can be downloaded via the Apple or Google Play stores and while there’s a $12.99 per month cost, Headspace often runs free trials (occasionally year-long).

Strava

There’s little worse than having a sickness spoil your long-awaited holiday plans. Physical health is front-of-mind for those wanting to avoid getting sick during travel. While crowded hotel gyms may have lost their appeal, the wide open spaces and fresh air of the outdoors provide a whole world of exercise options.

Strava can help you source interesting running or cycling routes wherever your travels take you. What’s more, it allows you to connect with other app users around the area to gain inspiration or perhaps engage in a bit of healthy competition. What better way to experience a city than on foot?

This is another life app that you should absolutely pack in your travel folder.

Strava is free to download from the Apple or Google Play store, however, there is a subscription to access premium features.

Other apps worth considering

The Government provided Travel smart app should also be on your ‘must have’ list for your own safety.

If you’re going to be travelling to or transferring money to a large number of destinations, it may also be worthwhile to have access to a money-transfer or multi-currency services, such as Wise (formerly TransferWise), Revolut or TorFx.

Wise Australia online money transfer

Conclusion: The best apps for travellers

Travelling post-2020 looks a little different. Tightened rules and regulations, flight cancellations and missing luggage mean planning and organisation are more important than ever.

As we’ve highlighted, the best travel apps have many different features — each suitable for a particular class of travellers. However, it’s important to note that no single app can have all the features a traveller needs and you’ll often need to have access to Wi-Fi to make an app work!

It’s for this reason that you may have to install more than one travel app on your phone. And since your phone’s storage is limited, you’ll have to plan strategically to download the best travel apps for your situation. Above and beyond access to top travel apps, ensure you also have enough cash and all the devices that you may need to complete your trip successfully.

Picking the best apps for travellers can help you save both money and time. Not only that, but the apps we’ve listed here will also make your journey safe, enjoyable, comfortable, and satisfying. Did we mention less stressful?

The wonderful world of travel has reopened and befriending the right apps could see you enjoy it all just like the good old days. We suggest creating a dedicated home screen folder for the travel apps that work best for you. Whether you’re taking to the skies, or preferring to adventure closer to home, there’s an app that can enrich your travel plans.

FAQ – Best Apps for Travellers

What are the best free travel apps?

There are so many apps for travellers these days, so it pays to be discerning. Do your research and examine packing trip planning, flight and road trip apps, and choose one that is supported by iOS or Android.

What apps are good for travelling?

With so many apps on the market, it can be hard to cut through the noise. When it comes to the best apps for travellers, we can’t go past TripIt.

What is the number one travel app?

Travel apps are a personal choice, but some are more popular than others. You can easily check the number one travel app via both Apple iTunes store and Google Play. These stats change on a regular basis.

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