Does this have an app? This is me, every time I find out about some helpful resource I can use for my trips. After traveling around the world for more than 8 years now and writing an eBook about ways to travel on a low budget, I think I have tried and tested almost all the apps out there.
The best free travel apps will help you navigate an unfamiliar place with ease, manage to travel without speaking all languages, find better flight deals, join the cool activities you want, and even find a public toilet around. If there’s a need for it, there’s an app for it, this is what I always say. Check them out below and see which ones you prefer!
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Table of Contents
Best free navigation apps
With so many options available when it comes to navigation, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one. Luckily, there are several free navigation apps available that can help you navigate your way through unfamiliar territories. When it comes to choosing a navigation app for travel, there are several features that you should consider. So, before you hit the road, be sure to download one of these top-rated navigation apps.
Google Maps is undoubtedly one of the best free travel apps out there. It’s like having ALL of your father’s maps in your pocket! Not only does it provide accurate and detailed maps of any location you’re interested in, but it also offers real-time traffic updates, public transportation schedules, and even restaurant reviews.
Whether you’re exploring a new city or trying to navigate your way through an unfamiliar neighborhood, Google Maps has got you covered. Plus, with the ability to download offline maps, you can access them even when you don’t have an internet connection. You can also use Google MyMaps to save your desired locations in one go. I even have map collections to sell in my shop, this is how useful I find them.
Google Maps also has great coverage, with maps available for most parts of the world. You can easily search for your destination and get directions, even if you’re in a foreign country. Additionally, it provides information about nearby places such as restaurants, gas stations, and hotels, making it easy to plan your trip.
What’s cool about this app is that it’s useful to you as a driver and as a pedestrian. It gives you reliable driving information like traffic data and alternative routes, but also walkable areas and information about various places of interest like restaurants, museums, and businesses.
Waze is a free navigation app that uses real-time data to provide users with the best traffic information. It is a community-driven app that relies on user-generated data to provide accurate and up-to-date information about traffic conditions, road closures, accidents, and more.
With Waze, you can get turn-by-turn directions to your destination and receive alerts about traffic conditions along the way. The app also allows you to customize your route based on your preferences, such as avoiding toll roads or highways. As a user, you can voluntarily provide information to help other traffic participants, thus ensuring a nice environment for everyone around.
One of the best features of Waze is its ability to provide real-time information about traffic conditions. The app uses data from other users to provide accurate information about traffic congestion, accidents, and road closures. This means that you can avoid traffic jams and get to your destination faster.
A cool feature of this app that I use all the time is the notification when you are above the speed limit. It’s not 100% accurate as it cannot know the temporary limitations that appear, but for the most part, you’ll be notified if you’re above the limit. Raise your hand if you have never missed a speed limit sign before! No one? Yeah, I thought so!
If public transportation is your thing, then Moovit is one of the best all-in-one options available. This app is available across the world, making it a great choice for travelers who need to navigate unfamiliar cities. Moovit offers real-time public transit information, including bus and train schedules, as well as alerts for delays and other service disruptions. The app also provides step-by-step directions that are tailored to your specific route, so you can easily get from point A to point B.
One of the standout features of Moovit is its ability to integrate with other transportation options, such as ride-sharing services and bike-sharing programs. This means that you can easily plan a multi-modal trip that combines different forms of transportation to get you where you need to go.
In addition to its navigation features, Moovit also includes several helpful tools for public transit riders. For example, you can use the app to track your bus or train in real time, so you know exactly when it will arrive at your stop. You can also use Moovit to find nearby transit stops and stations, as well as to view maps of transit routes in your area.
While most big cities have their app that is the single source of truth, not all of them are translated into English. Having a free universal app when traveling is better than trying to understand directions in Japanese, believe me!
Trainline is another fantastic free travel app that every traveler should have on their phone, especially if traveling within Europe. It’s the perfect tool for booking train tickets, checking train schedules, and even tracking your train in real time. With Trainline, you can easily compare prices from different train companies and find the best deals for your journey.
The cool thing about this free travel app is that it can combine tickets from multiple providers, thus giving you the best cost-effective way to travel. Whether you’re a frequent train traveler or just planning a one-time trip, Trainline is a must-have app that will make your travel experience a breeze. So next time you’re planning a train journey, make sure to download Trainline and enjoy the convenience it brings.
DiscoverCars is one of the best free travel apps if you’re looking to rent a car. With this app, you can easily compare prices from different car rental companies and find the best deals for your dates and needs. DiscoverCars also offers a wide range of car options, from economy cars to luxury vehicles, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
What’s more, the app also provides a 24/7 customer support service, ensuring that you always have someone to turn to in case of any issues. Whether you’re planning a road trip or just need a car for a few days, DiscoverCars has got you covered. Stop manually comparing rental companies and prices and get all of your information in one place.
If you’re a hiking enthusiast, Alltrails is the perfect app for you. With over 400,000 trails in its database, Alltrails allows you to discover hiking trails near you and around the world. The app provides detailed information on each trail, including distance, difficulty level, and elevation gain.
One of the best features of Alltrails is the trail maps. The app provides detailed maps of each trail, so you can easily navigate your way through the hike. The maps also show the elevation gain and loss, so you can prepare yourself for the difficulty of the hike. While it also has a paid plan, the free one is just enough for most people, especially when beginning their hiking journey.
Alltrails allows you to save your favorite trails and create your hiking routes. The app also allows you to record your hikes and share them with your friends. You can even download the trail maps for offline use, so you don’t have to worry about losing signal while you’re out on the trail.
Best free apps for finding cheap flights
Dollar Flight Club is a fantastic free travel app that helps you find the best deals on flights. With this app, you can get alerts for discounted flights to destinations all around the world. It’s perfect for anyone who loves to travel but doesn’t want to break the bank.
Jack’s Flight Club is another great free travel app that helps you find cheap flights to your favorite destinations. With this app, you can get alerts for flight deals from your home airport and even book flights directly through the app. It’s a must-have for anyone who wants to save money on flights.
When it comes to choosing between Dollar Flight Club and Jack’s Flight Club, it comes down to personal preference. Both apps offer similar services, but Jack’s Flight Club tends to focus more on flights starting in Europe while Dollar Flight Club is more geared towards the USA market. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which app best suits your travel needs and budget.
Both of them offer a free plan and 2 paid plans, and you can decide later if you want to upgrade. If I had to choose between the two free plans, I’d choose the one from DFC, as it sends you better deals than Jack’s Flight Club. This is, of course, my personal preference, feel free to try them both and let me know how it works for you. You can also check my recommended travel items to see what else I use for myself.
Skyscanner is an amazing free travel app that helps you find the cheapest flights to your desired destination. With this app, you can compare prices from different airlines and even set up price alerts for specific flights. My favorite feature is the ability to leave the destination open, so your budget can actually guide your destination, but I also love the ability to choose the dates based on prices. It’s perfect for budget-conscious travelers who want to save money on airfare.
Kiwi is another great free travel app that offers similar features to Skyscanner. What I particularly like about it is the map feature that’s giving you a good overview of the options you have available.
When it comes to choosing between Skyscanner and Kiwi, it depends on your travel style. Skyscanner is great for finding the cheapest direct flights while Kiwi is perfect for those who want to explore multiple destinations on a single trip. Both apps offer unique features and benefits, so it’s up to you to decide which one best suits your travel needs and preferences.
If you’re looking for a free travel app that can help you plan your next trip, then Hopper is worth checking out. This app uses advanced algorithms to analyze flight prices and predict when they will be at their lowest. You can set up price alerts for specific flights and even book your flights directly through the app.
Hopper also offers a feature called Carrot Cash which allows you to gather rewards and unlock discounts. This is perfect for traveling a lot, as you can use your rewards on any future trips. This can be applied to anything from flights to accommodation to rental cars. Now, who doesn’t want rewards?
Best free apps to book accommodation
After you booked your flights, let’s assume you don’t plan on staying on the streets. While accommodation can rarely be free, finding it doesn’t have to cost you a dime. While you might already know some of these free travel apps, I’m sure you don’t know all of them, and I’m sure there’s something helpful you can find in this section as well. Check them out below!
Booking and Agoda are two of the best free travel apps for booking accommodations. Booking offers a wide range of options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels, and even vacation rentals. You can easily filter your search by price, location, and amenities to find the perfect place to stay.
Agoda, on the other hand, specializes in booking accommodations in Asia, and this is what I prefer it for. It offers a large selection of hotels, resorts, and guesthouses in popular destinations like Thailand, Bali, and Japan. Some accommodation options are not even available anywhere else, and when comparing prices in Asia, Agoda often comes at a better price than Booking.
When it comes to choosing between the two, it depends on your travel destination and accommodation preferences. If you’re traveling to Asia, Agoda is a great option, while Booking is perfect for finding accommodations all around the world. Ultimately, both apps offer great features and benefits, so it’s up to you to decide which one best suits your travel needs.
If you’re looking for a free travel app that offers exclusive deals on luxury hotels and vacation packages, then Secret Escapes is the perfect app for you. This app provides access to hand-picked hotels and resorts around the world, with discounts of up to 60% off the regular price. You can browse through a wide range of destinations and find the perfect accommodation for your next trip. S
Secret Escapes is offering you the last available rooms at luxury locations, this being the reason they’re so heavily discounted. Believe it or not, even top hotels hate empty rooms, so they’d rather give them for a lower price than have them empty. With this app, you can enjoy a luxurious vacation without breaking the bank. So, if you’re looking for a great deal on a luxury hotel or resort, be sure to check out Secret Escapes and start planning your dream vacation today.
While most apps will offer you various rooms available at various hotels, the Roomer travel app is different. This app allows you to buy and sell non-refundable hotel reservations that you can no longer use, often at a discounted price. You can browse through a wide range of hotel reservations and find great deals on luxurious accommodations.
Roomer also offers a feature called “Explore,” which allows you to find a hotel room without specifying exact dates or destination specifics. This is perfect for anyone who has some flexibility in their travel plans and wants to find the best deals. So, if you’re looking for a way to sell your non-refundable rooms or buy one from someone else, check out this app and enjoy their portfolio.
If you’re someone who loves to book last-minute trips (I know I am!), then Hotel Tonight is the perfect free travel app for you. This app offers exclusive deals on hotel rooms that are available for booking on the same day or up to a week in advance. You can browse through a wide range of hotels and find great deals on luxurious accommodations.
What’s nice about this service is their very helpful app. If you’re booking something last minute, you rarely have time to stay at a computer and book the room online. With this app, you can enjoy a spontaneous trip without worrying about finding a place to stay. So, if you’re someone who loves to travel on a whim, be sure to have HotelTonight readily available for your next trip.
Best budgeting apps for iPhone or Android
Worried about overspending? I’ve got you covered! In this section, we’ll be exploring the best budgeting apps for iPhone or Android that can help you keep track of your expenses and stick to your travel budget. These apps are easy to use and will help you stay on top of your finances while on the road. So, whether you’re a budget-conscious traveler or just want to keep track of your expenses, be sure to check them out and start planning your next adventure without breaking the bank.
If you’re someone who loves to travel but hates dealing with foreign currency and high exchange rates, then Revolut is the perfect free travel app for you. This app provides a range of financial services, including a multi-currency account, a prepaid debit card, and the ability to exchange currency at one of the best exchange rates out there.
With Revolut, you can easily manage your money while on the road and avoid costly fees. The app also offers a range of other features, including budget tracking and the ability to split bills with friends. I use this app so much, I have created a special blog post all about ways to use Revolut for your travel needs. And yes, it does have a paid plan as well, but most people are absolutely fine with the free one for a long time.
If you’re traveling with a group of friends or family, keeping track of expenses can be a challenge. That’s where Tricount comes in – this free travel app makes it easy to split expenses and keep track of who owes what. With Tricount, you can create a shared expense list and add expenses as you go, whether it’s for accommodation, meals, or activities.
The app will automatically calculate how much each person owes and keep a running total, and it gives you the best option to settle everything, without you having to calculate what you have to pay and to whom. Tricount also allows you to settle up directly within the app, making it easy to split the bill and avoid any awkward conversations. So, if you’re traveling with a group and want to avoid any financial headaches, be sure to download Tricount and start enjoying your trip without any worries.
If you’re someone who wants (or needs) to keep track of your travel expenses in real-time, then TravelSpend is the perfect free travel app for you. This app allows you to track your expenses, create budgets, and get a clear overview of your spending while on the road. With Travel Spend, you can easily add expenses as you go, whether it’s for transportation, accommodation, or meals.
The app will automatically categorize your expenses and provide you with insights into your spending habits. Travel Spend also allows you to set a daily budget and receive notifications when you’re close to reaching your limit. So, if you’re someone who wants to stay on top of your finances while traveling, be sure to download TravelSpend and start enjoying your trip without any financial worries.
Xe currency converter is the perfect free travel app for you when traveling to a foreign country. This app allows you to easily convert currencies and get up-to-date exchange rates for over 180 currencies. With this currency converter, you can quickly calculate how much your money is worth in the local currency and avoid any confusion or surprises when making purchases.
The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to track your favorite currencies and set alerts for when exchange rates reach a certain level. So, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, be sure to download the Xe currency converter and start exploring the world without worrying about exchange rates.
Best free travel planning apps
When it comes to travel planning, I’m such a huge nerd I highly suspect this is why no one is coming on vacation with us (anymore). So sharing the absolute best free travel apps to help you plan your trip is like the holy grail for me! Let’s explore the best free apps for travel planning, from itinerary creation to sightseeing recommendations. These apps will help you plan your trip with ease and make the most of your time on the road. So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip, be sure to check them out and start planning your dream adventure today!
While Trello is not a travel-specific app, it can be an incredibly useful tool for organizing your travel plans. This is a free project management app that allows you to create boards, lists, and cards to keep track of tasks and ideas. You can use Trello to create a travel itinerary, track your packing list, and even keep track of your expenses.
The app allows you to collaborate with others, making it perfect for group trips or family vacations. With Trello, you can stay organized and on top of your travel plans, ensuring that you don’t miss a thing. I particularly like the fact that you can use it on any device and you can customize it for your needs. And once you have a template ready, you can reuse it forever.
The app is free to use. They have a few premium features you might be interested in, but I have managed to use it only with the free version until now. You can either create your template or use a pre-defined one like the one I created, and you can re-use it for each trip by customizing each board per your needs.
If you’re an over-planner like myself but a more visual person than a spreadsheet one, then Trello is for you!
If you’re someone who loves to explore new cities but hates the hassle of planning an itinerary, then Visit A City is the perfect free travel app for you. This app provides pre-made itineraries for over 1,000 cities around the world, making it easy to plan your trip and make the most of your time on the road. While it’s not perfect, and it won’t cover things that only first-hand experienced travelers can share with you, it’s a great starting point for any travel planner.
With Visit a City, you can customize your itinerary based on your interests and preferences, whether it’s sightseeing, food, or culture. The app also provides useful information about each destination, including maps, restaurants, and transportation options. So, if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to plan your next city adventure, be sure to download Visit A City and start exploring the world without any stress.
Wanderlog is a free travel app that allows you to create a digital travel journal and share your adventures with friends and family. You can easily add photos, notes, and locations to your journal, making it the perfect way to document your trip and relive your memories. This app makes your life easy as you keep everything in one place: that random thing you read about in this blog post will be in the same app as your flight reservation number and accommodation confirmation document.
TripIt is another free travel app that allows you to organize your travel plans in one place. Simply forward your confirmation emails to TripIt, and the app will create a master itinerary for your trip. Its special feature is the integration with SAP Concur, so if you’re traveling often for business purposes, this is the app for you!
TripCase is a similar app that allows you to organize your travel plans, including flight information, hotel reservations, and rental car bookings, but it also caters to travel management companies, so you can share some of your tasks with a travel agency, for example. Getting more information about this app is quite hard without an account though, so first decide if it’s really useful to you before you sign up for it.
When it comes to choosing between Wanderlog, TripIt, and TripCase, it depends on your travel needs. If you’re someone who just needs to organize their collected data and share it with others, then WanderLog is the perfect app for you. If you’re looking for a way to organize your travel plans and keep everything in one place, then TripIt and TripCase are both great options. TripIt is perfect for business travelers who need to keep track of multiple itineraries, while TripCase is great for leisure travelers who want to stay on top of their travel plans. Ultimately, all three apps offer great features and benefits, so it’s up to you to decide which one best suits your travel needs.
If you’re someone who loves to hit the open road and explore new destinations, then Roadtrippers is the perfect free travel app for you. This app allows you to plan your road trip, find the best routes, and discover new destinations along the way. With Roadtrippers, you can easily add stops to your itinerary, whether it’s for sightseeing, food, or just a place to refuel and rest.
The app also provides useful information about each destination, including photos, reviews, and ratings. Roadtrippers also offers a feature specifically for RV-ers, so your trips will be curated for your needs and special requirements. So, if you’re looking for a way to plan your next road trip and discover new destinations, be sure to download Roadtrippers and start exploring the world on four wheels. And if you’re interested in their paid plans, use code “BTR5QTP” to get $5 off!
I know, I know, this is just too basic, it’s not even a real app! But if you’re the sort of person that visualizes things better in tables rather than a nice UI, hear me out. While Google Sheets is not a travel-specific app, it can be an incredibly useful tool for organizing your travel plans. This free spreadsheet app allows you to create and customize spreadsheets to keep track of your travel expenses, itinerary, and packing lists.
With Google Sheets, you can easily share your spreadsheet with others, making it perfect for group trips or family vacations. The app also allows you to access your spreadsheet from any device, making it easy to update your plans on the go. And if you’re a bit savvy with these things, you can even implement formulas and calculations to help you plan with ease. With Google Sheets, you can stay organized and on top of your travel plans, ensuring that you don’t miss a thing.
Top free travel apps for flights
Apple or Android Wallet
This might seem like such an easy thing, but I’m amazed at least once a month that not everyone knows about it already. Apple or Android Wallet is the perfect free travel app for any traveler. This app allows you to store your credit cards, boarding passes, and other travel documents conveniently on your phone.
With Apple or Android Wallet, you can easily access your travel documents and make purchases without having to fumble through your wallet or purse. The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to store loyalty cards and gift cards. So, if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to store your travel documents and make purchases on the go, be sure to use Apple or Android Wallet on your next adventure.
Miles apps from airlines
Miles & More and similar free apps allow you to earn and redeem miles for flights and use them to get free flights, upgrades, and lounge access. These apps are perfect for frequent travelers who want to earn rewards for their travels, especially if you mostly use the same airline or airlines within the same alliance.
Miles & More is just one example of a loyalty program app, as many airlines and alliances have their loyalty programs with similar apps. These apps allow you to earn and redeem rewards, track your progress, and access exclusive offers and promotions. While your miles can technically be tracked without the app, it’s easier for you to check your status if you have this handy tool available.
Airlines apps are a must-have for any traveler, as they allow you to access important information about your flight, including flight status, gate changes, and boarding times. These apps also allow you to check in for your flight and access your boarding pass directly on your phone, making the airport experience much smoother and more efficient.
Many airlines also offer additional features on their apps, such as the ability to track your baggage, book flights, and access exclusive offers and promotions. I can go even further and tell you that gate changes and delays are sometimes found easier in the app than in the airport, so your app might tell you what the check-in employee doesn’t even know yet. And if you have to rebook your flight because of a cancelation, you’ll have an easy way to do so. Check out below my helpful PDF with ways to avoid delayed and missed flights and learn more handy tips like this one!
For those situations when you need to track flights and stay up-to-date on flight information, the FlightRadar24 app is the perfect free travel app for you. This app allows you to track flights in real-time, see flight paths, and get up-to-date information on flight status, delays, and cancellations. With FlightRadar24, you can easily search for flights by flight number, airline, or airport, making it easy to find the information you need.
The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to view airport information and weather conditions. So, if you’re looking for a way to stay on top of your flight information and avoid any surprises at the airport, be sure to download FlightRadar24 and check out all the cool information it provides.
Have you ever thought you had a great seat for a long-haul flight, but then arrived on the aircraft and you were next to the restroom, and your seat was not reclining? If you would have known about SeatGuru, your life would have been much better. This app provides detailed seating charts for over 1,000 airlines, allowing you to find the best seats on your flight.
With SeatGuru, you can easily search for your flight and view the seating chart, which includes information about legroom, seat width, and other amenities. The app also provides useful information about each airline, including baggage fees, in-flight entertainment, and food options. So, if you’re looking for a way to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable flight, be sure to download SeatGuru and find the best seats on your next flight.
If you have ever experienced flight delays, cancellations, or overbooking, then AirHelp is the perfect free(mium) travel app for you. This app helps you claim compensation for flight disruptions, such as delayed or canceled flights. With Airhelp, you can quickly check if you’re eligible for compensation, file a claim, and track the progress of your case. The app also provides useful information about your rights as a passenger, including compensation amounts and airline regulations.
Yes, they do take a commission if they get you the compensation, but this is paid only in case of success so you’re not paying unless you’re compensated. They also have a yearly subscription you can buy that gets you the full amount in case of disputes, so you might want to check this out as well. Otherwise, the freemium version is good as well. No matter what, if you’ve experienced a flight disruption, even in the last 3 years, and want to claim compensation, be sure to download Airhelp and get the compensation you deserve.
If you would like to travel in comfort and style, then LoungeBuddy is the perfect free travel app for you. This app allows you to find and book airport lounges around the world, giving you access to comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary food and drinks. With LoungeBuddy, you can easily search for lounges by airport or airline, view photos and amenities, and book your access directly through the app.
The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to view lounge reviews and ratings from other travelers. So, if you’re looking for a way to upgrade your airport experience and enjoy some peace before your flight, be sure to download LoungeBuddy and start booking your access to airport lounges today.
Best free apps for entertainment while away
OK, so we discussed planning and transportation when it comes to traveling. But what about entertainment? It’s not like anyone is traveling just for the flight or for the planning! Well, keeping yourself entertained while away is a major part of your enjoying your trip, so check out the following apps to find something that suits you.
I know I’m old, but I have just discovered podcasts! I always preferred to read instead of listen to information, but lately, I started to listen to podcasts more, as I’m more on the move and cannot read while walking. There are a lot of podcast apps available online, so just choose the one that’s better for your device.
The cool thing is that you can download episodes from your favorite shows, so you can have entertainment available for any long-haul flight ahead of you. While I use it for blogging-related subjects, there are podcasts these days for almost all subjects, so try searching for cool things to learn in a fun way while on the go.
GetYourGuide is a free travel app that allows you to book tours, activities, and experiences around the world. With GetYourGuide, you can easily search for activities by destination, view photos and reviews, and book your tickets directly through the app. The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to access your tickets offline and receive instant confirmation.
Viator is another free travel app that allows you to book tours and activities around the world. With Viator, you can easily search for activities by destination, view photos and reviews, and book your tickets directly through the app. The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to access your tickets offline and receive instant confirmation, just like GetYourGuide.
When it comes to choosing between GetYourGuide and Viator, both apps offer great features and benefits. GetYourGuide is known for its extensive selection of tours and activities, while Viator is known for its exclusive and unique experiences. Both apps offer easy booking and instant confirmation, making it easy to plan your adventures on the go. While sometimes you won’t find the tour you’d like in one of the apps, you will find something for you in the other, so you can use both and see what works for each trip.
Are you a history buff like myself? Are you passionate about history and culture? If so, then Sandemans Tours is the perfect free travel app for you. This app offers a range of free walking tours in cities around the world, led by local guides who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and insights. With Sandemans Tours, you can easily book your tour, meet your guide, and explore the city’s top landmarks and hidden gems.
The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to access your tour information offline and receive instant confirmation. While the tours are not exactly free, as you usually offer the guide a small tip at the end, you decide how much you pay based on the quality of the tour, and the guides are usually really helpful and nice.
Want a scratch map but have nowhere to display it? While this is one of the coolest ways to display travel souvenirs, sometimes your situation doesn’t allow for this creative outlet. Well, let me introduce Skratch, your online scratch map! This cool little app allows you to save various maps, from the places you’ve already seen to the ones you’d like to add to your bucket list.
With unlocking features that allow a bit of fun gamification and ways to organize your travel memories like photos and video, Skratch might just become your cute way of keeping up with all of your trips like it’s a long-forgotten photo album. Check it out when you have a chance!
Top useful travel apps
Aren’t all these apps useful? Well, yes, but this is the section where I put all the apps that didn’t fit anywhere else, but are still important. Because no matter how well you plan everything, and how organized you are with your documents and your flight information, you’ll need the following travel apps as well.
Please raise your hand if you have ever depended on the free Wi-Fi from Starbucks while on a trip. Yeah, me too! Instabridge is an app created for people like us. This app allows you to easily find and connect to free Wi-Fi networks in your destination, making it easy to stay connected without using your data plan. With Instabridge, you can easily search for Wi-Fi networks by location, view Wi-Fi maps, and connect to the networks directly through the app.
The app also offers a range of other features, including the ability to save your favorite networks and receive notifications when you’re near a Wi-Fi hotspot, plus you can choose to buy an eSIM from them if you’re really in need of internet on the go (although I recommend AirAlo for this service). Please keep in mind though that these types of networks are not the safest in the world, so don’t share any sensitive information while using this feature. Check out my other ways to keep your valuables safe while traveling here to know more.
Excuse me, do you know where the toilet is? This is me literally every time I’m out. And to not have to learn this phrase in too many languages, I have found an online solution for it: the Flush app, for both Apple and Android. Because you know what? I cannot be the only one doing all sorts of less-than-healthy things to avoid needing to use the restroom while away. So this app might sound stupid, but it’s OMG so useful!
Picture this: you’re in Japan, you finally arrived after a 12-hour flight, and you’re scrolling aimlessly on your phone at 3 AM. I don’t have to picture it, I have lived it! And it’s about as bad as it sounds. And you’ll find all sorts of information on how to handle jet lag, but keeping track of which direction you’re flying to and what time you’re landing and all of that may be way too much work for what’s supposed to be a vacation.
So, enter Timeshifter! This cool app will tell you exactly what you need to do to minimize the jet lag impact on your body. It’ll tell you when to go to sleep, when to stay exposed to plenty of sunshine, when to avoid caffeine and it can even help you choose if you want to use melatonin or not. Especially if you’re traveling a lot for work, check out this app to help you enjoy your trips more.
A classic, of course, but it has to be mentioned. Google Translate is an app you want for any international trip, as it can help you get around a foreign country. It has cool features like using the camera to “read” a text, translating live conversations, and being able to save the languages offline, so you can access them even when you don’t have internet available.
DeepL is my favorite translation app, but this is just a matter of preference. Their solution is more accurate than Google Translate, but it covers fewer languages and they don’t offer the offline language option. I would say DeepL is better if you need high-precision information like if you’re reading a contract, but if you just want to translate a menu at a restaurant (and you don’t have allergies), you can go by Google Translate.
Headed to Paris and you want to order your coffee in French? Then start practicing with Duolingo and be bullied daily into doing your 5 minutes of exercise. I’m not joking, the gamification features of this app are borderline bullying, but hey, there’s nothing like a shaming owl to make you practice your French now, isn’t it?
The app is pretty basic, so don’t expect to be able to read Moliere after using it for a week (for more advanced language classes you can check out Babbel+, even though this is not free), but you’ll learn enough to get by for a short while, and at least you can prove that you tried. In the end, no one expects a traveler to speak the language of the country they’re visiting, so any effort from your side is appreciated.
When going on vacation, take half of the things and double the money, they say. But sometimes, that’s just wasteful to choose to buy new stuff when you have perfectly good stuff at home. So, to keep your packing lists in order, and to get helpful information on what to pack for various destinations and occasions, check out Packpoint.
While you can mostly get away with a Notes app for your packing list, PackPoint is also providing you with helpful recommendations based on the information you provide, like the destination, season, and occasion you are going to. It’s very simple to use and it simplifies your life a lot, especially if you’re packing for more than one person.
Especially if traveling in “exotic” places. where you know information is either censored or influenced, it’s better to use a VPN to protect your data. I give more details about this in my travel safety post, but the short story is: use a VPN as much as possible when away.
While there are many paid options available everywhere (like NordVPN, for example), there’s also a free version called TunnelBear VPN. It’s free for the first 500 Mb, so don’t get excited, but hey, free is free! And it might just be enough for your needs really, so check it out when you have a chance.
To tip or not to tip? This is the real question! I don’t know about you, but where I come from, you tip most people from the service industry at a rate of about 10% of the bill. Where I live now, you can leave a few euro as a tip for your waiter, but it’s not mandatory, and you rarely tip another service provider. In Japan, you don’t have to tip, and they’ll even follow you on the street to give you the money you “forgot” on the table. And in the US, well, we all know how that goes. So, how do you decide?
So you don’t have to panic about this, you can use GlobeTips. It not only calculates how much you own so you don’t have to do the mental gymnastics yourself, but you can also scan the bill using your camera and calculate how much each person from the table should add when paying. This is a lifesaver after you’ve had a couple of beers in Germany, you know?
Yes, the world indeed would be a better place if we would all use the same units, for example, the metric system and Celsius for the temperature. USA-ers, please don’t throw tomatoes at me, you guys know that comparing things with football fields is not a good use of your time and energy. But it’s not my place to change the world so, maybe use an app instead?
This simple app will help you with all of your conversion needs. No matter if you need to calculate how long that 300 km trip will take or if you want to understand how to dress tomorrow based on the temperature, this app will help you without judging.
What’s one of the best parts about a trip? Eating all the food, am I right? If you’re one of the people that like to book tables to ensure they will att at the best restaurants around, TheFork is the app for you. The app offers not only reviews but also the option to book a table and discounts for certain restaurants around the world. It is majorly used in Europe, but hey, if we use it long enough, it will spread to other parts of the world as well.
Developed by public organizations, safety apps are a must for any international traveler. While most of them are developed with US Americans in mind, I think most countries have developed their app for their citizens, with important information like alerts and embassy information. I cannot realistically link to all of them so you’ll have to check them out yourself, based on where you’re from and where you’re going to.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes you should also download local safety apps from your destination. Japan is one of the countries where you should be aware of earthquakes and tsunamis, so downloading their app is a good way to be prepared. A short Google search for “best apps for ” will bring you this information for sure.
One of my favorite budget tips (by the way, did you know I wrote an eBook with tips to travel on a low budget?) is to get a tax refund when shopping abroad if you have the option to do so. While some stores will do this on their own, plenty of them will use Global Blue for this.
And yes, Global Blue is keeping a part of your refunded money for the trouble, but in some situations, you would never get a refund if they wouldn’t exist. It’s usually the store’s choice how they want to handle this so realistically, you cannot influence it. But less money is better than no money, you know?
Want to travel more without increasing your budget? Check out my eBook on ways to travel on a low budget and make it happen!
Yes, it’s called that. I mean, you can choose any weather app really, or you can use the default one most phones have already, but why not make a boring subject like the weather a bit more fun? With this app, you’ll find out the weather and the latest burns in one go. Now, isn’t that something you need on a rainy day?
The best free travel apps – The takeaway
I hope you found this post useful as much as I loved writing it. Having the best free travel apps nicely explained like this will be helpful for all of my future trips, and I hope they will for you as well. From finding a room for a very good price to being sure you are safe at all times, these apps will make your life easier and your trips better, and I’d be happy to know I helped with that.
And you know what else would help you on your future trips? These little-known tips to help you avoid delayed and missed flights and reduce your chances of lost luggage. Because there are things you can do to avoid it, and you want to be the one to know.