The Best Travel Apps in 2021 To Help You Travel Better
With the world opening up in 2021, many people are getting some serious wanderlust and feeling excited about traveling again. If you are ready to hit the road or fly off to an exotic location, download these incredible travel apps that will save you time, money and eliminate stress.
Finding cheaper flights is simple with Hopper, especially if you can be flexible with your dates. To score the most affordable airfare possible, all you need to do is enter your city’s name and let the app know where you want to go. Then, Hopper will generate a calendar of projected flight prices for the following year.
It’s color-coded, with green being the cheapest and red being more expensive. You can also set up alerts that tell you if the price increases. The price predictor feature predicts if and when airfare will change, making Hopper an excellent app for traveling on a budget.
Kiwi is another great option for booking flights, but this app does so much more than just get you onto a plane. It’s almost like having a concierge right on your phone. You can book your flight, hotel and rent a car right in one place. It even lets you know what tours are available around you.
Kiwi can tell you where airport lounges and ATMs are or even find you a place to store your luggage over long layovers. It also acts as a travel agent, giving you suggestions for longer trips and flights throughout some areas of the world.
Citymapper is a lifesaver if you’re traveling in a part of the world that you are not familiar with. This app helps you get to your hotel, major attractions, and other destinations with easy-to-follow instructions for finding public transportation. In addition, you’ll get bus and train schedules in real-time, with constant updates if there are any delays.
You can also use Citymapper’s chat to let your family and friends know where you’re traveling. This feature can give you a tremendous sense of safety while on the road.
Have you ever needed to book a hotel room for just a few hours to get through a long layover or have a work call? Dayuse is an excellent app for people who need hotel rooms and amenities for a short period and don’t want to pay full-day rates.
This app can get you discounts for up to 75 percent off the cost of the typical hotel rate. Plus, it’s got a worldwide reach, with over 23 countries participating. You can cancel right up to the last minute too. If you don’t want to spend exorbitant rates on hotels, Dayuse can save you a lot of money.
Expedia is one of the original travel apps, and it’s stood the test of time for two good reasons; it’s easy to use and highly effective. Expedia covers all of your booking needs, including rental cars, flights, hotels, and even excursions. You can even check the prices for specialty travel, like cruises.
Expedia also partners with plenty of travel-related places, like hotels and rental companies, offering their users deals. Sign up for their rewards program to take advantage of them.
Flight delays are the bane of any traveler, and with Flightradar24, you can stay apprised of any potential delays or issues before they become a more significant problem. Flightradar24 keeps track of delays and cancellations but also lets you know if your gate changes.
Although the airline will generally notify you about gate changes through email or text alerts, Flightradar24 gives you access to everything you need in real-time in one spot. As a result, it can seriously minimize stress at the airport and is one of the best travel apps to have on your phone, especially if you’re dealing with short layovers.
Rebtel is an excellent option for people who don’t want to use their long-distance plan to call friends and family back home. It allows you to plug into the phone lines and make calls to up to 50 countries. Rebtel saves you the trouble of getting a local SIM card too, which can be a hassle in certain places.
With this app on your phone, you can keep your SIM card from back home and simply make calls as you need to. You also don’t need to switch SIMs if you change countries multiple times during a trip.
Knowing how much to tip when you’re traveling can be tricky. In certain parts of the world, it’s even considered rude to overtip. Piper is an excellent app for travel because it lets you see how much you should be tipping at a glimpse. Furthermore, it works offline.
Piper’s database includes 84 countries and has customized information about how much to tip in different circumstances. For example, the app will let you know how much you should reasonably tip at restaurants for cab fare and for beauty treatments.
LoungeBuddy allows you to find and use airport lounges in all corners of the world. While many airport lounges are usually reserved only for people flying on certain airlines or in business class, some offer access to all. You can also purchase single passes to the airport lounge of your choice.
Buy the lounge pass when you arrive at the airport, or pick it up through the app up to two months in advance.
While LoungeBuddy helps you be as comfortable as possible while you’re traveling by air, GasBuddy helps you on the ground. This mobile app finds inexpensive gas stations around you simply by using your GPS location. You can also search by city or zip code.
GasBuddy uses information provided by its users to calculate the least expensive gas prices. People log in and update the information regularly. As a reward, GasBuddy gives away free gas and other prizes to participants. This incentive assures that information is being regularly updated and is accurate.
RV Parks and Campgrounds
This app is excellent for people who love to hit the open road. If you and your family want to see some of the best RV Parks and Campgrounds in North America, download this app on your phone. It comes with 40,000 different locations, including what each park and campground offers, as well as rest stops.
The app has a lot of different options, both private and public campgrounds and parks. You can see what the extra costs are and make a reasonable assessment as to where to go.
Any traveler should have Airbnb downloaded on their phone. It is easily the best travel app for finding budget-friendly, local accommodations all over the world. Airbnb is simple to use, and you can search through the listings to find Superhosts in desirable neighborhoods.
You can book your accommodations securely right through the app itself, as well as see a list of all the places that you had previously visited. In addition, both hosts and guests can leave each other reviews. This feature keeps both parties honest and allows new guests to access verified information about where they’re going.
Like Expedia, TripAdvisor is another legacy app that lets you get detailed information on restaurants, activities, and hotels all over the world. Each property and destination comes with pictures and a detailed description of what you can reasonably expect. Additionally, there are customer reviews for every listing.
At a glance, you can look at check-in hours, busy times, and special features or menu items. There’s even a “Near Me Now” feature that lets you see what’s close by at any given time. It’s a must-have for any traveler.
Packing is often one of the most stressful aspects of traveling. PackPoint alleviates a lot of stress by letting you know what you need to take before you hit the road. Then, all you need to do is plug in information about where you’re going and what you plan to do while you are there. The app does the rest.
It analyzes your data and lets you know the must-have things to bring on your trip. You can even share your packing list with other people to help them prepare for their vacations.
Lola is the brainchild of Kayak founder Paul English. Essentially, it acts as a digital concierge, helping you plan every aspect of your trip and texting you in real-time. Lola’s concierge is open all day, every day, to assist you with finding flights or hotels.
One of the key things that makes Lola so effective is that it can help you make last-minute changes if emergencies crop up. For example, if you miss your connecting flight, Lola can give you suggestions for a new one based on what you need. It’s like having a personal assistant right in your pocket.
MyTSA is one of the most helpful travel apps on our list. It’s explicitly designed to let you know how long you should expect to wait to get through security checkpoints at any given airport. The MyTSA information is updated in real-time, so there’s no guesswork involved.
MyTSA gives you total peace of mind and allows you to prepare for your travels properly. If you stress out about getting blindsided by lengthy security lines, this is undoubtedly the app for you.
HEHA! Holiday Extras
HEHA! Holiday Extras focuses on all of the little things you might have overlooked when booking your vacation. This clever app instantly compares lounges, transfers, and parking pricing to customize a package specifically for you. Like many of the other travel apps on our list, it’s totally intuitive and considers your travel history and preferences.
The objective of HEHA! Holiday Extras is to make your travel as smooth as possible and address any little details that you might have forgotten. You can even set up preferences in their “Watch” tab to keep track of incidentals in any location on the planet. HEHA! Holiday Extras will filter through the options and give you a personalized plan.
The Google Maps app takes the best of online Google Maps and adds an offline spin. Although you can use this app with WiFi, you can also download maps to see when you don’t have access to the internet. This is an outstanding feature because it lets you know where you’re going even if you don’t have WiFi.
Download entire city maps and mark places of interest on them. You can save these maps and even share them with others if you want. At a glance, you can check out your trip itinerary and plan out your days based upon how close certain things are to each other. It’s a true lifesaver for those traveling in new cities.
TunnelBear lets you connect to public WiFi safely through a VPN or virtual private network. Since public WiFi can have serious security flaws, TunnelBear is an excellent way to keep your peace of mind while you’re connecting to strange networks on the road. Like any great VPN, TunnelBear encrypts your data and shields you from nefarious hackers.
It also gives you free data. The basic TunnelBear monthly plan has 500MB of data, and you can get unlimited data for roughly $4 a month. When you consider traditional international data plans, TunnelBear is a steal.
Skyscanner is another flight-search giant that’s been around for at least several years. Now that they’ve launched their Skyscanner app, you can check out amazing deals right from the comfort of your phone. One of the benefits of Skyscanner is that it allows you to tap into several different filtering options, including the length of your flight, how many layovers you have, and price.
Like Hopper, the Skyscanner app comes with color-coded calendar features so you can see when flights are the cheapest. Set up price alerts on your phone to ensure that your chosen flight isn’t fluctuating too much, or look at their “Top Offers” section to peruse cheap flights from lesser-known airlines.
Waze is a must-download app for those who are hitting the open road. It lets you know where there is congestion, so you can divert your route if need be. Waze also gives you best-route suggestions and comes with voice navigation.
Waze relies on real-time data from its users, ensuring that the information you get is always as fresh as possible. This allows you to change your route quickly in case of an accident and helps you get where you need to go quicker and safer.
Culture Trip is an excellent app to download if you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations and hidden gems. It functions in two ways; as a travel planning app and a place where you can get great ideas about what your new city or town has to offer you.
One thing that sets Culture Trip apart is the fact that it uses multiple different kinds of media. You can watch videos, access personalized stories, or even see complete city guides. Culture Trip’s information comes directly from local sources and is constantly being updated.
Traveling foodies rejoice! Zomato is here to help you find the best restaurants in your destination. This app combines restaurant reviews, menus, a map function, and even collections of dining experiences all in one spot. You can tell the app what kind of food you want to try, and it will calibrate the best options possible.
Then, users can create a map of all of their preferred dining options. This map allows vacationers and travelers to maximize their time by scheduling recreational activities near the restaurants that they want to try.
Google Translate is one of the essential apps for any traveler. You use it via text or voice. Simply type or speak into the translate box, and it will convert your words to the local language in a matter of seconds. Google Translate is vital for getting around new cities, communicating dietary needs, or even making new friends while traveling abroad.
It can also translate pictures. If there’s a menu written in a language that you don’t understand, simply point Google Translate’s camera at it, and you’ll find that it’s instantly readable. The same goes for street signs. If you only download one app from our list, make it this one.
XE Currency Converter
It can be difficult to keep different kinds of currencies straight, especially if you’re traveling to multiple countries. That’s where XE Currency Converter comes in. This converter is able to give you real-time information about your current exchange rate. Not only will it help you to understand how much you’re paying for any given item, but you will also be able to figure out how much to withdraw from the ATM.
XE Currency Converter also allows you to track and save different currencies. So download it before you go, and save up to 20 foreign currencies.
Eatwith is another fantastic app that allows you to have an entirely local experience. The entire point of this app is to foster communication and camaraderie with local people from all over the planet. Local people cook different dishes at their homes, and for a minimal fee, you can dine with them.
You can browse menus through the app and see the price of the meal plus what unique pairings might come with it. For example, some hosts include wine or alcohol with their meals. Others are much more rudimentary. The key perk is that you’ll be able to eat authentically local food at a much lower price than you would typically pay at a restaurant and maybe make a new friend in the process.
Hostels aren’t just for 20-something backpackers anymore. These days, there are tons of different hostels to suit all tastes and budgets, and you can find them all on the Hostelworld app. This app encompasses 179 countries and offers 17,000 different properties, including hostels, bed and breakfasts, and hotels.
It also lets you know where there are regular meetups. This feature is fantastic for people traveling on their own or those who want to make friends on the road. As with Airbnb and TripAdvisor, Hostelworld has a user review section where people rate the hostels and give honest feedback about their experiences.
You can filter by price or rating, and you can see where your chosen hostel is on a map. Even if you never thought you’d find yourself in a hostel, this app is well worth downloading because you could come across some surprising options.
If there’s one thing that can seriously derail your travel plans, it’s lousy weather. In order to be prepared and have the most comfortable time possible, you’ll want to have up-to-date information about the weather in your chosen destination. That’s where the WeatherBug app comes in.
WeatherBug has accurate, detailed weather forecasts for just about everywhere on the planet, and they update them hourly. You can look at day-to-day weather or get a ten-day forecast. WeatherBug has very detailed maps that let you know how humid you can expect the day to be, how windy it is if there are any major weather events on the horizon, and of course, when it is forecasted to start storming.
Never get caught in weather that you didn’t anticipate ever again. WeatherBug can prepare you for just about anything and keep you comfortable for your entire trip.
Before You Go
Now that the world is opening up again, it’s time to set our sights on traveling. Whether you’re staying closer to home, hitting the open road, or exploring a brand new culture or country, these travel apps can help guide your way and make your trip all the more pleasant and productive.
You’ll spend less time researching flights and hotels, trying to find that perfect restaurant, or wondering just how far your dollar goes. Instead, you’ll be able to maximize every second of your vacation!