Best travel apps for vacations and trips

The world can be your oyster with a little help from the best travel apps around

Skyscanner

Skyscanner app

Flights, hotels, rental cars — Skyscanner has got you covered. The app searches for the most affordable and best options via its travel partners. Like with Google Flights, you can see the cheapest dates to fly through a month view calendar, and you can also get alerts when prices change. If you’re not sure where exactly you want to go, Skyscanner offers a category that lets you explore “Top Deals” from your nearest airport, as well as a curated list of destinations at affordable prices.

Kayak

Kayak iOS app

For many, Kayak has been the go-to trip planning destination for quite a while — and for good reason. Like Skyscanner, Kayak searches across various travel sites for rental cars, hotels, and flights. Kayak often has exclusive deals you won’t find on other sites, and you can set price alerts and use Price Forecast to see whether you should buy now or wait. Kayak also acts as a trip planner, offering up important details at a glance like your hotel confirmation number or gate number. You can also access these details in real-time, and on other devices such as the Apple Watch.

Hopper

hopper

If you’re really looking to get the cheapest possible price for a plane ticket, you need to download Hopper. Like Kayak and Skyscanner, you can look at the cheapest dates to fly via a month-view calendar, but Hopper prides itself on telling you when to buy your tickets via push notifications. The company claims it can save you up to 40 percent on your next flight, and that’s all done by analyzing and tracking billions of flights. The user interface is simple, and Hopper says you can book a flight in 60 seconds or less. Apple added it to the App Store’s Best of 2015 list, and Google made it a 2016 Google Play Award winner.

Airbnb

best travel apps airbnb app screenshot ios

Whether legal in the city you’re visiting or not, Airbnb is a household name. The app undercuts hotels by offering far cheaper prices, and a more authentic experience by staying with a local, or their home. The app recently added a new feature called Trips, which offers Experiences to choose from during your stay — these are curated events you can partake in with local guides. Eventually, the app will become an all-in-one travel app that lets you plan your day, book a car, and more.

Hotel Tonight

Airbnb fall through? Do flights get delayed at your layover? You never know what will happen with your booking, and Hotel Tonight is a reliable service that thrives on last minute deals. The company says its partnered hotels offer it discounts on empty rooms, and you’ll be able to book one in under 10 seconds. You also get 24/7 customer service from the Hotel Tonight team, in case something goes awry.

 

Uber

Active in about 84 countries and 737 cities, Uber is the global king of ride-sharing apps. The app pioneered on-demand services, and it can be particularly handy when you’re abroad. You can quickly request a car directly within the app after perusing an assortment of differing vehicle rates and fare quotes. Afterward, you can connect with your personal driver, track the approaching car’s location, and securely pay your fair using a credit card — no cash needed. Rather than trying to find a taxi or a taxi stand, just bring one straight to you.

Google Maps

google maps best navigation appsGoogle Maps is widely-regarded as one of the best navigation apps around, and it has reigned king for quite a while. You’ll find it fairly reliable in offering up local public transportation options in many countries, and you can also download specific areas for offline use. You can also use Maps to look at when places like museums or restaurants close, and as of a recent update, you can check to see how busy a place is in real time.

Citymapper

best travel apps citymapper iphoneWith a growing list of countries under its belt, Citymapper is one of the best tools to find and utilize public transportation. It connects with a few ride-sharing services, offers the fastest way to arrive at your destination, and best of all, you can check out subway and train times offline for a number of cities. You can subscribe to specific train or bus lines, and the app can even alert you when you need to get off — handy when you’re riding for the first time in a new country.

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