Let’s face it – today’s traveler is not likely to go anywhere without their trusty smartphone.

For some, this may take a bit of the relaxation out of a holiday. But on the other hand, it’s a great way to keep some incredible resources right at your fingertips.

I’ve tried and tested several travel apps while on the go and over time have found some that I would never travel without again.

These apps are listed in order of when you’d likely use them during your planning and traveling stages:

1. SeatGuru

SeatGuru by Trip Advisor is the must-have travel companion for anyone who flies. The free app lets you access over 700 seat maps from approximately 100 airlines.

Never be surprised or disappointed by your selected seat again! You can also search flights, check on your flight status, browse seat and cabin photos, and submit your own photos and reviews.

2. PackPoint

If you’re anything like me, you always feel like you’re forgetting something. And most of the time, you are.

PackPoint is here to help! Select your travel dates, locations & length of stay, choose activities you’ll be involved in, and specify whether or not you’ll be doing laundry while away. And voila! You have a personalized packing list sorted by activities as well as “essentials”.

You can then add or remove items and check them off once they’re in your bag to send them to the bottom of your list.

3. FlightView

Most major airlines have their own apps which show you flight schedules, delays, gates, etc. However, for smaller airlines, or for a consolidated listing, I highly recommend FlightView. It provides flight tracking, terminal, gate and baggage claim information, airport delay information, calendar integration, and current weather updates.

The $1.00 version of FlightView should hit the spot – you won’t see any ads as with the free version. All you give up is the airport arrival and departure boards available with the $4 version.

4. AccuWeather

Incredibly accurate, live weather forecasting for all your favorite locations – any longitude / latitude on Earth. Content includes current and forecast weather conditions, animated radar and satellite imagery, pushed severe weather alerts, and more.

AccuWeather offers unique and proprietary features such as MinuteCast®, a minute-by-minute precipitation forecast for the next two hours, hyper-localized to your exact street address or GPS location.

5. Hotel Tonight

If you book a room in the wrong neighborhood, bad weather is responsible for an unexpected layover or you simply like to travel spontaneously, Hotel Tonight will come in handy.

Find available hotel rooms nearby at awesome last-minute prices (up to 7 days in advance), and book in a matter of seconds.

6. CityMaps2Go

I used my iPhone Maps as well as Google Maps while traveling until I had enough with the overpriced data roaming fees!

CityMaps2Go offers city maps which you can pre-download onto your device so you don’t need to use wi-fi or roaming data to access. As well as providing offline GPS services, the app also pins locations of bars, restaurants, and shops. You can search for nearby places, read through travel guides, view your current location on the map, and – my personal favorite – drop a pin as you leave your hotel so you always know how to get back!

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7. Google Translate

Even with plenty of language translation apps around, Google Translate is like the reliable old friend that always knows the answer. It easily translates over 90 languages using voice, camera, keyboard, or handwriting. Even two-way speech instant speech translation is available in 32 languages.

The camera feature is incredible for reading street signs, maps, and menus – it translates on screen in real time. You can also save your favorite translations for quick access offline.

8. XE Currency

Convert on-the-go and on-the-road with XE Currency. Not only does it offer live exchange rates and historical charts for every world currency, but, once you have imported the currencies you can convert offline at the most recent rate you used. It's perfect for when you're traveling between different countries in a short space of time and can't remember the rates for each currency. 

9. TripAdvisor

Many people know of Trip Advisor, but it doesn't seem that as many use the app! Which is a shame because TripAdvisor makes it so easy to find great restaurants, cafés and fun activities wherever you are in the world.

You can personalise your search and get suggestions for activities and accommodation based on the filters you set. One of the best ways to find a great food is to sort the results by the nearest to your location with the highest rating. TripAdvisor's app got us flights and hotels all through Thailand without any worries, I highly recommend it as a travel app.

10. Travel Safe (& Travel Smart - Canada)

Travel Safe is a handy database of emergency service numbers for just about every country you’d ever care to visit. There are also embassy details should passports go missing, and even the option to pin certain services to your home screen as widgets for one-touch access to police, ambulances, and fire engines. This one is not free, but for those who want a little extra security, the cost ($1.00) is well worth it.

It seems that Travel Safe is no longer available for Canadians. However, we do have access to a very similar app called Travel Smart – Canada. This one also provides embassy and consulate details, emergency contact numbers, and border wait times. It also locates the nearest Canada-US border crossings for those driving to or from the States, and has offline capability so that you can access important travel advice when and where you need it, even if there is no wi-fi or cell access. And, as an added bonus, this one IS free!

11. Onavo Extend

All of these apps are great, yes, but many use wi-fi or cell data to operate. And anyone who’s ever used any amount of data while on holiday will attest to the insanity of data roaming charges.

Once installed, Onavo drastically reduces the amount of data required to perform everyday tasks, such as retrieving email and posting to Facebook. (This app is also great for everyday use, not just while traveling). It works in the background to find ways to save, such as:

  • Loading images only when you scroll down to them
  • Balancing image quality and data savings based on your personal settings
  • Automatically turning off when you connect to wifi

12. iMovie

Using iMovie is a super-fun way to package video clips, photos, and sound clips from your travels into your own stunning movie creations. Gone are the days of simply sharing a photo album. Now you can relive your travels over and over in a unique way.

iMovie costs $5 so is the most expensive of all these apps, however, considering the awesome clips it can help you create, it's absolutely worth it.

Battery Rechargers

No, this is not an app, but tech-heavy travels can quickly eat up your phone’s battery life leaving you with a dead phone and no way to function in the world 😉 You may want to consider carrying an extra battery if that’s an option for your device or simply bring along a portable battery charger to juice up whenever possible.


These are my suggestions for must-have travel apps. What are yours? Did I miss a life-altering travel app?

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Image source: pixabay.com


This post originally appeared on Gibbon Travel and has been republished with permission.