From overseas travel to a cross-country road trip, smartphone apps can save you time and money. Score a last-minute five-star hotel discount, effortlessly navigate the Paris metro system, and share each memory by texting friends and family. Before you jet off on your next vacation, download these must-have travel apps to your smartphone.
Master the Airport: Start your vacation off right with minimal hassle at the airport.
- Track your flight. While many apps promise to notify flyers of gate changes or delays, no app sends alerts as quickly as FlightTrack Pro ($9.99). From weather delays to terminal maps, FlightTrack Pro is the most comprehensive flight monitoring app available.
- Get a better seat. Its a fact; not all airplane seats were created equal. SeatGuru (FREE) helps you snag the best seat on the plane. Enter your flight number to access a seat map with detailed feedback, such as which seats have the most legroom, which seats dont recline, and which seats are next to the bathroom.
- Navigate the terminal. Stuck at an unfamiliar airport on a long layover? No need to wander aimlessly searching for food. GateGuru (FREE) tells you where to find the best restaurants, closest gift shops and airplane lounges.
Score Discounted Flights and Hotel Deals: Last-minute change in plans? Use these apps to find discounted travel deals.
- Enjoy five-star accommodations for two-star prices. Hotel Tonight (FREE) is the must-have app for scoring steep discounts on five-star hotels. The app curates an all-star lineup of the contemporary design and luxury hotels. Rates are announced starting at noon on the day of check-in. Hotels available in the US, UK, Canada and the Netherlands.
- Find the best flight itinerary. The Kayak (FREE) app lets users compare flight itinerary options using sophisticated filters, including number of stops, preferred airports for layover, price and airline. Research on kayak then book with your preferred airline.
Find Anything, Including Yourself: With these apps, youll never be lost again or search fruitlessly for an ATM.
- Find the nearest anything. Searching for an ATM? Cant find the local coffee shop? Take the guesswork out of your next road trip by using the AroundMe (FREE) app. Simply select a category (e.g., restaurant, ATM, gas station, hotel) and the AroundMe app will show you the closest options, tell you how far away each option is, and provide a map with directions to get you there as quickly as possible.
- Never be lost again. A smartphone means you have a map anywhere, anytime until you travel overseas, dont want to pay for pricy data roaming services and cant get a Wi-Fi signal. Whats a savvy traveler to do? Use the CityMaps2Go ($1.99) app, which gives you instant access to 7,800 maps worldwide covering virtually every country, city, state and province. Wondering how far you are from the Eiffel Tower? City Maps 2Go will quickly spot your location with passive GPS and direct you to any major point of interest.
- Navigate anything, anytime. Subway maps, national parks, college campuses, ski resorts theres a map for that and the Maplets app has it. Use the app to download free maps in advance for wherever you are traveling. When youre lost on the Paris metro, simply pull up your free map no Internet signal required.
Travel Smarter: From finding the locals favorite restaurant to beating jetlag, these apps help you travel smarter.
- Beat jetlag. Adjusting your sleeping schedule can be tough, especially when your body thinks that it is Sunday night, but the clock says Monday morning. The JetLag Genie ($2.99) acts as your personal alarm clock, setting up a sleeping plan for the day prior to your trip, during your flight, and upon arrival.
- Eat local. Skip the fast food chains and embrace the locals favorite restaurant, café or pub with the LocalEats ($0.99) app. Use your current location to search for nearby restaurants.
- Snag a last minute dinner reservation. Dont waste your time calling ten different restaurants. Instead, use the OpenTable (FREE) app to check for restaurants with availability and instantly make your reservation.
- Know how much to tip. A 10% tip in New York will insult your server; the same tip in Tokyo would be considered unnecessarily generous. Tipulator (FREE) takes the guesswork out of restaurant tipping and even helps you split the bill among friends.
- Know the local conversion rate. How much is your dollar worth? When youre hopping around the globe, it can be tough to keep track of exchange rates. XE Currency (FREE) does the math for you.
Stay Connected: Instantly share your travel experience with friends and family back home.
- Message for free. WhatsApp Messenger (FREE) lets you send and receive messages, photos and audio notes for free over in Wi-Fi network.
- Find the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot. Our pick for the best Wi-Fi finder app, Free Wi-Fi Finder (FREE) tracks over 650,000 Wi-Fi locations (both free and paid) in 144 countries. Install the offline database for use when you cant connect to the Internet.
Tell us what travel app would you never leave home without?
This blog is brought to you by The Barge Connection, specializing in luxury barge vacations since 1998.