Apps can help solve every travel-related concern you’ve ever had — even those you didn’t realise you may stumble upon.
We’ve put together the definitive list of the best travel-related mobile apps.
Whether it’s helping you save money, find a restroom or WiFi, or identify the best glacier hike, these 32 apps will make you a better traveller.
Talia Avakian contributed to an earlier version of this story.
The Airbnb app has some 600,000 listings in more than 34,000 cities, making it easy for travellers to find the perfect accommodation, whether it's a treehouse or a penthouse or something in between.
Travellers can message different hosts, explore destinations, and add areas to a Wish List. Hosts can also use the app to post and manage listings.
Travelling with a dog can help you see a place from a totally different, four-legged perspective...but not if there are no dogs allowed. BringFido helps dog owners find pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, beaches, and other attractions, as well as essentials like veterinarians and pet supply stores.
Users can also contribute to the database themselves, adding new locations and reviewing the places they visit with adorable dog photos.
Available on: iOS
Citymaps is an interactive map that lets you see the best-rated places in the area, get a newsfeed from friends to see what they recommend, and create your own collection of places.
You can share your favourites by printing or sending your collections through PDFs, and you can import Foursquare lists through the new version of the app.
This app lets you see your location and find addresses even when you don't have an internet connection. You can search and share top-rated restaurants and attractions, and use GPS to get to your destination while offline.
Since the maps and guide content are stored on your device, they can be accessed without internet access.
Cost: There are two versions, CityMaps2Go which comes with advertisements and is free and the ad-free version, City Maps 2Go Pro, at $9.99
Cities Talking offers walking tours of popular tourist cities narrated by voiceover artists. (Actor and host Christopher Biggins narrates the London tour!) You can pause, rewind, or fast forward whenever you want to take a break or skip a stop, and all the sites are listed with room for notes to remember your favourites.
The app uses GPS technology to play the guide automatically when you reach a destination, but there's no wi-fi or data required, so you're free to venture off the grid.
Like a much cooler and way more useful Google Map (and incidentally a Google product), Field Trip serves up recommendations on what to see, eat and do based on your current location, preferences and interests. Basically turning you into a knowledgeable local, it will notify you as soon as you get close to something interesting -- be it local history or cool architecture as outlined by sites like Atlas Obscura and Historvius, restaurants mentioned in media like the Food Network or Zagat, or cool shops selected by Cool Hunting or WeHeart. You choose the feeds, it finds the sites.
Forget exorbitant roaming charges, overpriced international data packages, or spotty internet coverage. FireChat allows users to send and receive text messages entirely without data or internet thanks to something called mesh networking.
Basically, mesh networking allows you to communicate wirelessly by bouncing your message from one phone equipped with FireChat (within 210 feet of you) to another via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth antennas.
Exactly what it sounds like, Flush Toilet Finder ensures that you'll never again be stranded in a strange city with a bladder filled to near-emergency and nowhere to go.
With a database of over 100,000 bathrooms worldwide, the app lets you input your location and then displays the nearest public restrooms with directions on how to get there asap. Plus, you can filter bathrooms by whether they have disabled access, a fee for usage, or if they require a key.
Foodspotting focuses on providing a visual guide to food. Instead of reading restaurant reviews, you can see recommended dishes with images and descriptions. You can also search questions like where to find the best type of food you're interested in (i.e. dumplings), or what is good at particular restaurants.
Since its launch in 2010, over four million dishes have been 'spotted' from around the world.
GasBuddy is great if you're planning a road trip since it helps you find cheap gas prices in your area. You can search for the lowest gas prices near you or by city, and report gas prices to others.
At the moment, the listings only exist for the United States and Canada.
GateGuru acts as a comprehensive guide that knows everything about your flight and the airport you're flying out of. The app will keep you updated on flight delays, gate changes, and layover time adjustment, as well as the amenities and restaurants available at your airport.
The app also has an exclusive partnership with Avis, meaning you can reserve a rental car at a discount.
Google Maps is probably the direction app we know and use the most. With maps in 220 countries and territories, the app has voice-guided GPS navigation for driving, biking, and walking, transit directions and maps for over 15,000 cities and towns, and street view for locations in certain countries.
You can also check live traffic conditions, incident reports, and rerouting if you need a quicker option.
One of the best features for travel is the ability to save maps for offline use. To do this, simply sign into your Google account, open up the Google Maps app, search for your destination, and then click on the menu on the upper right corner and select Save offline map.
Google Translate offers translations for 90 different languages. Besides dictionary results for single words or phrases and the option to translate with your voice or keyboard, the new 3.3.0 version lets you point your camera to a sign or text for instant translation.
The new camera feature works without internet or data connection, making it a good choice when you lose Wi-FI access, and is currently available in 36 different languages.
To book or not to book? It's an age-old question uttered by anyone trying to get a better deal on a flight. Enter Hopper, whose Price Prediction function analyses billions of flight prices a day in order to crack the code on the most opportune time to book a flight.
Apparently, it gets 95% of users a better deal and saves them up to 40% on tickets, and its Price Monitoring function lets you pick a flight to watch, alerting you on whether prices have dropped or are expected to rise.
Spontaneity? There's an app for that. If a night out with friends got a little out of hand and turned into a trip to Vegas, two taps and a swipe on the Hotel Tonight app will let you book a deeply discounted hotel room the day of (and up to seven days in advance).
The app curates its own list of hotels -- ranging from basic to deluxe -- meaning that you don't have to scroll through an indeterminable sea of options. Plus, it categorizes each hotel and allows you to scroll through its amenities, as well as a 'Why We Like It' section.
Jet lag is one of the worst parts about travelling, but this app can help make the transition easier. JetLag Genie works by creating a customised schedule based on your flight information and sleeping patters.
It provides you with tips on when you should wake up, go to bed, go out in the sun, sit in the dark, change the time on your watch, or take a nap.
Available on: iOS
Forget your illegible handwritten notes -- Noted Places replaces those digitally by allowing you to keep track of what you've experienced, as well as what you still plan on doing, letting you enter cool places you plan on visiting, and breaking them into categories like 'Eat,' 'Stay' and 'Play.' There's a social component too, as you can search by things your friends liked or recommended.
Available on: iOS
Need help figuring out what to pack on your trip? This app considers your length of travel, weather conditions, and activities you will be doing to help put together a customised list.
It will tell you the types of clothes you should pack if you plan to go hiking or on business trips, for example, and how many basics you should take based on the length of your stay.
Rome2Rio literally lets you pick any two points on earth, and will put together an itinerary connecting them. The app maps out all the necessary transit info you need to get from point A to B -- flights, buses, trains, cars, ferries, even local taxi dispatch information at each stop along the way, along with each legs cost and duration. It even displays nearby hotels, colour-coded by price, in case you miss a connection.
SeatGuru has access to seating charts for any flight out there. After putting in your flight number and airline, the app will pull up an interactive seating map for your flight.
SeatGuru also provides insider information on the best seats, including tips on which rows have more legroom, which rows don't recline, and which seats are closest to the bathroom.
Not your average flight comparison tool, Skyscanner allows you to search for flights to 'everywhere,' meaning you can see airfare for destinations all over the world. The app is perfect for you if you have the itch to travel but haven't decided exactly where you want to go.
If you like bidding on hotel rooms but don't like staying in conventional hotel chains, then Stayful is for you.
The app lets you make real-time bids on hundreds of hotel rooms at boutique hotels across North America -- the twist being that you can tailor what you're looking for by entering specific requirements such as price, location, amenities, and hotel style.
Before you make a reservation, you can browse handpicked hotels by photos and amenities.
Available on: iOS
When travelling in a group, splitting a meal can involve lots of calculations, perhaps even in a different currency. Tip N Split takes the hassle out of both splitting a bill and leaving a tip.
The app also includes tipping guides for different countries so that servers around the world won't hate your guts.
Available on: Android
TravelSafe refers to itself as the 'Swiss Army Knife for your phone.' The app provides common emergency numbers (police, medical, and fire) for the area you're travelling in, and it allows you to contact your embassy.
You don't need internet access to use the app, which can be especially helpful in emergency situations.
Cost: Free on Android, $0.99 on iOS
Whether you're looking to book a hotel or find reviews of tourist attractions and restaurants, TripAdvisor lets you do it all. The app has pretty much the same features as the website, but if you're booking on the go, it's convenient to have the app on your phone.
TripIt creates a travel itinerary for you. All you have to do is forward all of your confirmation emails to the app -- hotel, flight, car rental, restaurant, sightseeing, etc -- and TripIt transforms these emails into a master itinerary. That way all your plans are conveniently located in one place.
The app also features real time alerts and an alternate flight finder in case your flight is canceled.
Available in over 66 countries, the Uber app lets you request a ride by setting your pickup location, completely eliminating any miscommunication you may have due to language or cultural barriers.
You can check the progress of your driver to see how far away they are and how long it will take, and payment is easy as the app automatically charges the cost of your trip directly to your credit card and subsequently emails you a receipt.
Travelling is about seeing and doing new things, and Viator makes this easy as pie.
The app lets you book tours and excursions, like glacier hikes and jungle cruises, and each activity is accompanied by photos and user reviews. Users can filter activities by category, such as 'tours & sightseeing' or 'shows, concerts & tickets'; location, time, and date; and even whether a hotel pickup is available. It also provides exclusive deals and discounts to users.
WhatsApp not only allows you to message and call internationally for free, it also allows you to communicate with other users, no matter what device they're using -- iPhone, Android, Nokia, BlackBerry, and Windows.
There's also the 'send location' function, especially helpful for travellers who are messaging via Whatsapp and are looking for an easy way to communicate their current location.
Data costs can add up when you travel and finding Wi-Fi isn't always easy. Wi-Fi Finder works in 640,000 locations from 144 countries to track down spots where you can find both free and paid Wi-Fi.
You can download the locations offline and get directions through GPS. You can also search for select providers, like Comcast, or filter by type of location, such as restaurants, cafes, and hotels.
Available on: Android
Foreign currencies can be tough to figure out, so instead of turning to your phone's calculator, let an app do the maths for you. XE Currency is one of the most popular currency converters, and the app stores the latest updated rates, so it still works even when you don't have internet access.
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