Even when you’re 50, sometimes technology can be a little confusing.
But with a little help, you’ll find having these best international travel apps at your fingertips does help make your travel easier.
Especially when trying to navigate new travel destinations
And if you are travelling as a couple, one with an iPhone and one with an Android, these 12 reliable travel apps are perfect for either smartphone.
As we slowly travel, we are always reading travel blogs, watching countless YouTube and testing travel apps. So we can share with you what we find the best FREE apps to make your travel easier.
The travel apps we’ve chosen are the ones we use regularly.
Remember to pack these essential travel items, even for carry-on luggage.
Best FREE Travel Apps for Android or iPhone
When we started planning our travel adventure in 2015, we spent a lot of time researching the places we wanted to visit.
You may be a traveller who likes to have every travel destination detail organized before you leave home. Or, maybe you like to have some flexibility as you travel.
Either way, you can use these FREE travel apps to your advantage and have the best apps for iPhone or Android.
“Cupcake, where are our travel confirmation emails?”
Tripit is one of our best travel app discoveries.
When you are busy booking your flights, accommodation, tours and travel insurance, you are also trying to collate all the invoices and confirmation emails. The best solution to organize your itinerary and bookings is to use Tripit.
Tripit apps make it easy to store all your travel choices, paid invoices and confirmation emails that start arriving in your inbox. So instead of:
- Printing emails
- Taking screenshot
- Or just going with the flow
Tripit uses your confirmation email address to file your flights, hotels and tour bookings to create your master travel itinerary. And it is available offline. Yay!
In other words, when you turn up at the check-in desk to find you have no data and can’t access the emails, your Tripit app has all your stored information.
The feature we love most is the automatic allocation by date order of your travel bookings. And if you used a different email address for some bookings, no worries. Just forward your emails to Tripit.
The second feature we love is we can allow family or friends access to our itinerary.
The third feature we love is you can store your important travel documents like:
- Driver License
Click the link here to learn more at Tripit.
“Sweetheart, what’s the quickest, most comfortable way to our next destination?”
Rome2rio is our go-to app whenever we want an overview to find the best route between towns, cities or countries. We use it to plan our travel globally and locally.
The feature we love most is it displays all types of transport between destinations for car, bus, train, ferry, and flight.
It also gives the estimated times with a price indication making it ideal for scheduling and keeping within your budget.
With a couple of clicks, you can be taken to a booking site and have an e-ticket sent directly to your inbox.
Click the link here to learn more at Rome2Rio.
What is the best travel map app?
“Where is the café? – I think you mean a hotel! – Let’s find the bus station.”
MapsMe has helped us many, many times to navigate our way on our walks in villages, parks, and cities. Their maps have so much detail to help you find your way to cafes, parks, hotels and train stations. Plus the essentials like local toilets.
And the feature we love most is it can be used offline with GPS. Unlike Google Maps, MapsMe doesn’t drain your battery as fast.
The tip is to download the towns and cities you are visiting when WiFi is available. Then when you are finished exploring a destination, just delete the relevant maps.
As housesitters, we love walking along local tracks and having MapsMe, show you all the local paths. It means you always know where you are and where your destination is located.
Click the link here to learn more at MapsMe.
“Ok gorgeous, let’s book the flights…”
We are often asked what is the best flight apps.
Skyscanner is a travel app to research available flights, hotels, and rental car options. Because it gives you all the comparable information in one place, making it much easier to compare the deals from the different travel providers.
We personally use the app for flight destinations to compare seasonal price deals by allowing notifications for specific locations on our travel itinerary.
Click the link here to learn more at Skyscanner.
With wifi more available in airports, on buses and even in inner-city areas, having WhatsApp is your quick solution to stay in touch on:
- Mac or Windows PC
- Windows Phone
WhatsApp is growing in popularity as data packages are still restrictive and expensive in many countries. And when you’re travelling, WhatsApp lets you keep in touch with family and friends back home.
And it’s the app many Airbnb hosts use to contact you.
Click the link here to learn more at WhatsApp.
“Darling, where will we be sleeping tonight?”
Choosing your accommodation usually depends on a few variables:
- Features (definitely WiFi for us)
- Car Parking
- Positive reviews
Airbnb is one option we use to stay longer, especially if we can secure an Airbnb with kitchen facilities.
Eating out generally can cost you a small fortune and upset the budget calculation. So having a small kitchen helps to manage the food budget.
When looking for the ideal Airbnb, check the added cost of the cleaning fee. Often the longer you stay, the less the cleaning fee per day.
And if you can get a discount for a monthly booking, this is a huge bonus.
Once you are signed up, download the Airbnb app for easy access to your bookings and notifications.
A small luxury we like to enjoy when short stays are needed is booking Hotels.com
We use the excuse of being that bit older, needing the comfort of a hotel bed. But you probably don’t need an excuse!
The feature we love most is we can search for deals (often 50% off the rack rate) because they have heavily discounted rooms available.
Plus, Hotels.com has a great incentive to offer you every 10th night free, with no black-out dates or restrictions. The value of the 10th night is based on the average price of the ten nights already purchased.
Hotels.com has great customer service when you need assistance with your booking.
Click the link here to learn more at Hotels.com
One of the latest apps we use to book a flight is Hopper.
With many airlines raising prices for different seasons, Hopper “cuts through the noise” and tells you the best time to book a flight or a hotel.
By turning on notifications, the Hopper app will alert you to price deals. And if you are only browsing, their quick interactive app has a lot of interesting information for the best days for booking travel.
Click the link here to learn more at Hopper.
“Babes, I’m going to track our travel moments into lifetime memories.”
A long time ago … on our first trip around Europe, we had a travel diary. Every day we wrote what we saw about the wonderful places we visited. Then at the end of the adventure, we developed the film.
Thank goodness to 21st-century technology and Polarsteps.
If you have no plans to start a blog as a travel diary, the perfect solution to record your travel memories is Polarsteps. This app tracks your travel journey wherever you go, even the location of your photos. It uses offline GPS.
Each day Polarsteps shows you a map of your path so you can add photos taken each day. Then all you need to do is write up a quick synopsis of the day, and presto, your diary is done.
The bonus feature of Polarsteps (see website for prices) is you can make it into a travel album. Such a time saver. So when you arrive home, there is no need to trawl over photos and organize an album. It’s already done for you.
Click the link here to learn more at Polarsteps.
10. XE (Currency Converter)
“Pumpkin, I know you love to shop, have lunch at a café, try local beer…”
Keeping track of your spending when travelling is always easier when you have a currency conversion app. It may be the difference in deciding if that item you desperately want to buy is really a bargain.
XE (Currency Converter) is now our go-to app, easily downloaded to your phone, and so easy to use offline.
The feature we love most about XE is the up-to-date currency converter and trends of the currencies we are using. Plus, we can add or delete the currencies we are using.
Click the link here to learn more at XE.Com
11. How many languages can Google Translate?
“Mon Coeur, parlez vous francais? Amor, como es tu espanol?”
Travelling through many countries, we always try to have knowledge of the basic common courtesy phrases – hello, please, thank you, very nice, and goodbye. Oh, and two beers, please.
We feel for us it shows our interest in the country we are visiting, plus the locals warm to you more.
And for the times when you just need a bit of extra help, and the high school French, Spanish or German is so out of practice, we use Google Translate.
Google Translate has more than 100 languages, with 32 languages available in “conversation mode.” Using the mic for a translation is accurate most of the time, but it pays to check it makes sense first.
But can you use Google Translate in China?
Yes, but we found typing our questions in English the quickest solution for translating into Chinese.
Like when Terry was asking about a bamboo shirt in China. It translated as a stick to beat my wife. The attendant looked horrified. Terry saw the mistake and quickly laughed it off, to the amusement of the staff.
Make sure to download the offline version of the Google Translate app to help with translating menus, understanding sightseeing information or getting directions.
The feature we love most is scanning text using the camera on your smartphone.
Especially useful at the supermarket scanning products and ingredients.
Click the link to learn more at Google Translate.
Occasionally we do have issues with our accommodation and need to sort a bed for the night. Hotel Tonight is the app we use, now owned by Airbnb.
Hotel Tonight works with a group of hotels to offer discounts on vacant rooms. So when we book, we know the rooms are discounted already, and we are getting a good deal.
The booking system is easy, efficient and quick to use.
Click to create an account at HotelTonight.
12 Free Apps to Make Travel Easier
Helping fellow travellers with the knowledge, we learn each day of our travel journey is one way we can help you to have the best travel experience.
Each app is available for iPhone or Android smartphones.
Once the app is set up with your personal profile, we suggest creating a travel folder, so they are easy to find.
- Tripit keeps all booking confirmations in one place
- WhatsApp to stay in touch
- Polarsteps logs your photos with a short bio
- MapsMe offers more features like walks, carparks and toilet stops
- Rome2Rio, Skyscanner, and Hopper help with travel options
- Airbnb, Hotel Tonight, and Hotels.com for a bed each night
- XE will check your currency conversion
- Google Translate will impress you and the locals
We’ll keep checking this page with any new apps we find to make sure you always have the best free apps to make your travel easier.