Best travel apps for a smoother, less stressful experience

From the time you start planning to the moment you’re back home and scrolling through all your photos, travel apps are a great way to make your next vacation or weekend getaway a breeze. Whether it’s spring break, summer vacation, or a weekend getaway you’re thinking of, we’ve rounded up a list of apps with the potential to make your travel easier, more fun, and stress-free.

Planning & Booking

Choose where you want to go, then book airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and activities, all with the help of these apps:

Google Flights: Simple to use, Google Flights shows you the cheapest flights you can get by date and destination. You can also click on the “explore destinations” link to see a map of suggestions around the country with prices and information.

Skyscanner: This app also searches for best options for flights, plus hotels and car rentals. You can get alerts when prices change. And you can explore destinations too.

Kayak: Another popular option for searching across various travel sites for rental cars, hotels, and flights, Kayak also acts as a trip planner, compiling important details at a glance like your hotel confirmation number or gate number.

Airbnb: You already know you can book homes to stay in through this app, but did you know they also have a function called “Trips,” that offers Experiences to explore all around the world ranging from cooking classes to vineyard tours to surfing expeditions and so much more.

Apps that help you get around

Uber and Lyft: If you haven’t tried this yet, you’ll want to learn about it and have it set up and ready to go on your next trip. These services can be a lifesaver when you just need to make a quick trip from the hotel to a club, shopping center, amusement park, etc. and don’t want to mess with rentals, parking lots, or getting lost.

Google Maps: Google Maps is widely regarded as one of the best navigation apps around. It offers directions for travel by car, walking, biking and bus. You can also use Maps to search for nearby restaurants, museums, gyms, drugstores, or anything else you need and find out their hours of business, links to their websites and more.

iExit: Open the iExit app while traveling on the highways and interstates, and it will show you what’s available near each exit such as gas stations, restaurants, ATMS, hotels, etc. It can find where you are automatically, or you can search by location ahead of time.

Itinerary Helpers

Google Trips: Using information about your trip gained from your email bookings for hotels, airline tickets, car rentals and more, Google Trips can create an all-in-one place itinerary for you, but that’s just the start. Google Trips can also plot out suggested things to do for half-days or full days, suggests places to eat or visit and can adjust according to your responses. You can also download all the data offline so if you are without a signal, you can still access your trip details at any time.

Roadtrippers: Tell Roadtrippers your starting location, destination, schedule, and what you’re interested in finding along the way, and this app will plot your journey for you. Much like Google Maps and Google Trips, Roadtrippers can also suggest restaurants, museums, kid-friendly attractions, and so much more. You can add anything that appeals to you to your trip on the app and it will adjust your itinerary and provide maps to help you navigate to each location.

Live Like a Local

Trip Advisor: With over 730 million reviews covering the world’s largest selection of travel listings worldwide – approximately 8.1 million accommodations, airlines, experiences, and restaurants – TripAdvisor provides travelers with the wisdom of the crowds to help them decide where to stay, how to fly, what to do and where to eat. The app’s Near Me function is a great way for last-minute searches for something close by.

TV Food Maps: Created by 2 brothers who love to travel and eat good food, this app was created to help travelers find unique restaurants that have been featured on some of the most popular TV food shows today, such as Diners, Drive-In & Dives, Man vs. Food, Best Thing I Ever Ate, Cupcake Wars, Chopped, and Restaurant Impossible. Just enter your travel route or location, indicate how far off the path you’re willing to go, and you’ll get a list of suggestions

GasBuddy: Don’t get stuck paying high prices for gas stations just off the freeway exit by using this app to find out if there are better options just a few blocks off the beaten path. This little app will be your BFF when it comes to finding nearby gas stations and their current prices.

 

Kristy CooperBest travel apps for a smoother, less stressful experience