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Let’s face it, we do most everything on our phones. In fact, there’s a good chance you’re reading this on your phone right now! I put together a list of some of my favorite travel planning apps, 32 of them in fact! From research to organizing to food and more, there’s always an app for that!
I love the research phase of a trip, and this is probably where most of my personal best apps to plan travel come in.
Hotels, Restaurants, Things to Do, Best of lists, Trip Advisor has it all. This is a great way to find attractions and things to do in a city you’re visiting. Search ahead of time or click near me if you’re in your destination. You can also save items in your trips for reminders of what you want to do or where to eat.
Travelzoo is another site that’s great both on desktop and in the app. IN the app, you can set alerts for the latest deals. I like to use Travelzoo both for in town and out of town ideas. They often have 2 for 1 restaurant deals and attraction specials as well as full vacations.
Another great travel planner app for discovering restaurants, in particular, is Yelp. As with any review site, however, take it with a grain of salt. Since Yelp provides reviews right in my apple maps, I use it often when I’m trying to discover a new restaurant.
If you’re heading out “yonder” Use Yonder to discover destinations and experiences. In particular, find hikes, climbs and mountain biking. I don’t see this on Google Play just yet, but check their site for direct links.
Once you know where you’re going, you need to organize your trip details all in one place. These travel planning apps will help you keep everything together.
I’ve used Tripcase to keep my flight details all in one place. It also updates the gate and times if things change. Plus, you can save time by forwarding your reservation confirmations to the email address listed in the app to automatically add to your trip. If I need to get from place to place, it offers both Google and Apple Maps to route.
Much like Tripcase, Google Trips keeps all your reservations in one place. I’ve not used this yet, but I’m eager to incorporate it with my saved places on Google maps. I really like that Google Trips talks to other Google products. If you have Gmail, it will automatically pull in your reservations there as well. This could be my new favorite travel itinerary app.
As I mentioned with Google Trips, you can save your favorite places on a list on Google Maps. You can access here or in the trips app. Additionally, you can save maps for offline use so you’re not using data or roaming if you’re overseas.
Never know what to pack? Me either! Pack Point gives you activities to choose (winter, summer, ski, beach, etc.) choosing your nights, amount of nights. You can upgrade to the premium to create your own packing templates as well.
Yes, let’s talk finances! You need to have money to travel, so make sure you’re tracking it and saving it. These are not your typical travel planning apps.
You Need a Budget is a budgeting app that keeps all your money in one place but allows you to allocate whatever comes in as different categories. I use this for all our budgeting needs, and especially for vacations. You can sort your categories into food, lodging, and transportation, or keep it all in a vacation “bucket.” Then when you’re out, you’ll know how much you can spend.
Similar to a budging app, Trail Wallet keeps track of what you spend by vacation category day by day. If you know you want to spend only $50 a day, Trail Wallet can let you know if you’re on track.
Want to find savings on things to do or places to eat, check Groupon. Just as you would in your home area, you can search Groupon when you’re traveling. Or better yet, budget for some things based on what you find in Groupon. Or take a look at Groupon Getaways for exclusive travel deals.
Do you remember those Entertainment books you could get for about $20 and it was filled with coupons? The app is the same thing, only you don’t need to pay $20 to use it. Plus, it’s for dozens of US and Canadian cities. You can subscribe monthly for $1.99. Think you’ll use it for the whole year? It’s only $9.99 for a year. While you do select a city upon joining, you can switch. We used the Entertainment book for Philadelphia, New York City, and Orlando.
Your Credit Card
Just about every credit card has some sort of promotion. Whether it be extra points or discounts on hotels or airfare, it’s worth checking out their app for available savings.
You need a place to rest your head, right? Why not do some searching next time you’re waiting in the car line.
It’s no secret I love using Airbnb for our travels. It’s authentic, reasonable, and unique. I love browsing their app, especially their curated unique lists. To read more on how to use Airbnb, start here. You can also use Airbnb for experiences in your chosen area.
Need a place tonight? Hotel Tonight is a great app that we’ve used while on the road and not sure how far we want to drive. So when we get close, I’ll use Hotel Tonight to find last-minute accommodations. Use my code TDENMARK4 to get $25 off your first stay.
But Lyft is a driving service, is it not? Yes, but most often you only need Lyft when you’ve flown in and are staying without a car. Which is why I didn’t include it on the driving section. I prefer Lyft over Uber as it’s generally less expensive.
Your Preferred Hotel
If you’re a loyalty member to places such as Hilton and Marriott, their apps come in handy for checking in, rooms keys and more. Next time you pick a place to stay, consider getting their app.
There are so many ways to check air, it can be overwhelming. Here are 3 air travel planning apps that I use.
Hopper can not only show you the best days to fly, but it can also notify you if prices go up or down and when to buy.
Skyscanner works similar to Hopper, checking the best prices for flights. Plus, Skyscanner also creates an alert when prices drop. When it comes to airline prices, things change so frequently. This is why I use two apps to search. Both apps also do hotels.
Your preferred Airline
Just like with hotels, sometimes it’s best to go right to the source of your loyalty points. It’s often easier, and you may get extra perks such as online check-in, free bags, etc.
A road trip is where my travel planning apps excel. I use them almost non-stop.
iExit is my go-to road trip planner app when we’re on the road. Looking to see how far ahead the rest area is, iExit has it. Want the nearest coffee shop, you can search that too. It knows which direction you’re traveling, but it does only work on the interstates. Personally, it’s always a goal to see just how far ahead the next state is. iExit shows me that too!
Want to save on gas, use Gas Buddy to check prices of nearby gas stations. It is user input, so occasionally prices may not be up to date. However, I find it is usually right or pretty close.
MyPilot app belongs to the Pilot Travel centers across the country. They are one of the safest gas stations I’ve found with their app, you can sign up for their loyalty program and get freebies and discounts.
You want to do stuff while you’re traveling, right? Here are a few travel planning apps to track, plan, and save on attractions.
The GoCity Card app works with the Go City Smart Destinations website. You can build your own discount attraction pass and show the app for entry to attractions in major cities.
Theme Park Apps
If you’re going to the major theme parks, Disney or Universal Studios, for example, download their apps. It helps to get the lay of the lands, fast pass, attraction times, dining options, and showtimes.
Roadtrippers could easily fall under the road trip category. But even if you’re not driving somewhere, Roadtrippers has endless attractions and sightseeing ideas. These vary from well-known to off the wall. I also like using their suggested trip guides and driving routes. Roadtrippers now has an epic Plus version to plan longer trips, collab, and get special deals. It’s only $29 a year, but you get 20% off with my code BTR5QTP.
Heading to the beach as your attraction? Get the Tide Charts app. This determines your location and lets you know when high tide and low tide are.
AllTrails is your guide to the outdoors. Find hiking trails by skill level, activity, and distance, along with maps you can download.
You need to eat when you’re traveling. These travel planning apps will help you find unique food or food savings.
Keep in mind you can use some of the travel planning apps already mentioned, such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Roadtrippers, Groupon, and the Entertainment Book.
Instacart is my go-to grocery delivery. I’ve used it while traveling to get groceries to our Airbnb. I like Instacart because you do not need to pay a membership fee, only for delivery and tip. Use my Instacart code to get $10 off your first order.
TV Food Maps
This one is fun for anyone who loves those traveling food shows on the Travel Channel or Food Network. TV Food Maps lets you find those famous locations near you. You can even search by your entire road trip. They have dozens of TV show listings and hundreds of restaurants to try. This is another great app to plan travel around food!
Do you have any travel planning apps that are on your go-to list? Did I miss any? I’d love to hear from you. Comment and let me know your best trip planner app.