Travel can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a bit stressful more often than not. Add the cost of gas, tolls, and parking fees, and it’s easy to wonder if you’re getting your money’s worth from your trip.
Fortunately, you can use several apps that will help you travel smarter and save money on your next trip. Here, we’re going to list some of our favorite must-have travel and outdoor apps for an exciting and safe experience.
1. Navigation: Google Maps
Google Maps is a must-have app for any traveler. It’s a pretty nifty and convenient app that gives you updates on traffic, public transit schedules, and directions, of course. You can download offline maps of places, so you can use them when you don’t have access to cellular data.
You can get directions via voice commands and avoid costly mistakes with traffic updates, real-time rerouting, and other Google Maps features that help you stay on course. If you’re looking for a reliable way to get around town while away from home, Google Maps is your go-to app.
Download: Google Maps for Android | iOS (Free)
2. Highway/City Exits: iExit Interstate Exit Guide
If you’re traveling, this exit guide is your one-stop shop for all things within and around city limits. You can find out which exits are closest to your destination, or even which ones offer the most gas stations and food options. This is all the more useful if you’re traveling by car since it’s easy to get lost when driving around a new city.
To get started, sign up for an account. You can see various options such as nearby highways and pit stops in and across cities. Simply search for a destination and you’ll see a host of amenities available—rest services, outdoor attractions, fuel stations, historical sites, parking spots, and more.
This app will guide you through unfamiliar territory and make sure that you don’t miss an important turn or exit on your road trips.
Download: iExit Interstate Exit Guide for Android | iOS (Free)
3. Tour Planning and Local Attractions: Roadtrippers
Roadtrippers is an app that includes guides and maps for a host of facilities ranging from activities and experiences to shopping, sports, and wellness. It also includes reviews and ratings for each facility.
If you want to know more about the place you are going to visit, then this app helps you do just that by giving you a curated list of local attractions, restaurants, hotels, and accommodation. You can filter your search by reviews, distance, images, and more.
Hit Start New Trip or Search & Explore, or navigate to the Guides section to find out about local attractions, outdoor experiences, bars and cafes, shopping complexes, and much more. You’ll need to sign up via your Apple, Facebook, or Roadpass account to get the best experience.
You can also share your favorite stops with friends via email or social media. The app is free to use, but you might need to make a purchase every time you download a travel guidebook for reference.
Download: Roadtrippers for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
4. Travel Packing: PackPoint
If you’re a frequent traveler, you know that packing can be a pain. It’s hard to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. That’s where PackPoint comes in.
It’s like having a smart, personal travel assistant who tells you exactly what you’d need to pack for your next trip by pulling up a custom list of packing items based on the nature of your trip and preferences—whether it’s business or leisure travel, and what type of activity you enjoy most (gym, biking, or whatever else).
You can add or remove items from your list and get the local weather forecast, so you’ll know what to pack accordingly. To get started, hit the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner and tap New trip. For an ad-free experience and integration with Tripit, you can settle for a one-time upgrade.
Download: PackPoint for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
5. Voluntourism: Worldpackers
Voluntourism offers an incredible array of opportunities to experience culture and meet new people while helping communities in need. It’s great for those who want to explore places and avail of free facilities.
Worldpackers is a travel and adventure app that lets you explore the world in exchange for your skills. Choose which areas of the world interest you, and find volunteer opportunities that suit your interests.
To get started, sign up for an account and enter your details. Choose your interests, locales, and the nature of your vacation—eco-tourism, solo travel, sabbatical, and the like. You’ll see some customized options where you can exchange your skills for accommodation, as well as other opportunities.
You can also subscribe to a membership to get unlimited trips, attractive discounts, cashback, community-led experiences, and much, much more.
Download: Worldpackers for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
6. Personalized Tours: Withlocals
One of the most important parts of your trip is getting to know the local culture and customs. Withlocals is an app that allows you to find local tour guides in popular destinations across the globe.
You can search for tours based on your interests (such as wine or food tours), and modes of transport and price. You can also search by language and country, so if you want to do a tour in Spanish, it will show you only those tours.
The app connects you directly with local guides who are experts in their areas in over 50 cities, so they have plenty of knowledge about what makes each place unique.
The best part? Withlocals will pair you with the right person based on your needs and preferences. No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for (adventure or relaxation), Withlocals has something for everyone.
Download: Withlocals for Android | iOS (Free)
7. Tickets & Tours: Viator
Viator is another app that allows you to book tours, activities, and excursions from a wide range of operators worldwide. It also has a wide range of prices, making it a great choice for budget-conscious travelers. The app is easy to use and features an intuitive interface.
You can search for things to do by destination or activity type and then book them directly through the app. To manage your bookings, you’ll have to sign up using your Google or Facebook account. Viator offers tours that are often cheaper than what you would find elsewhere, but with the same great quality.
Download: Viator for Android | iOS (Free)
8. Audio Sightseeing: izi.Travel
izi.Travel is a must-have app for your next trip. It’s got different audio tours of popular destinations around the world, and it’s all free.
The app is easy to use. Simply select the city you want to explore, then choose an audio sightseeing experience based on what interests you most.
Once you’ve chosen one, just tap play and start exploring! The app will guide you through each sight so that you don’t miss anything. You’ll be able to hear all about famous landmarks like Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower, as well as attractions like street art in Paris or historical sites in New York City or elsewhere. You’ll also have access to a curated collection of favorites and top picks.
Download: izi.Travel for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
9. Wi-Fi Finder: Instabridge
Instabridge is a smart Wi-Fi finder app that helps you find the best Internet hotspots for your next trip. You can easily check your current location and see nearby hotspots in real time.
It also offers a map view of available Wi-Fi hotspots. The app will even let you know if certain Wi-Fi networks are password protected or public or stable, and if they require payment to connect.
To use the app, you’ll be prompted to switch to the Instabridge launcher. The free version is supported by ads. The premium version offers an ad-free experience in addition to VPN features.
Download: Instabridge for Android | iOS (Free, premium version available)
Travel Smart, Travel Safe
If you’re looking for good travel apps, this collection should keep you happy. They cover trip planning, booking, researching costs, sightseeing experiences, moving around in new cities, and staying safe. You can do a lot more with them than just find your way.