There are so many great travel apps and resources out there to help you plan, get thru, and enjoy your trip. Here’s a list of favorites that have made my travels easier, more organized, and brought more joy to my time on the road!
Google Maps: I use this app before and throughout my entire trip. I use it to make lists of all the places I want to go before I plan my trip and to help lay out a plan before I go, ensuring I hit all the spots I really want to see. During my trip I use it for navigation thru all types of transportation, even just walking. I also make sure to drop pins along the way at new places I discover and like. For safety, I use it to remember where my car is, where I’m staying should I get lost and to share my location with loved ones at home so they can track me while I’m away. There are soooo many ways to use this app, get creative with it!
Pack Point: One of the biggest travel stressors is packing! It’s impossible to really know what you’re going to need and more importantly, what you’re NOT going to need to drag along with you. Pack Point is fantastic because it develops a personalized list for you based on your travels! Simply share your trip details and it will look into the weather, type of trip (camping, hiking, beach, skiing, etc) and destination for you! Making the pain of packing one less thing you need to deal with before you jetset.
Pinterest: This is my fave tool to use while planning. I do all my preliminary research here before I go somewhere. It helps me identify fun neighborhoods, great places to eat, cool places to take photos and more! I create boards for my upcoming trips and then head over to Google Maps and pin all the locations I want to go to. Check out my Pinterest Boards here for some ideas and maybe I can save you some work.
- Tripit: Wish you had a personal assistant that could just plan everything for you?! Well, Trip It is the next best thing! Simply forward all your booking emails to your Trip It account and BAM! The app takes care of the rest. It’ll organize a calendar for you and send you reminders along the way so you don’t have to remember OR dig through emails and paperwork for your information! Kiss that folder of paperwork and emails goodbye! Now everything is organized in one convenient place and your mind can focus on your trip instead of stressing about the next leg of the journey.
Weatherbug: Weather is going to affect your trip. PERIOD. It’s good to have an easy to navigate weather app on hand to check before and during your trip because things can turn on a dime. I like this handy little app because it works everywhere and gives detailed info. Whether I’m checking on the next few days, hourly, or even the local pollen count, this app has everything in one place.
Hopper: Hopper is very useful for getting an idea of two things: 1) how much airfare is going to cost and 2) the best time of year to go. It even has a feature that will track prices for future trips and will tell you when’s the best time to purchase! So if it’s predicting that the price is going to drop by a few $100 in the next few weeks, let Hopper take over and remind you when it’s time to buy.
Skyscanner: Skyscanner is a travel blogger fave. It’s job is to find the lowest rates on every airline out there. Sometimes you even get lucky and it find’s airline algorithm mistakes that will get you absurdly low airfare deals! This one is worth signing up for their emails to your inbox because they’re always sending amazing last minute deals out too!
On the Road
City Mapper: This app will show you how to get from point A to point B by virtually ANY form of transportation you can dream of and available in any city. It even compares prices, duration of travel, and distance making it easy to find your way back to your hotel at the end of a long day of exploring.
City Pass: This is one of my favorite secrets that looks too touristy to take advantage of but is seriously ridiculous in savings! It’s not available in every city but if you can find it at your destination, you might as well take advantage because for the price of 1 or 2 attractions you’ll usually get about 5! For example, the one for my hometown of Tampa Bay includes 5 attractions; one is a theme park and the City Pass price is the same as one ticket to that park but includes 4 other activities! What a score!
Gasbuddy: Gasbuddy is exactly that. Your best friend on the road! Use this app to help you find the cheapest gas near you so you can pinch every penny and spend it somewhere better!
Nord VPN: Traveling with a VPN is becoming more and more essential. It’s important to protect yourself online and when you’re away from home you’re usually using public networks which makes it easy for your personal information to be hacked. VPNs are a relatively cheap way to protect yourself and your personal info online, especially if you leave the country.
Waze: This app is your traffic guide and radar detector all-in-one. Switch on this app when you’re driving to not only help you navigate to your destination but to help you find the quickest route, keep away from speed traps, accidents, or anything else on the road that could present delay or danger. Waze app users work together to communicate in real time what’s happening on the road to everyone can get to their destination safely.
The Fun Stuff
AirBnB Experiences: Did you know that you can book more than just accommodations on AirBnB? That’s right! Recently, AirBnB has added the option to book experiences at your destination that are hosted by locals! So you can find all kinds of unique opportunities and excursions all hosted by locals! Pretty cool, huh?
All Trails: Okay, I’m not exactly outdoorsy but plenty of you are! I like a pretty walk thru the woods once in a while and this app is great because you can find local trails wherever you are. Best part for me…it rates trails by difficulty so I know what to expect before I go! No more guessing how long, how far, or how hard a hike will be, which always brought me anxiety and kept me from hiking. I’ve found a new place for nature walks on my trips because now I know what to expect!
ASTC Passport Program
ASTC Passport Program: This program allows you to check out science centers and museums all over the country with your membership at a participating museum or science center in your area. It will totally save you money since you’ll just have to flash your ASTC passport/museum membership instead of paying an entrance fee and you’ll have the same access as everyone else!
Eatwith: Are you a foodie too? I’m always looking for something unique to eat on my trips and EatWith not only does that but also brings in a cool experience too! WHAT?! Go check it out! Select your destination city and choose from all kinds of interesting experiences that locals and professionals have curated for foodies like us!
Groupon: Groupon is not just for cheap goods, it’s also great for travel! Did you know you can book entire getaways on Groupon?! Yup. You can find cruises through the Caribbean, road trips through Tuscany, even a multi-stop trip around Europe. You can also find cool excursions. I booked a hop-on-hop-off bus in LA for 2 days so I didn’t have to pay for Ubers and I was able to see all the amazing sites around the city (which isn’t walkable by the way). I also found an airboat ride though the Everglades on a trip to Fort Lauderdale. Groupon has so many uses when it comes to travel, just change the city destination from yours to your destination city to see what’s available.
Headout: This is another fantastic app for finding adventures on a budget at your destination. Looking for a helicopter ride around Manhattan or tickets to a show in London’s West End? This app delivers the deals.
National Park Passes
National Park Passes: If you’re planning on heading out to see one of the many national parks around the USA, an annual pass is a great investment. The national parks entrance fees aren’t as cheap as you might assume and if you’ve going to visit a few of them, an annual pass is truly a smart investment. Plus it’s free for military, disabled, and discounted for seniors!
Zomato: Personal admission: I plan a good chunk of my trips around eating mainly because I want to eat all the local things. I’ve NEVER been let down by this strategy. I use Zomato to find exactly what I want to eat and the best place to eat it. Again, it’s a fool proof plan. Try it out at home even, I bet you’ll find some cool new places to try!