We’re sharing our top fifteen must have travel apps that we love to use for our family travel. Be it road trips, nature adventures, city fun or a quick travel spree, these apps have helped us over and over, and so I’m sure they’ll do the same for you. There are so many travel apps available, some aren’t worth the download and some are expensive, so my aim in sharing our top free travel apps, is to help your travel experience and save you time and money!
We’ve got the travel bug… again. After being home for a few short summer months while waiting for the sweet little bun in my oven to arrive followed by a move and settling in for school season, well, it’s been awhile and we’re ready to hit the road! Just recently I had a work trip to Miami, just Chris and I (and baby of course!) succeeded by a quick jaunt to Michigan for a family wedding, and it just wet our appetite again for more. So while we’re planning our next adventures, and dreaming of a snowy winter trek (Hello, Big Apple and Montreal, we’re looking at you!), I thought I’d share the apps presently on my phone that get used for everything from the planning process through to execution! I’m definitely not the “everything in app form” type of person, but these ten apps are my top must have travel apps by far and help us out whenever we’re on the road.
PackPoint – Okay this little app is quickly becoming my favorite packing buddy! With a super simple and interactive interface, PackPoint will build a custom packing list for you based on your length of trip, weather conditions (that it finds based on your trip location), and selected activities for your travel. But you can still edit as they build your list. I love that I can select that I’m traveling with baby and quickly have all the baby gear I need to pack in checklist form! Plus, there are options for “repeat basics” or “laundry” that you can toggle on and off as it builds your list.
TripIt – Keep everything from your flight reservations, hotel confirmations, rental car information and more all organized in one place, and even get access to it all offline. Just forward any confirmation emails [email protected] and the app will create a detailed daily calendar itinerary for you! Plus, you can easily take advantage of the additional features like maps, weather forecasts, and attraction suggestions for your destination.
GasBuddy – My husband is giddy over this app, and he’s the one who really uses it… every time we need to fill up. You can quickly see where gas stations are and see their gas prices. It’s an app that will help you decide if you need to get fuel right away, or if you can wait a couple of miles and save on your fill up.
Waze – When I think of driving with a map, I automatically think of Google maps or my phone GPS, but Waze takes the GPS experience to an entirely different level. Think of it as a community of drivers all on the road with you. You can still enter a destination and it will show you a route, but it also gives all kinds of real-time traffic updates and alerts, will reroute you based on driving conditions ahead, shows you the cheapest gas station along your route. Plus, you can send your ETA to friends, and add to the community experience by reporting accidents or traffic changes along the way. It’s like having road buddies along the way.
Uber – It’s like your own personal car service right at your fingertips. Granted some of our trips are roadtrips, so clearly then this app is not needed. But when I’m flying somewhere this is the app to get me where I need to be, just order a car (like a taxi service), and the transaction is handled right through my phone. I like that I can see an approximate cost before I order the car, I can select XL when I need to make sure an SUV comes to fit my family, or I can even share a ride for a reduced rate.
Yelp – No matter if I’m home or away, this app is almost always open on my phone. I check out everything from restaurants to cupcake shops, nail salons and markets with this app! It’s great to see what kind of food or services are around you, and you can check out ratings and tips from other users as well.
Trekaroo – Make finding kid-friendly activities in any city easier with this app. Get tips and suggestions from other parents in the community based on your location, find interesting and entertaining restaurants, hotels and activities (from free playgrounds to paid parks, etc). You can even book your hotel in app.
GateGuru – For those travels with flights. This app is a lifesaver in the airport, search by airport, and even terminal, to find the nearest restrooms, food… or when you just need a coffee! It’s especially helpful on layovers where you find yourself with extra time for a meal or a wander through the terminals.
WifiMap – Find free wifi and passwords around you, great for last minute deadlines when your hotspot isn’t working so “hot”. 🙂
Roadtrippers – If you’re roadtrippin’ it, this app is the way to go! Plan your road trip ahead of time, share with friends and family and use it to find great new places around you to add in a few fun stops. What I like is that you can plan out your entire trip, including stops, and it will map it all out for you, show distance, time, areas to stop and more.
Bring Fido – BringFido is the world’s leading pet travel brand and the #1 trusted resource for dog owners looking for the lowdown on the best hotels, attractions, and restaurants that welcome pets. Their acclaimed mobile app brings the best of BringFido to your phone, giving you free on-the-go access to pet-friendly information worldwide.
All Trails – Explore 200,000+ hand-curated trail maps plus reviews and photos crowdsourced from millions of hikers, mountain bikers and trail runners. Find that dog-friendly or kid-friendly trail that you’ve been searching for. Take that mountain biking or backpacking trip you’ve always dreamed of. Explore a national park, or discover new hiking trails in your area.
National Park Trail Guide – Complete trail data and hike descriptions for many of your favorite National Parks, including life-list destinations like Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, Point Reyes, Rocky Mountain, Zion, Acadia and many more!
Open Table – Book and enjoy extraordinary dining experiences in over 52,000 restaurants worldwide with the OpenTable App. Find the right restaurant for anything using the comprehensive and intuitive search filters. See menus, photos, and special promotions, while getting the inside scoop from previous OpenTable diners.
Park Mobile – With over 20 million users, ParkMobile is a smarter way to park. Easily pay for street, lot, or garage parking right from your mobile device. You can also reserve parking ahead of time near garages and stadiums across the country. ParkMobile is available in over 350 cities including New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, Dallas, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Of course there are a plethora of hotel and travel discount apps, like Kayak for finding deals and Airbnb for interesting and different places to stay, but I wasn’t going to really get into those on this post, since everyone has their own preferences. I even recommend downloading apps for the hotels and travel services that you use consistently and have rewards through. For example, I usually fly Delta airlines, so I have that app on my phone and can book trips or reward travel, change flights, check my status and more all in app. Same for Marriott hotels, I can find hotels near me and book stays with my points, check in through the app, get upgrades by using it and more. Now Omni hotels just needs to get an app going so I can use it!! Whatever services you use consistently, I’d recommend just downloading their app.
Another app that you wouldn’t necessarily think of for travel is the Amazon app! We have a prime account and can order items ahead of time to be delivered where we’re going to stay, stream movies and music and more. Something new they’ve started as well is Amazon Prime Now (although only available in limited cities) with delivery within an hour or two for those items you’ve run out of, like diapers! 😉
How about you… What do you think about the travel apps, would you use them? What other travel apps can you suggest? Let me know in the comments section below!
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