Travel Apps That Help You Make The Most Of Your Trip

Travel Apps That Help You Make The Most Of Your Trip

Whether you go on one trip or ten every year, you’ve made an effort to save money, research the best accommodations, flights, restaurants, and attractions, and take time off work. You want to make your time and money count, and these days, we’re lucky to have a ton of travel apps that want to help us with that. You’re on vacation—so turn off the push notifications on your work email account and spend a little time on these apps instead.

Figuring out a new city’s transit system usually involves a lot of analyzing route maps, confusion over how to buy tickets, and asking random people for directions. With Citymapper, you’ll get a road map of the city you’re in as well as transit maps, real-time departure information, disruption alerts, and biking and walking directions. It gives you options for getting around so you’re not automatically forced to pay for a cab when a train is delayed or a bus is detoured. Taking cabs or renting a car might seem convenient, but using public transit will give you that authentic city-living experience you’re after.

Arguably the worst part of traveling is the time you have to spend in the airport waiting to board your flight. Airport lounges are there to make all that waiting a little more comfortable—and they aren’t necessarily just reserved for the people lucky enough to travel first class. With LoungeBuddy you can search for airport lounges, pay a flat rate and get access to all the amenities the lounge has to offer including peace and quiet, comfortable chairs, food, cocktails, high speed internet, and showers. Whether you want to start your vacation off right or you want to freshen up during a long layover, LoungeBuddy can help you make reservations ahead of time so after you get through security, all that’s left to do is relax.

Major tourist cities like New York, San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo, and Barcelona are full of history that you’re probably totally oblivious to as you walk through the streets. With Detour, you can get walking tour commentary for free so you’re really able to appreciate sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Central Park, the Gothic Quarter and Montmartre as you walk through them instead of looking them up later or trying to remember all the research you did before your trip. Tours are narrated by people who know the area like the back of their hand you’re able to experience the city like a local would.

Google Trips
Most trips include a folder full of printed out documents, tickets, directions, and general information you may or may not need during your time away. Google Trips can keep all that stuff organized in one place from reservations (that includes addresses and check-in and check-out times), to saved places you definitely want to check out and possible itineraries. It also incorporates Google Maps features like reviews of local restaurants and bars near your current location so if you’re suddenly in the mood for some quality gelato you can find it quickly and easily.

Dark Sky
Nothing can ruin a full day of plans faster than an unexpected thunder storm. When you’re traveling, pushing your plans to another day might not be an option so you have to be prepared to go forward rain or shine. That means a detailed hyper-local forecast could be your most valuable asset. Dark Sky applies special algorithms to predict how the weather will change in the next few hours. You can get detailed readings for rain, temperature, and humidity for your location and even access radar maps to see exactly how weather fronts are moving through your area. It might not be able to reschedule an afternoon thunderstorm that is forecast right in the middle of a walking tour you have booked, but at least it will let you know to bring your poncho.

Honourable mentions:
SitOrSquat: Trying to find a decent bathroom in a city you’ve never been to before that is teeming with tourists isn’t always an easy task. With SitOrSquat, you’ll be able to not only pinpoint your closest toilet but also find out if it’s clean enough to sit or it’d be advisable to squat.

PackPoint: Packing for a big trip—especially if you’re trying to fit way too much stuff into a carry-on—can be a stressful. With PackPoint, you can punch in your destination and the dates, and the app will give you a list of things to pack based on your most likely activities. At the very least, it’s a good place to start.

WiFi Map: Using too much data while you’re on vacation has the potential to run you hundreds of dollars in extra charges. That’s why being able to locate free WiFi is key. WiFi Map is a crowdsourced list of local WiFi hotspots complete with passwords so you won’t even be forced buy something at every cafe to get access to 10 minutes of internet.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on,,, and  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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