I honestly have no idea how my parents used to travel around. Somehow I find myself lost even with a compass and a map on my phone... yeah, I've got skills. Seeing as technology is taking over the world we may as well embrace it and use it to our advantage! These best free travel apps can help you get the most out of your trip and make your budget stretch further.
Want to know if you should buy that flight now or wait? ...There's an app for that. On a road trip and want the best price for gas? Don't waste your gas driving around looking for it!
In this list, I've included some bigger name apps that you will probably have on your phone, and if you don't you should! Then smaller, more boutique but quality apps to help you have the best trip you can!
Check out the best free travel apps below which will help you before and during your trip. From planning your trip, to transport, keeping in touch with friends and family, learning a language, and so many more!
The best free travel apps - keep scrolling for details!
- Roadtrips - GasBuddy, IOverlander, Roadtrippers, Campermate
- Accommodation - Airbnb, Booking.com
- Flights - Hopper, FLIO
- Planning - Lonely Planet, GetYourGuide
- Transport - Lyft, Poparide, Uber, Maps.me, Rome2Rio, Citymapper Transit Navigation
- Language - Babbel, Google Translate
- Finance - TransferWise, XE Currency Converter, Splitwise
- Security - Find My iPhone, LastPass, Microsoft Authenticator
- Other - WhatsApp, Spotify, Alarmed
This page probably contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission if you choose to purchase through a link I provide (at no extra cost to you!). This helps to keep me on the road and continue to bring awesome content to you!
Best Apps for a Roadtrip
Available in the U.S., Canada, and Australia
I’ve been using GasBuddy on my U.S. road trip to help refuel at a good price. You can search by location or price and it comes in handy when you’re deciding if you should fill up now or at the next town over.
Available in the U.S. and South America
iOverlander is a database of places for Van-lifers and travelers. Filter down the options by choosing what you want to see whether that be: campsites, hotels, restaurants, mechanics, laundromats, tourist attractions and more. It’s easy to then transfer the location into Google maps or maps.me and get directions.
Use Roadtrippers to easily plan your ultimate adventure. One option is to put in all of the places you want to see and it will find the most direct logical order to visit them in.
The other option is to insert your starting location and destination, dates of travel, and what you want to see along the way, then the Roadtrippers app will plan your trip for you. You can also use the software via their website.
Available in New Zealand or Australia
If you’re planning on camping or van-lifing in Australia or New Zealand, download the CamperMate app. They have offline maps and all the info you need for campervan related travel. It has more information for New Zealand but the Australian maps are slowing growing with more info.
Best Apps for Accommodation
Find hotels, hostels, motels and vacation home travel deals. Take advantage of their price match guarantee and free cancellation on certain properties. Check their website for details.
Best Apps for Flying
Hopper can predict with a 95% accuracy if the price of a flight will go up or down. You can check flights up to 1 year in advance. Enough said!
FLIO is great when you have a long layover at the airport. It’s the place to go to find out information about Wi-Fi, lounges, transit options, and FLIO even gives you advice on the best airport food. They have over 3000 airports in the app.
Best Apps for Planning
Guides by Lonely Planet is the place to go to discover the best things at your destination. You can find offline maps and advice on different locations and topics, audio phrasebooks, and also book travel experiences through third parties.
GetYourGuide: Tours & Tickets
The place to access the most popular tours and tickets in locations across the globe. Just type in where you’re going and they’ll provide you with a list of the best tours so you can skip-the-lines and visit all of the must-see attractions with ease.
Best Apps for Transport
If you haven’t heard of Uber by now, get outside! It’s used in plenty of countries around the world so a very useful ride share app to have.
Sign up and use the code saraha298 to get a discount off your first ride!
Available in the U.S.
Similar to Uber, Lyft offers affordable rides with highly-rated drivers. See the cost of your ride in advance and split the cost of the ride with friends.
Available in Canada
The new ride share app making getting around Canada easy, and you can even make friends at the same time!
If you’re a driver, post your route and how many empty seats and earn some money to help cover your car costs.
Maps.me is the winner of the best free travel apps! It helped me survive 4 months traveling without data. It's an app that lets you use maps even when you don’t have internet. They even offer offline navigation.
You have the ability to add pins in different colors with the feature to add notes so you can actually remember why you pinned it!
Rome2Rio gives you travel options to and from an address, landmark or city. They give you a rough time and cost for your transport and also provide accommodation choices and things to do in the area.
Citymapper Transit Navigation
Citymapper provides you with real-time departures, public transit maps, and disruptions. They also work with Uber to make your travel go as smooth as possible.
Best Apps for Language
Babbel will help you learn a new language with confidence. Using their short lessons, it’s easy to pick up one of the many languages they offer.
Google Translate is one of the best instant translation programs out there. In over 100 different languages, you can fairly accurately translate sentences. Just pay attention to how you word them. Star your most used phrases for use offline, or use the app as a dictionary for a word or phrase.
Best Apps for Finance
TransferWise Money Transfer
The best app for transferring money to a bank account in another currency. It will save you so much on fees.
Check out my TransferWise review here and to get your first transfer free of fees.
XE Currency Converter
XE Currency Converter gives you recent and accurate currency exchange rates in the palm of your hand.
Splitwise helps you track expenses when traveling with others, letting you settle up instantly and fairly. You can use it with Venmo or Paypal which makes life so easy. Your flakey friends no longer have an excuse not to pay you promptly!
Your Bank’s App
For easy access to your money!
Other Useful Apps for Travel
WhatsApp is the best way to stay in contact with those back home and with new people you meet. When you change your phone number, you can change it in the app and update your contacts automatically without disturbing them.
The FaceTime quality is better than Facebook and it’s a great (and free) way to make international calls. Though you do need internet and for the receiver to use WhatsApp.
Listen to music or podcasts for free (with ads) or paid. The paid version allows you to download music for offline use and make playlists.
Alarmed ~ Reminders + Timers
Put reminders in your phone for friends and family member’s birthdays back home, or to pay bills on a certain date.
Find My iPhone
If you lose your iPhone, track it from a computer or another iPhone with the Find my iPhone app. You can also remotely lock it so the finder can’t access your data, display a message or erase everything off it if you sadly know it’s not coming back.
LastPass Password Manager
LastPass is a secure password manager that remembers all of your passwords and personal information for you, keeping it in a secure vault. LastPass saves you time by auto-filling your login information.
You just need to remember the master password (don’t give this to anyone!). This is a great app to use when your jet-lagged and your brain can’t remember your passwords.
I get so frustrated when I can’t access my Outlook accounts overseas due to all their security measures. Set up Microsoft Authenticator before you leave home for ease of access. The app uses your fingerprint, face ID or PIN to access your mail, OneDrive, Office and more.