The best trip-planning apps can often be the difference between a great trip and an OK one. In a world where free time can be scarce, they can help us to plan trips in a way that’s quick and efficient. As the following list of the best trip-planning apps for iOS and Android show, they can help us store travel documents; remind us of gate, confirmation, or seat numbers; and plan ahead by showing us reviews of restaurants, museums, and landmarks. So if you suspect your trip plans are too ambitious to remember by heart, try on one of these trip planners for size.
Also, if you need help with your travels that goes beyond trip planning, check out our article on the best travel apps.
TripIt is an easy-to-use and comprehensive travel-planning app that lets you create master itineraries for your trips. All you have to do is forward reservations and bookings to its dedicated email address, and it will create a single itinerary for any upcoming excursion you have. This means that, even when you’re offline, you can open the app to double-check where you need to be in the next hour, day, or week. Other nice features include neighborhood safety scores (out of 100) and the ability to plot road trips on a map. If you upgrade to Pro (for $49 per year), you’ll receive flight status alerts, terminal notifications, and updates on the length of queues in airports. All in all, it’s a simple yet highly powerful trip-planning app.
Wanderlog is a great trip-planning app that lets you do many of the things offered by other leading travel apps. It saves all your reservations, flights, and tickets in one place, creating a single itinerary for your trip. You can view your plans on a map, which is perfect if you’re traveling everywhere by car. You can also use the app to share plans and itineraries with friends, who can also update your plans and add their own details. All of the plans you make are stored offline by the app, while you can also add things to do during your trip, whether this is stopping to eat or stopping to marvel at a landmark. The app also provides links to reviews and guides for each place you’re visiting, so you’ll never be short of ideas.
Kayak is another solid trip-planning app, letting you compile all of your reservations and bookings into a single itinerary while also allowing you to share this itinerary with friends and family. However, it bolsters this basic offering with its main feature, which is basically a price comparison service for flights, hotels, and rental cars. So aside from using it to plan where you’re going, it will also link with the best flights for getting there, as well as the best hotel rooms and cars. It boasts exclusive deals that aren’t available anywhere else, so it generally is a very good place for making the most of your trip (and saving money in the process). Once you’ve booked a flight or reservation, the app will then save everything to your itinerary, meaning that it really is a one-stop shop for your travels.
We’ve all been there. You set off on your much-awaited beach holiday to Spain, only to forget your swimwear. PackPoint Travel Packing List promises to avoid repeats of such mishaps with packing lists. Not only can you simply create a manual list yourself, but the app will recommend items to take based on the info you give it, such as the kind of trip you’re going on, planned activities, the time of year, and the destination. It’s an excellent way of ensuring that you don’t leave home without all-important clothing, accessories, or gear. If you don’t mind paying $3, you can also check out the similar Packing Pro, though it’s for iOS only.
TripAdvisor is one of the most exhaustive trip-planning apps you can find for iOS and Android. It lets you plan trips and build itineraries, adding places, events, landmarks, restaurants, and other destinations to your schedules. Most notably, it also offers millions of reviews, images, and videos related to any place you may be thinking of visiting, meaning that you can really research your trip before planning just where exactly you’re going. Everything you add to your planned trip will be visible on the map, while you can also find deals and book tickets via the app itself. The app also offers forums for users to share information, and you can add your own reviews in case you want to give a restaurant a rave (or bad) review. While you’re on a trip, the app will also offer a variety of recommendations, so you don’t even have to plan anything beforehand.
As its name suggests, Roadtrippers is aimed mostly at fans of the humble road trip. It lets you plan car-based voyages across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, plotting stops and layovers along the way, whether this is at a landmark, a restaurant, or a hotel. If you’re short on ideas yourself, the app will offer recommendations, and there are also ready-made trip guides for some of the more popular areas and regions. The app is free to use, but if you want to add more than seven waypoints to your trip, you’ll need to upgrade to the Roadtrippers Plus, which costs $7 per month or $30 per year. This subscription will also add the ability to collaborate with friends, offline maps, custom maps, and access to exclusive deals.
If you’re worried about navigating your way around a busy metropolis, Citymapper is most likely the answer. It provides you with different travel options for your trips in urban centers, showing you the different means of travel you can take and how much they’re likely to cost. It shares times for public transport, while it also lets you subscribe to particular bus and train lines. Other helpful features include alerts for when you need to get off a bus or train, info on accessibility options and wheelchair access, and the ability to access public transport maps offline. The app works with most of the biggest cities in the U.S. (and some in other countries), though it may not be relevant if you’re traveling off the beaten path.
TravelSpend is a budgeting app for trips, aimed in particular at backpackers and anyone else who may travel for extended periods of time without having a clear endpoint in mind. It lets you enter expenses, receipts, and purchases, compiling all of your entries into helpful visualizations that indicate whether you need to rein things in or continue spending liberally. You can also use the app with friends, who can collaborate with you on drawing up budgets and entering expenses. At the same time, you can also split bills and fees among your friends and family so that each person knows exactly what they should be setting aside. You can even export your data from the app so that you can work on your expenses when back at home. The app is free to download and use, but you can remove ads and activate some extra features for $4 per month or $18 per year.
Catering to the business and professional traveler, TripCase is another excellent trip-planning app for iOS and Android. Once you’ve signed up for the app, you can forward all of your confirmations and reservations to its email address, and they will be added automatically to your itinerary. Of course, you can also add items and locations manually, building up a schedule that can then be shared with others. The app also lets you search for new flights and hotel bookings, while it also sends you status information, terminal and gate information, and seat maps. It provides a one-month free trial but requires a subscription of $6 per year to be used beyond the initial trial period.
Sygic’s app offers a very detailed and in-depth trip planner, with the ability to view maps offline and plot where exactly you intend to travel. You can build your travel itinerary step by step, and the app provides estimated travel times and walking distances for each of your stops. It also offers specific info — such as opening hours, fees, links, and photos — for over 50 million locations, including landmarks, galleries, restaurants, parks, hotels, beaches, and nature spots. Major cities even feature their own dedicated guides, helping you to plan your trips and see the most interesting places. On top of this, you can share plans with friends, book hotels and accommodations, and view 360-degree videos that can help you decide where to go on your next vacation.
Google Maps is arguably the best navigation app you can download right now, but it’s also a very valuable resource if you’re planning a trip. Not only does it offer directions for travel by various means, but you can also find recommendations for restaurants and cafés regardless of where you are, which is obviously valuable if you want to visit the best (or most popular) places. Users can upload photos and reviews of the places they’ve visited, so you’re likely to encounter more helpful info on Google Maps than with any other trip-planning apps. Unfortunately, you can’t construct an itinerary using the app, but you can use it to find flights and trains to desired destinations. You can also use it to plan road trips, with the Directions feature letting you add stops along the way.
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