The Best Free Travel Apps - Travel by Brit

You’ve dreamed about it, saved for it, and now, the time has finally come—time to plan your trip! You’re excited but also stressed. There’s so much to think about—flights, hotels, activities, and budgeting—where do you start?

Planning an international trip can be overwhelming. My husband and I experienced this stress when we planned our 16-day European honeymoon at the same time as our wedding. We knew we would need some help, so we found some incredible travel apps to help us organize, plan, and execute an incredible trip!

My 7 Favorite Travel Apps

The truth is, you shouldn’t have to plan your trip alone—especially when there are so many fantastic free travel apps that can help you!

Instead of bombarding you with every app on the market, I’ve found what I believe to be the best travel app in each travel category. Here are the seven best travel apps to help you plan and enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

1. Flights App: Hopper

Hopper - travel apps

Hopper monitors price fluctuations on flights and hotels you are watching and sends you a notification when it is the best time to buy.

Take the stress out of monitoring flights with Hopper:

  • Watch various trips at the same time
  • Filter out layovers, stops, or extra fees
  • Search the cheapest flights from your local airport via a “Deals Feed.”

The best part? You can book your flights directly from the app for free! My husband and I used Hopper to find an excellent deal on our nonstop, round-trip flights from Phoenix to London last fall. We are already watching flights on Hopper for our next trip!

2. Lodging App: Booking.com

Booking.com - travel apps

I confidently stand by Booking.com as the best travel app to book hotels and rentals. Booking.com offers millions of properties worldwide—from hotels, resorts, hostels, apartments, and homestays. No matter your preference or budget, there is something for everyone!

Booking.com offers incredible perks:

  • Payment is not due until check-in.
  • You can change your booking at any time leading up to the trip
  • Most rooms offer a free cancellation

If that isn’t enough to impress you, the thing I love most about Booking.com is the Genius loyalty program.

It’s super easy to join. All you need is:

That’s it! When you become a Genius member, you get at least 10% savings on thousands of properties worldwide, not to mention other travel perks.

When my husband and I arrived at our hotel in Paris (at a Genius discounted rate), we were offered a complimentary breakfast each morning because of our Genius membership. Thanks, Booking.com!

3. Maps App: Google Maps

Google Maps - travel apps

Many travelers don’t consider using a map until they arrive at their destination. Why would you? That’s what I thought until I started using Google Maps. Aside from providing fantastic maps, Google Maps offers excellent benefits to travelers who explore the app before their trip even begins.

Before your trip, you can use Google Maps to:

  • Find hotels near public transport or walking distance from things you want to do before you book them
  • Pin attractions & restaurants you want to visit
  • Create an itinerary to share with family and friends
  • Download offline maps for the places you will travel to (a must for international travel!)

Google Maps makes it easy to search for restaurants, landmarks, museums, train stations, coffee shops, and more in the areas you are traveling in. This maps app also gives you a realistic expectation of the walking distance or travel time between activities.

When you know what you want to do each day, create an itinerary. Based on where you will be, download an offline map of each area to guide your travels—even without an internet connection.

4. Travel Budget App: Tripcoin

Tripcoin

A travel budget is challenging to create and more challenging to maintain. That’s why I love to use Tripcoin to monitor my travel budget and to track my expenses.

Here are some of the incredible features that make Tripcoin so great:

  • An unlimited allowance of trips and entries allows you to track every expense from each trip
  • There are customizable travel categories & payment methods
  • There is a currency converter included
  • No internet connection is needed to use the app
  • Tripcoin supports 150 currencies

Simple and straightforward, Tripcoin is the best travel app to keep you in budget while you plan and enjoy your trip!

[RECOMMENDED: How to Save Money to Travel on a Budget With This 4-Step Process]

5. Activities App: Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest may not be a travel app, but it is one of the best places to visit to gather ideas about what to see & do, where to stay, and what to pack for your trip.

I used Pinterest (almost exclusively) to plan our honeymoon. Pinterest gives people with travel experience or a local connection the opportunity to share real, helpful advice. If you need some travel inspiration when planning your trip, utilize Pinterest!

P.S. You can find me on Pinterest at Travel by Brit!

Another app I love to plan activities is Get Your Guide. They have tons of awesome day trips and excursions!

[RELATED: 10 Essential Travel Apps]

6. Travel Planning App: TripIt

TripIt - travel apps

Where do you collect your flight confirmations, hotel information, and tickets for activities once you book them?

If you can’t think of an answer to that question, you need TripIt—the vacation organizer that provides direct and easy access to all your travel information.

You can use TripIt to:

  • Keep track of tickets for flights and hotels
  • Create a travel itinerary in advance by marking maps, directions, and transportation
  • Record reservations for restaurants, tours, and other activities
  • Share your plans with the people you are traveling with

TripIt offers a Pro subscription for $48.99 a year that is more hands-on than the free version. It reminds you when to leave for the airport, alerts you how long security lines are, and tells you when to check-in, etc. I do not have the Pro subscription because it seems to be mostly airport management. I think as long as you have that under control, the Pro subscription is unnecessary.

The free aspect of this travel app is worth it. Long gone are the days of carrying around a clunky folder full of your hotel confirmations, tickets, and maps. TripIt will save you a lot of hassle by keeping it all in one place.

[RELATED: How to Plan an Epic Trip on a Budget]

7. Transportation App: Uber

Uber

If you don’t have Uber downloaded on your phone before international travel, you should. Uber is helpful to use for longer rides rather than waiting for public transportation or a taxi.

Uber is safe and easy to use because:

  • Payment is made securely through the app.
  • Language barriers are not an issue because the app programs your destination.
  • You can follow your journey to ensure you are arriving at the correct location.
  • Afraid of pickpockets on public transport? Uber is an excellent solution for traveling with suitcases.

Uber is available in over 700 cities in over 80 countries. Visit this website to see if the ride-sharing service is available in your travel destination.

Focus on the Fun with These Travel Apps

It doesn’t have to be difficult to plan and execute a fantastic trip. These seven travel apps will take the stress out of traveling so you can focus on the fun!

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.

  • I need tripcoin in my life. I get a little too carried away as soon as I step foot in the airport. I hope this helps lol

  • Oohhh I always heard about Hopper, downloaded it and never really used it! I think it’s more handy if you’re from the US or Canada, wasn’t THAT useful when I was living in Spain! I loveeee Pinterest for holiday activities ideas!

    • Thanks for reading, Amber! Hopper is awesome! That totally makes sense that it is location-specific. What app or website did you use to find budget flights when you were living in Spain? And yes, Pinterest is the best!

  • This is such a great list! I’ve never heard of Tripcoin before. That’s definitely something worth checking out especially since it’s easy to lose track of your expenses when you’re traveling!

    • Thank you, Savannah! I have heard great things about Skyscanner, but I have never used it. I will have to look into using it for future travels. Thank you so much for reading and for the recommendation!

  • Great tips and I find all of these apps very useful for traveling except for TripCoin which I haven’t heard of. That’s a great idea on how to track expenses. So easy for that to get away from me at times!

    • Thank you, Vanessa! I am glad you have found these apps as helpful as I have. It is hard for me to keep track of what I spend, especially once I am enjoying a trip, so I find Tripcoin super helpful. Thank you for reading!

  • I just found out how to create itineraries and share them in Google Maps and I love it! Haven’t heard of TripIt or Tripcoin – I’ll have to look into those.

  • These are some great ideas. I had never really thought of Pinterest as a travel app, but now that you mention it it totally is!

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