Best Indispensable Apps for Every Traveler’s Phone

Wander With Wonder – Discovering Wow Moments Around the World or Across the Street

Loading your phone with the right apps before your next trip will make it cheaper, safer, and more enjoyable. Read on for our recommendations for indispensable travel apps.

Vacation season doesn’t only recharge our batteries; it also has the power to transform your phone in amazing ways! What was once a time-wasting black hole suddenly becomes one of the most vital tools in a traveler’s arsenal. You’ll have to download the right apps first, though! Read on for some of our favorite ways to use your phone while traveling.

Travel apps you use on your phone are now essential components of travel. Photo by Wachiwit via iStock by Getty Images

Trip Planning

Some travelers relish discovering new destinations without much preparation. Others research each trip meticulously. Trip planner apps are ideal if you’re in the latter camp. They’re information hubs that contain everything about trending destinations & memorable things to do when you arrive. They’re also excellent sources of user reviews for local sights and accommodations, which makes finding where to stay easier.

My Favorite Trip-Planning Travel Apps

I recommend these apps when planning your trip:


Bonus apps if you are planning an RV road trip:

National Park Service
RV Life

Flight and Hotel Booking

Once you know where to go, it’s time to arrange your stay as cheaply as possible without skimping on comfort. They’re technically two separate categories. Still, flight and hotel booking apps follow the same principle. They’re essential for tracking deals and snapping them up at the right time. Some reward early bird, while others let last-minute travelers snag flights or lodgings for a song.

My Favorite Flight and Hotel Booking Apps

I recommend these apps for booking your flights and hotels, starting with apps for individual airlines and hotels:

American Airlines app
Delta Airlines app
Alaska Airlines app
United Airlines app
Air France app
Lufthansa app
British Airways app
Marriott Bonvoy app
Hilton Hotels app
Hyatt app
Priceline app app
Expedia app
Airbnb app

You can use a travel app to book your hotels and flights. Photo by anyaberkut via iStock by Getty Images


Going online while traveling can be risky, especially if you make the mistake of using public WiFi. Even if you’re using the safer cellular network an eSIM provides, you’ll still want a VPN to encrypt the connection and protect sensitive data or communications from tracking and exposure.

VPNs are also useful if you need to bypass geographical restrictions. Want to catch up on a show not available in your destination country? To change location Chrome users only need their VPN’s plug-in and can watch to their heart’s content.

Photo by FellowNekocat via Freepik

Local Transportation

Public transit in many touristy countries is safe, relatively cheap, and highly developed. Busses, trains, trams, and ferries will get you almost anywhere, so plan your trips around them! Appropriate apps are necessary since they provide routes, prices, and timetables. Download one before you go to develop your itinerary and budget accordingly.

My Favorite Transportation Apps

I recommend these transportation apps when traveling:

Lyft app
Uber app
Amtrak app
Rail Europe app
Metro Paris app

A local transportation app can ensure you make your connections while traveling. Photo by Zbynek Pospisil via iStock by Getty Images

Translation and Language Learning

Overcoming the language barrier is the key to unlocking a more personal and memorable travel experience. Many locals might know English at some level. Even so, communication goes smoother using a translator app that can make signs readable and translate complex questions and answers.

On the other hand, learning the language through an app’s gamified environment will help you retain more and not be so reliant on your phone. Plus, the locals will find your efforts endearing and be more willing to help.

My Favorite Translation and Language Apps

I recommend these translation and language apps:

DuoLingo (for learning languages)
Babbel (for learning languages)
Busuu (for learning languages)
Google Translate (for translation)
Translate (iOS) (for translation)
Notta (for translation)
iTranslate (for translation)

Language apps can help you make friends when you travel. Photo by Kar-Tr via iStock by Getty Images

Trail Mapping

Trail apps are the outdoorsy globetrotter’s best friend. They’ll not only point you to the closest biking or hiking spot, but they also offer information on length & difficulty. Some provide real-time condition reports and directions, reducing your chances of getting lost or caught in a downpour.

My Favorite Trail Mapping Apps

I recommend these trail mapping apps:

AllTrails app
Gaia GPS app
TopoGPS app
HiiKER app
Komoot app

A hiking app can keep you safe and connected while exploring the outdoors. Photo by Yuricazac via iStock by Getty Images

Currency Conversion

Ever go on a tour through multiple countries, each with its own currency to juggle? It gets confusing really fast! Worse yet, it means you’re more likely to overspend or get taken advantage of by local scammers. Currency converters save the day by providing real-time and offline rates, ensuring jet lag or silver tongues won’t cause you to overspend.

My Favorite Currency Conversion Apps

I recommend these currency converter apps:

Xe Currency Converter App
Currency Converter Plus
Elk: The Travel Converter
Currency Converter Worldwide
My Currency Converter & Rates

A currency converter app ensures you know exactly how much things cost before you purchase them. Photo by Melissa Walker Horn on Unsplash

Expense Sharing

Speaking of overspending, chipping in for meals and other expenses on a group trip and realizing you spent more than your fair share can be awkward. Expense-sharing apps come to the rescue! In addition to basic expense tracking, they let you set up groups for different trips or events, add comments to expenses, and link to different payment platforms so you can pay someone back or vice versa in no time.

My Favorite Expense Sharing Apps

I recommend these expense-sharing apps:

Splitwise app
SplitMyExpenses app

eSIM Services

Your mobile carrier might be fun at home, but does it offer reasonably priced roaming? You’re better off tapping into the power of your phone’s eSIM chip! Associated apps provide services in countries worldwide and let you pick among several long- or short-term plans for each.

This is super useful for calling, texting, safer browsing, and emergencies when there’s no reliable internet coverage. Plus, a quality eSIM is a godsend if you visit several countries since it eliminates the hassle of buying and exchanging physical SIM cards. You can keep your original number while getting the best deals on the second connection wherever you are.

Finding the Best Travel Apps

Loading your phone with the right apps before your next trip will make it cheaper, safer, and more enjoyable. We hope you’ll consider most of our recommendations and be better off for it! We invite you to explore Wander With Wonder  for some of our favorite destinations as you plan your travels.