12 Free Apps That Make Travel a Breeze

12 Free Apps That Make Travel a Breeze

by Jane Haskins, Esq., June 2016

Whether your destination is Kansas or Kathmandu, successful travel requires planning. And while some people love researching destinations and creating detailed lists and itineraries, many of us would rather not work so hard.

That's where the latest crop of travel apps comes in. Today's travel apps put powerful planning and organizing tools in the palm of your hand, allowing you to easily book and organize your trip, find the best ways to get from one place to another, and document and share every moment along the way.

Here are 12 free travel apps to explore—whether you're planning your next getaway or already on the road:

Skyscanner can search millions of flights on hundreds of airlines in a matter of seconds, and then transfer you to the airline or travel agent to make your purchase. It includes a handy calendar to help you find the cheapest times to fly, and you can sign up for price alerts on your favorite itineraries. Skyscanner is available for iOS and Android.

BringFido takes the hassle out of traveling with your favorite canine by making it easy to search for pet-friendly hotels and restaurants, dog parks and beaches, pet-friendly events and attractions, and other pet services. BringFido is available for iOS.

TripIt consolidates all your travel plans into one easy-to-find itinerary. Just import your confirmations to the app, and it does the rest, allowing you to access your full itinerary anywhere—even when you're offline. TripIt is available for iOS and Android.

PackPoint is a lifesaver for anyone who's ever forgotten to pack a toothbrush. PackPoint checks the weather at your destination and builds a packing list based on the length of your trip and the things you plan to do. You can even share the list with your fellow travelers. PackPoint is available for iOS and Android.

Yonder helps you find great outdoor activities nearby. Users upload photos and videos of the places they've been, and you can search anywhere on the globe to find outdoor adventures that other people have enjoyed. With a database of 25 activities in over 20,000 destinations, the possibilities seem limitless. Yonder is available for iOS and Android.

Waze is a crowdsourced traffic and navigation app that's a must for anyone who has better things to do than sit in traffic. The app uses real-time data to alert users to traffic jams, police activity, accidents, and road hazards. Its community-edited maps help you choose the best route—and the cheapest gas station—every time. Waze is available for iOS and Android.

Citymapper makes it easier to get around in some of the world's biggest cities. Type in your destination and the app will show you the best way to get where you're going—whether that's by foot, public transit, bikeshare, Uber, or taxi. Citymapper is available for iOS and Android.

HotelTonight serves the traveler who believes spontaneity makes life—and travel—better, and provides last minute deals on quality hotels (they screen each one, from budget to luxe), so you can travel on a whim and play it by ear. HotelTonight is available for iOS and Android.

Musement lets you search, book, and pay for fun things to do in more than 350 cities worldwide. Access tickets to attractions, museums, sporting events and concerts, make restaurant reservations, and read recommendations from locals for the best things to do and places to go. Musement is available for iOS and Android.

LiveTrekker tracks your journey via GPS, lets you record video or digital images and comment on them, organizes them beautifully on a map, and stores them safely in the cloud. And with a simple click you can share them with friends, family, and social networks. LiveTrekker is available for iOS and Android.

XE Currency lets you calculate exchange rates on the go, so you'll never get confused and overpay again. You can track live rates for world currencies, in addition to calculating your conversions. XE Currency is available for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows, and Firefox.

Google Translate uses your smartphone's camera to instantly translate signs, menus, and other text in 29 languages. Among numerous other options are translating even more languages (103!) by typing, and using conversation mode for instant speech translation. Google Translate is available for iOS and Android.

With any of these travel apps loaded on your smartphone, you'll be set for your best vacation ever. Just remember to pack your phone charger, too.