There are lot of reasons to remember the past fondly—classic cars and TV re-runs are definitely delightful. But there is one area we should all be glad has moved into the future: travel planning. From translation to organization to entertainment, we’ve found the must-have travel apps that will make planning your next vacation easier and even more fun!
Translation and Communication
TripLingo is one of the most comprehensive language apps out there. In the free version, you’ll get phrasebooks—with over 2,000 phrases—and a limited number of voice translations. Upgrade for even more useful options, like learning tools.
Google Translate is the most well-known translation app, and for good reason. It has type-to-translate features for 103 languages, camera mode and speech-to-speech translation for more than 30, and its phrasebooks work offline. What’s not to love?
When you need to ask a question or have a quick conversation, iTranslate Voice is your go-to. This simple voice translator is one of the best international travel apps. It has speech-to-speech translation for 42 languages, and saves phrasebooks of your most commonly used phrases.
Don’t have an international plan? WhatsApp uses a Wi-Fi or data connection to message with people back home or new friends. Plus, it recognizes users by phone number, making it easy to text while you’re out of the country.
Use Hopper to find the best airfares—period. This app tracks flight prices over time, predicting when they will be cheapest, so you know when to book. Bonus: You can also use it for hotels. It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular travel apps for planning.
AARP Member Advantages
The AARP member app can help you save money on flights, hotels, cruises, and more. While you’re traveling, just open the app to see discounts available near your location. Easy!
Cruise Ship Mate
With photo galleries, chat functionality, and a “roll call” feature to see who you’re sailing with, Cruise Ship Mate has been called Facebook for cruisers. Add extensive ship and port information and personalized itineraries, and you’ve got a winner.
If RVing is more your style, you need the Roadtrippers app. Plan and share your trip—the app syncs across devices, and others can add suggestions. But the real fun part is finding all the quirky roadside attractions along your driving route.
Forward emails to TripIt, and it creates a master itinerary for you. You can add notes and links, sync it to your calendar, and share your plans. While traveling, you’ll have directions to your hotel, flight information, and city maps, even offline. Pretty cool.
This app creates your itinerary automatically from your Gmail account. Like TripIt, you can share your plans and get information offline—but where Google Trips really shines is providing restaurants, nightlife, and tons of things to do near you.
App in the Air
This flight-specific app has detailed info on all of the world’s major airports, plus user-provided tips on charging stations, restaurants, and more. When it’s time to fly, the app creates a timeline, notifying you of check-in and boarding times and any updates.
Just for Fun
Wondering the name of that mountain, lake, or town down below? Using the in-flight Wi-Fi, this fun app tells you what you’re flying over. Simple—and just plain cool.
Did you know you can download Netflix programs to watch offline? Now you do, so catch up on your favorite shows on your next long flight.
Use a picture on your phone or social media accounts to create a postcard and send it anywhere in the world. It’s a modern twist on a classic travel souvenir.
All of the best travel apps on this list are available for free on both iPhone and Android (some offer upgraded versions for a monthly or yearly fee). Best of all, they’ve got top ratings thanks to their user-friendly interfaces and intuitive features. Even if you never thought you were an “app person,” you just may change your mind after trying these out.