The Best Apps for the Smart Traveler of 2021

Best Apps for the Smart Traveler Badge

If you’re looking for an app to make traveling easier, our top pick is Tripit because it can compile all of your travel details in one place, from flights to car rentals. But if you just need help with one aspect of your trip, such as booking a hotel or a rideshare, you might be better off with one of the other nine options on our list.

Top 10 Apps for the Smart Traveler

How We Chose the Best Apps for Smart Travelers

To put together our list of apps for the smart traveler, we looked for apps that offer core features like a packing list and online booking options. But since every trip is different, you may need to find additional features or even download more than one app.

Choose the smart traveler app that’s right for you

Most of the apps on our list focus on specific aspects of the travel experience, such as booking a hotel or putting together an itinerary. But there are other things to consider too, such as the local language and the exchange rate in your destination. The more features an app offers, the easier it will be to make changes to your plans or find the information you need to make the most of your trip.

Download before you leave home

Some apps may not be available in the country you’re traveling to, or you might find it harder to access a reliable internet connection overseas. Be sure to download the app and set up an account before you leave home to make sure it works properly.

Our Smart Traveler App Reviews

Tripit — Top Pick

Tripit App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Tripit is our top pick because it can compile all of your flight details, rental car reservations, hotel bookings, and even dinner plans into a single itinerary. Unlike some of the other apps on our list, Tripit isn’t a booking platform, so you’ll have to go elsewhere to actually make the bookings. But once you do, you can simply connect your email account or forward your booking confirmations to Tripit. It will automatically display them in an easy-to-read format and even provide real-time updates on flight delays and wait times. Tripit is free, but to unlock some of its features, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee of $49 per year.

Notable features:

  • 30-Day Free Trial
  • Pro: $49/year
  • Support available: Email, Help Center, Ticket
Tripit Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Automatically generates itinerary No booking platform
Integrates with Siri No built-in translator

Hopper — Best Free App

Hopper App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Hopper is the best free app for smart travelers on our list because you can use it to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and more. Because Hopper compiles data from multiple sources, it can show you the cheapest dates to book your trip, notify you if prices are starting to rise, and even freeze prices temporarily so you can come back and buy your tickets later. It can also recommend trip ideas based on cheap flights to and from your nearest airport. Hopper is free, but some tools, such as the price freeze feature, require a deposit.

Notable features:

  • Free
  • Support available: Email, FAQs/Help Articles
Baby Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Price change notifications No packing list
Price freeze feature  

Hotel Tonight — Best Last-Minute Deals

Hotel Tonight App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Hotel Tonight is best for last-minute trips and spontaneous travelers, because you can find great deals on same-day hotel rooms and other discounts. Whether you’re in the mood for a weekend getaway or find yourself on an unexpected business trip, Hotel Tonight can help you find a hotel room at a reasonable price. You can choose from categories like Luxe, Hip, and Crashpad, but you may not be able to select a specific type of room until you check in. Hotel Tonight isn’t just for last-minute trips either, you can reserve a room up to 100 days ahead of time.

Notable features:

  • Free
  • Support available: Email, Phone, FAQ
Hotel Tonight Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Same-day discounts No packing list
Multiple pricing tiers No travel itinerary

Airbnb — Most Unique Experiences

Airbnb App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Airbnb is the best app on our list for travelers who want to find unique accommodations or travel experiences. You can browse categories such as arts and culture, outdoor adventure, and more, with most accommodations offered by local hosts rather than hotel chains. You can search for a cabin, a castle, a treehouse, or anything else that comes to mind, with everything from shared rooms to entire homes available for booking. You can also use the app to find tours, day trips, and other experiences, even if you don’t use it to book a place to stay.

Notable features:

  • Free
  • Support available: Help Center, Email, Neighborhood Support
Airbnb Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Multiple accommodation types No flight bookings
Book tours and day trips  

Uber — Best Rideshare App

Uber App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Uber is the best rideshare app on our list, because it offers on-demand rides when taking a taxi or public transit would be inconvenient. You can use it to catch a ride to or from the airport, or to get back to your hotel after a late night out. Ride requests, payments, and driver reviews are all handled in the app, so you don’t have to carry cash or wonder how much the ride will cost. You can choose a private ride with UberX, or a shared ride with Uber Pool. There is also a pass for frequent riders that costs $24.99 per month and provides you with member-only discounts.

Notable features:

  • 7-Day Free Trial
  • Pass: $24.99/month
  • Support available: Help Center, Email
Uber Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Advance bookings available No hotel or flight bookings
In-app payments  

PackPoint — Best Packing List

PackPoint App feature

Download: Android | iOS

PackPoint is the best packing list app for smart travelers because it compiles a custom list based on the length and purpose of your trip. All you need to do is tell it where you’re going, whether it’s a work trip or a vacation, if you’ll have access to laundry facilities, and other key details from your itinerary. PackPoint will automatically check the weather forecast, estimate how much clothing you need to bring, and put together an itemized list tailored to your destination. You can share it with friends or family members who are traveling with you, and connect it to your Tripit account for an all-in-one itinerary and packing list.

Notable features:

  • Premium: $2.99
  • Support available: Email, Forum
PackPoint Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Built-in weather forecast No online booking tools
Integrates with Tripit  

Citymapper — Best for Cities

Citymapper App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Citymapper is the best travel app for cities because it can help you find your way around your destination, especially if you use public transit. It will show you real-time information on transit options, including train and bus schedules, fares, and delays. It can even show you how many calories you can expect to burn if you walk or bike! Citymapper is available in most U.S. and European cities, but your options may vary depending on your destination. For example, visitors to London can purchase the Citymapper Pass, an all-in-one card that you can use to pay for multiple modes of transit, including Lime scooters.

Notable features:

  • Free
  • Support available: Email, Contact Form
Citymapper Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Real-time public transit info Only available in some cities
Bike and scooter routes  

Google Translate — Best Translation App

Google Translate App feature

Download: Android | iOS

If you’re traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language, Google Translate might be the best translation app for you. While some apps focus on a single language, Google Translate can recognize more than 100. In addition to typing in a word or phrase, you can draw characters or speak into the microphone for a faster translation. You can even aim your camera at a sign or a menu to see it displayed in your own language. Other features include an offline mode and a language detection tool so you can have an instant translator in your pocket at all times.

Notable features:

  • Free
  • Support available: Help Center, Email, Community Forum
Google Translate Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Text and speech translations No online booking tools
Offline mode available No built-in maps

XE Currency — Best Currency Converter

XE Currency App feature

Download: Android | iOS

Traveling to a different country often means paying in the local currency. A currency conversion app like XE Currency can help ensure that you get the best deal for your money. It’s free to view the exchange rate between two currencies, and you can even set up alerts to notify you when the rate goes up or down. You can use it to time your trip or even decide which country to go to based on the current exchange rate. XE Currency also allows you to send money to a recipient in another currency, with the option to pay by direct debit, credit card, or bank transfer.

Notable features:

  • Free
  • Support available: Email, Phone, FAQ
XE Currency Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Live exchange rates No online booking tools
Money transfer options  

LoungeBuddy — Best for Airports

LoungeBuddy App feature

Download: Android | iOS

LoungeBuddy is the best way to gain access to airport lounges, even if you aren’t a member of any awards programs. All you have to do is enter the airports you’ll be traveling through on your route, and LoungeBuddy will find a lounge pass for you with prices starting at $25. You can buy a pass instantly on the day of your trip, or purchase it ahead of time (up to two months early). If you’re traveling as a family, you can search for kid-friendly play areas too. Other perks include showers, free WiFI, and complimentary beverages, depending on which lounge you choose.

Notable features:

  • Free
  • Support available: Email, Live Chat, Phone, Help Articles/Knowledge Base
LoungeBuddy Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Single-use lounge passes Not available on Android
Kid-friendly lounges available  

Smart Traveler Apps: Features Summary Table

Smart Traveler Apps Comparison Table
App Subscription Fees or In-App Purchases Features
Tripit — Top Pick Pro: $49/year Online Booking
X Packing List
Travel Itinerary
X Maps
X Translation
Hopper — Best Free App Free Online Booking
X Packing List
Travel Itinerary
X Maps
X Translation
Hotel Tonight — Best Last-Minute Deals Free Online Booking
X Packing List
X Travel Itinerary
X Maps
Translation
Airbnb — Most Unique Experiences Free Online Booking
Packing List
Travel Itinerary
X Maps
Translation
Uber — Best Rideshare App Pass: $24.99/month Online Booking
X Packing List
X Travel Itinerary
X Maps
Translation
PackPoint — Best Packing List Premium: $2.99 X Online Booking
Packing List
X Travel Itinerary
X Maps
X Translation
Citymapper — Best for Cities Free X Online Booking
X Packing List
X Travel Itinerary
Maps
X Translation
Google Translate — Best Translation App Free X Online Booking
X Packing List
X Travel Itinerary
X Maps
Translation
XE Currency — Best Currency Converter Free X Online Booking
X Packing List
X Travel Itinerary
X Maps
X Translation
LoungeBuddy — Best for Airports Starting at $25 Online Booking
X Packing List
X Travel Itinerary
X Maps
X Translation