The best travel apps for iPhone in 2018 go above and beyond merely booking your flight.
These apps are almost as good as having a personal concierge plan every detail of your trip. You can kick back in your favourite chair and explore destinations, book your flight, accommodation, and local transportation all from your phone. (Not to mention they can help you save money too!)
But the best travel apps for iPhone can also help you share your trip with family, friends and fellow travelers; snag you better seats on a plane; speed you through Customs lines; and help you pack the right clothes for your trip.
The only drawback? Sorting through hundreds of apps to find the best travel apps for your iPhone!
We know you’re short on time, so we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve reviewed a wide selection of travel apps for you.
Use the Quick Navigation below to jump to apps by category.
Travel Planning Apps
The Lonely Planet Guides app let you explore 200+ cities before you go, with insider advice from Lonely Planet’s travel experts. The apps provides neighbourhood guides, must-see sights, local language phrasebooks, offline maps, currency conversion bookmarks and more. You’re sure to find the travel destination of your dreams with a little help from the Guide app!Price: Free, with in-app purchases.Lonely Planet/Trips – Trips is designed to be a bit like Instagram in that images feature heavily. But unlike Instagram, users can not only share breathtaking photos, but also background information about the locale. Trips format allows user to upload their travel photos, videos and stories into a glossy ‘magazine’ that they can share with friends, family and fellow travelers.
The TripAdvisor app is filled with 500 million user-generated reviews on hotels, vacation rentals, flights, restaurants and local attractions. Read reviews on landmarks, things to do in top destinations, and top nearby destinations. TripAdvisor also has a forum, so you can ask specific travel related questions before you book. TripAdvisor compares prices from 200+ hotel booking sites, so you’re sure to find a great deal. If you’re concerned about language barriers, TripAdvisor tells you which languages are spoken by your accommodation staff.You can also download local maps to use offline so you don’t have to worry about roaming charges.
Google Flights is quickly becoming the go-to place to book flights, because you can discover information about on-time performance and baggage fees that are difficult to find even on the airlines’ websites.
Here’s the problem though – Google Flights isn’t an iPhone app! But anyone can access the desktop version of Google Flights. Discover options to save money by flying out of another airport or on another date. Track airfare prices through Google Flights, and get notified via email if a cheaper fare becomes available.
Another bonus is Google users can save their identity and credit card details to purchase tickets without having to re-enter their information.
Hopper – The app is your crystal ball to forecast flight & hotel price reductions. Almost magically, this app can predict the future lowest price of your flight with 100% accuracy! Hopper tells you whether to book now, or wait for a better price. If there’s a sudden drop in fares, Hopper will send you a push notification so you can book immediately.
The app features major airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
Skyscanner – This enormously popular app (60 million monthly users!) features daily flight deals from more than 1200 direct partners. But that’s only the start of what this powerful app can do. It can also find you deals on hotels and car rentals. Add your fixed travel dates and Skyscanner will show you the best travel deals available
Skyscanner searches hotels, apartments, BBs, guest houses & hostels and ranks them by price, star rating, meal plans, cancellation policy so you can find a perfect fit for your accommodation tastes, needs and budget.
Enter your destination, pickup and dropoff dates, and Skyscanner will compare car rental rates from Europcar, Enterprise, Budget, Alamo, Hertz & Avis.
HelloGbye – Hate typing? Frequent, business or group traveler? This is the app for you! Simply speak your travel plans to HelloGbye and it does the rest.
All you need to do is fill out a profile where you rank your travel preferences. You needn’t enter this information again unless you want to make changes. Then HelloGbye’s AI-powered app fetches flight and hotel choices for you based on those preferences.
Traveling with a group? HelloGbye helps you “plan and book multi-person itineraries, including with travelers departing from different cities leaving on different days, all with different preferences, in seconds.”
Price: Free for individuals, but advanced features are subscription-based. The app maker claims the “monthly subscription actually saves you money by reducing travel fee expenses, gives you cash back and provides a better travel booking experience.”
Subscriptions will set you back $19/month but also waives change fees, gets you preferred hotel rates, up to 2% cashback on hotel bookings. If you’re a frequent traveler, the subscription could easily pay for itself.
There is also a small business plan for up to 25 travelers for $199/month.
Hipmunk – Advertises itself as “Your FREE travel agent.”
One feature that sets Hipmunk apart is its integration with Facebook Messenger, Skype and Slack. Sign up, then open up your favourite messaging app. Ask the Hipmunk bot a travel question and it will come back with instant travel recommendations.
Make sure to check out Hipmunk’s annual travel planning guide. You’ll discover the best times to travel to your destination, based on price and preferences.
Hipmunk’s flight search engine shows cabin class options head to head, so you can compare Basic Coach to Coach to Business fares. It also finds car rental and travel package deals for you.
Kiwi – This app is designed “By Travellers, For Travellers”
Kiwi claims that “airline flights cost 28% less with Kiwi.com – saving you up to 90% on direct prices.” How does Kiwi do it?
The app searches for the cheapest flights possible, even if that means booking you on different carriers. Kiwi’s interactive flight tickets map helps you search for the best flights possible. Choose ‘Everywhere’ in the destination field to see cheap travel deals from across the world. The app stores all your essential travel documents such as tickets and boarding passes, so you’ll have them at your fingertips whenever you need them.
There’s just one small caveat to using Kiwi. Flying unrelated flight routes, you may have to go through customs and check in again during layovers. Make sure you have a visa for any country in which you need to clear customs.
Travelers have far more accommodation options available than ever before. From deep discounts on hotel rooms to home sharing options, there are app choices in this category to please every taste and budget.
Hotels.com – Tons of filtering options and thousands of hotel rooms – what’s not to love? Registered users can receive secret deals and save up to 50% off regular pricing. The app’s “Deals for Tonight” feature can score you some sweet last-minute savings on a room.
Hotel Tonight – Everyday at noon, Hotel Tonight releases fresh room deals. While you can book up to two weeks in advance, the biggest savings come from booking last-minute with Hotel Tonight. You’ll also see user reviews, and helpful information to help you make the right decision on a room.
Travelocity.com – Travelocity’s mobile app gives users access to over 300k hotel rooms. If you’re feeling adventurous, use the “Top Secret Hotels” feature to score a deeply discounted rate. The only catch is you won’t know which hotel you’re booked into until your transaction is complete. Check out the user-reviews for insights into properties. If you find a cheaper rate for your room online, Travelocity will refund you the difference.
SPG: Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Access 1200 of Starwood’s award-winning hotels and resorts – including Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, Aloft Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts and St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. Book with a credit card or with your accumulated Starpoints.
Bonus: skip the check in line with SPG Keyless, which lets you check in, get your room number and unlock your door with the app. 24-hour assistance is available from the SPG support team.
Roomer – Matches people who have booked non-refundable rooms they can’t use with travelers looking to score a bargain. Register to find secret deals where you can save up to 90% on last minute travel. Sort deals by budget, hotel class, review and extras (free breakfast, etc.)
Roomer has access to luxury properties where you can score even bigger savings. Choose from all-inclusive resorts, city break, beach, romantic trips, family-friendly properties, spa retreats and more! The app also provides users with money-saving offers for solo travel, which is usually a more expensive option.
AirBnB – AirBnB leads the way with home sharing options for every taste and budget. Home Sharing has cut significantly into hotel profits, so it’s not surprising some major cities such as New York City and San Francisco have enacted legislation to curb its rapid growth.According to Business Insider, San-Francisco based AirBnB has listings in 191 countries, and its total number of listings have outgrown the combined total of the top five major hotels.The app allows travelers to book short-term or long term vacation home rentals. Share with friends & family via the app, and allow them to help plan the trip. Use the app to message your host and get directions to your rental home.
Technically, Roam is not an app. But its included here there are so many benefits of this website for freelancers and business travelers. Roam features co-living and-working spaces with super-fast internet speeds and other business essentials. Kitchen, laundry and living spaces are shared; however, each guest has a private room and bath. Most locations have other amenities available such as a pool and media room.
Currently, Roam has co-living spaces in London, Bali, Miami and Tokyo – with a San Francisco location opening soon.Pricing is by the room, so your guest can stay with you at no additional cost. Note: You must apply and be accepted by Roam before you book.
Forget the days when your only option was to rent a car from a big agency, or fumble with a local transit schedule. Mobile apps have revolutionized the car rental process, giving users instant access into pricing from all major agencies. Apps have also set the stage for the rise in ride sharing and car sharing options now available to travelers.
CarzUP – Partners with over 25 major car rental companies in the USA, Canada and Europe. Collision insurance is available from $11/day. Bonus – you don’t need a credit card to book a car through the app.
CarRentals – This simple-to-navigate app is a car rental search engine with enhanced features. Search for vehicles from every major rental agency. View, cancel or re-send confirmation emails for any rental you’ve made through the app. Contact customer service directly through the app for questions and concerns – and get roadside assistance if needed. The app supports 28 different languages., so it’s an excellent choice when traveling abroad.
Getaround – Peer-to-peer car rental available in 8 U.S. cites – San Francisco, Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, New Jersey, Oakland, Portland, Washington D.C.. Choose from convertibles, exotic, luxury, snow, SUV, Tesla, truck & van to rent on an hourly or daily basis – insurance included in the rental fee.
Verify your driver’s license and credit card with Getaround, then in the future you’ll be able to rent any vehicle on the network without any paperwork. Simply find a Getaround car you wish to rent, then unlock it with your phone. Hourly and daily rentals are supported by the app. .
Zipcar – Members can reserve a car from 1 hour up to 7 days. With membership, gas, insurance and up to 200 free kilometers are included per day. Membership starts at $7 month with no annual fee.
When you locate a car that is available to rent, simply hold your Zipcard to the car’s windshield to unlock. When you’re finished with the car, park it in its reserved spot and re-scan your Zipcard to lock it.
Uber – The world’s most popular ridesharing app provides service in many major North American cities, as well as 60 countries worldwide.
To book a ride, download the app, and imput your name, phone number and credit card number. Enter your destination address & confirm your pickup spot and your driver will be on the way.
When your ride is confirmed, you’ll see an estimated cost of the ride provided. You must accept this fee before proceeding.
If you need to make a short stop during your ride, your Uber driver will accommodate you. If you’re a wheelchair user, Uber has specially equipped vehicles to transport your chair to your destination. For the budget minded, Uber offers UberPool, which offers extra savings for guests willing to share a ride.
Lyft – Yet another popular ridesharing service. You can create both personal and business profiles which allows you to keep receipts and personal and business payment cars separate. Schedule your ride up to 7 days in advance.
Lyft also offers a smiliar carpooling option to UberPool called Lyft-Line for budget-mined individuals.
Mytaxi – This app is Europe’s favourite taxi booking app. Fare quotes are provided when your ride is booked, so you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprises. Pre-book your airport pickup at least 4 days in advance and for a guaranteed fare.
The app stores your card information, so there’s no need to fumble with cash when you arrive at your destination. All receipts and your ride history are stored in the app for your review.
Taxify – Operates in a similar fashion to Mytaxi but gives you the option to pay with cash instead of adingd a card to the app. Supports both personal and business trips for easy record keeping.
View your driver’s contact details and rate your ride upon reaching your destination – helping other passengers in the future.
Citymapper – The app is designed specifically for people who walk, cycle and use public transit. A unique feature of this app is its Smart Ride initiative. You’ll get a guaranteed seat on a Smart Ride bus at a specific time on the route you specify. Users have said that Smart Ride is the best of both worlds between catching a bus or taking a cab.
No Wifi or data? No problem. Citymapper saves maps so you can view them offline. Your trip history is saved as well. You can even let friends track the progress of your journey. Opt for push notifications to be alerted of transit delays or cancellations during morning and evening commutes.
Transit – Helps you navigation public transit systems with real-time predictions. Get help with trip planning, navigation, service disruptions and departure and stop reminders. You’ll even be able to track your transit vehicle’s progress on a map in real time. Transit provides step-by-step navigation if you’re on foot.
Service disruption? Transit sends push notifications to alert you. Transit schedules and itineraries are available offline as well. In select cities, you can locate bike share stations, pay for passes and unlock bikes through the app.
Decide that Uber is a better transportation option? Fnd and book nearby Ubers directly through the app. Finally, you can view availability of local car-share services and and book a cars with Transit as well.
Restaurant Reservations & Review Apps
Open Table – Make reservations at one of 43,000 restaurants located worldwide with the Open Table App. Filter by your personal preferences by cuisine and location. Discover photos, menus and reviews to guide you to a perfect restaurant choice.
Resy – Make a reservation at one of over 1000 restaurants in over 80 U.S.cities with Resy. All restaurants have been vetted by the Resy team for quality. Booking a table with Resy is as simple as making two taps on your phone. If you need to cancel your reservation, you can do it from inside the app.
Nowait – Many casual dining restaurants don’t take reservations, but put you on a waiting list for a table instead. That can be frustrating when you have hungry kids to feed. Nowait displays how long waits are at close-by casual dining establishments. The app will also put you on a restaurant wait list without standing in line to save your spot. The app even notifies you when it’s time to leave for the restaurant.
Allset – Allset is aimed at business diners. Select a restaurant, pre-pay and order your meal and and pick the time you want to dine. When you show up at the restaurant, your meal is already waiting for you.
Once you’ve planned your trip, it’s a huge help to be able to keep all of your bookings, boarding passes and other important travel information within a single app. To follow are three apps that help travelers manage their itineraries with ease.
Google Trips – Google has created a powerful and convenient app to help plan and organize your trips. The app will pull your bookings from Gmail and Inbox and automatically organize them for you. Your itinerary will always be available offline – no WiFi or data needed to retrieve it.
Need suggestions for things to do in a new city? . Filter your excursion preferences through Top Spots, For You, Local Favourites, Parks & Gardens, Indie Music, Indie Shops, Sporting Scenes, Fashion & Jewellry, Indoors, Outdoors, Kid Friendly, Father Away, Places A-Z. You”ll receive half and full-day suggestions for outings based on your preferences.
You can even create a custom itinerary for each day of your trip with Google Trips.
TripIt – This convenient app keeps all of your travel plans as close by as a single tap on your phone. If you’re a Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook user, set up your booking confirmations to be automatically forwarded to the app. If you’re not a user of these services, simply forward your hotel, car rental and restaurant reservations to firstname.lastname@example.org and the TripIt app keeps everything organized for you.
Once you’re finished adding your booking details, TripIt creates an itinerary based on your travel confirmations. Access your itinerary offline – TripIt downloads it and stores in the app for you.
Business travelers may want to upgrade to TripIt Pro ($49/year.) The upgrade allows travelers to receive real time alerts, find alternate flights, get fare refund notifications in the event of a price drop, share travel plans with business colleagues and family, and track rewards points from within the app. A 30-day trial is available.
TripCase– Also geared towards the business traveler. Auto-import trip details, email your booking confirmations to TripCase, or add your details manually to create your itinerary. Share your itinerary with anyone of your choosing – TripCase will keep them updated on your arrival details. Search alternate flights, check the weather, book rides and more all from within the app.
While on your journey, TripCase sends messages related to specific segments of your trip, such as airline check in information. The built-in GPS feature allows you to save specific spots you’d like to return to later.
Important travel documents such as boarding passes stay available with just a tap, whether your online or off.
WiFi Calling Apps
Calling home from your mobile device can add eye-watering roaming charges to your monthly cellular bill. Reduce your charges with apps that let you call and text over WiFi.
WhatsApp – Free calling, video calling and secure messaging from your Android, iPhone, Windows phone or Mac or Windows PC. Start a group chat to update friends and family on your travels – share messages, photos and videos with up to 256 at one time!
WhatsApp features end-to-end encryption, so your calls and chats stay private. You can even send documents via WhatsAPP.
Messenger – The app is Facebook’s contribution to messaging apps. As well as messaging your Facebook friends via the app, you can also send text messages via the app to any phone number. Create group chats; voice call over WiFi. You can turn off Messenger notifications when your working or busy as they can get annoying quickly.
Note: You don’t have to be on Facebook to use the app. You can register via your phone number.
Skype – One of the oldest messaging apps around, Skype has over 100 million installs. Features free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls and instant messages. Low-cost calling to landlines and SMS to mobile devices is also available.
The fully-encrypted Signal App ensures your conversations stay private. The app doesn’t store your data, or access your communications. Use your existing phone number and address book with Signal – there’s no need to create usernames or passwords. Text, talk or create group chats in complete privacy.
General (But Indispensable) Travel Apps for iPhone
Mobile Passport – Officially authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Mobile Passport app allows U.S. Citizens and Canadian visitors (with B1 or B2 visa status) to submit passport and Customs declaration information via the app instead of filling out a paper form. Household members traveling together can make a single declaration.
Special pre-approval or clearance to use the app is not required. Complete your profile with your passport information, answer CBP’s questions about your trip, and submit your information with a tap upon arrival. Next, you’ll receive an electronic receipt from CBP containing a QR code. Proceed to the dedicated Mobile Passport line, show your receipt and passport to the officer and you’ll breeze through Customs.
Available in over 20 major U.S. cities with more airports to follow.
Note: The app is NOT a replacement for your passport. Have your passport on your person at all times when you travel.
PackPoint – Not sure what to pack for your trip? You’re not alone! But now there’s the Pack Point app to help you get it right. Pack Point checks the weather and decides what you need based on the destination, length of travel and planned activities.
Not only will Pack Point help you plan what clothes to take, it will also remind you to take essential items such as passports, power adapters, medical insurance cards, toiletry items and more.
TripLingo – this app has a number of useful features. There is a voice translator to instantly translate your voice into another language (and vice versa), a phrasebook that includes formal, casual and slang options, learning tools to help you master critical phrases, safety tools, tip calculator, culture notes and more.
Waygo is a must for travelers going to Asia. Waygo uses image recognition to translate signs and menus from Japanese, Chinese and Korean to English.
Google Translate – the world’s most popular translation app supports over 103 languages. Use your camera to instantly translate text in 38 languages. Copy text into your app for instant translation. Enter into Conversation Mode for two-way speech translation in 32 languages. Save translations in the app for future use. You can also translate 59 languages without a data connection when you’re traveling abroad..
iTranslate Voice – Speak into your phone, and iTranslate will instantly translate your voice into one of the 42 languages supported – no typing required. Send translations over email, SMS or Facebook. The Phrasebook feature allows you to store frequently used phrases and sync them via iCloud for instant retrieval.
XE Currency is one of the best currency conversion apps on the market. Set your base currency and the app will pin it to the top of your screen. The app will work offline too, as rates are stored as they are updated. Calculate prices in your local currency with ease.
What Are Your Best Travel Apps for iPhone?
Pheww….that was a lot of writing – hope you enjoyed this round-up of 43 best travel apps for iPhone. I’m sure that I missed a few great apps. Got a favourite? Add it in the comments below!
Best iPhone travel apps