The best trip-planning apps can make the difference between an OK trip and a great one. As people start ramping up their travel plans again, the right app can help to design trips that are affordable, comfortable, and safe. Trip-planning apps for iOS and Android can help us store travel documents; remind us of gate, confirmation, or seat numbers; and allow us to plan ahead by showing reviews of restaurants, museums, and landmarks. If your trip plans are too ambitious to remember by heart, try on one of these trip planners for size.
If you need further help with your travels beyond trip planning, check out our roundup of the best travel apps.
TripIt is a powerful, easy-to-use, comprehensive travel-planning app that lets you create master itineraries for your trips. All you have to do is forward reservations and bookings to its dedicated email address, and it will create a single itinerary for your upcoming excursions. Even when you’re offline, double-check the app for where you need to be in the next hour, day, or week. Other handy features include neighborhood safety scores and the ability to plot road trips on a map. If you upgrade to the Pro version for $49 per year, you’ll receive flight status alerts, terminal notifications, and updates on the length of airport queues.
Wanderlog is a fully featured app that saves all your reservations, flights, and tickets in one place to create a single itinerary for your trip. You can view your plans on a map, which is perfect if you’re traveling everywhere by car. You can also use the app to share plans and itineraries with friends, who can also update your plans and add their own details. All of the plans you make are stored offline, while you can also add activities during your trip, such as eating or sightseeing. The app also provides links to reviews and guides for each place you’re visiting, so you’ll never be short of ideas. Recent versions offer improved lists of top restaurants for thousands of places around the world via thousands of top blogs and Google search results. You can now use the app to track expenses and budget for your trip.
Kayak is a solid trip-planning app that lets you compile all of your reservations and bookings into a single itinerary and share it with friends and family. It augments this basic feature with its flagship price comparison service for flights, hotels, and rental cars. In addition to using the app to plan where you’re going, it also links with the best flights for getting there, as well as the best hotel rooms and cars. It promises exclusive deals that aren’t available anywhere else. Once you’ve booked a flight or reservation, the app saves everything to your itinerary, making it a one-stop shop for your travels. Recent versions have improved management of your active search filters for quicker results on the go. If price fluctuations are a concern, you can freeze an entire set of results for a given number of days by paying a small fee.
We’ve all been there. You set off on your much-awaited beach holiday, only to forget your swimwear. PackPoint Travel Packing List promises to avoid repeats of such mishaps with packing lists. Not only can you create a manual list yourself, but the app will recommend items to take based on the info you provide, such as the kind of trip you’re going on, planned activities, the time of year, and the destination. It’s an excellent way of ensuring that you don’t leave home without all-important clothing, accessories, or gear. If you don’t mind paying $3, you can also check out the similar Packing Pro for iOS.
TripAdvisor is one of the most exhaustive mobile trip-planning apps you can find. It lets you plan trips and build itineraries, and add places, events, landmarks, restaurants, and other destinations to your schedule. Most notably, it also offers millions of reviews, images, and videos related to any place you may be thinking of visiting, meaning that you can really research your trip before planning just where you’re going. Everything you add to your planned trip will be visible on the map, while you can also find deals and book tickets via the app. It also offers forums for users to share information, and you can add your own reviews. While you’re traveling, the app offers a variety of recommendations, so you don’t even have to plan anything beforehand. Recent updates have rebuilt the app to improve planning, booking, and traveling. You can now save, organize and share travel ideas with Trips and discover places nearby on a map. You can seek guidance on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat from travelers who have already visited a location. You can access health and safety information for hotels, restaurants, and experiences and book them with free cancellation.
As its name suggests, Roadtrippers is aimed mostly at road trip fans. It lets you plan car-based voyages across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, plotting stops and layovers along the way, whether at landmarks, restaurants, or hotels. If you’re short on ideas, the app offers recommendations, and there are ready-made trip guides for some of the more popular areas and regions. The app is free to use, but if you want to add more than seven waypoints to your trip, you’ll need to upgrade to the Roadtrippers Plus, which costs $7 per month or $30 per year. This subscription lets you collaborate with friends and offers offline maps, custom maps, and access to exclusive deals. This update improves the app’s RV-friendly routing with additional error reporting and further optimized routes for hauling propane.
If you’re worried about navigating around a busy metropolis, Citymapper is the answer. It provides different travel options for your trips in urban centers, showing you the various means of travel available and how much they cost. It shares public transport schedules and lets you subscribe to particular bus and train lines. Other helpful features include alerts for when you need to get off a bus or train, info on accessibility options and wheelchair access, and the ability to access public transport maps offline. The app works with most of the biggest cities in the U.S. (and some in other countries), though it may not be relevant if you’re traveling off the beaten path. Recent versions feature voice instructions for walking, cycling, scootering, and public transportation, complete with calendar sync, routing, and turn-by-turn instructions. It now covers all of Taiwan, including major cities.
TravelSpend is a budgeting app for trips, aimed at backpackers and anyone else who may travel for extended periods of time without having a planned endpoint. It lets you enter expenses, receipts, and purchases, compiling all of your entries into helpful visualizations that indicate your spending patterns. You can also use the app with friends, who can collaborate with you on drawing up budgets and entering expenses. You can also split bills and fees among your companions so that each person knows exactly what they should set aside. You can even export your data from the app so that you can work on your expenses when back at home. The app is free to download and use, but you can remove ads and activate some extra features for $4 per month or $18 per year. Recent versions set the last used payment method as a default for new expenses.
TripCase caters to the business and professional traveler. Once you’ve signed up for the app, you can forward all of your confirmations and reservations to its email address, and they will be added automatically to your itinerary. You can also add items and locations manually, building up a schedule that can then be shared with others. The app also lets you search for new flights and hotel bookings, while it sends you status information, terminal and gate information, and seat maps. You get a one-month free trial, but thereafter it requires a subscription of $6 per year.
Sygic features a detailed and in-depth trip planner that lets you view maps offline and plot where exactly you intend to travel. You can build your itinerary step by step, where the app provides estimated travel times and walking distances for each of your stops. It also offers specifics like opening hours, fees, links, and photos for over 50 million locations, including landmarks, galleries, restaurants, parks, hotels, beaches, and nature spots. Major cities even feature their own dedicated guides, helping you to plan your trip to see the most interesting places. You can also share plans with friends, book hotels and accommodations, and view 360-degree videos that can help you decide where to go on your next vacation.
Google Maps is arguably the best navigation app you can download right now, but it’s also a valuable resource if you’re planning a trip. Not only does it offer directions for travel by various means, but you can also find recommendations for restaurants and cafés regardless of where you are. Anyone can upload photos and reviews of the places they have visited, so you’re sure to encounter more helpful info on Google Maps than with any other trip-planner. You can’t construct an itinerary using the app, but you can use it to find flights and trains to desired destinations. You can also use it to plan road trips, with the Directions feature letting you add stops along the way.