8 Best Travel Apps → for an Effortless Vacation

Long gone are the days of navigating with paper maps, using traveller’s cheques and hunting for a pay phone for that long-distance call home.

Travelling in the age of technology is a whole new world. Why make translating the culture of a foreign country any more difficult than it has to be?

Over the last 10 years, I have developed a co-dependent lifestyle with a few handy travel apps. Below are some of my favourites!

If you have any more recommendations for the best travel apps, please leave them in the comments below so I can try them out and add them to the list!

Bags Always Packed is a reader-supported site which means some of the links on this page may be affiliates. I spend a lot of time researching these hotels, tours and products and only recommend those which I would use myself. Booking your trip through my links is a great way for you to support my work for free, as I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. ♡

Quick Summary 

Don’t have time to read the whole post? Here are the top apps by category.

🗣️ Best Translation App:Google Translate📍Best Offline Map:Maps.Me
🥾 Best Hiking App:All Trails💱 Best Conversion App:Globe Convert

1. Maps.Me – Best Travel App for Offline Navigation

This app allows you to pre-download detailed city, state and country maps for anywhere in the world to use offline.

Not only that, the app provides a number of handy features to make travelling that much easier.

I love to pinpoint places of interest or plot my travels across the globe with notes so I can remember any tips I have been given.

You can also get directions from place to place and search for streets, towns or categories such as toilets, hotels, cafes or wifi hotspots to name a few. All offline!

Maps.Me even has a tonne of hiking trails plotted on its maps so you can use it to navigate whilst in the mountains. I actually used this app to hike to Everest Base Camp alone!

2. Duolingo – Top Way to Learn a New Language

The language app for those boring long bus rides. Duolingo is a fun way to learn languages on the go to help you in your travels.

Learn helpful phrases that you can actually use in daily conversation at the same time as passing those long hours in transit.

Note the app usually required an internet connection however if you use it whilst connected, 3 more modules usually download automatically for future internetless use!

3. WhatsApp – Best App for Communication

One of the most widely used apps for chatting with friends all over the globe.

Message, call or group chat anywhere in the world for free using only the internet.

Super simple to use and can work on wifi without a local sim.

4. Google Translate – Best Offline Language Translation App

An app that needs no introduction.

There are so many translation apps out there however with recent upgrades I find good old Google to be the best.

With offline translation, speech translation, text via photo and instant camera translation as well as a phrase book. It has all your travelling needs covered.

5. Globe Convert – Easiest Way to do Conversions

Convert anything! Currency, speed, temperature, measurements and many more all in one app.

Super handy and easy to use, updated frequently to give you super accurate conversations. Never pay too much by miscalculating again!

Note that this app isn’t available on Android but if you simply need a currency converter, I can recommend Xe.

6. Hostelworld – Best Travel App for Budget Travellers

This one is for the backpackers.

See ratings, facilities, locations, availability, prices and reviews of all the hostels in a town.

View by different ranking factors and easily book your perfect bed for the night.

Store your card details in your account for a simple way to secure your spot!

7. All Trails – Ultimate Outdoor App for Adventurous Travellers

For anyone who loves the outdoors just as much as me, this app is the holy grail for finding hiking, biking and trail running routes anywhere you go in the world!

You can view locations on a map, hiking trail topos and reviews from locals to accurately find the best trail to suit your time, skill levels and personal preferences.

8. Been – Top App for Tracking Your Travels

Okay, so this last one isn’t exactly essential but it’s a super fun way to keep track of everywhere you have travelled.

Benn has a giant list of every country in the world as well as all the states of the USA. Simply tick them off as you visit and watch your stats roll in.

The app shows you what percentage of the world (or the USA if you do states) you have visited and even shows you all the countries coloured in on a 3D world map!

FAQs about the Best Travel Apps

About Me Kate Fletcher

Which are the best apps for travel booking?

Hostelworld is the best app for budget travellers where as Booking.com is the best travel booking app for mid-luxury travellers.

What are the best free travel apps?

Google Translate, Maps.Me and Whatsapp are the best free travel apps that will help you navigate offline and stay in contact without needing a local sim card.

What are the best travel apps for flights?

Kiwi and Skyscanner are the best travel apps for booking flights as they both allow you to search and compare many different times, airlines, destinations and prices.

Which are the best outdoor apps for international travel?

Alltrails and Maps.Me are the best outdoor apps for international travel. Alltrails helps you find hiking, biking and running trails wherever you go, and Maps.Me allows you to download offline maps so you don’t get lost!

Helpful Resources

Booking.com - My favorite place to find the perfect hotel for any budget and location with lots of filters to easily narrow it down to a select few.
Hotels.com - Another great place to find a hotel with specific requirements for your trip.
Agoda - Best for booking hotels in Asia. Has options worldwide however in Asia it seems to have the most options of all the booking sites.
Hostelworld - Perfect for backpackers, Hostelworld is my go-to to find dorm rooms and cheap, social accommodation options.
Rental Cars - My preferred place to find rental cars at great prices around the world.
Discover Car Hire - Another option to compare rental car companies and providers worldwide.
Sixt - Previously “Thrifty” car rentals.
Europcar - Offers car and van hire around the world.
AutoEurope - Best place to find RV’s to rent for your trip.
Paul Camper - Rent campervans directly from their owners at reduced prices.
Get Your Guide - My preference for finding and comparing city tours, day trips and attractions around the world.
Viator - Preferred by US providers so sometimes has a bigger range of activities in select locations.
Klook - Most popular in Asia, you will find a bigger range of attractions and tours in the region of Asia on Klook.
Civitatis - Specializing in European Cities. Although it provides tours worldwide, always check here for additional options if visiting Europe.
HeadOut - Best place to find discounted attraction tickets.
Tiqets - Offers a lot of combo tickets. Make sure to visit if you are planning on visiting a few iconic attractions within a city.
Tripaneer - Where to go if you want to book retreats of any kind (yoga, cycling, outdoors etc).
Guru Walks - Book your spot on a free walking tour.
G Adventure - Lets you compare multi day tours around the world to pick the right itinerary for you.
Cruise Critic - Check out the different cruise options for long or short trips world wide.
Cruise Direct - Another option for comparing and booking cruises for your trip.
Backcountry - The best place to buy quality specialized gear that will last you for years of adventures.
Helly Hanson - Norwegian based clothing brand which produces durable outdoor clothing, particularly ski gear.
The North Face - High quality clothing for all your outdoor adventure needs.
Decathlon - Has a great range of cheap equipment and clothing for a huge range of sports and outdoor activities.
Sport Chek - Everything you need for general sports and outdoor adventures under one roof (or website).
Skyscanner - My preferred place to compare and find the cheapest flights to different destinations around the world.
Kiwi - Best platform for comparing different routes and dates.
Flixbus - Cheapest bus service mostly serving Europe but available in a few other destinations.
Greyhound - US long distance bus transport service.
Busbud - Compare and find all the bus times and providers for your chosen route.
Trainline - Find train times and tickets for long distance travel around the world.
Save a train - Another place to get train tickets and compare services for your destination.
Welcome Pickups - Pre book your airport transfer to your hotel.
Get Transfer - Another option to find airport transfers within your destination city.
Kiwi Taxi - Find and pre-book a taxi service in your location (including airport transfers).
World Nomads - Great comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for adventure travel.
SafetyWing - Best for digital nomads, offers ongoing monthly travel insurance plans.
Bonzah - Rental car insurance. Cheaper plans than those offered by the rental car companies themselves.

Kate is the outdoor loving, mountain obsessed creator behind Bags-Always-Packed.com. Since the age of 18 she has travelled to 50+ countries in search of the tallest peaks, new cultures, and the most off the track experiences possible. With over 10 years of adventures under her belt, Kate is dedicated to sharing all her experience through this website, helping you to plan your own trips and experience the world, no matter your budget!

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