30 Must-Have Mobile Travel Apps

It's time for another guest appearance (okay, now I just sound like a talk show host). Today's post comes from my friend, Krista Gray. Entrenched in the startup world in San Francisco for years, Krista knows tech. But also loves to travel. So why not have her tell you about her favorite travel apps? Check her out on Trippy, too, where she's an ambassador and shares her travel tips. But stick around until the end, because one of these apps has a great giveaway(s) that I'll be telling you all about!

There are no less than 1.4 million iPhone apps and 1.5 million Android apps in their respective app stores. 1 MILLION! But I'm here to tell you which travel apps you should download so you're not left to fend for yourself. From your favorite foods delivered to your gate to custom itineraries to pictures-turned-postcards and more; it's all in your pocket! Download these apps before you go, and then have the best trip possible.

Travel Planning Apps

TripIt. From finding the best seat to organizing travel in one place, this awesome app offers a variety of truly helpful technology for any type of traveler. Use it to plan a master itinerary across devices, stay up-to-date with flights (seats, refunds, and more) and store travel documents for easy access anytime.

Hipmunk. Don’t scour the web for deals without first tapping into the powers of Hipmunk, the best way to search thousands of sites in seconds. Not only does Hipmunk help find the absolute best fare, matching extensive criteria, but features a variety of other integrations, such as Airbnb and Amtrak, making trip planning even easier.

PackingPro. Use preset templates or create a customized packing list with Packing Pro, ensuring that nothing is left behind on your next trip. The best part? The app’s ability to sync across devices, which makes adding and accessing last-minute items a cinch.

KayakPro. Travelers love Kayak for finding low-priced flights and hotels, but the Pro version of the popular travel app provides even more powerful features (and without a single ad to boot). Upgraded tools include a flight status tracker, baggage fee calculator, and terminal maps for more than 75 airports.

SeatGuru. Dying to know how much legroom your seat has or if it even has its own TV? Enter SeatGuru. This brilliant app offers airplane seat maps with cabin photos and passenger reviews for more than 100 domestic and international airlines, helping fliers avoid best guesses to make informed seat selections.

GateGuru. A godsend for tired travelers, GateGuru provides a flight board feature that helps passengers view flights around the world with other in-app services that help you navigate the food, drink, and Wi-Fi options at the airport. Sync with your Tripit account to mainstream your travel planning even more.

Transportation Apps

Uber. Available in 57 countries worldwide, Uber has quickly become a fan favorite for getting around. Passengers can choose from various options (from a shared ride to luxury wheels) and then ride and pay in minutes, all without having to reach for cash or a credit card.

HopStop. Forget carrying maps and stressing over the best way to zip around new territory on public transit. HopStop creates a custom itinerary for you! Simply input your starting point and chosen destinations to receive a carefully plotted plan with multiple stops. HopStop is currently available in North America, the U.K., France, Russia, and New Zealand.

Hotel Apps

Hotel Tonight. When spontaneity happens, there’s Hotel Tonight. Created to enable travelers to do more and plan less, the app’s offerings include top-notch properties that can be booked on a moment’s notice (or three taps and a swipe, to be exact). With curated accommodations up to seven days out, there are no more excuses.

Airbnb. With accommodations in nearly 200 countries, Airbnb makes it easy to live like a local. Use filters to sort by city, neighborhood, and desired accommodations, and then choose your digs based on a plethora of photos and previous guests' reviews. The smart “wishlist” feature lets planners organize and save favorites for later, too.

TravelMob. Forget hotels! Like Airbnb, TravelMob helps globetrotters find the best places to stay. This app comes in handy in a time crunch, as hosts living in more than 500 destinations (largely in Asia) have the ability to offer up special last-minute rates and pricing packages.

Horizon. Keep personal connections close with Horizon, an app that provides trustworthy accommodations via your friends and their inner circles. This smart technology surfaces all of the possible trustworthy places for a traveler to crash, from the couch to an empty guest room.

Food, Drink, and Things to Do

Foodspotting. Find, share, and taste delicious dishes from more than four million "spotted" snapshots. Simple by nature, Foodspotting is well-positioned to serve as a guide to any foodie adventure. No need for wordy reviews or full-on restaurant research here - just look, like, and go eat.

OpenTable. It’s easy to make restaurants reservations on the fly, wherever you are, with OpenTable. The app version of the popular website boasts amazing information for finding new faves, including menus and reviews. Plan a night out with friends by searching by party size, date, time, price, and distance. Mobile-only benefits include exclusive access with the ability to use Apple Pay, among other perks.

Yelp. An oldie but a goodie! Yelp’s expansive collection of directions, photos, and reviews are easy to access with the streamlined mobile experience. A go-to for people all over the world, it’s become a truly helpful resource for the back pocket.

Gogobot. The magic of the Gogobot app is the passionate community of travelers who carefully curate and share the best destinations around the world. Recently surpassing 4 million photos and 725,000 reviews, there are plenty of handpicked favorites to see, discover, and do.

Findery. Well-kept secret knowledge, local favorites, and personal stories are the essence of Findery, a community-based app that helps travelers uncover even more about places they love or want to visit. Adventurers can help curate the world by leaving notes, tales, and anecdotes in geo-tagged locations, too.

Quintensially. The NY Times called it, “A magic genie with a little black book in each city,” and Quintessentially lives up to the hype. Joining the members-only community requires a download, application, and purchase, but those willing to do it earn access to some of the world’s most posh clubs and eateries.

History Pin. Go beyond surface-level knowledge of touristy sites and attractions with History Pin, an app created to educate travelers about the things they see. A huge, carefully curated collection of photos, stories, videos, and oral histories make learning a fun and innovative experience. Know what happened there!

Photo Apps

Postagram. This fun app turns your images into an actual, physical postcard, mailing them to family and friends! At $1 per postcard, it’s an inexpensive and super personal way to share travel adventures.

Instagram. The real power of the incredibly popular photo app lies in searching for hashtags and fellow users in a desired location. Use the images you love most to plan itineraries, find inspiration, and make new connections. Clicking on photo locations is also a great way to get a real look through fellow travelers’ lenses. That's without even mentioning that it's great for sharing photos during and after your trip (and with easy integration with Facebook and other websites).

Communication Apps

Whatsapp. Whatsapp is the easiest and most efficient way to keep in touch with friends across devices and carriers. Features include messaging, in-app calls, and easy location and media sharing.

Viber. Viber is great in how it offers country to country calling across devices in any location with access to Internet. This easy travel app pulls in phone contacts upon setup, making it easy to dial your contacts (so long as they also have the app).

Google Translate. Translate 90 languages with written word, photograph, or voice, and store the phrases you use most to call on them again and again. With the added dictionary, it’s much easier to converse naturally while abroad.

Essential Travel Apps

SickWeather. Scanning up-to-the-minute social networks all over the world, SickWeather provides important information about outbreaks, flus, and more with easy to scan visual maps and "sick scores". Tracking and avoiding illnesses has now become as easy as tracking and avoiding bad weather.

XE Currency. Keeping track of various currencies can be difficult for a tired travelers’ mind, but it’s effortless with this great travel app. With XE Currency, track live rates and seamlessly convert currencies, ensuring you have the big picture before spending.

Free Wi-Fi Finder. Take advantage of hotspots and strong signals with this awesome travel app. With 145,000 free locations on every continent and solid search functionality, techies and travelers alike can stay connected just about anywhere in the world (well, almost anywhere).

Smart Traveler. Smart Traveler has all of the important information for American travelers stored in a single place. Access U.S. Embassy listings, official country information, travel alerts and warnings, and even access STEP (State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). It's one of those valuable travel apps you hope you'll never need, but will be glad you have it when you do need it.

WeatherPro. Get a seven-day forecast for more than two million locations in a single click with WeatherPro. Available information includes temperature, UV index, humidity, wind speeds, and more.

Tipulator. Figuring out how much to tip can be challenging when dining in different countries, but Tipulator removes the trouble out of the equation. Using it to calculate the right percentage by the country’s culture is as easy as opening Tipulator and adding your location. Dining with a group? Use the split check feature for easy and fair payment arrangements.

Giveaway (Closed)

Congrats Gary, the winner of the first giveaway for a TripIt Pro account! I'll be doing TripIt giveaways through August to newsletter subscribers. You can subscribe here.

Tripit Pro
Tripit Pro

You guys, TripIt has given me eight TripIt Pro promo codes to give out to readers. EIGHT GIVEAWAYS! It's Christmas in July. But what does TripIt Pro exactly mean? It basically does everything for your flight save for having food delivered to your seat, and I like to think they're working on that feature. With TripIt Pro ($49 per year) you'll receive alerts when your preferred seat comes available, have access to alternate flights, get real-time flight alerts, and receive flight-refund notifications, in addition to all of the other great features of the travel itinerary app. It's the app that keeps giving. So this week I'm giving awayone TripIt Pro subscription. Comment below about what your favorite app is (travel or otherwise) to be entered to win. However, that leaves another seven TripIt giveaways. So the other seven are all going to newsletter subscribers. I'll be giving away TripIt Pro accounts every week on my newsletter until they're all gone! You can subscribe for the newsletter here. Giveaway closes Friday, July 17 at 11:59 pm PST.

So what are your favorite travel apps?