Top 5 Travel Apps You Need for Your Next Trip

Like anything else, travel apps come in a very wide range of quality and usefulness. It can be difficult to navigate just which ones are worthwhile and which ones are completely worthless. I have narrowed my favorite and most used travel apps into this top five list. I highly recommend each and every one of them based on legitimate personal experience.

 

OnTheFly travel app, ITA Matrix, ITA SoftwareOnTheFly by ITA Software

This travel app is based on the juggernaut of all airfare search engines, ITA Matrix. I can’t even begin to touch on how beautiful of a software this is within one simple blog post–let alone a brief description of their app. Imagine this: the power of Google behind airfare searching. It gives you complete control over dates, arrival time, departure time, booking fare, price per mile, which airports to avoid, specific connection points, and more. The amount of detail you can search is ridiculous. It is like taking a fine tooth comb through every single possible fight option or combination available. You can not book through this software, but instead it gives you detailed insight into your own particular itinerary built entirely around your preferences. You then take that information and book it with your preferred airline directly, travel agent, or other source. When you run a standard search on a site like Kayak or Expedia, you are merely given the fastest and easiest search results. Sure, you can move the time bars a bit, but you do not have the level of control that you do with ITA. The travel app allows you to do this all from your mobile device and displays beautiful easy-to-read charts which gives you the most accurate information on the go and when you need it most. When I find myself in a jam, I use this software to direct airline agents at the airport on how to rebook me on another flight. It has saved me unnecessary pain and lost time just by having the ability to communicate in greater detail with gate agents. This app gives you more insight into airfare options than anything you have used in the past.

 

SeatGuru travel app, SeatGuru, TripAdvisor

SeatGuru

SeatGuru is a website and travel app that was purchased by TripAdvisor. The goal is to keep frequent fliers informed of their seat options aboard different aircraft by giving you advice based on other users’ firsthand experience. Once you have specific flight information, you run a search on SeatGuru using the airline, flight number, and departure date in order to find seat maps of the aircraft scheduled to operate that flight. Pretty handy when choosing between flights or even when you’re checking-in online. Most people ignore the aircraft information listed when purchasing a flight unless you’re an #AvGeek. Only true #AvGeeks would understand ;). However, noting that small detail can increase your comfort just by avoiding seats that can’t recline due to exit row or knowing that you’re going to have a smaller seat width in other areas of the aircraft.

Below is an example of American Airlines flight AA2437 departing from LGA to MIA on Saturday, July 12th. As you can see, Seat 14C is highlighted and a brief description of the seat quality is available for any curious passengers.

SeatGuru seat map, Boeing 737, American Airlines main cabin extra

Example seat map of a Boeing 787-800 flight AA2437 with seat information

 

FlightAware travel app, FlightAware, flight awareFlightAware

FlightAware is an incredibly powerful tool that provides pilot-caliber information to all of its users. Want to know why your plane is not at the gate yet? This travel app allows you to search all the previous flight routes of that inbound flight. Not only that–you can track its GPS location in real-time. Turns out your airplane is not on time because the inbound flight is diverting from its usual course due to lightning storms in Houston. It can do this because FlightAware is a global aviation software and data services company that provides detailed flight information for both private and commercial flights. Never travel without this! This travel app has saved me many panic attacks when I feared missing a connection simply because I was armed with information. What more could you possibly need than detailed maps, weather radar, flight status, inbound flights, altitude, or speed? Not a whole lot more–but FlightAware provides it all to you for free.

 

Loungebuddy travel app, loungebuddy, lounge accessLoungebuddy

Now time for the relaxing aspect of airport travel. This app is for when you are simply looking for a comfortable place to rest or work away from the hustle and bustle. Loungebuddy is your best friend when it comes to seeking out your airport oasis. No more worrying about complex access rules to lounges. Instead, you create a brief profile in the app by inputting what elite statuses, lounge memberships, or travel rewards credit cards that you have. Once you do this, Loungebuddy now know which lounges you have access to. There is even a box to check if you are a US military member and Loungebuddy will display all USOs as well. As an example, your next trip is on United Airlines from SFO to ATL with a connection in ORD. You create a new trip by adding your itinerary details. Next you have the option to view all of the lounges in each of the three airports. From here, the travel app will display which lounges you have free access to, but you also have the ability to view all total airport lounges or those that are accessible to you (even with a fee). The great thing is that it does all of the work for you. No more memorizing rules and exceptions regarding your lounge access via credit cards, memberships, or elite access. Now, all you have to worry about is choosing which lounge is most suitable to your needs at the moment. Oh wait, Loungebuddy also helps with that too. Other users can leave basic reviews and ratings based on a 4 star system. Things like comfort, quality, cleanliness, service, or if the lounge is worth a detour are all a few review criteria.

 

 

AwardWallet travel app, travel rewards, frequent flier milesAwardWallet

Last, but certainly not least is AwardWallet. It is a free online service that keeps track of all of your rewards programs. That means every single point or mile you accrue gets monitored in a neat portfolio, kept updated, and you even receive alerts when your rewards are about to expire. This is not only limited to travel rewards like airline miles or hotel or rental car points. Credit cards and retail store rewards can also get tracked. Are you a VIB (Very Important Beauty) at Sephora? Then you bet that your status and points can be registered within AwardWallet as well. Over 633 loyalty programs are currently supported so that you do not have to waste precious time checking your point balances. You can even elect to receive weekly, monthly, etc. digest e-mails that report how your balances recently fluctuated. Needless to say, this travel app is a definite must for any serious (or seriously busy) frequent flyer.

 

 

I will also note that each and every single travel app I mentioned is absolutely free. Happy traveling!

 

  • Wanderlost

    If you travel abroad a favourite travel app of ours is Simply Declare. Tracks what you buy on your trip which you have to declare upon returning home.. Great for currency conversion, takes a snap of the record and keeps my purchases in real time currency exchange. It’s a simple and easy app to use and I consider it one of my go to travel apps now.

    • That sounds fantastic! Definitely will download that before my next international trip! Thanks for the tip.

  • United1K

    A few of my “go-to” travel apps that I find very useful and great for other travelers are TripIt, ATC Delays, and XE Currency. All are free; however, TripIt is available in a paid “Pro” version ($49/year), which is well worth the expenditure. TripIt organizes all of your travel itineraries effortlessly; ATC Delays shows the status of US airports in real-time that are experiencing delays, ground stops, holds, airport closures, etc; and XE Currency is a great currency converter for int’l traveling.

    • Yes, agreed! XE Currency is wonderful. I use that on a regular basis just to have conversations with my Kiwi boyfriend. You never know when you may need to convert USD to NZD! Have not worked with ATC Delays yet, though. Thanks for the tips!

    • You’re right–XE Currency is definitely a great app. I use that almost on a daily basis when talking to my Kiwi boyfriend. You never know when you’re going to need to convert USD to NZD! Have not used ATC Delays yet, though. Thank you for your feedback!

  • Dave

    These are excellent apps. I use FlightAware on my laptop, but will download it for my phone. On The Fly looks extremely useful, as well. Thanks for these recommendations – time to head to the iTunes store!

    • No worries! Glad you enjoyed read through the list. FlightAware definitely changed my life when I discovered it. I’m just surprised that for branding purposes it’s called OnTheFly because it took me a while after to download it.

  • Jessica

    FlightAware is the best! Definitely one of my favorite travel apps.

  • TravellingWeasels

    cool apps, don’t have any of those ha will have to check them out

    • glad I could provide you with some fresh ideas! Thanks for commenting

  • Wow, I’d never heard of any of these – although I just got Instagram so in some ways I’m the least tech-savy blogger on Earth. FlightAware sounds like a life saver. Will definitely have to check that out!

  • Christina

    All those Apps are new to me. Have to check them out ASAP. Thanks for this post.

  • SeatGuru hast saved me so many times on horrible Trans-Atlantic flights (going for the cheapest flights is only a good idea when combining it with SeatGuru ;))

    Thought some people might be interested in our travel journal app as well: http:/bit.ly/journiapp 🙂

    It bascially works like a travel blog – but offline. So when you take pictures and make notes while you’re traveling, the app sends out the updates to family & friends automatically when connected to the internet again! 🙂

    Enjoy and happy travels!

    • Would love to try it out, but the link didn’t work. Try editing your comment, if you can.

      • Sorry! Should work now – the prior link would have linked to the App Store, this one brings you to the website 🙂 Let me know what you think!

  • This is the first time I hear of the ITA Matrix, and the Award Wallet, definitely going to check out both, especially since the next trip is on the horizon. Love this guide!

    • Thank you, Milosz! Hope these make your upcoming trip that much better

  • Seatguru is a great one, especially if like me you need to try and bag a seat with leg room because the seat pitch is too small for normal size people and selfish **** recliners remove what little space is left. Another good one is XE currency, great for quick conversion rates.

    • SeatGuru is great for so many things and legroom is definitely at the top of the list. I also like checking to see if there are outlets.

  • AwardWallet sounds like the pick of the pack for me. Thanks, will go check it out.

    • You’ll love it. AwardWallet is like having a personal points/miles concierge

  • I am sure they all are great but I don’t have a cell phone when I travel 😉 And when I don´t, I try to use my phone as little as possible.. Don´t know if I have to be ashamed of that but I´ve never heard of any of them…At least I know XE.com that Michael mentioned…

  • Karen Warren

    Useful list – I’ll definitely check out Loungebuddy. Thanks!

  • The Crowded Planet

    Wow, some great apps there. I love XE currency and the fact you can use it offline as well. In fact, we’re just about to go to Madagascar and I’m sure it will come in handy! On the Fly looks great, I’ll download it!

  • Jon @ Jonistravelling.com

    I’d never heard of these, thanks for the tips!

  • Emily Luxton

    Great post! I’d never heard of any of these, thanks for introducing me. Seat Guru sounds awesome!

  • Tripper

    Thanks for the tips. I’m a travel app junky so I’ll make sure to check some of these out.

  • Such a great list! I already love Seat Guru, but will definitely be adding the lounge one to my arsenal 🙂

  • Wowzers I am so glad I clicked on your link. These are EXACTLY some issues I’ve been thinking about lately and wanting easier solutions – not having to log in to every frequent flyer account or try to research airport lounges ahead of time. Super high value, thanks so much!

  • I love Seat Guru and always encourage my friends and family to use it! Award wallet – never heard of it but a great resource for us as we can’t seem to ever keep track of our rewards cards! Thanks for the useful post!

  • Sarah Ebner

    Great tips, am going to share! Thanks

  • What do I travel for

    I love ITA Matrix and for me it’s one of the best, but lately it has let me down with some flights. So now on I’m using several sites to find the best flight 😀

  • I love Seat Guru – I always use it when I travel!

  • Pingback: Award Nomination for Seize the Globe()

  • Fiberartsy

    Great ideas! Travel sure has changed in the past 10 years, hasn’t it?

  • kauai_teacher

    The award while it seems really helpful. If you get a chance you should check out our travel site we think it’s pretty cool and very helpful for keeping all your activities in one place. http://Www.tripidee.con

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