Travel has certainly changed since the introduction of iPhones and other SmartPhones. Now, we have access to maps, user reviews, booking tools, and so much more, right at our fingertips! But with all of the apps that are available, how do you know which are worth downloading? Here’s our guide to the best travel apps for families, split out by category. Some are available for free, while others charge a small fee or offer in app purchases.
Best Travel Apps For Families
Travel Planning / Travel Itinerary Apps
TripIt organizes all of your travel in one place. It can be connected to your email program, and automatically downloads travel plans. Alternatively, you can email them to TripIt. I love having everything in one place. TripIt has other benefits too, which is why you’ll see it listed more that once on this best travel app list.
With this free travel itinerary app, you add your reservations, read information about your destination, and create an itinerary. The app includes information about some destinations, so you can do your research right there.
Travel Expense and Budget Apps
Want to keep track of your expenses while on vacation? If you’ve planned a budget, or just want to know what you are spending, you may want to download one of these travel budget apps.
With Trip Coin, you can keep track of multiple trips, in different currencies. No internet connection is required and you can create reports showing your expense categories. Data can be exported to use in other tools.
Trail Wallet is an easy to use travel budget app that is free for the first 25 items. You can set a budget, and then log individual purchases. Reports are available, and you can export receipt pictures.
Road Trip Apps
We’ve got a full overview of road trip apps on this page – here are a couple of our favorites.
This free GPS app works through community contributions. It helps you navigate through traffic, road hazards, and other concerns. I love using it for local travel as well as for road trips. It’s easiest to let a passenger use the app to navigate.
Gas Buddy (free)
Ever been in the situation where you were running low on gas on your trip? Gas Buddy not only lets you find gas near you, it also shows the current prices. I’ve found it invaluable when I was running low on gas while in an unfamiliar area.
Photo Editing Apps
If you want to post pictures from the road, you may want to edit them first. There are some fabulous photo editing apps for your phone. Some are free, while others have a small fee.
Snapseed is a Google-owned app that is one of the most comprehensive of the photo apps here. I use it when I have extra time or really want to take a few extra steps to make a picture perfect. There are lots of editing options, including the ability to edit selections of a photo. Spent the time to play around with it and learn how to use it to really make your photos pop.
I use PicTapGo when I need to make quick, easy changes to my photos. There are a variety of filters offered, and you can save a “recipe” of filters for later use. I especially like to use the “lights on” filter to brighten my darker pictures.
TurboCollage is my go-to app when creating collages on my iPhone. It’s easy to use and creates great collages of your pictures.
I almost always edit my pictures in Lightroom on my desktop, and really enjoy using the mobile version when on the road. It’s free, but you do have to pay/have a subscription for some features.
Waterlogue is a fun app that makes your iPhone photos look like watercolors. I wouldn’t use it too much in Instagram, but I do enjoy using it on occasion.
General Travel Apps
Google Maps (free)
I love using Google Maps for whenever I’m walking around a new destination. You can even download maps for offline use, which is perfect when you don’t want to use data during your vacation. If you are traveling abroad, I’d recommend doing this before you leave the country. You can also use it for driving, although I typically use Waze when road tripping.
The Yelp app is my favorite tool for finding the best local restaurants in the area. In addition to user-generated reviews, you can use it to check out menus, make sure the restaurant is kid-friendly, and get a feel for prices. I’ve found so many great hidden gems with the app.
The OpenTable app is great for both home and travel. Once you find a restaurant on Yelp, use the OpenTable app to check availability. That way, you don’t waste time traveling to a restaurant that isn’t available.
Air Travel Apps
If you are flying, you may want to use these apps to find airfare, and to make your flight a little easier.
With App in the Air, you can track your flight, get notifications on time and gate changes, learn about the airports you are flying through, and so much more. It’s free, but has in-app purchases.
Wondering how to get the best price on airfare? Hopper can help. Put in your desired flight times, dates, and destinations, and it will give you prices and a price prediction.
Despite the name, Last Minute Travel doesn’t just offer last minute deals. You can get great prices on cruises, hotels, flights, and more, right on the app. I’ve already saved hundreds of dollars by using it.
The Kayak app is my favorite for doing comparison shopping on rates for hotels and flights. Once you find a great price, you can also use it to book your trip.
Hotel Tonight (free)
The Hotel Tonight app is great if you need to book something at the very last minute. They work with hotels to offer unsold inventory at a great price. Hotel Tonight is available in select cities, but this list is constantly growing.
I never stay at a new hotel or visit an attraction without reading user reviews on TripAdvisor. While most of the reviews are either from very unhappy or very satisfied customers, it’s still useful to get others’ opinions.
I LOVE TripIt, because it organizes all of my travel and sends text alerts when my flight information changes. TripIt Pro is a must-have for frequent travelers.
International Travel Apps
Mobile Passport (free)
We have a whole post on how the Mobile Passport app works – it’s great to use to get through customs if you don’t have global entry.
If you are traveling abroad, and want to keep your spending in check, you’ll want an app. With the Currency Converter app, you’ll be able to get a conversion, and keep track of your purchases. You’ll find just about any currency that you need.
What are your favorite apps for family travel?