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With millions of apps available to download for smartphones, it’s difficult to decide which ones will add value or merely clutter your phone. To help alleviate this dilemma, we’ve identified several apps that make traveling more efficient and enjoyable. No, this isn't a list of every app, but they're ones that we think make sense whenever you're traveling.
SeatGuru is a website and mobile app owned by TripAdvisor. It helps travelers make informed decisions when selecting seats on planes. Simply input airline, flight number, and departure date to display seat maps of aircraft scheduled to operate. When shopping for flights, use this tool to determine which one is flying an aircraft with better seat options.
Arm yourself with information and don’t gamble on comfort when choosing an aircraft seat. Avoid seats that can’t recline due to exit rows. Find out the width of the seat. See which row is missing a window. Want to book two seats that convert into a double bed on a Singapore Airlines? Use SeatGuru to make sure that route flies an A380 with those seats. Then call reservations and request the specific seat numbers.
FlightAware is a global aviation software and data services company that provides detailed flight information for both private and commercial flights. It’s an incredibly powerful tool that provides pilot-caliber information to everyday travelers. Want to know why a plane isn’t at the gate yet?
This travel app allows you to search all the previous flight routes of that inbound aircraft. Then track its GPS location in real-time. Another great feature on their website is the FlightAware Misery Map which displays the live delays and cancellation percentages at major airports in the continental United States. Use this map to make decisions about which airports to avoid when rebooking due to weather-related delays.
Don’t waste time worrying about complex access rules or where to find hidden airport lounges. Instead, create a LoungeBuddy profile by inputting your elite statuses, lounge memberships, and travel rewards credit cards. Once completed, LoungeBuddy displays which lounges you can access in an airport. There’s even a box to check if you are a US military member because USOs are also included. For quick references, you can search the app by individual airports and terminals. However, the best method is to create specific itineraries including airlines and classes of service. Then a list of accessible lounges at each airport along your journey is populated.
Clicking on a lounge displays details such as location, operating hours, and amenities. No more memorizing rules and exceptions regarding your lounge access via fare class, credit cards, memberships, or elite status. Simply worry about choosing which lounge is most suitable for your needs. You also have the option to rate lounges and write reviews. Some of the rating criteria include comfort, quality, cleanliness, service, or if the lounge is worth a detour.
Naturally, we need to include AwardWallet in this list because it’s the best way to manage your upcoming trips and keep track of loyalty program balances. Use AwardWallet to easily monitor every single reward point or frequent flyer mile you accrue in a neat portfolio. With secure access to these accounts, AwardWallet creates convenient itineraries that list all your flight, hotel, and rental car reservations in one place.
This also applies to loyalty programs beyond travel rewards like airline miles or hotel points—like shopping and dining programs. Currently, over 650 loyalty programs are supported and available via desktop or mobile app so that you don’t have to waste precious time manually checking point balances. You can elect to receive weekly, monthly, etc. digest e-mails which report how your balances recently fluctuated during that time period. You even receive alerts when rewards are about to expire. This travel app is a definite must for any serious (or seriously busy) frequent traveler.
WhatsApp is a globally popular app because it allows you to avoid traditional phone call or text messaging charges and communicate for free with anyone who uses the app. It includes features like group chats, video calls, status updates, and media sharing. It also displays if a message is sent, delivered, or read.
WhatsApp especially makes life easy for international travelers to stay connected with people back home or with new contacts in a foreign country. Now more and more companies are communicating with consumers via WhatsApp like hotel butlers connecting with their guests, for example.
Google Voice is a communication app, but slightly different from WhatsApp. It allows you to create a US phone number with any area code of your choosing. You can receive phone calls or text messages on that number via the app or website. This also includes voicemail and call forwarding features.
Additionally, all phone calls made to US or Canadian numbers are completely free from anywhere in the world. This is especially helpful when communicating with airlines or banks while traveling abroad. It also means that if your phone is lost or stolen, you can still make phone calls and send texts from any other device using a web browser or the app.
We could easily add another 5, 10, or 50 apps to the list, but these are the ones that we think are critical. What would you add to the list?
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Google Voice is good for letting people text you from the us to where ever you are.
WhatsApp is great for communicating internationally. It is easy to text your family and friends no matter what country they are in.
You forgot TripIt. My favorite app for consolidating everything together.
AwardWallet can do that too. No need for TripIt.
Great list I can’t wait to try some of these out . I’ve used a few of them but it’s great to know there’s more out there
Seatguru and flightaware get my vote
Seatguru is great but does not seem to include all airlines, especially low cost airlines. Are there any other comparable apps that include so much detail about seating plans and layouts?
Google voice doesn’t need to be on this list.
Thanks for the list. I have to check out google voice.
Google Translate is also a must have
As is google maps
PackPoint so you never forget your _________
This is a great list! Thanks as always!
Great list.. I was aware of all these apps except for Lounge Buddy.
I will definitely check that out.
I use SeatGuru and FlightAware
I use SeatGuru and mostly the Airline app
from the airline I’m flying with
Phone apps make travel so much easier, as there is no fear in not being able to find somewhere on a map, book a hotel at the last minute, order a taxi, or translate a foreign language.
Google maps is great as you can download the offline area as you mentioned but still limited as you cannot undertake a route still offline. Instead you have to go with the blue GPS marker and good old fashioned navigation.
Booking and Expedia apps are a must to quickly find a hotel in the sorrounding, especially in case of unexpected events like striking, heavy delays by weather conditions and so
For getting around in cities or between cities, I’d have to recommend CityMapper, Moovit, and Rome2rio. I’d have to say that CityMapper was fantastic for getting around in lots of brand new cities when we traveled through Europe.
I love lounge buddy. The create trip option is great and I don’t have the start searching for airports and lounges by each stop in my trip.
I suppose this depends on the destination as well. Some countries, especially China, have their own apps that are really useful for travel.
I use seat guru all the time. It’s a great app.
Good starter list. I had most of the apps listed in the original post but learned of a few more in the comments. Keep ’em coming!
The XE currency conversion app is one I really like.
I have used Tripit for several years now but I will try Awardwallet now to manage my itineraries.
How did I miss that ya’ll have an app?! Over all these apps, which would be the one most coveted? I have limited space on my old phone and can’t add a lot of new apps.
What is your absolute favorite travel app?
What is your favorite travel app?
Mobile passport and Google translate can also be added to my list!
how about Netflix or other entertainment apps…. you can’t always rely on the airline to keep you amused during a flight
I noticed this morning that seat guru is not always up to date with the latest equipment changes.
Thank you for these suggestions. There are a couple I had not heard of
This is a very useful overview as I didn’t know about putting flights details into LB.
Another app that used to be good was GateGuru, but it hasn’t been updated (at least for the Android) in a while.
I love Flight Aware, but sometimes I get redirected to a SPAM site and have to start over.
If that happens you’re probably typing in the wrong URL.
Thank you! Several of those I had never heard of but will be installing on my phone
Got them all except google voice. downloading now 🙂
I love looking at international full service configuration aircraft seat charts, so I love seat guru 🙂
List is lacking… mpx, Google translate, Google maps, Priority pass, flight tracker, etc.
Lacking? We weren’t looking to boil the ocean here.
there is already a flight tracker in the list FlightAware and Priority pass vs the wider list on the Lounge Buddy app
If I already have the chase club card for about a year now, can I apply for Chase Sapphire preferred? Get 50k points, annual fee is waived the 1st year, satisfy the 4k the 1st 3 months and then cancel before it renews. Am I allowed to do that? Thank you
You *could* do that. It’d be one way to be a bad customer and silly to get rid of one of the best points/miles credit card available.
Didn’t appreciate the bad customer title, haha. I can’t be the 1st one to think of it. I’d I sound 4k in 3 months I’m sure they make out regardless. Nothing is ever free. I live in NJ and almost always fly United out of Newark. The extra miles from the sapphire card would be a great help. So some of the benefits like priority pass won’t help much unless I fly international.
I find MAPS.ME very useful as you can use it offline to navigate and save roaming charges
Google Maps allows this now too. You can select an area to download for offline use in the settings. Then you can turn off data for the app.
I like how you added Award Wallet in the list. 🙂
Agree though that Award Wallet is a must have.
I loved this too!
Great list, wish there were more suggested apps, since I already have all these 🙂
I guess we could add like 50 of them — make some suggestions.
I like Flight Aware too. I used to like seat guru but now it’s just eh to me.
LoungeBuddy is my preferred app
I’ll always have a soft spot for FlightAware. Feels like the first thing I ever learned about.
Another very useful flight related travel app is FlightRadar24. You can find out a lot of great info about a flight, watch it real time, and I believe it is more accurate and timely than FlightAware, although I use both. I use FlightRadar24 to literally track a flight from gate to gate!
Wow! This is so cool to have a list of all the apps that will help me. I fly a lot and I book my tickets myself. All these apps will definitely make it easier for me. I will let my friends know about them as well.
Good list. Seatguru is definitely must have for the international flights. An app that I didn’t see here was Kayak. I particularly like the “Explore” option where you set your flight budget and it will recommend places.
Thanks for the reminder on Loungebuddy.
I like Mobile Passport. The customs lines for Mobile Passport are usually non existent compared to the regular lines and even Global Entry. Plus, it’s free.
Just reinstalled the Award Wallet app on my new phone!
LoungeBuddy only IOS, not Android, so Priority Pass is what I use.
You can also access LoungeBuddy’s website on your browser: https://www.loungebuddy.com/
Don’t forget the airline apps. They are making life much easier.
Excellent List ! I have been using SeatGuru and LoungeBuddy for couple of years for travel.
Excellent list !
I have been SeatGuru and LoungeBuddy for couple of years extensively for travel.
Great apps! I use all of them. I suggest using your favorite air carrier app as well. It can help with check in, gates changes or delays.
Thank you for sharing this!
Just tried to download Loungebuddy and there is no Android app.
You can also access LoungeBuddy’s website on your browser: https://www.loungebuddy.com/
Personally i always make sure i have the app for the airline i’m flying (if they have it). another app is “App in the Air” that does a great job with listing info for flights and tracking of what aircraft and the flights status.
Award wallet has there own app in a post about travel apps who would have guessed.
The best app was MyFlights, which sadly is no more. I wish there was something that would fill that gap.
I did not know that the loungebuddy app had a way to list the USO centers on it! That is great news for those of us who have access. I will also add that the USO has an app that is great because it allows you to check in through the app and skip the lines of people who are checking in at the USO via their slow manual process. The USO volunteers themselves are appreciative of those of us who have the app as it cuts down on their workload too.
Google translate with an offline language pack. It was invaluable in Japan for reading menus.
Yes, that’s another fantastic app!
Yes, Google Translate is a must for me. I’d also add TripIt, which I use to collate all my trip details. It also provides alerts (for flight delays, etc) sooner than any airline.