15 Free Apps Every Traveler Needs in Their Back Pocket

When it comes to traveling, everything you need can be accessed at the tap of a button. Transportation? Check. Cheap flights? Check. Handcrafted itineraries? Check, and check! It’s no secret the app store has been quite literally flooded with applications claiming to be the best. But honestly, the fact of the matter is: most of them are terrible or severely overpriced. In this list, I’ve weeded through all the clutter to bring you the best 15 travel apps in 2020. Get ready to hit the road (or skies) with an arsenal of life-saving resources.

Trip Planning


If cheap flights are a part of your criteria for a trip, look no further than the Hopper app! It predicts flight costs with 95% accuracy at least one year in advance, and sends you notifications when a flight price rises or drops. With it’s color-coded calendar, you’ll know exactly which days are cheapest to travel.


Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest isn’t just for home decor ideas and recipes! Some of the best hand-curated itineraries are from travel bloggers who share their posts on the platform! I also love to use Pinterest to find the most niche itineraries for off the beaten path things to do, written by locals.


Travel this summer is all going to be focused on domestic road trips, so Roadtrippers is a must-have for sure. Explore nearby places and trips, search attractions along a driving route, browse and share free travel guides and itineraries, and more! It’s literally as simple as typing in your starting and ending location, the categories of things you want to pull up (hotels, kids attractions, entertainment, etc.), and letting the app do it for you.


One of my favorite ways to get accommodations in a new destination is to book a house or apartment in the AirBnb peer-to-peer rental service. There’s an abundance of unique accommodations in every country – from humble treehouses to glamorous mansions. I love that many of the hosts add special touches to their homes. I’ve had hosts provide free blueberry muffins and orange juice, send occasional messages to check on us, and even recommend their favorite things to do in the city!

Packpoint Packing List

I’m not going to lie, packing is one of those things that stresses. me. out. Have you ever forgot to pack something while you’re traveling? Well – not this time around! PackPoint is an intelligent packing app that tells you what to bring based on length of travel, weather at your destination, and activities planned during your trip. Give it a go, and pack like a pro!

On The Go


If you’re like me, it doesn’t matter what you drink. Bottomless mimosas, water, coffee, lemonade, fruit punch – you name it, they all run through me at lightening speed. Flush’d has an repertoire of over 100,000 public bathrooms along with cleanliness ratings, handicap access indicators, and more! Your search is just a s(wipe) away.


Anytime you connect to a public WiFi network, you’re putting your information at risk to be intercepted by hackers. Virtual Private Network (VPN) apps have become powerful tools to keep your sensitive info secure. I’ve been happily using Fyde now for awhile, because they offer free and unlimited security, and instant notifications anytime a hacking attempt is made through a website or network.

Google Translate

If you’re in a foreign country where you do not speak the language, Google Translate is essential! Since its original feature of type-to-translate, the app has come a long way. Now, you can talk to translate, hover your phone camera over text for an instant translation (like a restaurant menu!), save common phrases, and even save entire languages for offline usage. This is a must-have for any international trip!

Trail Wallet

For the budget traveler, take the headache out of tracking your expenses! Set daily budgets, organize your transactions by category, add amounts in home or local currencies, store photos of your receipts, and more. Fast, easy, simple – no more combing through bank statements or shoving receipts in your back pocket (only for them to end up in the washing machine).

XE Currency

I have to be ashamed to admit that when I’m in a foreign country, rarely do I actually have a thorough and up-to-date understanding of the exchange rate. XE Currency takes the guesswork out of it with live market rates, allowing you to be sure you’re getting the best deal on currency exchange and helping you to understand exactly what you’re spending while out and about.



Rental car companies – step aside! Turo is essentially “the AirBnb of cars,” as you can rent any car you’d like from a local vehicle owner. I used it on a previous trip to California, and it was a seamless process. From a Ferrari to a Mini Cooper, get ready to choose the car of your dreams!


Since driving is going to be one of the most popular forms of transportation in summer travel this year, finding the cheapest gas prices is a must. GasBuddy is an updated library of gas stations to view the price per gallon, type of gas, distance from you, and more. Plus, they have a free program called Pay With Gas Buddy, where you can save up to 25 cents per gallon at select gas stations!


I can’t even imagine driving without Waze – it’s SO informative. It tells you the location of police, road hazards, speed traps and red light cameras, and always chooses the fastest route to get you to your destination. It also allows you to schedule trips! If you wanted to be somewhere by 11:00AM, it’ll tell you exactly when to leave based on pre-established traffic patterns on your route.


It seems obvious, but I couldn’t leave it out. Uber can definitely be a life-saver when it comes to travelling around a city – especially when you’re not familiar with the public transportation system (shout out to anyone who’s ever taken the wrong subway in NYC!). Plus, they offer incentives like Uber Cash and discounts with the more rides that you take. Pro Tip: Share your ride with a friend for safety – they can watch your route in real time.


Two words: electric mopeds. Austin, Miami, Washington D.C., and Oakland, stand up! These blue electric mopeds are just as simple to rent as the scooters that adorn every big city. Simply use the app, select a scooter, and ride around the city in style. Although this start-up service is only located in four major cities at the moment, it’s expected to expand into more locations. I couldn’t help but put it on your radar, because it’s so much fun! I explored the murals in Wynwood, Miami on a scooter, and the entirety of America’s Capital in Washington D.C.

Which apps are your favorite for travel? Let me know in the comments!


  • Marissa Strang

    Marissa Strang is a full-time lifestyle and travel blogger based out of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Travel is her number one passion, and she is on a mission to empower others to make travel a reality for their own lives as well. She’s a strong believer that everyone can experience the joy of exploring the world, no matter the way they look or their socioeconomic status. Marissa creates one-of-a-kind city guides, destination inspiration, and budget-friendly travel hacks for aspiring travelers, especially young travelers and minorities. By creating travel content through her blog, The Marissa Daily, she strives to help others make lifelong memories - one destination at a time. Her journey as a blogger for the past 3 years has led her to visit amazing places and build an engaged travel community that she cares for deeply. One of the principles Marissa lives by, and encourages others to abide by, is that when you look like your passport photo, it’s time to book a trip. Let's go places.

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