10 Must-Have Free Travel Apps for Your Next Trip

Taking a Vacation? Download These Free Apps Before You Go

With over a million different apps available on both the Apple and Android app stores, sorting the good from the bad isn't easy. This is as true in travel as any other category – while some apps will genuinely improve your vacation, many others aren't even worth the time they take to download.

Here are ten free travel apps absolutely worth their place on your smartphone or tablet computer. All are available for at least iOS and Android.

  • 01 of 10

    Google Translate

    Man using his cellphone in airport
    ••• Dana Hoff/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

    If you’re traveling somewhere you don’t speak the language, you’ll find Google’s free translation app very useful. Simply type in the words you need to translate, pick a target language and away you go.

    You’ve also got the option of taking a photo, using handwriting or even speaking a phrase and having the resulting text translated and (in some cases) read aloud.

    Most usefully, you can download a language pack ahead of time. This means you don’t even need to be connected to the Internet to translate typed phrases – an important point for international travelers who may not have mobile data.

    Free on iOS and Android

  • 02 of 10

    XE Currency

    XE Currency
    ••• XE

    There are many different currency conversion apps out there, but XE has long been the best. Choose all the different dollars, pesos and baht you’d to convert between, then pick the one you’d like to use right now. Enter an amount, and the equivalent in all other currencies will show on one screen.

    It’s quick and easy, and can save you a lot of money when dealing with unfamiliar exchange rates. The app doesn’t require an Internet connection to convert between currencies, but does need one to download rates when you first select a currency.

    Free on iOS and Android

  • 03 of 10

    WiFi Map

    WiFi Map
    ••• WifiMap

    By scanning your surroundings and checking against a database of over 100,000,000 hotspots updated by the app’s seven million users, Wifi Map lets you know the location of the nearest wireless connection.

    The app includes any passwords you may need. The free version shows any networks within a little over a mile of your current or a searched location, while the paid version lets you download entire city Wi-fi maps ahead of time to use while offline.

     

    Free/$4.99 on iOS and Android

  • 04 of 10

    Tripit

    Tripit
    ••• Tripit

    Tripit is one of the most popular travel apps out there, and for good reason. The service makes tracking even complex itineraries a breeze, without having to manually type in the details of every flight, hotel and car rental.

    If the booking was made online, just forward the confirmation email and, in most cases, Tripit will automatically recognise it and update your itinerary.

    Once that’s done, start the app and let it download the latest updates. From then on, you can access your itinerary without an Internet connection.

    There's a paid version ($49/year) with extra features, but the free option offers enough for most people.

    Free on iOS and Android

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Triposo

    Triposo
    ••• Triposo

    Taking crowd-sourced information from Wikitravel, Wikipedia and several other sites, Triposo turns it all into a useful offline guide. As there's a lot of information for some larger destinations in particular, just remember to download it before leaving home.

    You'll get recommendations for activities, hotels, restaurants and more, including maps and directions. 

    Free on iOS and Android

  • 06 of 10

    Google Maps

    Google Maps
    ••• Google

    Google Maps is easily the best mobile navigation app, and one you’ll likely use every day on the road.

    While you’ll need an Internet connection to find new locations, you can save unlimited numbers of maps for later offline use. The GPS in your phone or tablet will still work without a cell signal, and you can even get driving and public transit directions without being connected.

    Free on iOS and Android 

  • 07 of 10

    Snapseed

    Snapseed
    ••• Google

    It takes a bit of getting used to, but after you've mastered it, Snapseed is the best mobile photo editing software out there. If your sunset is a bit washed out, the horizon isn't straight or everything just needs to be made a little more vibrant before you make your friends jealous on Facebook, Snapseed is just the app to do it with.

    Sure, it has a bunch of pre-set filters as well – but once you know how to use the app, you probably won’t even need to use them.

    Free on iOS and Android

  • 08 of 10

    Sit or Squat

    Sit or Squat
    ••• Charmin

    It’s not something that’s often talked about, but sometimes when you’re traveling, knowing where to find the nearest public toilet is vitally important. The aptly-named Sit or Squat app does exactly that, scanning a database of over 100,000 restrooms that have been rated “sit” (good) or “squat” (bad) by users to show those close to you.

    It’s not something you’ll use every day, but when you need it, you really need it…

    Free on iOS and Android

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    TripAdvisor

    TripAdvisor
    ••• TripAdvisor

    There’s no doubt TripAdvisor is the biggest game in town when it comes to user reviews of accommodation and attractions. Its forums, too, provide a wealth of information about destinations all over the world.

    The app provides almost all of the information available on the site, including access to the forums and syncing of bookmarked pages between the web and app versions.

    Unfortunately it’s not able to be used offline, although the company does make dozens of free city guides available to download.

    Free on iOS and Android 

  • 10 of 10

    Pocket

    Pocket
    ••• Pocket

    There are many different offline reading apps available, and Pocket is one of the best. Save a bunch of articles to read on long journeys, along with any information you need for your destination – attractions, booking details, restaurant recommendations – and access it all without an Internet connection.

    Web pages can be saved and accessed from any computer, tablet or phone that you’re signed in to, and sync automatically on mobile devices.

    Free on iOS, Android and other devices