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Travel apps to download before going on holiday

The world in our pocket – the best travel apps

There is one thing nobody forgets and doesn’t even have to be on the planning checklist: our smartphone. Travellers these days are relying more and more on their smartphone for planning, bookings, reviews, etc. Although we suggest shutting it off from time to time, the smartphone (and some apps), can be really useful while planning your trip or when you’re on holiday.

Apps are quite useful in several ways. Not only to plan your holiday in advance and find some inspiration but also to help out while you’re on the road. To be honest, even though you might want to criticize the use of smartphones and its effects, we cannot deny that it is a great way of having the world in your pocket. Thereby, these are the best travel apps. 

These apps help you navigate a new country or city, help you with currency conversion, makes dinner reservations, or find you the best overnight stay. Whether you’re an outdoor lover, a city boy/girl, or a low budget traveller, there are apps for everybody.  You name it, somebody created it. Nevertheless, we love this best apps. 

Below you will find an overview of the apps we think are most useful to download before leaving. Make sure to download them all at home or a place with good wi-fi, because some require in-app downloads before you can use them offline.

4 black iphones in a row, each displaying a different travel app background

1. Airbnb | Accommodation finder

We are Airbnb hosts ourselves, so of course, the Airbnb app is rated highly on our list. We love to travel using Airbnb because most of the time it’s way cosier than your typical hotel. You can also be surprised by how beautiful people can arrange their homes. A lot of hosts are also very responsive on Airbnb, so it’s a perfect solution for a last-minute decision or a last-minute adaption of the plans.

Download Airbnb

2. Spotify | Music streaming

Especially when going on a road trip, this is a must! We love to create our own playlists when we’re going on a trip, depending on where we go, and what mood we are in. Think about downloading your playlists before you leave, in case you would have bad reception somewhere or no internet. You can download songs or entire playlists so you will always have your best songs in your pocket. Notably one of the best travel apps. 

If you do not have enough inspiration, no worries, Spotify is full of already created playlists, or even podcast to listen on the road.

Download Spotify

3. Hostelworld | Accommodation finder

Everyone who likes to travel sober will at least ends up in a hostel once. These are great alternatives while travelling on a budget. If you want to stay in a hostel and meet up with like-minded people and travellers from all over the world, you are going to find great advantage in this app. It does everything a good booking app needs to do; searches; good descriptions and the use of filters is a great advantage while looking for a suited overnight stay.

Download Hostelworld

4. Tripadvisor | reviews of hotels & restaurants

Although we are not a fan of the layout and the way to use this app, we keep coming back to this site, because it’s one of the best to see reviews of restaurants & bars. It’s based on reviews from people like you and me, and therefore also trustworthy. You can make selections in breakfast, lunch, dinner, bars,… and all types of accommodations to eat or drink. As a matter of fact, this is one of the best travel apps. 

The filters are extensive, so you’ll definitely find something that will satisfy your hunger.

Download TripAdvisor

5. Valuta + | Currency exchange

When staying in Europe (as a European) this might not be necessary, but we like to keep this app always on our phone.  As a European citizen, this app comes in handy when you travel overseas, or go to Switzerland for example. This app is idiot-proof, whereas we want to say it’s the easiest to use app we’ve ever used. You can add the valuta’s yourself, depending on which countries you visit most, and the converter will give you immediately the amount in all the different currencies. No more words needed; easy to use, and it does what it’s supposed to do.

Download Valuta +

6. Outdoor active | Hiking trails

If you’re preparing for an outdoor holiday, Outdoor active is thé best app for all your outdoor activities. The app is easy to use and has all the features necessary to plan your routes for every kind of outdoor activity. You can mark a point A to point B and chose which activity suits you best. You can mark ‘hiking paths’, ‘via ferrata’s’, ‘climbing’ and even mountain biking or skiing. For every activity you chose, you’ll get the best route and the most suitable paths for your day.

You can plan your routes already at home and save them in the app so they are easy to recuperate when you’ll need them. If you need to choose one app; pick this one! Because it’s the best travel app. 

Download Outdoor Active

Girl with yellow backpack walking down a mountain slope with a view on a lake

7. Google maps | Navigation

Personally, we don’t speak about Google maps anymore, we call it our lifesaver. This app prevented us so many times from taking the wrong exit, wrong turn, or wrong destination. The app is not only great for navigation, but it also saves our destinations, gives us first impressions with pictures and provides business details of businesses and stores we need to visit. Public transport is also an easy thing to plan while using Google maps. They include bus, train, trams, metros and other options for public transport to get you the fastest from point A to B. Indeed one of the best travel apps. 

On the road, we also like to use Waze, which is very common and popular in Belgium, but not every country participates as good to Waze, which makes it kind of useless in countries where no other people contribute. Waze is focused on contributions within their users, so if there aren’t a lot of frequent users, the data is outdated.

Download Google maps

8. Netflix | Entertainment

Even though we like to enjoy nature and peace on our holidays, we do like to watch a good movie or series. It’s always handy to have a backup plan in case weather conditions give you no other choice than to stay inside, or when you have to wait for a long time, for instance at airports, bus transfers, etc. On Netflix you can also download series and movies beforehand, so you won’t need an internet connection to watch (only enough free space on your smartphone).

Download Netflix

9. Google translate | Translation tool

In these times, where the world is one big village, you’ll come to places where they don’t speak your mother tongue, and you’ll meet people with who you won’t be able to communicate as easily as hoped. Therefore Google Translate comes in handy. It’s still a computer-based translator, but it’s more than enough to make yourself clear to people who don’t speak your language. Particularly this is one of the best travel apps. 

Google translate translates into 103 languages and offers nearly 60 languages offline. It can even work with camera translation in 37 languages. All you have to do is point your camera to the text and snap it for an instant translation.

Download Google Translate

10. Meetup | Connection with people

Meetup is a great app for people who care about the local culture of the place they will visit. On Meetup, you can find events which take place on your holiday destination or some must-do attractions advised by locals. They offer local events, as well as museums, city tours, etc. Some events also do focus on building a community to find some like-minded people to chat with or share ideas with. It’s a great app, especially for adventurers who travel alone or people who want to dive in the local culture of their destination.

Download Meetup

11. Rv parks & campgrounds | Camp finder tool

People who like to travel with their RV will find over 40,000 stops to stay the nights. It suggests as well public as private RV parks and campgrounds where you can spend the night. But the app offers also great rest areas, gas stations and stores, which might come in handy while on the road.

It’s a free app working with human ratings, added with pictures, so you’ll always know what to expect of a certain campground. This app is ideal for campers because not all campgrounds and RV places are visible on Google, for instance, so to have a better view, this application will surely help.

Download RV parks & campgrounds

A pitched camping tent during nighttime next to lake in front of Matterhorn

12. | Flights, hotels and car rental

Although we also added Airbnb as an app, we also recommend downloading Airbnb is still growing, and not every region or city is packed with Airbnb’s, this depends mostly on the chosen location. So in order to have a complete overview of the accommodations which are bookable, it’s best to also check once in a while.

On booking, you can find more accommodations than on Airbnb, given the fact that big hotel chains are mostly not on Airbnb. In case you’re looking for an easy last-minute solution, can help you to find the best accommodation in the area.


13. Splitwise | Sharing the bill

Splitwise is the perfect app to download when you’re going on holiday with friends or family. It’s an app where you can fill in all the costs you made and who paid them. The app gives you an overview of who needs to pay what to whom. It’s ideal for people who do not want to count money every day or check who paid what, but just go with the flow and the app will do the counting for you.

Download Splitwise

14. Lightroom | Mobile editing

For a photographer or people who are interested in making good photo’s, this is a must-download app. As photographers, of course, we take our laptop everywhere we go. But recently we discovered the advantages of Lightroom mobile. You can make your own presets, use saved presets and you can edit your photo’s in a second.

Was it ever more easy to create thé perfect image? We don’t think so.

Download Lightroom for mobile

 15. Starchart | Skymap for stars

Maybe this isn’t a must download app for everybody, but everywhere we go, we try to go at least one night stargazing. Is there more beauty on earth than a crystal clear sky with millions of stars? Because we’re fascinated by the stars, planets and have a healthy interest in astrology, this app is used every time when we’re on holiday. You just need to sync your device to the coordinates where you are, and the app shows you all the stars and planets by name.

At least it’s fun during a romantic night out.

Download Starchart

Therefore we offer you the best travel apps. 

If you want to have more information about how to prepare your holiday, check our other blog posts about holiday preparation here.

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