a blog from CenturyLink

The best travel apps

by | Apr 29, 2021


If it’s time to get away for a few days, you can use an app (or two) to book your next vacation. The best travel apps make it easy to book flights, lodging, transportation, and more. Some can even help you keep track of your itinerary and budget so you can keep your travel plans organized. Whether you want to jet to another continent or take a road trip around the country, there’s an app for that.

Learn how to plan your whole trip via the best travel apps.

The best travel apps for road tripping

From vans to RVs, hitting the road is an accessible way for many Americans to travel. Plus, it’s a great way to see some of the amazing sights around the country. Whether you want to camp along the way, or find some comfortable digs to stay in, you have options.

When it comes to planning your road trip, try the Roadtrippers app. As you plan out your trip, the app can help you find cool attractions, restaurants, lodging, and more along the way. The free version of the app allows you to add up to seven stops, including restaurants and points of interest. The app also includes pre-planned trips, like excursions to national parks or the famous Route 66.

You can also check out the Roadside America app for unique stops along your way. Carefully curated by roadside attraction enthusiasts, the app details some of the most unique stops to make on your trip.

Top apps for finding flights

Finding affordable flights is more of an art form than a science, but there are a few tools you can use to book something within your budget. Many travel bloggers recommend using more than one tool to find the best deal.

Skyscanner is a popular app for finding and booking flights, hotels, and rental cars. Explore the flights with the estimated lowest prices and favorite the ones you like. You can also set up price alerts for certain locations to get notified when prices drop. To make your flight more sustainable, be sure to select the Greener Choice toggle in your search to find flights with lower CO2 emissions.

Momondo aggregates information about inexpensive flights. Though they do not sell the tickets themselves, the app allows you to compare all available prices in one place. Momondo also helps you take advantage of mobile-only rates. With the app, you can explore quick getaways at affordable prices, even finding options for the upcoming weekend or in the next month.

Kiwi helps you find flights according to your budget. Just set your price, and Kiwi will help you find somewhere to fly for your vacation. You can download your boarding passes too, keeping everything in one place. Even better? Kiwi guarantees your flights. You don’t have to worry about missing a connection again. They also offer flexible cancelation options.

A woman books her vacation via app on her smartphone.

Hotels and lodging apps

Whether you want a traditional hotel or something a little more personal, you can find a great place to stay on your vacation via app.

Want to find a good campsite on your road trip? Check out The Dyrt, an app with 1 million and counting campsites on in their database. You can filter your camping preferences from tent, RV, cabin, or glamping, as well as by ratings from previous campers. The app can help you find camping spots in national and state parks too and allow you to make reservations.

AirBnB is perhaps the most well-known home-stay app, but Vrbo is another app to check out for rental options. While AirBnB allows you to rent anything from a room in someone’s home to a tree house to a castle, Vrbo only lists larger, private spaces, like homes, apartments, and condos. Vrbo offers comprehensive search filters too, so you can find a mountain view, beach house, or a home right on the slopes.

And if you need a last-minute hotel, check out HotelTonight. The app gets discounts from local hotels with empty rooms, passing the savings on to you. It’s easy and fast to book with the app. You can even book rooms up to 100 days in advance. The app has a loyalty program, so you can unlock more perks the more you book, and they also have special daily deals.

Best apps for transportation

Getting around on your vacation is a must, especially if you want to go sightseeing. Most people are familiar with Lyft and Uber, but those aren’t the only app-based options for getting transportation on vacation.

Think of Turo as the AirBnB of cars. The service allows you to book a car from a local host. You can either have the car delivered or pick it up from your host. Unlike a traditional rental car company, Turo allows you to pick the make and model of the car you want, including luxury or exotic cars. They offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before your booking and insurance coverage in case of accidents.

ZipCar is another option, allowing you to reserve a car by the hour, by the day, or as a round-trip. You can book instantly through their app and unlock and lock the car. After booking, the app will send you photos and the location of your car so you can find it easily. The service includes gas, insurance options, maintenance, and up to 180 miles per day.

A woman on a train manages her vacation plans with an app

Managing your trip with an app

Ok, so you’ve booked your flights, a great place to stay, a car, and some activities. Now, you need to keep it all organized so you don’t miss anything on your vacation.

TripIt is the app to keep everything in one place. Simply forward your confirmation emails to them and they’ll create an itinerary on their app for you. You can share the itinerary with your travel companions too. You can even add QR codes, PDFs, or photos to your travel plans. The app even offers options for offsetting the carbon footprint from your travel.

For your travel expenses, you can use Trail Wallet. Create daily budgets for your trips so you don’t overspend while you’re enjoying your vacation. The app can add receipts in up to 218 local currencies and will update to the current exchange rate on WiFi. With detailed graphs, you can get an instant view of where your money is going and how much of your budget remains.

Last words

Before your trip begins, download any of the information you’ll need during travel using WiFi in case your phone doesn’t have service when you need it. Many of the best travel apps will work offline, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You may also want to consider printing off any important documents in case your phone gets lost, stolen, or dies. Need to print documents? Learn how to print wirelessly from your smartphone.

Now that you know the best travel apps to use, you can book your next vacation right from your phone. Kick back and relax – it’s time to plan that dream vacation.

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<a href="https://discover.centurylink.com/author/kirstenqueen" target="_self">Kirsten Queen</a>

Kirsten Queen


Kirsten Queen is the Senior Content Marketing Manager for CenturyLink and Quantum Fiber. Since she started writing professionally, Kirsten has dabbled in nonprofit grant writing and communications, social media marketing, and now writes content about life with technology. In her free time, Kirsten likes to cook, garden, and hike in the mountains of Colorado. Her name rhymes with first, not cheer.