Best travel and vacation companion apps for iPhone and iPad

Best travel and vacation companion apps for iPhone and iPad

iMore takes a look at the best apps for planning your next vacation or business trip, and the ones you should always have while away.

Whether you're planning a vacation or travel frequently for pleasure or business, there are literally hundreds of apps available in the App Store that deal with all aspects of travel. Everything from airport and transit guides to vacation home finders and more can be found. If you're looking for the absolute best ones, here's a list of the ones we'd highly recommend checking out.

TripIt for iPhone and iPad

If you travel frequently, TripIt is an absolute must have. It's an entire trip organizer all under one roof. While there is a free version of TripIt that can help you stay organized, the Pro version also includes notifications, the ability to track frequent flier miles, and so much more. Don't want to enter things in manually? Not a problem. TripIt gives you an email address to forward all your plans to and it'll auto-fill and populate everything for you. It really doesn't get any simpler than this for frequent travelers.

Packing Pro

Once you've planned a trip, whether it's a vacation or a business trip, you're obviously going to have to pack at some point. All of us have always had that moment where we forget something last minute. Packing Pro can help you prevent that by giving you the option to organize your trip way before hand by creating lists of what you need to bring and in what order. Beyond that, Packing Pro also has full iCloud sync support which means your travel list is always with you, regardless what device you're on.

AirPorts by Travel Nerd

Airports are always cause for stress and confusion, especially large ones. If you get nervous about making flights and being sure you're where you need to be at the right time, AirPorts by Travel Nerd is the app for you. Not only can you enter in flight information in order to check statuses, you can also view full layouts of many major airports around the world. This means you'll not only know where terminals are but where bathrooms and other amenities such as WiFi hotspots are as well.

It's a great app for infrequent travels to business users looking for a place to plug in and recharge.

Travel Channel Layover Guide

There's nothing worse than having a ridiculously long layover or dealing with a canceled flight, especially if you're on vacation. Instead of sitting in a hotel or wandering around an airport, Travel Channel's Layover Guide can help cure boredom and irritation by giving you lots of local spots to hang out at that you may have never decided to visit. Everything from breweries to pubs to five start dining and local attractions.

Layover Guide specializes in helping you find the things that locals treasure, not your typical tourist attractions, even though there are some of those included. You can also become more familiar with an area's musical culture and download music from those countries directly via iTunes links provided to you. Whether you just want to know more about the area you're traveling to or simply want a better experience when traveling in general, you can't go wrong with Layover Guide.

Fodor's City Guides

If you're traveling abroad and want to make sure you don't miss anything you should be seeing, Fodor's City Guides is a great way to check out the culture around you. Not only can you read up on popular landmarks and attractions, the imagery to go with them is gorgeous. And who doesn't like looking at amazing photos?

Fodor's City Guides has lots of information on the usual suspects you'd expect with everything from London, Rome, Paris, New York, Barcelona, and more. If any of these places are ones you'll be visiting for the first time this summer or on a future trip, make sure you check out Fodor's City Guides.

Pixter Scanner

If you're traveling in a foreign country where the main language is not your first language, reading things such as traffic and transit signs can become overwhelming and quickly eat up a lot of time. Enter Pixter Scanner for iPhone. This little gem of an app can snap a photo of any text you'd like and then translate it for you to any given language. Just choose the language the text is written in and what language you'd like it to translate to.

I've tried a lot of text translators and Pixter is by far one of the fastest and most accurate. The fact that it pulls from images instead of re-entering text just makes it that much more awesome.


Not everyone likes to stay in hotels when they're on vacation. Renting a house or finding a condo can be a task if you don't know where to look, though. Dwellable can you help you with that task by aggregating a huge list of properties for rent near many popular vacation destinations including Hawaii, Vail, Orlando, Palm Springs, and more.

Many of the listings on Dwellable will also have reservation calendars showing when properties are available along with contact information. This way you know while looking whether or not something is available the dates you need to travel. If hotels aren't your thing and you're traveling to one of the spots Dwellable supports, make sure to check out what properties are available. You may just be surprised how many you'll find.

Hotel Tonight

If you're planning a last minute trip, or decided to extend a current one, Hotel Tonight does exactly what it sounds like it would do. It can find you a great deal on a hotel, tonight. Featuring a list of over 80 destinations in 12 countries, Hotel Tonight can provide you deals that you can't get anywhere else. In most cases, you can even book for the night all the way until 2am.

Not only will you find great deals with Hotel Tonight, you'll also enjoy the amazing interface and design that comes with it. So whether you're in a bind and need a room fast or want to extend a stay somewhere you're already visiting, make sure to check out what's available on Hotel Tonight before booking.

Your picks?

Do you have any killer apps that you've either used to plan trips or while you're away? Don't be shy, let us know what they are in the comments!

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 21 comments. Add yours.

Justin Bernou says:

that's good idea and it can useful for us

Galley says:

FlightTrack Pro with the FlightBoard IAP.

bj-irvin says:

TripCase - trip manager
FlightBoard - airport arrival and departure

congressdj says:

How can you possibly have a section like this and not mention Waze? The best land-based travel app ever invented and the only single app on my phone I absolutely could not live without. :)

metllicamilitia says:

I can see using TripIt and Packing Pro. But otherwise the airline apps and Passbook work for me. My company pays for cars, flights and hotels.

Ninotschka says:

I tried many travel apps but always come back to Kayak. Despite originally being a price comparison and booking app, in my experience it beats itinerary apps like TripCase, FlightTracker and TripIt on features and price. I tested it parallel to some of them and Kayak was always first to send alerts about delays, online check-in opening etc. It also seems to have the most comprehensive database of hotels and includes an itinerary service, flight tracker, packing list, airport info and currency converter, so I don't need extra apps for that (although for currency I prefer xe Pro).

richard_rsp says:

Great timing! I was looking for a non-connected app that would help me set a budget for each type of payment (Cash, Credit Card, other credit card) and track spending for our upcoming cruise. Being that we won't readily have Internet access, this was more difficult to find than I thought.

Although more of a monthly budgeting app, I ended up getting "Live Expenses" with the 99 cent multiple payment type upgrade and it seems to fit my needs perfectly! The base app is also free, which is nice (so you can test it prior to buying anything). Maybe other people are looking for the same!

DaViD_BRaNDoN says:

Love TripDeck! Tried TripCase yesterday but removed after a couple of minutes as it was really slow and it's accessing the Internet for almost every single tap - need something stored locally, most people won't be data roaming while traveling.

frankps says: for iPhone is an awesome app!

Kevin Joseph says:

HotelTonight is very good but only for same day hotel deals. But it works well. I was happy with the deal I got on a last second hotel.

For your normal travel booking, you have to try This is a "Travel Search Engine" that searches 100s of travel sites and posts the lowest rates. It's like Kayak but better rates. I found them on a travel review site that did a head-to-head rate comparison with Kayak. BestTravelCoupon beat Kayak on 95% of all searches.

To see the rate comparisons visit

Traverler75 says:

How about Image It for iPhone/androïd : picture dictionary on an app !!!

Travellerm says:

A friend of mine recommended "SquareOff Now" in the AppStore. I used it for my recent Spain travel with friends
and it definitely made all the accounting easy for us. Check out the youtube video

citypuzzle says:

" Bucharest City Puzzle " for iOS and Android ... let me know your opinions :) thanks!

Semq says:

Dear Community!

We will be updating our best iPhone apps for Aaviation on For our next update(1st October), we are reaching out to the people who knew something about aviation for help.

Comments and feedback will guide us very much in this and your help would be appreciated in spreading the word. Award for the best rewiew - $10 iTunes voucher.

Thanks in advance

Kind regards

AppPicker team

TastyTrip says:


You should also try TastyTrip, a great iOS app. It presents Top 20 traditional food from the country you are visiting.

Itunes link for TastyTrip:

SunnyLifeApp says:

Also check out SunnyLife App!

It shows you what's the best time to visit your destination and avoid too much hot, rain and cold. It also has a nice stars-month-rating chart for every destination in the world.

App Store:

Denis Romanovsky says:

Travel Stories Mobile for iOS is good for trip planning and tracking. And it is completely offline which is good for countries with expensive roaming.

Bart van Poll says:

Nice list Allyson!

Next time, I would recommend you to check out the city guide app series I write for: Spotted by Locals ( City guides for tourists who don't want to visit tourists.

It's all about the content: the guides are curated by handpicked locals in 56 cities in North America & Europe, who only write about their favorite spots and keep them up-to-date and up-to-season.

musement says:

Check out Musement, the new app for travel and art lovers with hundreds of cultural experiences all over the world! Book museums and city tours on the go with just a few clicks, letting you skip the line and have more time to explore: