15 Apps That Will Help You Travel Smarter

Gallivant Africa

Now that the world is opening up again, what would you like to do more of? Travel is bound to be one of the most common answers. For those of us who don’t travel often, we want to see new and exciting destinations—and we want to do it more frequently. For those of us who travel a lot (especially for work), we want to find ways to make the experience as efficient and authentic as possible. Here are 15 of the best apps that will help you travel smarter, because they are built to help you make the most of your upcoming trips, whether for business or pleasure.

1. Destinations on Google

Explore cities and book flights with Google.

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Google keeps getting smarter. Now, when you’re planning a trip on your mobile device, type in the continent, country, or state you’d like to visit and add the word “destination” to get an automatic collection of options. Google will suggest spots that fit with your hobbies and interests, as well as refine travel options to avoid crowds or bad weather. You can book your flights, hotels, and itineraries directly from Google as well. Travel life just got so much easier.

2. Quest Organizer

Spend less on your next travel quest.

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It can sometimes be a pain to book a trip when you want to visit multiple cities in between your first and last stop. QuestOrganizer makes the multi-destination trip easier to plan by helping you find free stopovers, build a custom flight using a number of one-way flights, and hack your trip to find the cheapest total rate possible. We love the simplicity of this app.

3. Tripnary

Find great places to fly on your budget.

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This one is super simple and fun to use. The search is based primarily on what you’re looking to do (e.g. beach vacation, winter getaway, local partying), as well as the price you’re looking to spend on the trip. If you plan far enough ahead, you’ll get a notification every time your ideal itinerary lowers in price. This is an especially useful app for those who are budget conscious and have flexible travel dates.

4. Travo

Smart trip planning for the “mission critical” traveler.

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Travo was built to help you save time and energy planning any travel you do specifically for meetings and events. Unlike many other sites that focus on price, this app helps you get to your destination at a specific time (and also at the most efficient price). This is a must-use app for business travelers who have tight schedules and don’t want to worry about the hassle of planning down to the minute.

5. Nomad List Collections

Curated collections of the best places to live and travel.

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Nomad List is a phenomenal resource for those who travel frequently for both work and play. The collections are curated to help you find interesting places to visit based on categories like: visa-free destinations for American citizens, best cities to live in Asia, safest cities for solo female travelers, and best cities to bootstrap a startup. This is one of those sites you’ll want to bookmark and come back to over and over again.

6. Tripomatic 3.0

Itinerary planner for independent travelers.

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Have you ever wondered, upon landing in a new city, exactly what you should do? You might want to be a bit spontaneous, but you also don’t want to miss any of the must-see spots. Enter: Tripomatic. Search your destination, and up pops a list of top destinations for sightseeing, food, drink, and more. This is a great guide if you want a little bit of itinerary help without needing to lug a big Lonely Planet book around with you.

7. Airbnb Live There

Don’t go there. Live there.

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We’re already obsessed with Airbnb. But now, the company is offering a host of features that enable you to truly live like a local wherever you travel. The newly designed app is built to match you to the homes, neighborhoods, and experiences that will help you explore a city the way it’s meant to be lived in. You can find spots closer to the things you want to do, or you can search by property (e.g. apartment, bungalow, castle) and neighborhood type (e.g. quiet, hip, scenic). Airbnb’s Guidebooks are another fun addition, complete with millions of host tips‚ from the best bars and restaurants to off-the-beaten-path gems. It’s never been easier to experience a city like a local, no matter how long you’re in town.

8. Grabr

Peer-to-peer international shopping & delivery.

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If you’re going to be traveling, you might as well make some money, right? Grabr is a peer-to-peer delivery service that matches locals who want to purchase something in a different city with travelers visiting from those cities. If you’re headed to Japan from NYC, you might find someone already in Japan who wants a pair of sneakers from a shop in NYC. If you win the gig, you grab what the “shopper” is looking for, and then get paid to deliver them when you get into town. If Postmates and Party With a Local had a travel app baby, this would be it.

9. Overnight

Book a last-minute stay with local hosts.

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This app is built specifically around last-minute trips. It functions similarly to Airbnb, but focuses more on day-of travel. You look for a location where you’d like to spend the night, and hosts get to decide if they want to host you that day. This is a great way to find a place to stay without much planning needed; just go on your adventure, and let the serendipity begin!

10. Plane

Connect with new people in new places.

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This social icebreaker app helps you connect with new people in new places. You ask a question, and other app users will answer if it’s relevant to them. For example, you can use Plane to find people who are going out to good restaurants, bars, and concerts you want to check out while in town. This is a great tool for those who want to connect with and meet locals while having a new experience. Poof! There goes the need to use Tinder to make friends while you’re traveling.

11. Outsite

Coworking/living membership in beautiful places globally.

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Outsite is a collection of unique accommodations that cater to the ever increasing community of entrepreneurs and digital nomads who want to find alternatives to boring hotel rooms. Whether you want to go surfing, bike around town, or find a quiet place to do work, this app will help you find what you’re looking for when it comes to space for both work and play.

12. Party With a Local 2.0

Because a night out anywhere is better with a local.

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This app is kind of a dream for those looking for locals and expats nearby to help them find the best local bars, clubs, restaurants, and more. All you have to do is create a simple profile. Once you’re done, you can start looking for locals in the cities you’re traveling to. Future adventures, here you come.

13. Roam

The first global co-living subscription.

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For $500 per week, you can live in any of Roam’s designated spaces around the world—and you can choose to come and go on either a weekly or monthly basis. Each of the rooms you book includes: a private room + bathroom, utilities, co-working space, reliable WiFi, and full flexibility. This option will make you want to quit whatever it is you’re doing and travel the world for a year (You’ve been warned!).

14. Freebird

Rebook cancelled or delayed flights on any airline.

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How annoying is it when you get to the airport only to realize that your flight has been canceled indefinitely, but you have to get to your final destination quickly for a business meeting, vacation, unexpected event, or something else entirely. Freebrid now helps you rebook your canceled flights, free of charge. Most airlines only allow you to rebook on their own flights, but with this app, you can book through any airline so you can finally get to where you need to be. What’s more – Freebird is a legit app that gives Uber and Lyft riders cash and points back when they use the app to order an Uber or Lyft ride.

15. Pana

Your on-demand travel concierge.

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Pana does it all. The app starts by monitoring and sending you flight prices. You can also book your hotel straight from the app. When it’s time to go, you’ll have everything you need to get to your final destination. This is a fantastic tool for those who don’t want to endure the hassle of travel planning, but still want a neat itinerary. And who doesn’t want that? 🙂

With these 15 apps, you can plan for just about anything that comes your way during or after a stint of travel.

Gallivant Africa
Gallivant Africa hosts junior journalists and intern travel writers to share their stories and experiences with our audience. Read their stories and help them grow into leaders of the industry.

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