Top Apps JourneyWomen Won’t Travel Without

A woman passenger uses her mobile phone in airport before departing on her trip / Photo by lzf on Envato

Community-recommended tech for your next trip

By Amanda Burgess, Editor, JourneyWoman

When it comes to travel planning and travelling, savvy JourneyWomen all over the globe look to make the process as friction-free as possible. No one wants to download a whole bunch of unnecessary apps to their smartphone, but there are several that smart travellers swear by. 

We asked well-travelled women in our community to give us the scoop on new travel apps they’ve stumbled across, and the apps that get the most use, both in the planning stages and while on the road. We compiled the best and most widely available – and added in some of our own recommendations.

Check this handy list against the apps on your devices and hit download on any you haven’t tried. We couldn’t fit all the apps recommended by JourneyWomen into this article (or it would have become a small guidebook), so if you don’t see your favourite(s) on this list, share them with us!

Top JourneyWoman-Recommended Travel Apps

Trip Planning and Organizing

TripIt/TripIt Pro

What it is:

A trip planning app, with the paid Pro version (around $50 per year) offering you the ability to coordinate and organize your trips; send real-time alerts for delays, cancellations, and gate changes; track seat availability, rewards points, and flight refunds; share itineraries; and view neighbourhood safety scores for more than 65,000 cities (daytime and nighttime).

Available on:

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I have had TripIt Pro for years. Absolutely love it. Consolidates air, hotel, excursions, restaurant reservations all in one place. Tracks flights—lets you know when it’s time to check in, what gate, if it’s delayed. Well worth the $$$—and they waived the fee during COVID.” – Lori GB

“I’ve used TripIt for a few years and find it easy to use and a good format to add hotels, transport, and tours. I travel long term and need one place to track my bookings and reservation numbers. I haven’t tried TripIt Pro but am considering it for my next travels.” – Alison Longacre

“I have been using TripIt Pro for several years and it has been very helpful. I count on it for travel, whether business or pleasure.” – Lynn Goldstein

A screenshot showing the dashboard of the Tripit app

Tripsy

What it is:

A trip planner that lets you share your itinerary with family and friends, receive flight alerts, store documents, and includes suggested itineraries for some cities around the world. It lets you store all your images, notes, videos and documents and use them to create and share a travel journal. You can even customize your travel itinerary by choosing a background image or colour that matches you and your trip.

Available on:

iOS and Android

Four cell phones showing different screens of the Tripsy

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“You can add all of your air/hotel/car/restaurant reservations, activities automatically.” –Jeanne Fabich Flaherty

Cellphone showing the Evernote app

Evernote

What it is:

While not strictly a travel app, organized souls everywhere love this one to save everything related to a project – or trip! – on a single, easily accessible cloud-based platform. Save notes, images, audio, scans, PDFs, documents. Sync across devices. Create and assign tasks and connect your calendar so nothing falls through the cracks. You can even save web pages without the ads and mark them up with arrows and text. 

Available on:

iOS and Android

 

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I tend to keep everything related to my trips in separate Evernote notebooks. You can clip web pages into it – which I find handy when doing research (must-see places, articles) – and save documents such as flights, hotel bookings, and more. I save a password-protected PDF of my passport and a list of important contacts to it. I still have all of my old trip notebooks, which are good to look back on. I also have notebooks called Dreaming and Retirement. They are slowly merging with my travel notebooks.” – Sue Janzen

Day One

What it is:

A journaling app that helps you remember precise moments via an entry that captures date, time, and location. You can add photos, weather, the song you were listening to – even your daily steps. Mark entries with custom tags for easier searching. Once you have a collection of entries – say for a specific trip – you can transform your journal into a printed book, with the app doing much of the design and layout work for you.

Available on: 

iOS and Android

Screenshots showing the Day One Journal app on phone screens

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I use Day One as a memory aid for my photos, and interesting facts I learn, or places I find. It’s a diary but I also take a photo of anything I use my good camera on. Then I can add a comment and recognize the better photo easily. It’s handy also if you keep a proper journal, or you can just print out from the app.” – Margaret Byrne, Admin, Solo Travel Wisdom by JourneyWoman Facebook Group

Booking – Flights, Accommodation, Experiences

SeatGuru

What it is:

While not offered as a mobile app in Canada, this Trip Advisor-owned website allows travellers to find the best seats on their planned flights using aircraft seat maps, seat reviews, and a color-coded system that identifies superior and substandard airline seats.

Seat Guru flight lookup program

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I generally know the seats I like to sit in on the airlines I fly most frequently, but when going with an unfamiliar airline or a model of plane, I check SeatGuru to ensure I’m not stuck with a seat that doesn’t recline, is too close to a washroom, or doesn’t have a power port.” – Amanda Burgess, Editor, JourneyWoman

Hopper

What it is:

An app that helps users save up to 40% on every flight, predicts if prices will go up or down, allows you to track your flight in the app and receive a notification when the ticket drops to its lowest price. 

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I use Hopper and Skyscanner to compare flights. I’m now in the habit of starting a new folder on my phone when I’m going somewhere new. I search for relevant apps such as transport maps and timetables, local cheap tickets, sights etc. As I have lots of apps, I also temporarily move any of the more general, but useful apps (such as world times and translators), into that one folder so I can find them quickly.” – Margaret Byrne 

A cell phone showing the Hopper flight finder app

Honourable mentions to the following flight websites/apps that were also mentioned by JourneyWomen – some for seeking accommodations and car rentals as well:

“I check flights on Kayak and Expedia, but only to get the info, as it’s better to book directly with airlines.” – Susan Scott

“I use Booking.com, Hot Wire, SeatGuru, Airline Quality, and Lounge Buddy. I also search for flights on Google, and I’m a member of Scott’s Cheap Flights.” – Jackie Lewis

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Airbnb & VRBO

What they are:

Both platforms are online marketplaces for homestays, vacation rentals – and in the case of Airbnb, tourism experiences – around the world. 

Available on:

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I’ve used Airbnb many times for last-minute bookings, driving down a highway at night and found a safe place to stay. I also use Booking.com because their cancellation policies tend to be more flexible, or at least they were pre-pandemic. And they give discounts. Had a wonderful cave house in Santorini through booking.com.” – Carolyn Ray, CEO & Publisher, JourneyWoman

“I use this app on a monthly basis to live like a local around Europe and France. It’s so easy, and I love having access to a kitchen to cook for long stays.” – Krystal Kenney, Social Media Manager, JourneyWoman

Popular accommodation booking site Airbnb shown on a cellphone
Cellphone showing the Day Use app

Day Use

What it is: 

A free app that lets you book a hotel room for a few hours during the day and use all of the hotels amenities. Access a selection of 5,000 three-to-five-star hotels in 23 countries at up to 75% off the price of an overnight stay. Payment is made at the hotel and cancellation is free until the last minute. If you need a daytime space to work or recharge your batteries on a long layover, this app is a solid option.

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I used this in Sitges, Spain when I had a full day to spend at the beach before heading to Kenya. My daughter and I were able to shower and change at a fraction of the cost of a room and headed to the airport fresh for our overnight flight.” – Carolyn Ray, CEO & Publisher, JourneyWoman

Hotel Tonight

What it is:

A service that receives discounts from hotels on their empty rooms – from top-rated luxury hotels to hip boutiques. Despite its name, Hotel Tonight lets you book day of, a week in advance or up to 100 days in advance. Hotel descriptions boil down to three reasons to love them, and include ratings, reviews and photos from fellow bookers.

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I sometimes fly by the seat of my pants when I travel. While I generally prefer Airbnbs, there are times – like at the tail end of a music festival – when I want the amenities of a hotel. I use Hotel Tonight to get deals on unsold hotel rooms at prices that sometimes make them more attractive than a one-night Airbnb.” – Amanda Burgess, Editor, JourneyWoman

Tiquets

What it is:

An app that lets you book skip-the-line and fast-track tickets to museums, galleries, cruises, theme parks, guided tours, and other attractions in major cities around the world. You can store your tickets offline and enjoy exclusive, app-user perks.

Available on:

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I’ve used Tiqets for getting advance entry tickets and Around Me to find restaurants, bars, etc closeby.” – Margaret Byrne

Find tickets to museums, theatres, and more with the Tiquets app
Rome2Rio on a mobile device

Maps & Navigation

Rome2Rio

What it is:

An app that helps you plan the best way to get from point A to point B.  Search city, town, landmark, attraction, or address – anywhere in the world – with thousands of multi-modal routes. Compare your options with plane, train, bus, car, ferry, bike share, driving and walking directions all in a single search.

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“One of my go-to apps is Rome2rio, which gives options for how to get anywhere (also distances – handy).” – Susan Scott

“I like Rome2Rio. It’s very helpful for initial planning.” – Virginia Morris

CityMaps2Go

What it is:

A worldwide offline map for travelers, mountain bikers, and hiking enthusiasts who want to be prepared wherever they go – saving you from connectivity problems in remote areas and data roaming charges in foreign countries. It includes detailed maps of remote areas and national parks, including terrain maps with footpaths and contour lines (online and offline). For solo travellers and hikers, an extra safety feature allows you to share your travel plans/route with others. 

Available on:

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“My go-to offline map app, CityMaps2Go creates lists of favourite places and gets you inspired via curated stories from the world’s best travel magazines.” – Jeanne Fabich Flaherty

“CityMaps2Go is great. I also use Google Street View to ‘walk’ the neighbourhoods before I go. It helps to see familiar buildings and landmarks.” – Katie Herrick

CityMaps2Go mobile app
The language-learning app Duolingo on a mobile screen

Languages

Duolingo

What it is: 

A language-learning app that offers quick, bite-sized language lessons that gamifies the learning process by allowing you to earn points and unlock new levels while gaining real-world communication skills. The app offers 106 different courses in 40 different languages.

Available on:

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“A fun way to refresh my Spanish, when used alongside a dictionary like Spanish Dictionary to help with verbs.” – Carolyn Ray, CEO & Publisher, JourneyWoman   

“With plans to settle in Berlin eventually, I’ve been hauling out Duolingo daily for a year and a half to learn German. While I still have a long way to go, I now know a lot of helpful phrases – enough to get by when I get to Germany.” – Stephanie Cerratti, Webmistress, JourneyWoman

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Google Translate

What it is:

An app that lets you translate text between 108 languages, and offline in 59 languages with no internet connection. It includes instant camera translation in 94 languages – translate text in images instantly by pointing your camera at it. You can star and save translated words and phrases for future reference and can draw text characters instead of typing.

Available on:

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I like to follow my nose to tiny off-the-beaten-path restaurants frequented by locals. Often, that means there are no menus in English and no English-speaking waitstaff. This is where Google Translate has been my friend. I’ve used it the image translation function to scan menus and to communicate with servers/owners. Sometimes it can be a bit buggy, but it’s generally a useful app to keep in your smartphone’s travel folder.” – Amanda Burgess, Editor, JourneyWoman

Stay safe while you travel with the Global Rescue app

Security & Safety

My Global Rescue

What it is:

An app that puts medical, security and rescue resources at your fingertips around the globe. You can have face-to-face discussions with critical care paramedics, doctors and military special ops veterans. Get real-time information on more than 215 countries and municipalities worldwide, with world events monitored by My Global Rescue intelligence teams, and automatic alerts for medical and security events that could impact your travel.

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I use my Global Rescue app, that is my go-to Travel Insurance, with overseas medical transport coverage as well as rescue in emergencies. I check in every time I change geographical locations.” – Jeanne Fabich Flaherty (retired RN)

LastPass

What it is:

A password manager that stores encrypted passwords online. It has a built-in password generator to protect your data from hacking, simplifies online shopping with auto-fill payment details, and allows you to safely share your passwords with loved ones.

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“My husband was a tech nerd, so I’ve been using LastPass for years. It makes logging in to banking, making bill payments online, and taking care of things at home a breeze while you’re travelling – and it protects you. Peace of mind in your phone.” – Amanda Burgess, Editor, JourneyWoman

A cellphone showing the LastPass password keeping app
Cellphone showing options on the NordVPN app

NordVPN

What it is:

A virtual private network (VPN) that protects your information when on public wifi. You can securely access your personal information or work files, encrypt your internet connection, and keep your browsing history private. A travel essential for all, but especially the digital nomad.

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“If you’re travelling long-term, you’re going to need to get into your bank account pay your bills, check your email…essentially interact with your personal data. Even when using a password-protected wifi connection, anyone who has been in that cafe or stayed in that hotel has the ability to log on to your computer while you’re using that connection and access your information. I use NordVPN to protect all of my devices for a small monthly fee. Whenever I’m using any wifi connection other than my home network, I click a button and it masks my IP address, protecting me from hackers.” — Carolyn Ray, CEO & Publisher, JourneyWoman

Spotify

What it is:

A digital music, podcast, and video service that gives you access to millions of songs and other content from creators all over the world. It’s available across a range of devices, including computers, phones, tablets, speakers, TVs, and cars, and you can easily transition from one to another with Spotify Connect. Build playlists, get recommendations based on your listening behaviour, and have your music at your fingertips wherever you go. 

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“I create Spotify playlists for trips that capture the vibe of my destination and download them to my smartphone, giving me offline access to music for situations where I don’t want to use data for streaming – such as on flights or while out exploring in remote areas. The algorithm has introduced me to a ton of new music and artists I would otherwise have not discovered. I listen to music at almost all points of my day, so this app gets a ton of use, at home and while travelling.” – Amanda Burgess

A cellphone showing liked songs on the Spotify app
Find artists playing in town while you travel with the Bands in Town app, shown here on a cellphone

Bandsintown

What it is:

A live music event discovery platform that provides personalized concert alerts, recommendations, and messages from users’ favourite artists. You can set alerts to receive notification when your favourite artists announce a tour or event in your area

Available on: 

iOS and Android

What JourneyWomen are saying about it:

“If you’re a fan of live music and like to enjoy it while exploring a destination, this app is your best friend for ferreting out live music events in cities around the world. Simply change your location to your desired location, enter date range and search in the music genres of your choice. I’ve seen some of my favourite DJs and musical acts on my travels by searching this app for what’s happening.” – Amanda Burgess, Editor, JourneyWoman

What travel app gets the most use across your devices? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Get Travel Ready

Amanda Burgess, a Toronto-based writer and creative strategist whose bags are always packed for her next adventure, is our Editor at JourneyWoman. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), and a Certified Cancer Journey Coach who creates a safe space for cancer patients and caregivers to design their dream lives – while living with cancer, and on the other side of it.

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We always strive to use real photos from our own adventures, provided by the guest writer or from our personal travels. However, in some cases, due to photo quality, we must use stock photography. If you have any questions about the photography please let us know.

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