best travel apps

15 Travel Apps Every Millennial Traveler Should Have

There’s no doubt about it: technology has opened up a whole new world. We can find out what’s going on anywhere within seconds and we basically have the whole world at our fingertips.

While it has definitely had some negative effects on our society, it can also be really helpful. Travel has been positively affected by technology in the sense that it’s easy for us to compare airline prices within seconds, learn about new destinations, and meet like-minded people all over the world.

While I wouldn’t consider myself to be super tech-savvy, there are some apps and websites that I always use while traveling (and even at home) that I swear by.

Here are the best travel apps and websites:

best travel apps

1. Google Trips

Great for: Organizing your trip.

Wifi/data needed? Wifi is required for some features, but all of your trip information and destination guides are available offline at the swipe of a finger.

Google Trips is a lifesaver. It links to your Gmail account and organizes all of your information in one convenient place. It even organizes and separates your reservations and shows you a map filled with day trips based on your destination.

I use Google Trips because I’m a chronically disorganized person and it helps me get my life together. Plus, I usually travel without a plan and it’s a great way to get ideas about what to do once I get where I’m going.

best travel apps

2. theSkimm

Great for: Staying up-to-date with what’s going on around the world.

Wifi/data needed? Just to download the email.

TheSkimm is my favorite way to stay up to date on the news, both when I’m traveling and at home. Every morning you receive an email with all of the latest news, but you won’t find in-depth articles with technical writing here. These articles are comical and easy-to-digest way, written for the millennial on the go.

You can sign up here.

*This link is my own personal referral link.

best travel apps

3. Couchsurfing

Great for: Traveling on a budget.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

Couchsurfing is one of the best travel apps for finding free accommodation in different places! You simply search the city you want to go to and browse through people offering space for you to sleep- completely free of charge. I’ve met some amazing people through Couchsurfing and I always recommend it. Make sure to read the reviews and make safe choices.

Another way I use the site is to search for events. Living in Cali, I like to look for different things that are going on during the week and Couchsurfing has a great feature where you can search events in different cities.

best travel apps

4. Uber

Great for: Getting around.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

Most people probably already have Uber downloaded on their phone and it can be one of the cheapest and safest ways to get around in foreign countries. When I was living in the United States, I rarely used Uber because I was a college student and it was so expensive in my area, but in Colombia, where the max I’ve paid is $5, I use it constantly. It’s safer than public transportation and cheaper than taxis.

best travel apps

5. Hopper

Great for: Finding the best flight deals.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

Hopper is, in my opinion, one of the best travel apps for finding flights. They have a feature that tells you whether it’s best to take advantage of a deal or wait for a better one. Plus, as someone who likes to plan trips around great flight deals, I love the option to search for flights from my local airport to “Anywhere”.

best travel apps

6. HostelWorld

Great for: Finding a hostel.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

While I love spontaneous travel, sometimes it’s just a smart decision to book your hostel ahead of time- especially if you’re going to be arriving during peak travel season or late at night. I also love browsing different options because a great hostel can have a huge effect on the quality of your trip.

HostelWorld shows you nearby hostels, including reviews from other travelers, pictures, and a rating based on factors like cleanliness, atmosphere, and more.

best travel apps

7. WordReference

Great for: Communicating in a new language.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

WordReference is an awesome tool when you need to look up a word in another language. Unlike Google Translate, it gives you really accurate translations and shows you multiple meanings for each word. There’s also a forum that’s great for searching local phrases or technical terms that you might not know. No more embarrassing translation errors here!

best travel apps

8. Cafe Wifi

Great for: Finding the perfect spot to work.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

Cafe Wifi is an essential tool for digital nomads. It shows you cafés and coworking spaces near you that other users have recommended as great places to work. It tells you if the place has fast wifi, power outlets, and more. I love working in cafés because it helps me stay productive so this is an awesome tool for me, especially when I’m traveling.

cost of living in cali colombia

9. SoloTraveller

Great for: Meeting people while traveling alone.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

I love traveling alone, but it can be difficult to meet other travelers in some places. SoloTraveller is a supportive community for solo travelers and also lets you connect with people traveling near you, whether it be meeting up for a beer, going on a day trip together, or whatever else you decide to do.

best travel apps

10. WhatsApp

Great for: Communication.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

As an American, I never really knew what WhatsApp was until I traveled abroad. It turns out that a lot of countries around the world use it as their primary way of texting. If you’re traveling, it might be useful to download WhatsApp to stay in contact with new friends and your family back home. It also has a video and audio chat feature, making it easy to make international calls directly to other phones for free.

best travel apps

11. Shazam

Great for: Figuring out the name of that song you can’t understand.

Wifi/data needed? Sometimes. If you want to figure out the name of the song right away you’ll need wifi. If you don’t have wifi, you can still play the song in the app and it’ll tell you the name as soon as you have a connection again.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a bar or club and heard a catchy song, but didn’t understand enough of the lyrics to search it later. With Shazam (which is now also included in Snapchat if you don’t want to download it separately), it’s super easy to figure out the name of the song and search it later. It has also opened me up to so many new artists.

best travel apps

12. Waze

Great for: When you’re going on a road trip.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

If you’re driving, Waze is a lifesaver. Its maps are constantly updated and it lets you know about traffic jams, police, accidents, and more. It also tells you the cheapest gas stations around. It’s based on feedback from other drivers, making it super accurate with up-to-the-minute information.

best travel apps

13. SpotHero

Great for: Finding parking while traveling in the United States.

Wifi/data needed? Yes.

Trying to find parking at a reasonable price is one of the most frustrating things about exploring a new city by car. SpotHero shows you nearby parking options with prices, so you don’t end up paying $40 for the day when you could’ve paid $25 just down the street…again. Even better, you reserve your spot directly through the app and it’s often a cheaper price than you would get if you just drove up to the parking garage on your own.

best travel apps

14. Netflix

Great for: Entertainment while traveling.

Wifi/data needed? Sometimes. You just need it to download the shows that you want to watch, but no wifi is needed once they’re downloaded!

While it’s really more of an entertainment app, Netflix’s download feature makes it one of the best travel apps and a lifesaver during long flights, bus rides, or layovers. Just download what you want to watch while you have wifi and you’re good to go!

best travel apps

15. XE Currency Converter

Great for: Checking exchange rates.

Wifi/data needed? Sometimes. You need data or wifi to update your exchange rates, but if you’re pretty sure they haven’t changed you can use it without wifi to check the rates.

Currency conversion was always something that confused me when I first started traveling, but this app really helped me start understanding how it works. XE Currency Converter helps you decide the best time to exchange your cash or withdraw from the ATM- saving you money during your trip!

Best travel apps: there are a handful of travel apps that I swear by when I'm traveling alone or with others. Some are communication apps, transportation apps, and apps to find the cheapest flights. Here are my favorites!

What are your favorite apps or websites to use while traveling?  

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Brittany Mailhot is a freelance writer, blogger, and personal freedom advocate. She began living a location independent lifestyle shortly after graduating from college and continues to share her experiences to inspire others to say f*ck it to the 9-5 and live their dreams! She's always available to answer questions by email or on social media so don't be afraid to reach out!

  • Tanya Bricking Leach

    I’m not a millennial, but even I like some of these. Thanks!

  • I’ve used many of these but haven’t heard of Cafe WiFi or the parking finder app so I’ll have to look into those. I used Couchsurfing a LOT when I was younger and made many friends across the country who I’m still connected to now. Thanks for the travel app tips!

    • Brittany Mailhot

      I also love Couchsurfing! It’s such a great way to meet people and gives you the chance to really explore a new place like a local.

  • Erin Cotter

    This is a really great list! Everything that youve included will be on my checklist for traveling. I also like that you’ve reviewed couchsurfing. I have heard about it, and really haven’t decided what to think of it. (From a females perspective) I also like that you added an ap for reviewing hostels. I stayed at two different one’s in Miami and one was amazing, it was in Hollywood fl, and the other one, in south beach sent me heading for the hills. Great article!

    • Brittany Mailhot

      Hey Erin! I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂 Couchsurfing is awesome and I use it when I’m traveling alone all the time, you just have to trust your gut! I haven’t stayed in any hostels in the U.S. and I’ve always been curious about the experience compared to Latin America