The 10 Best Travel Planner Apps of 2018

Apps to help you plan your next getaway

the 10 best travel planner apps

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With so much information available on the web, much of it misleading, planning the perfect trip can become overwhelming and take the fun out of what should be an exciting experience.

Thankfully, there are several travel planner apps available to help you plan your next getaway, right down to the smallest detail.

google trips travel planning app

By making good use of its vast data library, Google Trips can plan out entire days for you at virtually any location. Nearby activities and suggestions are automatically offered, with more in reserve in case you're not happy with the original options.

Additionally, reservations and confirmation details are pulled from Gmail and organized within the app so your travel information is always on hand. 

What We Like:

  • Google Trips functions without an internet connection, which can really come in handy while traveling.

What We Don't Like:

  • The app can be a bit tough to navigate, and often misses itinerary-related messages when doing an auto-pull from Gmail.

Available On: Android, iOS

hopper travel planning app

Hopper's proprietary algorithm tries to predict where flight and lodging prices are headed in the near future, letting you wait until the right moment to spring into action and book your trip at the lowest price. The app analyzes billions of prices per day and claims to predict what the cheapest one will be with a 95% accuracy rate. Although that number may seem a bit steep, Hopper's large user base certainly helps to rubber stamp a notable level of success in that area.

What We Like:

  • The Watch feature ensures you rarely miss a good deal, sending push notifications to your device when it's time to commit.

What We Don't Like:

  • Some fairly large airlines are not included in Hopper's analysis.

Available On: Android, iOS

kayak travel planning app

One of the top all-in-one apps for setting up a trip, Kayak searches hundreds of travel sites instantly in an attempt to provide every possible deal on a flight, hotel, or rental car all in the same location.

Not only a booking tool, Kayak lets you organize everything in one place and even includes up-to-date details on security wait times, along with airport terminal maps. The app can even measure your luggage using your phone's camera, letting you know potential fees and carry-on rules for most airlines.

What We Like:

  • Kayak's Explore feature is very helpful if you've yet to decide on a destination, suggesting getaways all over the globe based on your maximum budget. 

What We Don't Like:

  • Doesn't always show all available flights on a specific route, potentially causing you to miss out on the best deal.

Available On: Android, iOS, All major web browsers

packing pro travel planning app

The only app in our top 10 that doesn't offer a free version, Packing Pro is well worth the $2.99 price tag if stuffing your suitcases with the essentials isn't your strong suit.

This app creates customizable packing lists which take into account a number of important factors including trip duration, destination, expected weather conditions, food preparation preferences, and much more. Packing Pro's robust item catalog ensures that even the most unique dietary or religious restrictions are accommodated for.

What We Like: ​

  • An impressive group of sample packing lists provide a good starting point if you'd rather work off of an example instead of generating a new list.

What We Don't Like: ​

  • In-app purchases for added lists and themes are offered, which we'd prefer not to see in an app that already has an up-front cost associated with it.

Available On: iOS

roadtrippers travel planning app

If dealing with long lines at the airport and cramped seats in coach isn't your idea of a fun vacation, then Roadtrippers may be the app for you. Whether you're hitting the highway or off-roading it, just enter your starting and destination points and let Roadtrippers provide all the information you'll need on everything in between.

From campsites and outdoor attractions to unique adventures that are off the beaten path, this app is the perfect companion for planning an excursion no matter if your mode of transportation is a small-sized rental car or a giant RV. An optional $29.99/year subscription unlocks advanced features, including live traffic monitoring and different map styles.

What We Like:

  • Even seasoned veterans of the open road will enjoy some of the hidden gems that can be discovered with this app.

What We Don't Like:

  • GPS coordination isn't as good as you might find in apps like Waze.
  • Roadtrippers doesn't render in landscape mode, which seems like an odd limitation for a navigational app.

Available On: Android, iOS, All major web browsers

skiplagged travel planning app

By showing fares to connecting cities that are sometimes cheaper than a direct flight to that city, Skiplagged lets you book flights where you simply stay at the layover location (your true destination) rather than continuing on with the connecting flight. The bottom line, when it works, is you end up in the desired city while spending less to get there.

Skiplagged also lets you book last-minute hotel deals, but the way the app exploits this flight booking technicality is why it stands out from the competition.

What We Like:

  • This trick isn't always going to work, especially if you're flying into a lesser-known airport, but when it does, frequent travelers can save a significant amount of money on a regular basis.

What We Don't Like:

  • Airline baggage fee policies can be a bit murky, so make sure you read the fine print before booking anything.

Available On: Android, iOS, All major web browsers

skyscanner travel planning app

Another all-in-one planning and booking app, Skyscanner should not be overlooked when grouped in with some of the bigger names in this category. Offering reliable price alerts, integrated frequent flyer miles and no additional or hidden fees like you might find elsewhere, Skyscanner usually follows through on its promises and is very easy to navigate right from the get-go. 

What We Like:

  • Skyscanner offers protection to ensure your car rental provider doesn't overcharge for fuel, an all-too-common problem for travelers.

What We Don't Like: ​

  • In rare instances, flight prices shown within the app are outdated, leaving you with a big surprise when you navigate to the actual booking provider.

Available On: Android, iOS, All major web browsers

sygic travel planning app

Sygic Travel lets you plan a detailed itinerary for each day of your trip before you leave home, down to the very last detail like the walking distances between attractions.

With over 50 million places included, many with 360-degree videos that make you feel like you're already there, the app's smart search filters help you narrow things down until you have the perfect daily schedule in place. Collaborative city guides also provide an easy-to-use snapshot of the most popular locales around the globe.

What We Like:

  • If you're more of a free spirit that doesn't dig a structured itinerary, Sygic is also useful for finding nearby attractions on-the-fly.

What We Don't Like: ​

  • Access to Sygic's offline maps requires a paid upgrade to the Premium version.

Available On: Android, iOS, All major web browsers 

tripadvisor travel planning app

A stalwart in the travel industry, TripAdvisor isn't exactly unique in providing a one-stop shop for booking good deals on flights, hotels and even restaurants for your upcoming trek, although it does do a dependable job of each. Where the app really sets itself apart, though, is with its customer feedback on airlines, lodging, food, and other items. By offering over 500 million real-life opinions from travelers who've already been there and done that, TripAdvisor helps you make informed planning decisions based on others' past experiences.

What We Like:

  • If you still have questions after perusing the reviews and other information, TripAdvisor's forums are a great resource for getting specific travel-related questions answered in a timely fashion.

What We Don't Like:

  • Default rankings don't always correlate with customer reviews, so you often need to take a deeper dive to find what is truly the best value in a particular set of search results.

Available On: Android, iOS, All major web browsers

tripit travel planning app

It's not uncommon to receive multiple confirmation emails and itineraries when planning a trip. Whether it be from an airline, hotel, rental car company, or another type of reservation, keeping all of these details organized can be quite a hassle.

TripIt solves this problem by taking all of your scattered information and organizing it into an easy-to-use master itinerary. This basic functionality is available free of charge, while a $49 annual subscription provides the ability to upgrade your seat on upcoming flights and track reward miles, among other perks.

What We Like:

  • TripIt's flexibility lets you choose to send your travel information in a manually-created document, forward confirmation emails, or have the app automatically fetch itinerary-related messages right from your inbox.

What We Don't Like:

  • By default, the TripIt app sends too many alerts, which can be annoying. However, these can be modified or completely disabled through the app's settings.

Available On: Android, iOS, macOS (iMessage), watchOS, All major web browsers