The best travel companion apps for the iPhone and iPad

BY Kelly Hodgkins

Published 13 Feb 2015

Are you planning a vacation or a business trip in the near future and want to simplify your travel plans using your iPhone? You are in luck as the iOS App Store is filled with apps to help you with every step along the way. In fact, travel apps are so popular that the App Store even has a category dedicated to the genre. If you want to equip your phone as a travel warrior, then read on as we have compiled some of the best travel companion apps for iPhone and iPad owners.

WorldMate Travel Plans & Flight Tracker


WorldMate Travel Plans & Flight Tracker is your virtual travel agent, allowing you to organize your flights, book hotels, track car rentals and more. You can enter in your details manually or send this information to your WorldMate account via email. Not only can you organize your trip from your iPhone, WorldMate also allows you to print your itinerary, view the details on a map and share your trip on Facebook or Twitter. You can’t ask for much more in a travel app. WorldMate is free, but a $9.99 yearly Gold subscription is required to unlock all the app’s features.

Free – Download now

Packing Pro


A good packing list can make or break or trip – it’s the difference between an enjoyable, carefree trip or one filled with countless trips to the drug store for another forgotten item. One of the most flexible and powerful apps for creating a travel-specific list is Packing Pro. Packing Pro allows you easily create a new list using the existing catalog of common items that are brought on a trip. You can create the list and order it manually or allow the app to “automagically” create a list based on the number of people, the length or the trip, the destination and other trip parameters. Once you’ve created a list, you can customize it, search it, sort it and keep a tally of items that you have packed.

$2.99 – Download now

Google Maps


Google Maps provides an alternative to Apple Maps for iOS owners looking for more than just driving directions. Besides the standard voice-guided GPS directions, the app includes live traffic conditions to help you skirt long delays due to weather or accidents. If you are visiting a new city, Google Maps also provides information on nearby points of interest with street view and indoor imagery for select restaurants, shopping malls and more. Travelers who travel without a car and prefer public transportation can retrieve both transit directions and maps in select cities. Use Google Maps and make both your road trip and vacation time as trouble-free as possible.

Free – Download now



Waze takes the core navigation features found in Apple Maps and adds a social layer that transforms the service into one of the best mapping apps in the business. Not only do you get turn-by-turn voice guided navigation, you also get road reports from the community. These reports will help you avoid traffic, alert you when there is a police speed trap and reroute you around road closures. Besides driving, Waze also crowdsources local gas prices and information about nearby restaurants and businesses.

Free – Download now

Hotel Tonight

Sometimes circumstances place you in the situation of needing a last minute hotel reservation. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor and launch Hotel Tonight to help you find the best accommodations at the lowest prices. Hotel Tonight works with hotels to make their empty rooms available at discount rates, allowing you to find emergency lodging as late as 2AM on the same day. If you plan ahead, you can make reservations up to seven days in advance.

Free – Download now

Google Translate


Before you travel to a foreign country, you’ll need a strategy to communicate with people in their native language. You can pocket one of those printed phrase books, but you are better off leaving the book at home and installing Google’s popular Google Translate app. Google Translate is a versatile tool that’ll translate phrases via voice input, keyboard or handwriting. It also supports the iPhone camera, allowing you to point your iPhone at a sign and translate the words in real time. With support for 90 languages, you’ll always have the right word to say with Google Translate.

Free – Download now

Gate Guru


Gate Guru is a top notch app for tracking your next flight. The app delivers real-time flight status information including gate details, flight departure, and arrival times as well as localized content for the airports from which you are flying. And if your flight details change, no worries as Gate Guru will send you a push notification alerting you to the updated information.

Free – Download now

ParkWhiz – Discounted Parking Deals, On-Demand


If you are driving around town and need a parking place, then you should install ParkWhiz. ParkWhiz finds the closest parking places with the best rates, allowing you to park cheaply and easily. The company secures its low rates by reserving the unsold parking spaces in partner parking facilities. Once you make your reservation, your parking space is set aside and will be vacant until you arrive. The app provides parking reservations in several major US cities including Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Baltimore, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia and more.

Free – Download now



Uber beats waiting and hailing a cab when you are visiting a city and don’t want to drive. No waiting on a sidewalk for cab and fighting for an empty seat, just use the app to request a ride and your driver will come to your location in a few minutes. Uber is available in 54 countries worldwide.

Free – Download now

Now that you’ve read our picks for the best apps for traveling, please share your favorite travel companion apps in the comments below.

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