The Best Travel Apps for Frequent Flyers

There are a slew of travel-related apps designed to meet just about every need while on the road. In addition to some obvious downloads, like your airline's app, there are often destination-specific apps, like those offered by a city's mass transit system and museums, for example. Since those can vary based on your itinerary, here's a round-up of my favorite general-purpose frequent flyer apps that I find myself using and recommending regularly, regardless of the destination.

 

Kayak

 Kayak  screenshot from App Store

Kayak  screenshot from App Store

Kayak may be best known for it’s flight search engine, but it also boasts many trip monitoring features - similar to those offered by TripIt - but for free. Kayak can continuously scan your email inbox to import flight, hotel, and other travel reservations and automatically build itineraries. If you’re more privacy-minded, just forward your travel confirmation emails to trips@kayak.com to have them imported. From there, you can share your trip info with others and subscribe to a personal Kayak calendar feed, so your travel plans automatically pop up in your calendar app.

Free   |   iOS   |   Android

 

Google Maps

 Google Maps screenshot from App Store

Google Maps screenshot from App Store

I find that Google Maps offers some of the most robust location data from around the world. Whether you’re walking down the street, or taking connecting trains between countries, this is a great go-to app for all things navigation-related. I recommend bookmarking restaurants and sightseeing spots you want to visit ahead of time, so you know what’s nearby on your next trip.

Free   |   iOS   |   Android

 

Lounge Buddy

 Lounge Buddy screenshot from App Store

Lounge Buddy screenshot from App Store

Knowing which airline lounges you can access is sometimes tricky; entry rules can be complicated and vary by location. Lounge Buddy directs you to airline clubs you can gain access to, based on what credit cards you use, your airline status, and your trip itinerary. The app includes details on each venue such as open hours, amenities, and user reviews. Plus, if you aren't granted free lounge access from one of the above methods, you can usually buy a pass through the app on a per-visit basis.

Free   |   iOS

 

Google Translate

 Google Translate  screenshot from App Store

Google Translate  screenshot from App Store

Google’s translation app goes beyond most typical language dictionaries. It supports 103 languages and offers real-time bi-directional translation, so you can converse pretty seamlessly with someone standing next to you. A showstopper of a feature lets you point your phone’s camera at any printed text, like a menu or street sign, and Google Translate will swap in the translated words in real time. Be sure to download the offline language pack for your destination before you head overseas, so you aren’t stuck using roaming data when you get there.

Free   |   iOS   |   Android