18 best travel apps for Canadian travellers in 2021/2022

More than ever, travellers rely on their smartphones when planning and taking a vacation. A wide range of travel apps are available at travellers’ fingertips on Google Play or the App Store that can help with just about every aspect of their trip. This includes finding last-minute hotel deals and flights, packing the right items, managing budgets on the go, discovering nearby points of interest, and translating foreign languages.

We’ve put together a list of the top 18 apps every Canadian traveller should have on their smartphone, broken down by category, to ensure you’ve got all the recommended apps that will help transform your wanderlust into an unforgettable experience.

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Whether arriving in Canada by air, land or sea, all travellers must have the ArriveCAN app installed on their phones. It allows Canadians and foreign nationals to provide information relevant to clearing COVID-19 requirements before and after they enter Canada (e.g. arrival details, PCR tests, vaccination proof and quarantine plan) digitally. Canadian border services also uses this information to clear travellers for entry into Canada.

 Visit the ArriveCAN App website for details.

With this app, most travellers arriving in Canada can speed up the time it would usually take to enter the information in one of the Primary Inspection Kiosks available in the main airports by 50%. The app allows travellers to fulfill a declaration for up to five family members. The app works on airplane mode and the traveller(s) profile and declaration can be created before arriving in the country.

 Visit the eDelcaration website for details.

If you are flexible with your travel, Hopper can save you some serious money. After entering your home and destination airport into the app,  historical data is used to predict flight fares based on a calendar with colour-coded dates. It also recommends whether you should wait or book your flight right away. If the tool advises you to wait, it will notify you of any price change or if bargain deals come up. Hopper can also be used to book hotels and rental cars.

 Visit the Hopper website for details.

If you are planning an epic cross-country or continental journey, this app will help you plan and book transportation to get you from point A to B. It tells you what’s available to take you where you want to go along with the price range and trip duration for each option. Rome2rio offers a smooth and easy planning experience, especially for more unusual destinations where information around transportation is often more challenging to get.

 Visit the Rome2Rio website for details.

This app helps you to organize and keep your travel plans and itinerary in check. First, users must email the app support team their flight, hotel, attractions, restaurant reservations and car rental confirmation. Then, TripIt will create a free master document that will feature every part of the traveller’s itinerary, which they can access from anywhere and without an internet connection. Moreover, the paid version of the app will also assist travellers in finding alternative options and routes if their flights get cancelled as well as notify travellers of possible flight delays, cancellations, and other information from the airlines.

 Visit the TripIt website for details.

If you plan to go on a road trip, this app can help take some stress away and make for a smoother journey. The Roadtrippers app assists you in planning the perfect journey by suggesting exciting places and detours along your route. Since the app focuses on user-generated content, you can also get insights into other Roadtrippers’ itineraries for similar trips and travel guides.

 Visit the Roadtrippers website for details.

If you want to avoid having any undesirable surprises with your finances after your trip, this easy-to-use expense manager app will help you categorize and label your budget and track your travel expenses on the go. This app also allows users to separate cash and credit card purchases. This way, you will know exactly how much you have spent and how much you still have in your pocket or bank account. For a small fee, you can upgrade the app to a pro version and have access to other features that are available, such as a real-time converter and the ability to export the data into Excel or other file formats for your records.

 Visit the Trabee Pocket website for details.

One of travellers’ main pet peeves is when they realize they have forgotten to pack something. If you are looking for a hassle-free app to help you create a packing list with everything you may need, Packpoint is a good choice. The app automatically generates a packing list based on a few details about you and your trip (e.g. destination, potential activities, trip purpose, etc.). The app also takes into consideration the weather forecast to help you decide on items you should be packing. You can upgrade this app for a small fee to have other features unlocked, such as the ability to integrate with other apps, check the forecast in real time, and share lists with friends and family.

 Visit the PackPoint website for details.

Does your trip involve an airport layover? Instead of spending time in an uncomfortable seat in a waiting area with bad Wi-Fi until your next flight, use LoungeBuddy to assist you in figuring out which lounges you can access for free. It uses information such as ticket type, airline loyalty and credit card programs to provide you with a list of what’s available to you. It also shows which ones you can access for a fee that you pay at the door. Photos and details of every lounge facility are available in the app so you can see what they have to offer.

 Visit the LoungeBuddy website for details.

Suppose you are on a road trip and want to find the cheapest gas price to fil up your car. The GasBuddy app helps you locate nearby gas stations that offer fuel at the lowest prices. The app also helps you save money at the pump by giving you cashback from partner retailers and a few cents off per litre if you use their gas card. GasBuddy also has a restroom, restaurant and car wash locator feature.

 Visit the GasBuddy website for details.

As travellers, we all know how hard it can be sometimes to find available Wi-Fi when we need it most, especially when we want to check if we are heading in the right direction. Maps.me is an offline navigation app where you can download as many optimized maps as you want free of charge. The app features maps for any type of transportation such as driving, walking, biking, and public transit. It also provides directions to points of interest around you.

 Visit the Maps.Me website for details.

If you are a new or experienced RV traveller, this app is a must-have. It provides information and user reviews on more than 40,000 RV campgrounds, parks, free parking lots to stay in, and rest areas across North America. This app map also features nearby landmarks such as gas stations, stores and roadside attractions. The app is free and most of the features work without an internet connection.

 Visit the RV Parks & Campgrounds website for details.

If you are exploring the world on a budget, you might be wondering if there are cheap or even free accommodations out there. This app connects people who are willing to open their houses to travellers that need a place to stay free. The app is not only good in terms of money saving, but it also helps travellers connect with the locals and learn more about the places they're visiting directly from the people who live there.

 Visit the Couchsurfing website for details.

With over 34,000 accommodation listings spread across 200 countries, Airbnb is one of the most popular apps used to search for places to stay that cater to all sizes, budgets and tastes. Travellers will be able to find accommodations ranging from the conventional (e.g. shared of private rooms, entire apartments or houses) to the unique (e.g. a castle, sheep wagon, tree house, houseboat).

 Visit the Airbnb website for details.

Sometimes travel plans change unexpectedly, and you need to find a hotel to stay in for the night on the short notice. If this happens to you, no need to panic. HotelTonight not only helps you find vacant hotel rooms around your current location but it also shows discounted rates at hotels looking to fill last-minute vacancies, which can help you score some good savings.

 Visit the HotelTonight website for details.

All that Lonely Planet collectively knows about the world can now be found on their app in addition to other valuable features. Along with being able to view information for its more than 8,000 city guides, including 352,000+ sights, you will be also able to navigate your destination with offline maps, discover your location’s must-see attractions, get transportation information and access a currency converter all for free.

 Visit the Lonely Planet website for details.

This app is one of the most complete and essential tools any traveller should have. It offers access to more than 50 languages in offline mode and many more if you have access to the internet. You can also point your camera towards words, phrases or sentences (e.g. menus, signs, guides) and get an instant translation. The Google Translate app also features two-way speech translation, so one person can speak in their own language and be understood by the other in theirs and vice versa.

 Visit the Google Translate website for details.

Citymapper aggregates bus route, live time tracking, train and ferry timetable, and cycle path information for more than 40 locations to help you make your way around unfamiliar cities. Along with providing details on the best routes and how much time it will take to get to your destination, depending on the transportation mode, it will also tell you how much your trip will cost. One cool feature of the app is its Go Mode. The app tells you where on a train or subway to get on (back, middle, front section) so you can be close to the exit or a connection platform when you arrive at a station.

 Visit the Citymapper website for details.

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