Travel Apps

Top free travel planner apps explained in 4 minutes [2022]

Updated on:  
April 28, 2022
Reading Time:  
4
 minutes
Raeesha Ikram
Raeesha Ikram
Contributor
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There's a travel planner app for every kind of traveler, whether you need to build a travel itinerary, plan a road trip, or coordinate your next vacation with friends. Avoid wasting time with other travel planners. Below are the travel planners you’ll ever need for your next trip.

The grind of everyday life, whether you’re in school or at work, can be overwhelming and stressful. That’s one of the reasons we travel, to take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But when you sit down after a long day to plan your trip, staying on top of coordinating all the itineraries and bookings can also be overwhelming, especially when you have to coordinate itineraries and travel documents with your travel buddies.

For most of us, planning travel itineraries is the first phase of excitement that keeps us going. It gives you something to look forward to even if your trip isn’t going to happen very soon. But, if truth be told, it can also be overwhelming when pulling everything together.

Travel Planning
Photo by John Matychuk on Unsplash

Luckily for us, travel planners are the solution.

Travel planners, or travel itinerary apps, have gotten popular because they have proven to be very useful in planning itineraries quickly and easily. They make sure your travel ideas aren’t forgotten, even if your brain does. There are a lot of travel planner apps out there, each offering a slightly different perspective that helps with trip planning.

However, in general, travel planning apps should be good at the most important thing: Creating a travel plan.

An excellent travel planning app should help simplify the itinerary planning process, helping you organize details with minimal effort, so you can spend less time organizing and more time getting excited for your trip!

What is the best travel planner for all travelers?

Every traveler is different, and so are the travel apps. This is why we have rounded up the best travel planning apps, each catering to a different type of traveler. You no longer have to be stuck with the same old Google Sheet or notes app that isn't making your life easier, especially when planning for a group.

Wondering what are the top travel apps or packing apps that’ll also help you with your travel experience? We’ve got you covered as well. 

But, all of our choices have one thing in common. They can be used to build, edit, and share travel itineraries using the features they offer.

Here are the best travel planner apps for every type of traveler now.

Best Overall Travel Planner - Pilot

We'll admit that we're a bit biased. But hey! We wouldn't be building Pilot if we didn't think it was the best or if we were fully satisfied with the other options on the list.

Best for:

Making travel plans, collaborating live, and seeing what experiences friends and family have taken or want to take.

Why you’ll like it:

Pilot is your brand-new travel planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere.

As a social travel planner, Pilot makes travel planning an immersive experience more than a mere task because you get to do it with your favorite travel mate(s) or yourself!

Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features! 

Whether it’s brainstorming ideas, seeking inspiration, voting for places, or setting up a budget, Pilot has got you covered. Its user-friendly interface is a delight for perfectionists who love categorizing events, activities, and attractions in different forms. It will integrate all the travel ideas you have gathered from the web in one place.

Travelers can also use the app to store essential travel details like flight booking numbers. If you're looking for something more fun than a plain-old Google doc or spreadsheet to plan your trip, but that's just as flexible, you've come to the right place!

Why you might not like it:

If planning trips yourself isn’t your thing, Pilot may not be ideal, but they do offer assistance for free to work with you on making a personalized trip based on your interest.

Pilot's also in its early beta stage with tons of cool new features, including mobile version, coming real soon!

Best feature:

  • The ability to plan trips together in real-time & store your travel information for offline access.
  • Extensive blog database of destination guides, things to do, and where to stay for free access!

Pricing:

  • Totally free. :)

Versions:

  • Just web for now. iOS and Android coming soon.

Alternatives:

  • MyLike and Pebblar
The Pilot Trip Planner App
An early mockup of the Pilot trip planner

Best AutoSync Travel Planner - TripIt

Best for: 

A minimal business travel planner to organize all the essential details for work trips.

Why you’ll like it:

TripIt is straightforward in what it does. It gathers all travel-related booking and confirmation emails related to flights, transportation, and accommodation to form an itinerary. This way, you don’t have to spend time searching for them individually.

Its premium version sends important alerts regarding flight status, delays, and gate numbers, improving your experience even more. The app also has a neighborhood safety score which can be really helpful for solo travelers, female backpackers, and anyone. 

We think the app is best suited for busy professionals on business tours and last-minute travelers who don’t have the time to sort through their trip details.

Why you might not like it:

If you believe that travel planning should be fun and as exciting as taking the trip, TripIt might not be for you. TripIt doesn’t scream “fun."

It's owned by the enterprise technology company SAP, which means the interface is very formal and stiff, so probably not what you're looking for if your trip is for leisure, but it might be great if you're looking for that.

If you’re looking for features other than organizing booking details, such as interesting travel content, guides for inspiration, and the ability to add specific attractions, you’re outta luck. It’s also not a collaborative trip planner, although itineraries can be shared, so you can really only use it for work travel.

Best feature:

  • Automatically imports travel details from your inboxes. 

Pricing: 

  • Basic version is free, but...
  • You'd probably need TripIt Pro, which costs $49 per year, to get the full value.

Versions:

  • iOS, Android, and web

Alternatives:

  • Trip Case and Trek Friend
TripIt Appstore Preview
Image Courtesy: TripIt

Still unsure if you should use TripIt? Make sure to check out our in-depth review of TripIt if you'd like to learn more about its features + pros & cons!

Best Travel Planner for Spontaneous Travel - Jubel

Best for: 

Travelers who want their trip to be a complete surprise would prefer not to do the planning themselves.

Why you’ll like it:

If you love the idea of visiting a place you haven’t thought of or planned on visiting before, Jubel would be a great trip planner. 

Once signed up, users only have to go through the task of answering a questionnaire highlighting their preferences vaguely or specifically – as they wish. The Jubel team does the research and hard work to create a travel itinerary for a destination that fits your expectations.

The idea of surprise trips can sound skeptical, but many have liked it. If not, you can specify a destination and the kind of activities you are interested in, and get your trip organized. 

Why you might not like it:

If you have a good idea of what you want on your trip, Jubel might not be for you.

There is also a probability of not liking the destination picked for you, which has unfortunately been reflected in some of their less positive reviews.

Best feature:

  • The app provides surprise trips to mystery destinations. This is great if you don't care where you're going but want to see something new. Be warned that you will pay a premium for this.

Pricing:

  • $1500 upwards for a trip inclusive of all costs and fees

Version:

  • Web 

Alternatives:

  • LuckyTrip
  • Pack Up + Go
Jubel Mystery Trip Planner
Image courtesy: Jubel

Best Travel Itinerary Inspiration Tracker -  HipHerd

Best for:

Travelers who want to save their travel inspiration in one place and don't need or want planning functionality.

Why you’ll like it:

HipHerd makes sure you don’t lose track of interesting destinations, inspiring travel stories, adventure trips, and other information you come across when surfing the web at random. Essentially, you can gather and save travel ideas at your own pace using this platform. This way, you would have interesting attractions lined up by the time you start planning an itinerary.

You can also create boards for each destination you plan to visit, categorize relevant details, and share them with others for real-time collaboration. Once you have sorted your itinerary, it will be displayed on a map for you to picture your trip at a glance. 

Why you might not like it:

If you’re looking for a travel planner, HipHerd will not deliver. The travel itinerary extension can help you store inspiration and destinations, but you’ll need another travel planning app to help you with the actual planning.

HipHerd isn't for you if you’re looking for essential features like the ability to store important travel details like flight information and track your budget to give you an idea of expenses. 

Best feature:

  • It's a downloadable Chrome extension that lets you save travel information from the web easily 

Pricing:

  • Free

Versions:

  • Web

Alternatives:

HipHerd Travel Planner App
Image courtesy: HipHerd

Best Travel Planner for Local Experiences - ViaHero

Best for:

Travelers hunting for authentic local experiences and don't care for flexibility.

Why you’ll like it:

Some travelers prefer their travel experiences to be a slice of local life without being herded into tourist traps. 

ViaHero connects travelers with locals in the destinations they wish to visit. This way, you have access to insider information, tips to navigate around, and ways to avoid overpaying just because you are a tourist. 

The local guide will curate a travel itinerary with your suggestions along the way, taking care of transport, accommodation, and food arrangements. It essentially saves you time planning trips, sorting through attractions, and putting together an itinerary.

Why you might not like it:

You can’t use ViaHero to travel anywhere in the world. They have a limited list of destinations to choose from with connections to local guides. It also lacks the flexibility a travel planner should have for travelers who want full control over their travel plans.

It’s also expensive and may not be ideal if you love planning trips yourself and only want suggestions and advice from locals on where to go and what to see!

Pricing:

  • $40 per day for a custom-made itinerary, and more for groups.
  • No free version or free trial.

Versions:

  • iOS, Android, and web

Alternatives:

  • TravelSherpa 

Check out our in-depth Viahero review if you'd like to learn more about what their features are + pros & cons!

ViaHero UI for trip planning
ViaHero's UI

Best Road Trip Planner - RoadTrippers

Best for:

Anyone who only wants to plan a road trip.

Why you’ll like it:

As the name suggests, Roadtripper app is specially built for road trip enthusiasts who want to have a heads-up about interesting attractions along the chosen route. 

It also shows dining and lodging options that come in handy for people on long journeys. Every interesting stop is pinned on a map so that you can add what’s interesting to your itinerary.

There’s also the ability to search for specific attractions using filters. Once done, the itinerary can be edited, saved, and shared with others who partake in the trip. 

Why you might not like it:

For one, if you don’t plan on taking road trips often, the subscription is pretty expensive. While Roadtrippers have the basic version for free, it’s very limited in features.

The app is also not very user-friendly in terms of navigation, so you’ll most likely need to bring your laptop along with you on your trip and use data to access your travel itineraries.

Best feature:

  • Gives you information on lesser-known attractions 

Pricing: 

  • Their paid version costs $29 per year or $6.99 per month

Versions:

  • iOS, Android, and web

Alternatives:

  • Google My Maps

Check out our Roadtrippers app review if you'd like to learn more about the features that come with the app + pros & cons!

Road trip planning app
Image courtesy: RoadTrippers

Best Itinerary Building travel planner - GEOVEA

Best for:

Travelers who are super planners, serious about the time schedules, budgeting, and logistics of the trip down to the fine details. 

Why you’ll like it:

GEOVEA aims to make itinerary building easy for travelers with its detailed user interface. Once a destination is selected, activities for each day of the trip can be selected using its in-built sources like Yelp and dragged into time slots. 

It also allows you to keep track of transportation, accommodation, and other bookings made, including what’s yet to be done. Then, you can estimate costs for each activity and edit them later on. You can share your itineraries with friends and family as well.

Why you might not like it:

If you’re looking for an app, this might not be the travel planner solution for you. GEOVEA’s main drawback is that it’s only a web-based platform, although travel content can be viewed using mobile. 

Secondly, it’s not a platform for collaboration to plan trips in groups, although itineraries are sharable. Third, it's not super flexible, so you might just be better off with some of the other options on this list.

Pricing: 

  • Standard package is free with a limited number of itineraries.
  • Other subscriptions are available for $29.99 and upwards for a year. 

Versions:

  • Web

Alternatives:

Geovea travel scheduler
Image courtesy: GEOVEA

Best “Plan my trip” travel planner - Inspirock

Best for:

Travelers who want AI to create a highly detailed and structured plan for them.

Why you’ll like it:

Inspirock asks you some basic questions and then uses them to create a highly detailed itinerary for you. 

Once you pick a place for your itinerary, you can view its travel guide containing details on major attractions, reviews, accommodations options, best modes of transport, and others. It can help you determine if you are traveling efficiently to the best destinations.

When creating an itinerary, you can add multiple stops/cities along the way, search for transportation and accommodation options and book them. Then, Inspirock will visualize it on a map.

Why you might not like it:

You might not like Inspirock if you’re looking for an app that supports all destinations. It’s also blamed for incorrect suggestions, improper ordering of places, and other complexities. 

If you select a place/attraction that’s not in Inspirock’s suggestions, you are on your own to get there. Unfortunately, the suggestions and experiences they add to your trip plan aren't often personalized well enough to be useful, meaning you'll have to go and delete things from your trip actively.

Depending on how rigid your travel plans are and if you want to do more unique activities than just the highlights, you might want to wait until their predictions get more accurate.

Pricing:

  • Free

Versions:

  • Web  

Alternatives:

  • TripHappy

Make sure to check out our full Inspirock review if you'd like to learn more about what they offer + pros & cons!

Inspirock Travel Itinerary Plan
Image courtesy: Inspirock

Best Travel Planner for Travel Agents - Travefy 

Best for:

Travel agents! Travefy is an itinerary-building travel planner app built specifically for travel agents.

Why you’ll like it:

There aren’t a lot of travel planner apps like Travefy geared towards professionals and travel companies. 

Using this platform, travel agents, consultants, and guides can simplify their tasks such as building itineraries, managing or editing them, providing recommendations and helping clients with their travel plans. Features related to flight bookings, accommodation, and top attractions are also available.

You can deliver custom-built travel plans via a mobile app, email, or PDF format. With the mobile app, agents can also keep in touch with their customers through instant messages. Overall, it streamlines a lot of tasks for professionals handling multiple clients.

Why you might not like it:

It’s a costly service for travel agents just starting out. Also, the setup and functionalities of some features are quite complex to understand in the beginning.

It'd also be overkill for anyone who isn't a travel agent. Most of the functionality you won't use for your leisure travel, and it'd be expensive to pay for it.

Best feature:

  • Free mobile app for clients so travel agents can communicate and edit details easily.

Pricing: 

  • $39/month or
  • $372 for the annual subscription

Versions:

  • OS, Android, and web

Alternatives:

  • Rezdy

Check out our Travefy review if you'd like to learn more about what features they offer + the pros & cons!

Travefy trip planner for travel agents
Image courtesy: Travefy

Best Forum-Based Travel Planner - TripAdvisor

Best for:

Travelers that want tips and recommendations from other travelers and book accommodations, flights, and things to do straight from the same platform.

Why you’ll like it:

TripAdvisor is one of the largest leaders when it comes to review-based travel bookings. With their comprehensive public forums, you can find just about any information you’d need for any destination, transportation, attraction, or accommodation. 

You’ll also be able to book and create your trips straight from their app! 

TripAdvisor makes it easy to navigate different activities, explore different options, and compare prices and ratings of different accommodations. 

Why you might not like it:

If you want any control over planning your trip, TripAdvisor is certainly not the app for you. The trip planner from TripAdvisor is not very user-friendly and fun to use. 

For example, it’s almost impossible to import other bookings or information into your travel planner.

Best feature:

  • A platform to share and read public reviews and recommendations and book all without leaving the app.

Pricing:

  • Free
  • TripAdvisor Plus ($99/year) - discounted rates on over 100,000 flights, hotels, experiences, and car rentals

Versions:

  • WebOS, iOS, and Android

Alternatives:

  • Spot
Image Courtesy: TripAdvisor

Other Travel apps

So, this is our list of the top travel planner apps. If you're looking for general travel apps that'll help you travel better, check out our list of the top travel apps you should be using on your trips! While they're not all travel planners, each of the apps we cover on that list solves a certain hassle most travelers come across during their trip.

Originally published on:  
January 29, 2021

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