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The 5 best trip planner apps: Easily plan your next vacation

What is the best trip planner app? Tripit is ZDNET's top choice because of its fantastic features. We researched and compared ratings, reviews, and pricing to determine our No.1 pick and several other honorable mentions.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on

Planning a trip is not easy. There are flights and rental car reservations to manage, hotels and Airbnbs to confirm, and activities to schedule. In all that planning, it is easy to lose track and misplace reservations or forget to make one altogether.

This is where trip planning apps can help. The right trip planning app organizes all your information while assisting in the reservation and booking process. The best trip planning apps offer even more if you know where to look.

Before you hit the road for your next trip, these are the best trip planner apps to help get you there. 

Features:

  • Developer: TripIt
  • Compatibility: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
  • App Store rating: 4.8
  • Google Play rating: 4.7

TripIt boasts nearly 20 million users, and it is easy to see why. The convenience cannot be denied. Anytime you make a reservation, you simply hit forward to plans@tripit.com to automatically add it to your itinerary. Whether you are online or offline, you will be able to view your itinerary at any time. If you need to upload items, Tripit accepts multiple forms of documents, including PDFs, photos, boarding passes, and even digital QR codes. You also have the ability to share details with anyone you like, whether it is family or a friend. Also, Siri works to make you that much more efficient. As your trip approaches, you will begin to receive specially curated information like entry requirements, neighborhood safety scores, and even necessary vaccine certifications. If you upgrade to an annual membership for less than $50 a year, you receive even more support, like real-time flight status alerts and refund alerts if your fare drops. You also get a free trial of CLEAR for four months. 

Pros

Cons

  • Easy access
  • Available in Spanish
  • Free trial for some businesses
  • Users report some bugs
  • Must pay for premium features

Features:

  • Developer: Hotel Tonight Inc.
  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
  • App Store rating: 4.9
  • Google Play rating: 4.4

HotelTonight rates as one of our best hotel booking apps. When you don't have the opportunity to book in advance, HotelTonight makes it easy to get a last-minute reservation. If you are organized, you can book up to 100 days in advance. Either way, HotelTonight enables gives you to book luxury hotels as well as boutiques, giving you a wide variety of properties to choose from. There are three categories that you can use to search: Basic, Hip, and Luxe. It makes finding the right hotel even easier. You also can search by city or attraction, or you can perform a search for pet-friendly spots. HotelTonight is available throughout the world, including Europe, Latin America, and Asia, with available ratings and reviews from real guests. Check out the Daily Drop for special offers and extra discounts each day. 

Pros

Cons

  • Fantastic deals
  • Wide availability
  • HT Perks program
  • Restricted to hotels
  • No room type guarantees

Features:

  • Developer: Roadtrippers Inc.
  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
  • App Store rating: 4.7
  • Google Play rating: 4.0

If you are planning a road trip, Roadtrippers is the best trip planner app for you. It has helped make more than 38 million successful trips in the US and Canada. It uses turn-by-turn navigation via Waze, plus offers invaluable guidance on local attractions, so you know exactly how to live like the locals. There are guides ready to help at any time if you feel restlessness coming on. Roadtrippers can recommend restaurants, parks, scenic overlooks, and even hotels to keep you entertained throughout your entire trip. Plot your stops with the ability to add up to seven waypoints, or 150 if you upgrade to Roadtrippers Plus. The upgrade allows to share your trip with friends and receive exclusive deals with access to maps when offline. 

Pros

Cons

  • Simple interface
  • Comprehensive information
  • Excellent activity guide 
  • Best for US travelers
  • Subscription required

Features:

  • Developer: Rome2rio Pty Ltd.
  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac
  • App Store rating: 4.7
  • Google Play rating: 4.6

The aptly named Rome2rio has been an invaluable support to my family as we prepare for my brother's upcoming wedding in Italy. It is easy to get travel information when you enter your destination into the app. You will receive specially curated information for your chosen location, giving you a variety of travel options for more than 160 countries. You can find details for flight, train, bus, and ferry rides, with assistance for rental car service. Rome2rio works with a variety of partners, including major airlines and Amtrak, to help get you where you want to go and at the best price. The app will help you find a place to stay, plus suggest fun activities to keep you busy.  

Pros

Cons

  • Detailed search feature
  • Fantastic for multi-city itineraries
  • Available for Mac
  • Pricing may vary
  • Additional transportation app may be necessary

Features:

  • Developer: Skyscanner Limited
  • Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
  • App Store rating: 4.8
  • Google Play rating: 4.7

Skyscanner may be the best trip planning app for flights, but that's not it does. It also works for hotels and car rentals, helping you find exclusive deals and providing helpful guidance. Even if you do not have a particular destination in mind, Skyscanner will pull the best deals for you to review. You also search by flight length, a particular airline you like, or even departure and arrival times. The app is excellent for booking because it allows you to compare pricing from top providers, so you can always find the best deal for your trip. You also get to skip many of the fees - there are no booking fees or hidden charges assessed on your travel.  

Pros

Cons

  • Easy flight search
  • Green search option
  • Helpful SkyTools
  • Best for flights
  • Some pricing snags

What is the best trip planner app?

TripIt receives our vote for the best trip planner app, helping almost 20 million users plan the best possible arrangements for their upcoming trips. From automatic reservation entry to easy uploads and sharing, there are several conveniences to simplify travel and make your trip the best it can be.  

To compare Tripit against the other best trip planner apps, check out this comparison chart based on real user reviews to determine which trip planner app is best for you.

Best trip planner app

App Store rating

Google Play rating

TripIt

4.8

4.7

HotelTonight

4.9

4.4

Roadtrippers

4.7

4.0

Rome2rio

4.7

4.6

Skyscanner

4.8

4.7

Which is the right trip planner app for you?

To help you find the best trip planner app for your travel, consider our suggestions based on our expert study.

Choose this best trip planner app...

If you...

TripIt

Want an app designed for organization and convenience

HotelTonight

Need a last-minute hotel stay

Roadtrippers

Need help planning your road trip

Rome2rio

Are planning an international trip

Skyscanner

Want excellent deals on airfare

How did we choose these trip planner apps?

When searching for the best trip planner apps, we used several critical factors to compare. 

  • Features: Each app can vary significantly with the type of features it offers, whether it is the way you add your reservations to how you find the best deals and booking information. 
  • Compatibility: An app is of little use if it does not work with your devices, so we look to see what compatibility each trip planning app offers.
  • Customer reviews: We study real customer reviews and ratings to evaluate customer satisfaction and service. 
  • Cost: Most trip planning apps are free, but you may have to upgrade to receive special access to exclusive features or deals.  

Before you choose an app, be sure to weigh the pros and cons of each to be sure that you download the right app for your unique needs.

What is a trip planner app?

A trip planner app is an app that provides organizational features for your upcoming trip. It is often free and incorporates trip planning tools, whether you are traveling by ground or air.   

How does a trip planner app work?

A trip planner app can incorporate special features, like an itinerary, calendar, reservation hub, and map assistance. Depending on the app you choose, there is even trip-sharing with friends and family to simplify the entire trip planning process.  

How much does a trip planner app cost?

Most trip planner apps are free, but some may offer in-app purchases to upgrade or enhance your experience. 

Are there alternative trip planner apps worth considering?

While searching for the best trip planning apps, we also found these specialty trip planning apps that may also help with your next trip.  

Before you head out, check out our expert picks for the best luggage, best travel gadgets, and the best travel credit cards!

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