Best Travel Apps for First-Time International Travelers in 2023


Person Looking at a Map trying to find best travel destination

Are you planning your first international trip and feeling overwhelmed with all the details? Don’t fret! With the help of your smartphone, you can have all the necessary information at your fingertips. From flight bookings to currency conversions, there are countless travel apps out there that can make your trip planning and execution much smoother. These are the best travel apps for first-time international travelers.

But with so many options available, which ones should you choose? Fear not! This blog post will highlight the top 10 must-have travel apps for first-time international travelers. These apps will help you navigate new cities and language barriers and even keep track of your itinerary.

So, sit back, relax, and let these apps take the stress out of your first international adventure. I use these apps regularly to book and streamline my trips abroad. This is not an exhaustive list but a good primer to get you started.

Benefits of Using Travel Apps

Before we dive into specific travel apps, let’s discuss the benefits of using them in the first place. First and foremost, travel apps can save you a lot of time and effort. With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can book flights, hotels, and even rental cars. Many travel apps also include features that allow you to compare prices and find the best deals.

Secondly, travel apps can help you navigate unfamiliar territories. Whether trying to find the nearest restaurant or the best tourist attractions, numerous apps are available to help you. Some apps even offer offline maps and city guides, which can be extremely helpful if you can’t access Wi-Fi or cellular data.

Finally, travel apps can enhance your overall travel experience. With apps for language translation, currency conversion, and even food recommendations, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and get the most out of your trip.

Planning and Booking Apps

When planning and booking your trip, there are a few must-have travel apps that can save you time and money. 


The first app on our list is Skyscanner. This app allows you to search for flights, hotels, and rental cars all in one place. You can also set up price alerts to be notified when prices drop. Price alerts are crucial for me to get the best travel deals and save money.


Another great app for booking flights is Hopper. This app uses predictive algorithms to analyze flight prices and tell you when to book for the best deal. It also offers a flexible date search feature to see the cheapest dates to fly.

For hotel bookings, we recommend using This app offers many accommodations, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. You can also filter your search results by price, location, and amenities. I use this app regularly to find amazing deals on guesthouses, homestays, and hostels.

Communication Apps

Happy Girls Travelers with Backpacks Using best travel apps

When you’re in a foreign country, communication can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are numerous apps available to help you overcome language barriers. 

Google Translate

Google Translate allows you to translate text, speech, and even images in real time. You can also download languages offline, which can be extremely helpful if you can’t access Wi-Fi or cellular data. I use the Google Translate Camera option, which allows you to scan a text via an image and see it immediately translated into your native language.


Another great app for communication is WhatsApp. This app lets you make free voice and video calls, send text messages, and share photos and videos. It also offers end-to-end encryption, so your conversations are secure. My go-to app for communication locally and abroad. It features one of the best call qualities for a free calling app (depending on your WiFi connection)

Getting lost in an unfamiliar city can be stressful, but with the help of navigation apps, you can easily find your way around. 

Google Maps

Google Maps offers turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic updates, and even public transportation information. You can also save maps for offline use, which can be helpful if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi or cellular data.


Another great app for navigation is Citymapper. This app shows detailed information on public transportation, including schedules and real-time updates. It also offers bike and scooter rental options and walking directions.

Currency Exchange and Budgeting Apps

People Buying on a Shop

One of the biggest challenges of international travel is managing your money. Fortunately, many apps help you with currency conversion and budgeting. 

XE Currency

XE Currency offers up-to-date exchange rates for over 180 currencies. You can also set up alerts for when exchange rates reach a certain level.

Trail Wallet

Another great app for budgeting is Trail Wallet. This app allows you to track your expenses in multiple currencies. You can also set a daily budget and track your spending to make sure you don’t overspend.

Language Translation Apps

As we mentioned earlier, language barriers can be a challenge when traveling internationally. That’s why language translation apps are a must-have. 


In addition to Google Translate, we also recommend using Duolingo. This app offers fun and interactive language lessons for over 30 languages. You can also track your progress and earn rewards for completing lessons. It’s so entertaining, and having tried a gamut of language apps, this has become my favorite mainstay.

Food and Restaurant Apps

Woman Eating Bruschetta

One of the best ways to experience a new culture is through its food. You can find the best local cuisine with the help of food and restaurant apps. 


Yelp offers reviews and ratings for restaurants, cafes, and bars. You can also filter your search results by cuisine, price, and location.


Another great app for foodies is Zomato. This app offers menus, photos, and reviews for over 1 million restaurants in over 24 countries. You can also bookmark your favorite restaurants and create a wishlist for future trips.

Google Reviews

Yes, I recommend many Google apps, but they work and are efficient at quickly finding what you need. No wonder Google is so huge! With Google Reviews, you can search “Italian restaurants near me” and find the best Italian restaurants or whatever you are into near you by review ratings. Another handy feature I use is “grocery store near me” to find local delicacies at a great price.

Safety and Emergency Apps

While we hope you never have to use these apps, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

Red Cross First Aid

This app offers step-by-step instructions for dealing with common first aid emergencies. You can also learn how to prepare for natural disasters and other emergencies.

Smart Traveler

Another great app for safety is the Smart Traveler app. This app offers travel advisories, embassy information, and even a feature to help you find the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Want to know what not to do when going abroad? Read What Not To Do When Traveling Abroad: The Ultimate Guide.

Entertainment and Cultural Apps

Finally, we have entertainment and cultural apps. These apps can help you immerse yourself in the local culture and get the most out of your trip. 

Culture Trip

The first app on our list is Culture Trip. This app offers guides and recommendations for art, food, and culture in over 300 cities around the world.

Airbnb Experiences

Another great app for cultural experiences is Airbnb Experiences. This app allows you to book unique and authentic experiences, such as cooking classes, walking tours, and even street art workshops.


In conclusion, these are the best travel apps for first-time international travelers that can make your first trip abroad much smoother and stress-free. From planning and booking to communication and navigation, there’s an app for every aspect of your trip. So, download these apps before your next adventure and enjoy all that international travel offers!

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