Home > Articles

Apple Watch Travel App Roundup

Jason R. Rich takes a look at various ways the Apple Watch can become a useful travel tool to help you plan and view your travel itinerary, receive flight updates, arrange for a car service, and even serve as your hotel room key.
Like this article? We recommend

The true power and capabilities of the Apple Watch become much more apparent when you find and install apps that serve particularly useful purposes in your everyday life. Over the past several years, frequent travelers have discovered useful and potentially money-saving ways to utilize their iPhones when it comes to planning, booking, managing, and experiencing business or vacation-related travel. Now, many of the most popular travel apps for iPhone are being adapted to work with the Apple Watch as well.

While not all of the travel-related tools available for the iPhone translate well onto the small screen of the Apple Watch, there are some travel-related apps available that can handle useful tasks while you’re on the go.

Your Apple Watch Can Serve as Your Hotel Room Key

One of the best examples thus far of the Apple Watch serving a useful purpose to travelers is the SPG: Starwood Hotels & Resorts app. You’ll definitely discover that finding and booking a hotel room using the iPhone version of the SPG: Starwood Hotels & Resorts app is convenient. Then, once that reservation is made, when staying at any participating Sheraton, Four Points, W Hotel, aLoft Hotel, Le Meridian, Westin, or St. Regis Hotel, for example, your Apple Watch will determine when you arrive at the hotel where you have a reservation, automatically check you in (without the need for you to visit the front desk), and then serve as your room key (instead of having to use a hotel supplied programmable keycard).

Because your Apple Watch is more secure that a programmable keycard, the watch is able to display your hotel room number, hotel name, and its address, for easy reference right from your wrist. Then, when you walk up to your hotel room door and hold your watch up to the lock, you’ll be granted instant access.

View Your Travel Itinerary from Your Apple Watch

When it comes to booking flights, hotels, and/or rental cars, the iPhone apps for Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, and Hotel Tonight are among the first to have Apple Watch counterparts. But, instead of using the watch to find and book travel when using these watch app counterparts to their respective iPhone apps, the watch displays your itinerary and travel-related updates once you make your reservations. This ultimately makes it easier to navigate around airports, determine what terminal and gate each of your flights is departing from, figure out at which baggage claim conveyor belt you’ll be able to find your luggage upon landing, and then where your reserved rental car will be waiting.

Instead of using Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, or Hotel Tonight to book your travel (and potentially save money in the process), you’re still able to track all of your travel-related plans from a powerful iPhone app, called FlightTrack 5. What’s great about this app is that is works seamlessly with the Tripit.com service. So, once you receive a confirmation email from any airline, hotel, or rental car company, for example, all you need to do is forward that email from your email inbox to plans@tripit.com, and the itinerary information will automatically be loaded into the FlightTrack 5 app. No manual data entry is required.

Then, the FlightTrack 5 Apple Watch app, which uses your iPhone’s Internet access to track flight information, for example, and alerts you about flight delays, cancellations, and/or gate changes in real-time. All of the notifications generated by the FlightTrack 5 iPhone app are mirrored on the Apple Watch’s screen, so all of your travel plans are accessible from the watch (which when you’re driving to the airport, or running through an airport terminal trying to make a connection, for example, is extremely convenient).

Beyond just keeping you up-to-date with your itinerary and helping to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time, and always know where you’re headed to next, many of the popular airlines are adapting their proprietary iPhone apps to function with the Apple Watch as well.

The big benefit to using one of these airline-specific apps, is that in addition to displaying all of your reservation and flight details on the Apple Watch’s screen, in many cases, the watch can display your electronic boarding pass, so as you’re walking onto an aircraft, you simply need to hold your watch up to the ticket scanner.

Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, easyJet, Delta, JetBlue, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Air France, Singapore Airlines, Aeroflot, ANA, WestJet, Emirates, Quantas Airways, and SAS, are among the major airlines with iPhone and Apple Watch apps currently available.

Use Apple Watch as a Comprehensive Navigational Tool

Once you arrive at your destination and need to get around, you always have the option of renting a car and driving yourself, or using public transportation. The iOS 9 version of the Maps app for the iPhone and Apple Watch (slated for release in September 2015) will include mass transit information and travel tools related to buses, subways, and trains, within many major cities. Thus, the Apple Watch can help you navigate your way using public transportation, and keep you apprised of bus and train schedules.

A lower cost alternative to hiring a town car, limousine, or taxi in order to get you around almost any major city in the world, is to use a service called Uber (www.uber.com). You’ll discover that using the iPhone’s GPS capabilities, using the Uber app is extremely convenient and quick. You can have a car show up at your exact location in minutes, know approximately how much the fare will be, and then automatically pay for the trip using the credit or debit card that’s linked to your Uber account (or use Apple Pay).

The Apple Watch version of the Uber app works in conjunction with your Internet-enabled iPhone, allowing you to request and hire a car with one on-screen tap on the Apple Watch, so you don’t even need to take your iPhone out of your pocket, purse or briefcase. After requesting the car, the Uber app for Apple Watch displays the car’s estimated time of arrival, and allows you to track your progress during the ride.

Tap Your Apple Watch for Restaurant Recommendations and More

Once you’re at your destination, if you’re looking for something to do, someplace to eat, or need to track down a specific type of business, the Yelp! app on the Apple Watch can help you quickly find what you’re looking for, read reviews, make a reservation (if applicable), and find your way to the desired location.

Another source for reliable hotel, airline, attraction, restaurant, and local business reviews and recommendations is TripAdvisor. This iPhone app, which has a useful Apple Watch counterpart, uses the Internet to access the service’s database of more than 225 million reviews, so you can quickly obtain recommendations for whatever you’re looking for, while on-the-go. Once you select a business category, such as Restaurants or Bars, for example, the Near Me feature figures out your exact location, and then displays listings for what’s in the immediate area (or within a geographic radius that you select).

Then, once you’ve finished your meal at the restaurant that was recommended to you by an app running on your Apple Watch, for example, you can use a separate app, such as Tip Check, Tip Utility, or Tip Calculator, to quickly calculate the server’s tip, or do the calculations needed to split the check among multiple people.

Ways to Use Your Apple Watch While Traveling Abroad

If you happen to be traveling abroad, the XE Currency Pro, Currency, Currency+, Currency Today or Currency Converter app for Apple Watch allows you to quickly convert prices from whatever currency is used in the country you’re in, into U.S. dollars (or vice versa), so you can more easily keep track of how much you’re spending, seek out better deals when shopping, and avoid getting misled when local merchants quoting you a price in their local currency.

Another use of the Apple Watch while traveling abroad (assuming your iPhone has Internet access) is as a language translator. Apps like iTranslate or Speak & Translate, allow you to speak into your Apple Watch in English, and have the watch translate what you say, and then display and speak the translation within a few seconds.

The iTranslate app, for example, works with more than 90 languages. The basic app for iPhone and Apple Watch is free, but to use the voice recognition feature (required for the Apple Watch), and to remove the ads from the app, a one-time, in-app purchase of $4.99 is required.

Protect What’s in Your Wallet by Making Payments with Apple Pay

Finally, while you’re on-the-go, one of the safest ways to pay for purchases throughout the United States, and now in a growing number of other countries, is to use Apple Pay at participating restaurants and retailers. In addition to being convenient, using Apple Pay means you don’t have to provide your actual credit card to merchants when you’re paying, so they never gain access to your full name, credit card number, the card’s expiration date, or the security code displayed on the back of credit/debit cards.

With the introduction of the iOS 9 (iPhone) and WatchOS 2 (Apple Watch) operating system updates this Fall, the new Wallet feature will not only make paying at retailers and restaurants even easier using Apple Pay, it’ll also allow you to use participating store credit cards to make purchases, and simultaneously be able to manage all of your rewards cards from participating retailers, airlines and other businesses.

Final Thoughts…

If you’re constantly on the go as a business traveler, or able to vacation often, and you want to make the travel process more organized and a bit less stressful, consider using appropriate apps on your iPhone and Apple Watch.

When you’re traveling, you often have your hands full, as you’re trying to juggle multiple tasks at once, and attempting to be at the right place, at the right time, in order to stay on schedule. You’ll quickly discover that being able to refer to your Apple Watch, which automatically displays the appropriate travel-related information when it’s needed, is even more convenient than having to refer to your iPhone’s screen, especially if the iPhone is typically kept in a pocket, purse, or briefcase.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020