Nowadays, a smartphone is your best travel agent. There are great apps available for everything from planning your trip, booking flights and other transportation, and keeping your vacation running smoothly. Here are some favourite traveller-friendly apps and online tools to make the logistics of your next Ontario vacation even easier—but if you want someone else to manage all the planning, try these package vacations.
Where To Go
Ontario is a big province with fifteen incredible and diverse travel regions to explore. Learn more about what each region has to offer through their tourism websites and social media channels. Find out about events, things to see and do, places to stay, food and drink and get insider tips.
- Northeastern Ontario
- Sault Ste. Marie – Algoma
- Northwest Ontario (Sunset Country, Superior Country)
- Southwest Ontario
- Niagara Canada
- Hamilton, Halton and Brant
- Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington
- Greater Toronto Area
- York, Durham and Headwaters
- Bruce Peninsula, Southern Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe
- Kawarthas Northumberland
- South Eastern Ontario
- Ottawa and Countryside
- Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley
- Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands, Muskoka and Parry Sound
For an Airbnb, download the app for Android and iOS. Find (and reserve) a great campsite on the Ontario Parks website. If you’re looking for a last-minute hotel room at a bargain price, check out Hotel Tonight (download the app—Android, iOS). Cottage and vacation rentals are great options if you love the outdoors. The shared economy has made countless rental properties in central and northern Ontario available, where you can enjoy family holidays on crystal-clear lakes. To find your dream cottage, check out Canada Stays, which includes listings in all of Ontario’s finest cottage areas. Ontario Cottage Rentals is another great web resource, while the global vacation rental hub VRBO supports apps for Android and iOS.
Nature and the Environment
Get a better sense of Ontario’s rich natural history through your smartphone. iNaturalist is a great general-interest app with user-friendly platforms for Android and iOS. If you’re a birder, check out Audubon Bird Guide (download the app for Android and iOS). Ontario Wildflowers is an excellent resource to help identify plant life, with smartphone apps for both Android and iOS). To learn more about the stars in the night sky, check out SkyMap for Android or SkyView for iOS mobile platforms.
Savings and Sharing Costs
For travel discounts, download the Groupon Canada app for Android and iOS, and here’s a handy website for maximizing your credit card rewards. You can also check out Attractions Ontario for the top things to do in the area you’re visiting, and get coupons for those attractions. For dealing with the complications of splitting bills on a group trip, check out Splitwise (download the app for Android or iOS) to take the guesswork and awkwardness out of sharing expenses.
Environment Canada is a trusted source with Android and iOS mobile apps to get accurate weather forecasts for communities across Ontario. For even more specific weather data (and a range of forecast sources), check out Windy. This highly touted Android- and iOS-friendly app was developed for watersport enthusiasts, but it’s evolved to generate detailed weather forecasts for any location on the globe.
Listen Up and Get Inspired
Great travel podcasts can inspire your next vacation: Zero to Travel is a top-rated podcast that includes great hacks and inspiring stories, available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. For quicker fixes, check out Travel in 10 (download for Apple Podcasts or Spotify) for brief profiles of countless travel destinations.
If you haven’t already, be sure to connect with Ontario Travel on Facebook (mobile apps are available for Android and iOS) to get the latest information in adventure packages for countless destinations across Ontario’s vast geography. if you’re on Instagram, be sure to download the app for Android and iOS and check out Ontario feeds like Destination Northern Ontario, Ontario Travel, and Ontario Parks. Use the hashtag #DiscoverOn in the description of all your Ontario photos.
Google’s ever-expanding list of life-improving apps includes Google Flights—a tool that allows you to find and book the cheapest flights from your Android phone. Google Maps also integrates many great vacation planning tools, including transit tips and cycling routes—and it’s available for Android and iOS.
Hopper (Android, iOS) is another great way to find cheap flights and accommodations; the app provides price predictions over time and claims savings up to 40%. Kayak (download the app for Android or iOS), Expedia (Android, iOS) and Travelocity (Android, iOS) offer similar services, opening the door to great deals and vacations in Ontario. Meanwhile, TripAdvisor’s mobile app for Android and iOS is an excellent source of vacation ideas and reviews of hotels and restaurants.
Air and Rail
You can book flights to many Ontario destinations and manage your reservations through smartphone apps for Air Canada (download the app for Android and iOS) and WestJet (download the app for Android and iOS). Meanwhile, Porter Airlines offers bookings through its website only. Via Rail offers passenger service to many destinations in Eastern, Southern, Central, and Northern Ontario. Download the app for Android and iOS.
To track flights, check out Flightradar24—a mobile app for Android and iOS that shows commercial aircraft locations, including flight numbers, destinations and estimated times of arrival, around the world in real time—or FlightStats (download the app for Android or iOS), which allows you to search for specific flights.
Getting Around: Driving, Transit and Trails
If you’re driving, Gas Buddy (download the app for Android and iOS) will help you find the cheapest price at the pumps in dozens of Ontario communities. 511on.ca provies up-to-the-minute transit and traffic reports in Ontario. Uber ride-sharing services are available in many larger Ontario centres. Download the app for Android and iOS.
City Mapper (with mobile apps for Android and iOS) is a great personal assistant for getting around urban areas, such as Toronto or Ottawa. The app provides route information for driving, transit, walking, and cycling. Waze is another great mobile app for Android and iOS that helps you plan a route in real time based on actual traffic conditions.
Find great cycling routes and bicycle-friendly places to eat, visit, and sleep at Ontario By Bike. If you’re looking for hiking trails and recommended other cycling routes, you can’t go wrong with Trailforks (download the app for Android and iOS) or AllTrails (download the app for Android and iOS). Both options allow you to join an ever-growing community of adventure enthusiasts and upload and share your own favourite Ontario adventures.
Travel Like a Local
For local knowledge and insider tips for Toronto (soon to expand to other cities), check out the Driftscape website and mobile app for Android and iOS. PackPoint is a great resource to make sure there’s nothing missing on your packing list. The Android or iOS app helps you create a list based on the destination, weather and activities, to make sure you don’t leave anything behind yet keep your luggage as streamlined as possible. You can also hone in on free Internet hotspots when you’re on the move with the convenient WiFi Map—apps are available for Android and iOS.
Other great websites and apps for local knowledge include Yelp (find the best restaurants and bars with this Android and iOS app), XE Currency (a trusted mobile platform for currency exchange if you’re traveling to Ontario from another country—available for Android and iOS), and Google Translate (a go-to mobile resource that supported by Android and iOS for language tips).
If you check out these apps and websites, you'll become a more savvy traveller in no time.