I’m going to let you in on a little secret…. I’m a hoarder.
Yes. I hoard everything from old Christmas cards, to year-old receipts, to carrier bags (stuffed within even more carrier bags). But recently, I’ve discovered a new hoarding habit… Apps.
That’s right, my smartphone is FULL of them – most I never use and many I didn’t even know I had (seriously, who is using that Stocks app?)
From booking up flights right through to exploring the local cuisine, having the right travel apps whilst on the road can take a lot of stress and hassle out of travelling. So, after a much needed spring clean, here are my recommendations for 10 essential apps that no travel addict should be without.
And the best part…? They’re all FREE!
For planning your adventure…
Long gone are the days of multiple print-outs and screenshots of flight numbers on your phone… TripIt is a handy little app that stores all your travel plans in one place.
How does it work? Every time you get a booking confirmation – whether it’s for a flight, hotel, car rental – simply forward it to TripIt and it creates a detailed itinerary with all the information you need for your upcoming trip. It’s basically a super organised, colour-coded travel binder… on your phone! *Nerd alert*
The app also works in real-time, notifying you of any flight delays, gate changes and adjustments to your bookings, so that you have complete peace of mind when you’re on the road.
Ever started to plan an epic road trip but felt completely overwhelmed by the never-ending choice of places to stop along route? Well, Roadtrippers might just be your new best friend.
Just type in your journey and it will not only direct you but tell you where all the key stops are located – including points of interest, restaurants, museums, hotels and camping sites. It also provides tailor-made itinerary ideas and inspiration for your next trip.
For getting there…
This super smart app analyzes millions of flights to make sure you get the best deal on your next fare. Not only does it have a handy, colour-coded calendar to show you the cheapest time to fly but it also predicts future flight prices and tells you exactly when to buy your ticket to get the best deal. You can even go ahead and book your flights safely and securely directly through the app.
The only downside is that not all airlines are signed up just yet. Easyjet and Ryanair still aren’t on the database, so you should check these fares separately to make sure you’re not missing out on an even better deal.
We all know that feeling when you board a 12 hour flight only to realise – with horror – that there’s no in-flight entertainment… #firstworldproblems
Whether you’re passing the time on a long-haul flight, over-nighting it by train or setting off on a cross-country roadtrip, Audible is the perfect travel companion. With hundreds of thousands of audiobooks and podcasts to download, it can help to ease the pain of any long journey.
The only catch? The app is technically free to download but there is an ongoing monthly subscription cost, depending on how many audiobooks you want to listen to. But if you’ve got a long trip coming up, why not sign up for a free 30 day trial?
For getting around…
I travel to London regularly for work and leisure and, truth be told, without this app, I’d probably still be circling the underground right now…
Citymapper is quite simply a lifesaver for anyone trying to navigate a new (or even a very familiar…!) city and tells you everything you need to know to get you from your door to your destination. The app uses GPS to direct you to the bus stop, tube or train station you are trying to reach and then tells you exactly which stop to get off at and the price of fares. It also works in real-time, alerting you to traffic and transport delays, so that you’re guaranteed to be on the quickest route.
Citymapper now works in over 40 major cities around the world, including London, Paris, Tokyo, Sydney and New York, making it easier than ever to find your way around.
For catching your Zzzzs
Kayak is a one-stop shop for finding the best rates on accommodation, wherever you are in the world. It compares prices across multiple sites (including Agoda, Booking.com and getaroom) to find you the best deal on rooms. You can even sign up for alerts to find out when a hotel has dropped its rates.
The app also allows you to manage, plan and share your trips. Much like TripIt, you can send all your booking confirmations to Kayak and it will compile them all into one handy itinerary for the road.
For eats and treats…
There’s nothing more annoying than finding out about a great local restaurant that was right on your doorstep…. AFTER you’ve returned home from your trip.
Triposo collates millions of reviews and recommendations into one easy-to-use app, so that you can find great places to eat and drink wherever you are staying. Unlike TripAdvisor, the app is able to use your location to find the best restaurants, coffee shops and cafes nearby – and it even links to Uber so that you can be there in minutes.
Triposo is much more than just food and drink and provides useful info about key sights, events and nightlife – you can even download city maps and walking tours. And the best part is it works offline, so you don’t have to worry about data-roaming charges while you’re away.
And for simply getting by…
It’s an oldie but a goodie… Google Translate is quite simply one app that no travel addict should be without. Whether you’re deciphering a menu, asking for directions or just wanting to learn the local lingo, Google Translate has you covered and can take a lot of the stress out of getting around a foreign-speaking country.
The Word Lens feature allows you to translate text live on screen simply by hovering your phone over a sign or page of text. Seriously, try it out… it’s practically a magic trick!
This one does exactly what it says on the tin. Featuring up-to-the-minute exchange rates across global currencies, so that you know whether or not you can afford that extra cocktail…
Have you come across any travel apps that you’d be lost on the road without? I’d love to hear your comments below!