Sunday 18 November, 2018

15 must-have apps every traveller should have

Travel is fun. Planning it? Not so much. 

Between obsessing and waiting (im)patiently for flight prices to drop, figuring out where to stay, what to do and who will feed the dog while you're away, organizing for that long-awaited vacation may come with a few stressful moments. 

Thankfully, there is are a number of individuals (bless them) who have created apps to help make your travel journey smoother, from the moment you decide where you're taking your next holiday to the return flight home. 

While this list is by no means exhaustive here are at least 15 travel apps you should download: 


1. Skyscanner (available for Android and iOS

Skyscanner is all-in-one, allowing you to book flights, hotel, and cars in one app.  Find and compare the cheapest days and months to fly with their colour-coded calendar and chart view. Never miss a price drop on a flight and get notified of any price changes with automatic price alerts. 

Compare great hotel deals from hundreds of thousands of hotels, resorts, apartments, and hostels. Find rooms near your current location and even search last minute hotels for the night.

Search the world’s car rental companies in seconds. Choose from 30,000 airport or city locations, then filter by vehicle type, fuel type, and features to find the car you want at the right price. 


2. Google Flights

Flights will quickly look for the best flight deal across all air companies, booking systems and agencies. They don't sell tickets but will redirect you to where to buy the cheapest ones.

After you select "Book now" you will be sent to the website of an agency or an air company to book your ticket directly from their website. 

3. Airbnb (available for Android and iOS)

Travel has gotten so much more affordable and we can thank sites like Airbnb for making this possible, revolutionizing how people book their vacation accommodation. Travellers have more control and variety over where they stay while on holiday, whether it's a chic apartment in New York City or a cottage in a picturesque town in Europe. The app helps you to further maximize on your stay, allowing you to go on experiences led by local experts and discover the city’s best bars, restaurants, and secret spots. 


4. Hotel Tonight (available for Android and iOS)

Accommodation plans fell through at the last minute? Hotel Tonight helps you find & book last minute hotels at great prices. They work closely with hotels which allow them to give last minute discounts on their empty rooms, so you're guaranteed to get the best rates and deals. 


5. Citymapper (available for Android and iOS)

Throw away that excessively large travel map and download Citymapper. This map app allows you to navigate like a local while abroad, and show you several route options using the various forms of transportation in that city. 

It also gives live updates on delays and closures. You can even save maps offline and can access the maps for transport services like Tube maps when in London, for example. 


6. XE Currency (available for Android and iOS)

Never worry about converting prices in your head. The XE Currency app is the most renowned and reliable currency app on the market, giving you updated currency rates every minute. Don't have data or WiFi? No worries, you can still easily convert rates offline. 


7. Google Translate (available for Android and iOS)

This handy language translation app is phenomenal. Translate between 103 languages by typing. Translate 59 languages with no Internet connection. Use your camera for instant camera translation where you can translate text in images just by pointing your camera. You can also translate bilingual conversations and even draw text characters instead of typing.

Did we mention that this app is phenomenal? 


8. Duolingo (available for Android and iOS)

If you've planned your trip to a country where English isn't the first language, you may want to get Duolingo. The language-learning app's format is almost like a game as you practice speaking, reading, listening and writing. Start with basic verbs, phrases, and sentences, and learn new words daily.

By the time you start your vacation, you should be able to understand the basics of the language and communicate with the locals. The list of languages that Duolingo offers grows with every other app update. Choose from over 23 languages including Spanish, German, Swahili, and Vietnamese. 


9. Whatsapp (available for Android and iOS

While we're pretty sure you most likely already have the app installed, don't underestimate the messaging app when abroad. It's perfect for checking in with the family back home or connecting with new friends on your trip. Once you're in a WiFi zone, exchange messages and video call without having to worry about roaming charges.   


10. App in the Air (available for Android and iOS

The day of your flight can be a pretty hectic one. App in the Air serves as your personal flying assistant that keeps you up-to-date with your flight with real-time status updates, airport tips, and in-airport navigation maps, flight profile with all your flights logged.

See details on your upcoming flight, check in, load your e-boarding pass, and get all your car and hotel reservation info all in one app. Even better, the app works offline! Any gate changes or flight status updates will be delivered via SMS which requires no data roaming. 


11.  Google Trips (available for Android and iOS)

We know by now that any app Google puts out will be amazing and this travel planning app is no different. What stands about Trips is that it pulls all the details about your trip (flight, accommodation bookings, etc.) from your Gmail account and sends suggestions of things to do and see when you're there. 


12. Packpoint (available for Android and iOS

PackPoint is a free travel packing list organizer and packing planner for serious travel pros. The app will help you organize what you need to pack in your luggage and suitcase based on length of travel, weather at your destination, and any activities planned during your trip.

It will organize a packing list and luggage checklist for your luggage that takes into account whether it's business or leisure travel; your activities; what you'll need for an international trip; weather, and even if you'll have access to laundry facilities. 


13. Time Out (available for Android and iOS)

Visiting a new city, especially a large one, can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. If you're like most travellers, you want to experience everything but have limited time do so. That's where Time Out comes in. 

Time Out acts as your personal trip planner and travel guide for local and worldwide use. Discover and explore new places to eat and drink with curated lists of great restaurants, events, bars and things to do. It essentially helps you shape your social life while abroad, allowing you to live like a local while you're on holiday. If you find a restaurant or event you'd like to check out that falls within your vacation dates, you can save it as a favourite on the app's customizable screen. 

You can even access exclusive offers on events, entertainment, food, drink, experiences, attractions. Bonus!

The Time Out app is operational in the following locations: 

Accra, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beirut, Berlin, Birmingham, Boston, Bristol, Chicago, Croatia, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Kuala Lumpur, Las Vegas, Leeds, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Manchester, Mexico City, Miami, New York, Paris, Penang, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and Washington DC, with more cities being added soon.


14. TripIt (available for Android and iOS)

TripIt instantly organizes all your travel plans in one place. Forward travel confirmation emails to and TripIt will create a master itinerary for each of your trips. You can access your itinerary from any one of your devices at any point. 

The app is free but you can upgrade to TripIt Pro where you'll get reminders and real-time flight alerts to stay one step ahead. It also tracks your rewards points and frequent flier miles, and even lets you know if a better seat becomes available.  


15. GPS My City (available for Android and iOS

On GPSmyCity, you can read thousands of inspiring travel articles written by travel writers and locals from all over the world. It also guides you to the points of interest described in the articles courtesy of the included offline maps and GPS navigation assistance.There are also city maps and self-guided walking tours for destinations worldwide.