All seasoned travellers know that preparation is key to getting the most out of a holiday. Today technology is quickly replacing traditional travel aids such as books and maps: partially due to ever-stricter luggage weight restrictions, but also because it is simply easier. So before you pack those bags and slap on the sunscreen, make sure you've got these invaluable apps downloaded to your phone.
When there’s not enough time to learn a new language in time for your annual leave, Google Translate has got your back. Handy for any holiday - almost crucial when off the tourist grid, and with 103 languages you are almost certain to find the one you need.
Talk or type into your phone and the app will verbally or textually translate. Play back or show the translated word or phrase. Google Translate is especially useful with the rise of Airbnb and similar accommodation options, where hosts may not speak your language. A revolutionary camera function means you can hold up your phone to a sign/ menu etc. and it will translate on-screen. Ordering food, conversing, directions, all made easy. And speaking of directions…
What started as every city dweller’s best kept secret has become a global phenomenon that has changed the way millions of people travel. Either enter where you are planning on travelling from, or let the app ‘find’ you. State where you wish to go and Citymapper provides the options available, along with how long it will take and how much it will cost. Walking, cycling, public transport, taxis and even via hoverboard are all taken into account (although we feel it might be some time until that last option is quite ready!)
It even has ‘rain free’ options to keep you as dry as possible on your travels, and share options to help friends find their way. Citymapper has almost forty cities including London, New York, Hong Kong and Lisboa just to name a few, and more are frequently being added. So whether you are a pro at public transport or a stranger to the bus, Citymapper makes city travelling a doddle.
Tripit is fantastic for storing all of your travel essentials in one place. Your flight boarding passes, train tickets, trip itineraries, hotel and restaurant reservations are all easily accessible. Avoid the usual flustered panic scrolling through vast email chains or flicking through print-outs.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, forward your confirmation emails to email@example.com and Tripit cleverly pulls the information together, creating a ‘master’ itinerary for you to keep a hold of. Handy features such as calendar syncing and ‘share’ options make it useful for regular business travellers.
Travelling with friends or family? Booking together but paying separately? And how about that rather fancy meal you all enjoyed whilst away? Splittr marks the end of that awkward post-dinner bill splitting, and more! It even works offline. Input costs as you go and Splittr will calculate how much each person owes. It converts to your preferred currency and gives you more time to enjoy your holiday without having to mentally calculate and remember who paid what and when every time something is paid for. Flights, hotels, restaurant bills (where one person had steak and another a garden salad), taxi fares etc. are all proportionately divided. Perfect! But where to go…?
Looking for an up-to-the-minute pocket guide of the coolest hotspots, restaurants, attractions, exhibitions, gigs and free stuff? The Time Out app could be your new best friend. Save lists of your ‘must visit’ places and book tickets for events today, tomorrow or well into the future. Read reviews from real people and look out for Time Out deals and discounts. With destinations spanning from London to Seoul and everywhere in between, it’s like having a local expert in your pocket, wherever you travel to!
We hope you found this list useful. Do you have a go-to travel app? We’d love to hear about it! Do get in touch to share the travelling knowledge. Happy travelling!