There are a multitude of apps out there that can be used to help you plan and embark on travel. But which ones are worth using? Read on for our comprehensive round up of the best travel apps, worth exceeding your download limit for.
Trying to put together a packing list for an upcoming trip? Look no further than Packpoint. Through a simple questionnaire, this smart app can learn your trip type, length of stay, time of year, activities and destination to generate a customised packing list. It’ll even ask if you’re travelling with a baby or for work. Once done, you can share your list with friends to ensure they pack the same.
We love TripIt – when you’ve completed your bookings, forward the email confirmations to TripIt and it will build your itinerary, also allowing you to share your itinerary with friends and family.
Everyone likes to kick back and relax at an airport lounge before travelling, but not everyone holds elite status or a credit card that can get you in the door. If you’re looking for a pay-per-use lounge, this is where LoungeBuddy comes into its own. When you get that inevitable flight delay, you’ll be able to locate a lounge where you can pay for a one-off visit to shower, snack and recharge your phone. Even better, the app maps where the lounges are relative to your location. We love this, especially when you consider that large hubs such as JFK airport in New York have more than 6 terminals with multiple lounges.
For seasoned travellers, LoungeBuddy will identify the partner lounges of your points scheme so you can do a Lounge crawl – we highly recommend this in Hong Kong, for example.
Tube Map, Citypapper and Google Maps
It’s a given that most transport systems will have their own apps, but we do recommend you download a jpg image of each system before you travel as well as the app. Tube Map – TfL London Underground route planner is a great app. Citymapper brings together many forms of transport as well as traffic alerts. Lastly, don’t forget Google Maps.
If you like to get active when you hit a new destination, Walkjogrun is a great app to use to whilst also seeing new and interesting places. It’s the perfect app to use for the first 24 hours in a new destination to rid yourself of jet-lag.
If you want to establish a rapport with the locals through communication in the local language, you’re going to need Memrise – this is the app seasoned travellers prefer over Duolingo and what’s particularly cool is that it use mnemonics and “learns” to suit your usage.
Skype, WhatsApp and Rebtel
Now that you’ve arrived, you’ll need to call home. Preferably without spending a fortune. For a wifi based voice call app, Skype and WhatsApp are the obvious choices, but you could also consider Rebtel. The beauty of Rebtel is that it accesses the local country’s telephony network, which will result in higher quality voice calls.
A reminder here: Don’t forget to have your roaming set up well before departing Australia and if in doubt, keep your mobile network deactivated and only use wifi.
TunnelBear and HotspotShield
If you’re travelling to The USA, China and the Middle East, you may wish to activate a VPN such as Tunnel Bear or HotspotShield for security and privacy. It’s important to remember that wifi is not as secure in many countries as it is in Australia. You’ll also be able to overcome any geo-blocking that may prevent you accessing your entertainment subscriptions and keep up with Game of Thrones the moment it drops.
Amount, XE Currency and Currency
Savvy travellers keep tabs on how much they spend through a currency converter, and it’s handy to have one at your fingertips. Our favourite currency converter is Amount. It outperforms XE Currency, and Currency where unit conversions are required in countries that don’t adhere to the metric system.
Splittr or Expensify
If you’re keen on remaining friends with your travelling companions after your trip, we recommend installing Splittr or Expensify to track expenses. These apps are also important if you need to track expenses following an insurance incident.
TimeOut and Lonely Planet
TimeOut is good for the edgier entertainment side of things. Guides by Lonely Planet remains the staple for the mainstream traveller looking for useful sightseeing information and experiences. TripAdvisor can also be useful.
Flights and Accommodation Travel Apps
For accommodation, Trivago, Lastminute and Hotel Tonight cover hotels whilst airbnb or Roomer can deliver private accommodation options. Read more on Airbnb here. Remember there is huge variation on pricing across these sites, so we’d suggest using at least two to compare options, as well as checking pricing with the supplier directly.
There are a multitude of apps out there that you can use when planning and embarking on a trip, and all of the above are free. What we love is the fact that these apps can help you avoid common pitfalls of travel and make life so much easier through the sharing of knowledge.
Do you have any ‘must have’ travel apps that you use? Let us know in the comments!