Travel has never been easier. With an abundance of apps, websites and blogs at your fingertips, you have no excuses to book that flight. And when you are there, you can even order a beer in the local language, book a restaurant booking and research for potential hotels. These 14 travel apps will make booking and planning travel a whole lot easier. Be sure to bookmark your favourites to help with your travel plans on your next trip!
Book that flight or hotel
Travelling overseas releases us from the pressures and restraints often placed on our shoulders by society at home. Even on short weekend breaks many people will experience the relief of daily responsibilities lift so why not ensure the process of booking that trip is just as seamless using these handy apps.
It is perhaps unsurprising to see the mother of all fare-compare search engines on this list given I was awarded travel blog of the year by them this year. But I can honestly say in an unbiased opinion, Skyscanner is the most user-friendly fare compare search engine on the web – I have been using it for years and swear by it as one of the best travel websites out there! Why not book a flight now? Do it here.
So long as you take everything you read with a grain of salt, there is a great value in this website. Just remember that most of the really bad reviews are often fuelled with spite or fake – and the really good reviews can sometimes lead to disappointment when you arrive. It’s somewhat reliable, but with its ranking system you might miss out on a really great small boutique hotel based on # of rooms and guests in relation to the bigger hotels.
Airbnb is changing the way we travel – despite having faced legal issues in the past few months. But for now the website is still going great and offers a chance for you to feel like a local by booking a private room or apartment with a local in their city. The debate is that they’re taking too much business away from hotels and essentially allowing landlords an opportunity to run ‘illegal hotels’ and avoid taxes – so it will be interesting to see what happens to the website and laws around this in the upcoming months. For now, it’s all systems go.
Connect with other travellers
Meeting with new people could never be easier, especially when travelling as people are freed from the social stigmas of home. However, sometimes technology can help speed up the meeting process, or help you connect with like-minded travellers. These are my favourite:
Ventoura – This app is fantastic for matching up solo travellers who want to experience their journey with someone else. Although not technically a dating app, many have found love on the trail of discovery. None more so than fellow solo adventurers.
Miss Travel – Similar to Ventoura, this app brings together travellers and locals willing to show each other around all the local spots. However, the Miss travel app’s marketing and video promotion suggest it sees itself as a little more than just a meetup of travel companions. The app presents three options for users; I’ll pay for you, pay for me and 50/50 split. This combines the elements of travel and dating although seemingly for a monetary cost. It is perhaps no wonder that this app is geared towards business weekenders and richer travellers allowing users to essentially buy their dates.
Tourbar – A great combination of all the apps previously mentioned. Essentially the tinder for travellers that hooks up solo travellers looking for love or excitement without the headache and awkwardness of the Miss Travel app.
MileHi Messenger – Long haul flights need not be dull anymore as MileHi Messenger connects you with others on the same flight. Simply enter your flight details and begin connecting to others 30,000 ft in the air.
Skype and Whatsapp will always be staples when it comes to international calling and messaging, but a wifi connection is needed to use them. To make cheap calls around the world without the internet (or faffing around with phonecards), the app to choose is Rebtel. By “hijacking” local phonelines, it gets the best available calling rates. Recently launched, it is currently offering a “Rebel calling” deal, which means friends or family can be called for free if they are also using the app (until 2018).
Challenge the language barrier
Once you’ve landed in a country often the language barriers can then cause problems. However there are so many apps out there to help you challenge the barrier. Morningside Translations have contributed to this post and put together their list of essential translation apps to help you when overseas.
iTranslate iMessage App
When both parties have the iTranslate iMessage app installed experience a two way, real time communication translation tool. Let’s for arguments sake say you are communicating with your Airbnb host who is struggling to communicate in English. With both apps installed they simply type in their native language and the iTranslate app converts the language in real time helping you with your meetup plans bilingually
This app combines all the useful bits needed for the perfect well rounded travel app. With an interactive phrasebook and an instant voice recorder which converts voice to text in other languages as well as emergency information and currency rates! This truly is the perfect all-rounder.
The ili is a wearable device which is currently due to be launched in Tokyo on January 2017. The device requires no phone and simply translates speak in real time. This device although technically not an app is a huge step in the right direction in breaking down the language barriers overseas.
When you are there
Make sure you don’t get lost, get stuck in traffic or loose all your precious photos, with these handy apps. They are there to keep your trip running smoothly even if you are in the middle on nowhere.
Loved by taxi drivers, who know a thing or two about traffic avoidance, Waze is a GPS navigation app that draws from its active community of drivers to create the most up-to-date and accurate road data. It functions in the same way as Google Maps (Google actually bought it a few years ago) but users can easily share information about hazards, traffic or accidents. If you’re navigating an unfamiliar city and aren’t sure where the traffic hotspots are, this app is the best you can get.
Are you the kind of person who prepares for every trip by getting a manila folder and filling it with every bit of your travel itinerary? Well Google Trips is like that folder, but without the annoyance of maintaining a tatty pile of paper printouts; the app gathers all your travel information from Gmail and Inbox and organises it automatically. It also maps out half-day or day itineraries, with suggestions of things to see or do. Best of all, it works entirely offline, so you don’t need to worry about arriving in a new country and having to find a wifi spot before you can find out where you’re going.
Once you’ve left the jurisdiction of the good old Met Office, you’ll need to find a wider-reaching weather report source. For international forecasting, Accuweather tops the charts. The website and app, which provides services in over 100 languages, is used by around 1.5 billion people and offers everything from general long term forecasts to minute-by-minute precipitation forecasts hyperlocalised to your exact address. The detail is prodigious – you’ll never be caught without an umbrella (or suncream, we hope), again.
Which apps are your favourite? Let me know in the comments.