The essential tools for explorers long ago included compasses, sextants, and sheer bravery. Bravery is still an essential tool when travelling, but most modern-day explorers have traded in mechanical tools for the digital. If you know where to look, there is a whole world of travel deals and priceless information right at your fingertips. I am by no means an expert on mobile travel apps, but here are 9 travel apps that I think are great and use religiously when I travel (as far as I know, all of them are available on Apple, Android and IOS):
This app is just plain fun. You tick off the countries that you’ve visited and then it colours them in on the world map (basically a digital version of the ever-popular scratch maps). It also shows you what % of the world and different continents you’ve been to. There is also a map specifically for US states if you’re an American adventurer as well.
It was a great day when I discovered that Time Out has an app. It has all the things you love about the magazine plus some awesome features. You can switch between dozens of cities and browse things to do, restaurants, bars, events, art and more. You can save your favourites into your own custom list, and you can click on ‘My Locations’ to see events and restaurants near you.
A friend of mine recommended Fever to me and I still owe her lunch for it. Fever is an app that collects exclusive, quirky and secret events in 8 different cities. You can pick your city and book free or paid events straight through the app, whether it is an open air movie screening or a circus cabaret event. In a new city or your own, Fever will ensure you have an unforgettable experience.
Skyscanner is a lifesaver for booking trips. It allows you to search and compare flight, hotel and car hire prices all in one place to ensure you get the best deal. It has a colour coded calendar so you can see the cheapest dates to travel to different locations, and you get notifications when flight prices change. You can even group organise your hotel and car hire with your flights. Plus, in the explore section you can find inspiration for long trips, last minute getaways and see the best travel prices by month
One of the first things I do when I’m planning a trip, or when I have just arrived in a new city, is take a look on TripAdvisor. It is the best place to compare hotels, tours, restaurants, see what experiences or tourist sites everyone is talking about. Having it in an app is so handy when you’re on the move. When I’m travelling I use it all the time to find a place to eat for dinner or figure out which is the best walking tour, etc.
Dealing with currency conversions is one of the things that frustrates me the most when I’m travelling, especially in countries where the conversion isn’t an easy 2-1 ratio or similar. XE currency converts currencies from all around the world in whatever amount you input. Plus, it works without wifi so you can even use it when you’re off the grid.
I absolutely love Airbnb and have stayed in Airbnb homes around the world. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a site where you can rent out homes, rooms, apartments, even castles all around the world (go check out their site). The app is super handy for booking places when you’re on the move, communicating with your hosts before and during, or for browsing when you’re feeling the wanderlust.
I just recently discovered this app by Lonely Planet and have already spent way too long browsing countless city guides. Snapshots of Lonely planet books, these guides give you everything you need to plan the perfect trip, with lists of what to see, eat, sleep, shop and do in 150+ cities. You can save your favourite guides and the app also comes with a currency calculator, ‘near me’ feature and language phrasebooks. Lonely planet’s expert travel advice meets technology in the app’s best feature which is the travel maps for each destination. The maps lay out all the key sites and recommendations, and you download them for use offline.
This app is perfect for the indecisive traveller or simply for some travel inspiration. The app’s catch phrase is “a trip in one tap’ and it does exactly that. You put in an overall budget and then the app generates a whole trip for you. It gives you “somewhere to go”, “somewhere to stay”, and “somewhere to make you happy” along with a list of cheapest flights and things to do. Then all you have to do is pay for the trip and pack your bags!
Have I missed any amazing travel apps? Let me know in the comments xx