I’m constantly searching for better apps for travel, from trip building to flight alerts to what’s around me and most of the time I find myself returning over and over again to the same ones because they do such a good job.
Some of these will be obvious and you may well already know them, possibly some less so, in any case these are my 10 favourite travel apps.
Tripit – I’ve written about Tripit before and wouldn’t go anywhere without it. Tripit is designed to be your go-to place for all your reservations and places you’re visiting, and is particularly useful if you’re going on a trip that involves many stops, different restaurants and hotels, trains and planes.
You have to do all the input as you'll be pulling information from so many places such as email, online and phone reservations, but the joy of Tripit is that you can update it from your PC, laptop, tablet or mobile and it’ll sync every time you go to it. Tripit stores past trips so you can look up where you’ve been before, a particularly good restaurant for example, and remind yourself of when you went and where it was.
Uber – Who doesn’t use Uber? An invaluable app if you’re stuck for a ride in most major cities and less expensive than a normal taxi. I’ve used Uber in Houston, Paris, London and New York. Just make sure your driver knows exactly where you are and call him or her if in doubt. Their directions are not always as accurate as yours.
Just a note: Uber is having difficulties in some European countries so check out the latest news before you try and use the app in Denmark, Germany and Italy.
Google Translate – Visiting a country where you don’t know the language? Google Translate couldn’t be simpler to use. Just download the app, input what you want translated and select the language. You can even use Google Translate when you’re offline by downloading an offline translation file. Available for both iPhone and Android
Kayak – If you have dates in mind and want to check flight prices then Kayak is your next best friend. Select your destinations and dates, filter by the number of stops and set up price alerts. Then you can see immediately who’s offering what price. You can also book hotels and sync trips using Kayak but I tend to use it for flights more than anything else. Once you’ve found a good deal you can click straight through to book.
Hopper – Hopper is an excellent app for predicting flight prices throughout the year as it colour codes the calendar to show you the cheapest times to go. You can also set up price alerts here and have it watch particular flights for you. Where flight predictions are concerned I usually use a combination of Kayak and Hopper plus the site for the airline I want to use if I have a favourite.
App in the Air and Flight View Elite – Having tried a couple of flight tracking apps with the demise of Flight Track these is the ones I now use all the time. It’s easy to put in your flights and the flights of friends and family, and get notifications of delays and also to sync flight bookings straight from your emails so you don’t have to enter them individually.
For Flight View Elite there is a small fee for the Elite version which gets you your notifications whereas with App in the Air there’s quite a hefty fee. The jury’s out on which of these is the best so I’ll be back but you can trial both to see which you like the most.
Around Me – This is a seriously good app which, once it has your location, will take you straight to the nearest ATM, Cinema, Coffee Bar, Hospital, Hotels, Parking and more. Just make sure you set your Location Services (within Settings-Privacy) to ‘While Using the App’ or it’ll drain your battery faster than you want.
Maps Me – This excellent app gives you detailed worldwide mapping from cities to islands and countries you may have never visited before and all offline. Just make sure you download the map for the place you’re visiting before you go then you’ll have directions and route planning at your fingertips always.
XE – This essential currency app will give you hourly market rates for your selected currency. Use this not just for travelling but to compare with the rate you’re offered when you need to buy currency abroad.
All these apps are available on the app stores for both iOS and Android and once you've started using them you won't want to be without any of them.....