The Best Travel Apps
Most of us love to travel, and with your smart phone travelling is easier (and cheaper) than ever before. Don’t believe us? Then you’re going to want to download some of these awesome travel apps to make your holidays more fun and less expensive too!
TripIt is one of our favourite apps period, it’s simply fantastic. Basically, it lets you plan your trip so you’re always on time. You put your itinerary in and you’re good to go, you’ll get reminders about things that you’ve planned to do, and you’ll even get updates if traffic looks bad when you’re supposed to be going to the airport, for example. Not only that, but if you register your email with the app, it will automatically scan your inbox for travel related items (say your plane reservations) and add that info to the appropriate trip itinerary. You can plan absolutely everything, from where you’ll sit in the plane (they’ll recommend the best seats on given flights) to where you’ll eat each day. If you like being organised, then TripIt is the way to go. It’s free too, which is an added bonus, and available for both Android and iOS.
Hate packing? Always find that you’ve forgotten something important? Then that’s why you need PackPoint. Okay, so there are a bunch of packing list apps, but PackPoint is the cream of the crop. You tell the app where you’re going and for long you’ll be gone, and then specify what kind of trip it will be (business or pleasure). You can also add events to your agenda such as fancy dinner, or even baby, and then the app will present you with a list of the things that you should take with you. It even takes the weather forecast into account when recommending items. With PackPoint, packing is dead easy, and you’ll never find yourself missing something you really need ever again. It’s Android and iOS and free!
Airports can be a nightmare, they’re big, crowded and horribly confusing. Fortunately, Gate Guru is here to help with all your airport woes. Just enter your flight information and you’ll be good to go. Gate Guru will let you know about delays, or even if the check in desk is getting crowded, and will direct you to the appropriate gate (useful in big airports where gates can be miles away). You’ll also get updates on the best eating choices close to your gate, as well as news about awesome gift options on sale close by. You can even get airport lounge reviews from other users to see if it’s worth you spending an extra few pounds to get into the VIP airport area. Gate Guru makes airports easy, and it’s free for both iOS and Android.
Let’s face it, jet lag is awful. Waking up in the middle of the night, and falling asleep during lunch isn’t really anyone’s idea of fun, and that’s where Entrain comes in. The app was developed by sleep researchers from the University of Michigan, and uses current research about sleep and jet lag to get you back to your normal bedtime habits as fast as possible. You’ll need to give the app your normal sleep habits at home (what time you usually go to bed and wake up), and tell it where you’re headed on holiday. You’ll then get day by day recommendations for when to sleep and how much light to get for the first few days of your hols. The idea is that Entrain will snap you out of jet lag faster than normal. Entrain is free on iOS and is currently being beta tested for Android and should be available soon.
How many times have you been travelling in a city and had no idea what you were looking at? Or maybe you carry around a huge guidebook every time you travel. Whichever sentence describes you best, you’re going to love Wikitude. This is basically an augmented reality app, which means it takes reality and adds to it. In this case, you use your smart phone camera to look around your current location and the app adds info on top of the camera view screen. You can get the low down on what exactly that building is that you’re looking at, or (thanks to the app’s ability to synch with TripAdvisor and Yelp) you can get restaurant reviews for eateries around you. You can even use Wikitude as a currency coverter, just scan a bank note with your camera. If you like travelling but hate guidebooks, then Wikitude is a God send. Plus, it’s free and available for iOS and Android.
We’re presuming that if you’re reading this then you’re quite attached to your smart phone, and would probably like to take it travelling with you. Using your phone out of the country though can result in big bills, especially if you want to go online. But this nifty little app will avoid mobile data roaming bills by telling you where to get free WiFi wherever you are. Just open WiFi Finder and you’ll get directions to the nearest hotspot. Even better, you can download maps for later, meaning that you won’t need an internet connection to use them. It’s free and available for iPhone and Android.
Yes, there are tons of mobile apps for making bookings and reservations, but in our opinion Skyscanner is the best for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s easy to use, and secondly it regularly comes up with the cheapest flights around. Not only that, but Skyscanner will let you look for hotel rooms and rental cars as well. If you’re looking to get a bargain on that plane ticket or find the cheapest apartment in Berlin, or the fanciest hotel in Monte Carlo, Skyscanner will be there to help. This app is available for both Android and iPhone and is free as well.