The smartphone has revolutionized the way we travel. In the old days, you’d be snowed under with maps, travel guides, and other accessories to get you through your trip. These days, all you need is your phone and a Wi-Fi connection. Here’s 10 of the best apps you should be downloading before you travel.
Need a ride? This popular taxi/ride sharing app has you covered. You can use your phone to summon a driver, and you can see exactly where they are on the map. You’ll even have their name, picture, and license plate, so you know who’s coming. Share your ride on social media too, so you’re safe when you step in the car. This is especially helpful if you’re travelling alone.
If you’re going to be away for a long period of time, at some point you’re going to get homesick. Back in the day you’d have to send a postcard, or make an expensive long distance phone call. These days, all you need to do is fire up Skype and chat to your loved ones at home. It’s free too, so it’s not going to make any dent in your travel budget.
3. Google Translate
If you’re going to a country that speaks a different language, it’s advisable to learn at least some of the language yourself. There are even language apps like Best Australian Writers and Grammarix, which are among the top 10 learning tools out there. However, you’re not going to be perfect. Google Translate will handle translations for you, so you’re never stuck. You can even use the app to scan writing and have it translated in real time.
Flight shopping is one of the most frustrating experiences for travellers. Search around and prices vary wildly. When’s the best time go? This app will help. It searches all available flights and gives you a list depending on your needs, whether that’s cheapest first, or in a certain time frame. It’s a good way to know you’re always getting the best deals.
5. XE Currency
‘Currency rates are always fluctuating. If you don’t keep on top of them, you won’t know what you’re paying when you’re away’ says travel manager Janet Ducal from Australian Reviewer. ‘It’s best to have an app that can tell you exactly what you’re spending.’ XE Currency is the best way of doing this. This well respected app will show you up to date currency rates, so you know exactly what you’re paying out while you’re abroad.
6. Wi-Fi Map
These days you’ve got to have Wi-Fi, wherever you are. Many businesses are realising this, and are offering Wi-Fi to their patrons. This app is how you find them. Boot it up, and it’ll use your location to search for Wi-Fi locations around you. You’ll then be able to find the nearest hotspot to you, so you can get work done or upload those holiday snaps without eating into your data.
This app is designed to be used offline, so even if you can’t find a nearby Wi-Fi signal, you’re in luck. It’ll pull travel guides and other useful information from thousands of different sites online. When you’re out in the Wi-Fi wilderness, you can still pull on the information found there, thanks to this app.
Your travel pictures are great, but some of them aren’t as good looking as you want them to be. That sunset is a bit washed out, or that photo of you in a club is slightly too dark. This app will help you edit them so they’re perfect. ‘This app was great was I was on the go and needed to upload pictures’ says travel blogger Gerry Henderson from Elite Assignment Help. ‘I could edit a picture in a few minutes on my phone, and it’d be ready to go.’
When you’re out on the road, you’re going to need some reading material. You’ll be spending time on planes, buses, and waiting rooms as you make connections. Pocket helps you collect and save reading material online, so you can read it when you’re ready. It’s brilliant when you find yourself with an hour layover and nothing to do.
Many travellers swear by this app if you’re looking for a place to stay. An AirBNB can be a lot more comfortable than a hotel. They’re a good option if you’re travelling with a large party too. ‘The best part is they’re often very affordable’ says traveller Fiona Morgan from Revieweal. ‘It meant I could afford to see places I couldn’t have otherwise gone to.’
Give these apps a try the next time you travel. They can make the process a whole lot easier, and more enjoyable.
Rachel Summers is a veteran writer, living and working in the UK. She specialises in education, working with companies such as UK Top Writers. She aims to make education easier for everyone, and to help students find the best ways to tackle their studies.