When I first went travelling mobile phones were just that – Mobile. Phones. None of this mini-computers in your pocket with the whole world at your fingertips stuff.
I don’t remember even taking my mobile phone (you know the ones as heavy as a brick that flipped open and then you pulled out an antenna and kept your fingers crossed it worked) with me when I backpacked around Australia & New Zealand. I suspect the roaming charges would have been eye-watering back then.
How things have changed in 15 short years. Your smartphone is now pretty much all you need. It’s your guidebook, map, camera, music player and travel agent all rolled into one. But with so many apps to choose from where do you start? Here are the travel apps I never leave home without…
On the go apps
You’ll never have an excuse for getting lost again when you have the whole world on your phone. Along with street maps and satellite imagery, Google Maps also cover real time traffic conditions, route planning and can direct you to where you need to be. Handy as all that is, there is nothing better than exploring a new place by just wandering around so I try to use this as a last resort or if I really need to be somewhere quickly. Find out more iOS / Android
Guides by Lonely Planet
Travelling light? Then this app is for you. While my battered and marked up Lonely Planet guides contain some great memories of fabulous trips they were a complete pain to carry around. Nowadays you can find out everything you could possibly want to know via a few swipes. Guides by Lonely Planet covers over 200 destinations, all curated by their experts. So expect lots of top tips and advice both before and during your trip. Find out more iOS / Android
If your maths skills are as terrible as mine then this app is a must. Keep track of your spending with this free currency converter. With all the world’s currency here and live exchange rates sticking to your budget has never been easier. Though I’ll be honest sometimes I’d rather not know what I’m spending! Find out more iOS / Android
You’ll never get caught short for words with this app. Instantly translate words, phrases and even web pages into over 100 languages. Its like having your own personal interpreter. Find out more iOS / Android
Does what it says on the tin and scans the internet to find the cheapest flights. This is usually my first stop when booking flights…and sometimes when day dreaming where to go next. Find out more iOS / Android
Flightradar 24 | Flight Tracker
Real-time flight tracking. Catching a flight? Check the latest flight status with this app or just marvel at how many planes are in the air at any one time. Pointing your phone towards the sky to see where the plane above you is heading is strangely addictive. I dread to think what my neighbours must think sometimes when I’m running out into the garden to have a look: o) Find out more iOS / Android
I’m often booking hotels while on the go (hey plans change) and trivago takes the hassle out of looking for availability. A search and comparison site, trivago scans many booking sites and displays what offers are available. Find out more iOS / Android
As the name says…if you looking for a last minute hotel this app has some great deals. You can use it to book discounted hotel rooms up to seven days in advance. I’ve also found it has availability in a particular hotel I wanted to stay in when nowhere else did. Find out more iOS / Android So there are just a few of my favourite apps to use when travelling. Share yours in the comments below.