If it makes the somewhat stressful task of holiday planning a little easier, then it’s an app worth having. That said, with the App Store currently bulging at the seams with apps which promise to make your travelling easier/ basically do the travelling for you, it’s difficult to know which ones are actually worthwhile to have, and alternatively, which ones will only sit on your homepage collecting virtual dust and using up valuable memory which could be used elsewhere (i.e. for the abundance of selfies in front of the Taj Mahal/ Eiffel Tower/ Reichstag which, let’s face it, we all know you’re going to take). To ease this dilemma, I have compiled a list of the most efficient, useful, and some down-right crazy clever apps to ease all of your travel dilemmas (some that you didn’t even know you had…)
Hostel World is always, without a shadow of a doubt, my go-to site for finding accommodation abroad. The app provides a geo-tagged listing of over 25,000 hostels/ budget hotels, and alongside this over 3 million customer reviews to save you finding any nasty surprises unbeknown to you before your arrival.
A virtual guidebook with combines data from a variety of internet resources, including Wikipedia, Wikitravel, Open Streetmaps and ChefMoz Dining Guide. It points out main sights, cultural attractions, places to eat and of course where to go for the best experience of a cities nightlife. It also has a phrasebook for the country you’re visiting. Perhaps a little too generic when it comes to giving you ideas of what to do when visiting a city, but good in terms of ensuring that you get all of the touristy attractions checked off of the list.
You are one of two people when it comes to travelling, and I can vouch for this through having experienced both, and knowing myself to be the latter. The first; the map bearer, GPS wearer. Never without trusty Google Maps at hand, ever-organised and on a mission. This is great, and it’s always a god send to travel with some one like this. However, if you do not fall into this category, and like me enjoy wandering and stumbling across things, then Pin Drop will become your best friend. The app allows you to drop GPS pins on a map when you come across something that you find interesting, or even better you can browse other user’s maps, in order to truly find the best hidden spots to discover a city.
Not always accurate, and I’m sure we’ve all had one or two encounters with Google Translate and its innate ability to embarrass the naive traveller in front of natives. However, it is incredibly handy and pretty much does the job to the point where you will be understood. Una cerveza por favor?
For those who are travelling to learn a language, or if you simply cannot remember a word, then Word Reference is ideal as it offers a number of different translations to best fit the sentence (unlike Google Translate, which often just provides the most common translation). More for the languages students, I feel, but nevertheless incredibly handy if you ever need to translate an obscure word.
XE Currency Converter
Since it uses live currency rates, this app is completely accurate in all of its currency conversions. Perhaps best of all, is that it’s free. To date, its been downloaded over 6 million times; need I say any more?
Who are we, as a generation, without wifi? (Also, returning home to £100 worth of data roaming charges is comparable, in terms of excitement levels, to receiving a parking ticket)
The app which goes hand-in-hand with the Post Office Currency Card. Using a Currency Card is a wise idea if you’re a) travelling for a while, or b) moving abroad for a period of time (take note, future Year Abroad-ers). I found the Post Office one to be the best with regards to its exchange rate and the fact that it doesn’t charge for purchases. The app is simple to use, and displays your balance and recent purchases.
Having said that, no one in their right mind actually enjoys checking their balance (and the inevitable cardiac arrest which happens whilst the screen is loading.) On second thoughts…
The struggle of trying to split a bill 7-ways is all too real. ‘Why are we 89p short… WHO HASN’T PAID ENOUGH?’. Billr will calculate what everyone owes for their own starters and split shared items such as wine. The app will also add in the tax and tip and even send a copy of the split bill to the rest of the group as a text. Genius.
Because who wants to go on holiday without being able to brag via photo about all of the amazing sunsets you’re seeing/ interesting, cultured food that you’re eating and the incredible glow that you’ve acquired from all of the sun? If the latter hasn’t quite happened, then the ‘perpetua’ filter is always there to help a brother out.
Happy (stress free) travelling!