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The 10 Best Apps for Travellers (And Why You Should Download Them NOW!)

The Best Apps for Travel

Love them or hate them, mobile phones are a staple in our lives. Contained within your phone you have the power to book cars, make reservations or have access to a library of 4 million songs; all without having to place a call.

From helping you to plan your next adventure to sorting out transportation in a new city, there are some fantastic travel apps out there to make your travels easier.

Here are my current favourites and what I believe to be the top 10 best travel apps:

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Best for Currency Conversion… XE

xe currency converterShopping in a foreign currency can be difficult so I love the simplicity of XE. The app, that works offline, is an essential app for international travellers. Just update what currencies you need and the app will update with the latest exchange prices. When you’re out and about just pull out your phone, input the prices and let the app decide if you’ve found a bargain! There is a paid version that comes without ads and more information about the market fluctuation for currencies, but I’ve found the free version to be just fine for the basics.

There is a paid version that comes without ads and more information about the market fluctuation for currencies, but I’ve found the free version to be just fine for the basics.

If you are looking for a way to manage your finances and exchange fees on the road, try Trail Wallet.

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Best for Navigation… Google Maps

Google MapsOkay, so this one is a little obvious but after trying other navigation apps I found myself coming back every time. Best of all you can use Google Maps OFFLINE!

Recently they’ve improved the app so users can choose how they’re getting to their destination – car, public transport, biking or walking – though this is still needing a bit of improvement for Australian destinations. Also, you can use the app to search for nearby services – ATM’s, petrol stations, groceries, car parks and more!

For road trips, I’ve been using WazeThe app pinpoints everything from traffic accidents, delays, speed cameras and even compares fuel prices for you, helping you to get the best deal!

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 Best For Travel Inspiration… Trover

trover_200A lot of people use Pinterest to ‘pin’ travel sights and events they want to take part in, but amongst the wedding dresses, recipes and fashion pins I find my travel pin-spiration gets lost. That’s why I love Trover. Dedicated solely to travel, users can upload their own images and destination tips. Connect with other travel enthusiasts, share tips  and create lists on this beautiful, visual platform that will be sure to please all. I use my lists to create boards of my travel tips from past adventures and highlight places I want to go when I visit next. Come explore the world with me and share your tips!

Dedicated solely to travel, users can upload their own images and destination tips. Connect with other travel enthusiasts, share tips  and create lists on this beautiful, visual platform that will be sure to please all. I use my lists to create boards of my travel tips from past adventures and highlight places I want to go when I visit next. Come explore the world with me and share your tips!

Looking for tips unique tips curated by travellers and locals while in a city? Try FourSquare.

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Best for Finding the Best Flights… Skyscanner

mzl.qwxrvsfjMy go-to app whenever I want to look up flights at the cheapest price. Much like their website, Skyscanner’s mobile app allows you to easily customise your journey to suit your needs. Search by date, price, destination, airline or journey length. You can also create ‘Watched’ searches that will alert you when flight prices on a specific route change.

For those wanting to window shop the best flight deals, check out the ‘Explore’ function to see the cheapest prices from your country to destinations around the world!

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Best For Learning Languages… Babbel

Babbel---Learn-LanguagesImproving my French skills has been high on my ‘to do’ list for a number of years but the thought of dragging out textbooks or flashcards after a day at work just doesn’t appeal to me. This is where Babbel comes in. The easy to use app slowly takes you through  exercises from beginner levels through to advanced. Currently, Babbel offers 13 languages for users to learn, including

Currently, Babbel offers 13 languages for users to learn, including French, Italian, Spanish, German and Portuguese. Babbel is subscription based service after the first lesson and costs $12.99/month, but discounts are available if you sign up for 3, 6 or 12-month options.

Another language learning tool that friends have recommended to me by DJ from Dream Euro Trip is DuoLingo.

For basic phrases or keywords, try iStone.

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Best for deciding where to eat… Urbanspoon

icon175x175-1Want to know the top rated restaurants, cafes, and bars around as rated by locals and visitors? Want to access reviews from critics, bloggers and users? Urbanspoon may be the perfect app for you. Look up the restaurant you are going to and see what the food looks like, read users suggestions or search for a restaurant close to you. Urbanspoon connects with Google Maps to help you to guide you there. The app also allows you to search by cuisine (including ‘Gluten-Free Friendly’ and ‘Kid Friendly’) and meal type (brunch, lunch, etc.) which makes it easy to use for all.

Urbanspoon connects with Google Maps to help you to guide you there. The app also allows you to search by cuisine (including ‘Gluten-Free Friendly’ and ‘Kid Friendly’) and meal type (brunch, lunch, etc.) which makes it easy to use for all.

Looking for other food apps? I also suggest Yelp which covers food and service providers.

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Best for Hassle Free Transportation… Uber

uberWith the press of a button, I can hire a private chauffeur for the price of a taxi – or even cheaper! Operating in most major cities, Uber is one of the fastest growing car company in the world. When requesting a car (or a taxi, luxury car, SUV or, now, ride share) the driver’s name, star rating (given by previous passengers) and photo will appear, alongside a map that plots the drivers location. No need to worry about cash either as the fare is simply charged to your cred card which is already on file.

When requesting a car (or a taxi, luxury car, SUV or, now, ride share) the driver’s name, star rating (given by previous passengers) and photo will appear, alongside a map that plots the drivers location. No need to worry about cash either as the fare is simply charged to your cred card which is already on file.

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Best for AV Geeks… FlightRadar24

60f3c887-5989-491f-848d-1b5a27b58271 Monitor the skies with Flight Radar 24! Have you ever wondered what flight was flying above you? This is the app to help answer that question and so much more. The app monitors commercial, transport and private airplanes, allowing you to see the aircraft type, speed, registration, and flight path. One of the additions I really like is the 3D option that allows you to experience the terrain as the Captain’s would see it. There’s also a really

The app monitors commercial, transport and private airplanes, allowing you to see the aircraft type, speed, registration, and flight path. One of the additions I really like is the 3D option that allows you to experience the terrain as the Captain’s would see it. There’s also a really handy feature that allows you to point the camera at the horizon and you’ll be able to see the plane location, flight number and the distance the aircraft is from you. Flight Radar 24 is a paid app that has additional In-App Purchase fees (including one that allows you to see departure and arrival boards at airports around the world), but even their basic features are a small thrill for aviation enthusiasts.

Flight Radar 24 is a paid app that has additional In-App Purchase fees (including one that allows you to see departure and arrival boards at airports around the world), but even their basic features are a small thrill for aviation enthusiasts.

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JetLag_Genie_logoBest for People Who Struggle With JetLag…. JetLag Genie

Arriving in your destination with jetlag means you can lose days of your trip. Paired with known ways to reduce jet lag, there is an app to help fix that! Introducing JetLag Genie. Set your departure and arrival location, along with a few easy pieces of information and the app will provide you with a custom plan to help you beat jet lag before you get on the plane. If you use melatonin to help beat jet lag, the app can also assist with telling you when to take it. What I really like is that the app will provide custom notifications for you, making it easier to get into a good schedule when you arrive and hopefully

Set your departure and arrival location, along with a few easy pieces of information and the app will provide you with a custom plan to help you beat jet lag before you get on the plane. If you use melatonin to help beat jet lag, the app can also assist with telling you when to take it. What I really like is that the app will provide custom notifications for you, making it easier to get into a good schedule when you arrive and hopefully beat jet lag!

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icon175x175Best to Keep You Entertained… Spotify

If you’re a fan of music but don’t like the hassle of downloading .mp3’s, Spotify is the perfect music streaming platform to use for home and travel.

I’ve been using Spotify for years and have amassed dozens of playlists for my every mood, relaxing on flights or road trips. By upgrading to the Premium version, I don’t have any advertising (the free version does), can have my playlists on multiple devices and can download playlists so I can access them offline – perfect for travelling!

Looking for new music to inspire your wanderlust? I’ve put together a Wanderlust Playlist with some of my favourite travel-inspired songs.

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Now it’s over to you

What are the best apps for travel?

 

Best apps for travel

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Chanel
    March 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Love the list! I think another App needing the limelight is TripIt. It compresses all your itineraries into 1 simple interface, and all you need to do is email your flight/train/bus ticket/itinerary to plans@tripit.com. In just under 10 seconds, all the information is “automagically” (as they put it) updated, and reminders will be sent to you when your next trip is approaching.

  • Reply
    Brian
    March 5, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    We love Google Maps but we haven’t had good luck using it offline. Even though they’ve improved how you download maps, they’ve still made it too clunky and it doesn’t have any of the features we rely on with the full version of Maps (you can’t search, you can’t pin locations, etc.) Worst of all, Google doesn’t let you download offline maps for everywhere you want to go. They’re not available in Thailand, for example.

    For that reason we’ve started using City Maps 2 Go for offline mapping and are very happy with it. I think the “Pro” version costs like $2.

    The other piece of software we rely on a ton while traveling is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). We use it to encrypt our banking and other sensitive transactions when using public wifi. We’ve used it to thwart local phone monopolies that otherwise block our Skype calls. We’ve found ways to use it to get travel deals. And best of all, it lets us stream U.S. television shows that are blocked overseas . . . more on that here: http://everywhereonce.com/2014/05/19/how-to-stream-u-s-television-shows-while-traveling-abroad/

  • Reply
    De'Jav
    March 5, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Nice list of apps. I’ve recently got onto Trover and love the app. I can imagine that Uber is uses when traveling due to knowing won’t get ripped off by a taxi. Thanks for sharing others I had no idea about.

  • Reply
    Amanda Kendle
    March 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    I totally second the recommendation for Duolingo. It’s free and it’s amazing. (The story of how they’ve monetised it is cool too).

  • Reply
    Marie D.
    March 6, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Nice selection of apps! JetLag Genie is exactly what I needed 😉

    I’d also recommend Indie Guides (www.indie-guides.com), a series of cultural and alternative city guides to find local tips, Travel List to pack your suitcase (http://travellistapp.com/), and Hyperlapse (https://hyperlapse.instagram.com/) to create time lapse videos.

  • Reply
    Taylor
    March 7, 2015 at 1:12 am

    This is a great examples and tips for travelers. Thanks for sharing, this would be a great help for

  • Reply
    Ian and Sue Roberts
    March 10, 2015 at 8:56 am

    You have totally nailed it here. Great item. Only word of warning is that Sky Scanner, we have found, doesn’t always have the best prices – and may need to be supplemented by a bit of general browsing.

  • Reply
    Dayami
    March 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    This is great! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Uptourist
    March 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    Love how the apps in your list all have a purpose. Definitely the best list of must-download apps for travelers so far because it is more purpose-focused.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      June 17, 2015 at 12:01 am

      Aw, thanks for your kind comment! 🙂 I don’t like having too many apps on my phone (more memory for photos!) so everything has a purpose.

      Do you have any favourite travel apps?

  • Reply
    Olga
    March 12, 2015 at 5:23 am

    I just registered at Trover today! I’ve been following them on Instagram (they’re pretty popular there), and they are really good at inspiring to travel more! So yeah, in that sense, it’s better than Pinterest, even though I’ll always love it!

    • Reply
      Nicole
      June 17, 2015 at 12:00 am

      Fantastic to hear you registered for Trover, Olga! It’s a fantastic platform to explore and share. I spent far too many hours on it… ^^;;

  • Reply
    Trevor Barre
    March 12, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    some great apps there, some I knew, others not. Thanks

  • Reply
    Fairlie
    March 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I’ll add another vote for TripIt! I love TripIt…so easy to create itineraries and keep track of booking details. I’m going to check out Trover – sounds interesting.

  • Reply
    Rahman
    March 18, 2015 at 7:13 am

    XE is my favorite currency rate website. It’s fast and very close to what I need.

    • Reply
      Nicole
      June 16, 2015 at 11:59 pm

      My favourite as well! It’s so simple to use. 🙂

  • Reply
    Abhilasha Trivedi
    April 15, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Nichole..
    To have this guy between the fingers and do everthing simply by fiddling his keys is really handy. So thoughtful of you to write one for the apps….they are very handy and many of them are new to me….being a travel junkie, I just want to grab them all and squeeze it in my memory limited android boy..

    • Reply
      Nicole
      April 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      I love apps to Abhilasha but you’re right – they do take up a lot of memory! My iPhone needs to be cleared out now. Too many pictures and apps. 🙂
      Hope you can test some of these out and let me know your opinion.

  • Reply
    Julia
    June 20, 2015 at 5:26 am

    Great post! I literally don’t know where I’d be without Spotify — it’s my only source of music anymore. I also use premium because I’ve gotten the student discount and it’s so worth it.

    My new favorite travel app is probably Foli. I always have time to kill when waiting for flights or anything like that, and I love to browse magazines on my iPad. Super convenient and it’s free!

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