Thursday, 6 October 2011 4:20 PM
What did we do in the days before the internet? These days most of us probably can’t get through the day without googling something (or checking Facebook…). So, when you’re travelling, access to this resource is, for most, a ‘must’. Travel apps on a smartphone are the ideal way to quickly check a map, flight details or where there’s a good restaurant nearby.
On this note, here are our top 10 most useful travel apps. And, the best bit? They’re all free!
Live like a local with Qype – the quick, easy and smart location-based application that puts hundreds of thousands of reviews right in your pocket. Ideal for trips abroad, Qype allows you to get the insider info from their huge database of reviews, from where to eat to the best nightlife. Once you have decided where you want to go, you can click on the address and it will show you on Google maps exactly where it is!
Are you an indecisive person? Does picking an item off a menu or choosing what type of restaurant you’d like to eat often prove difficult and time-consuming? If so, then this app is for you. Urbanspoon on the iPhone is part Magic 8 Ball, part slot machine. You shake your phone and it finds a good nearby restaurant for you. Keep shaking it until it comes back with something you want to try. Sorted! The app is available for the UK, Canada, US and Australia.
– Google Maps
Where would we be without Google Maps? With the app you never have to tackle a metre-wide map and look like a complete lost tourist. There are even several types to choose from: maps with offline reliability, 3D maps and street view, to name but a few.
– Wi-Fi Finder
We all know the dangers of data roaming charges abroad (here’s a clue: turn it off!) and the answer is to try and use as many Wi-Fi spots as possible. The Wi-Fi Finder app works in over 545,000 locations in 144 countries worldwide. Icons appear on a map with an address. You may be thinking: surely you have to be online to use this app? Fortunately not; you can download an offline Wi-Fi Finder before you travel.
– XE currency converter
We all need to keep track of our spending and using the XE currency converter app is a quick and convenient way to work out exchange rates and you don’t need to be online to use it!
– Trip it
This handy app is often found on the best travel apps lists. You can keep all your itineraries, flight information, rental car arrangements (I could go on) in one place – creating one master online itinerary. You no longer have to rustle around documents after documents and Trip it automatically include maps, directions, and weather in their master itinerary. Marvellous!
– Flight Aware
Flight Aware tracks a flight’s progress – essential if you’re picking someone up from the airport or arranging to meet them at a certain time. You can see where the flight is on a map and when and where they will be landing.
Skype (a fantastic invention allowing you to make calls via the internet for free) isn’t exactly an app that directly aides travel, but every traveller should have it. No matter where you are in the world, at some point you will want to call your mum/sister/boyfriend/nan and skype is simply the best way to do that cheaply. You can call using your mobile from any Wi-Fi zone (you can use your Wi-Fi Finder app for this!) and it won’t cost a penny.
– Google Translate
Unless you’re multi-lingual most of us need a helping hand when we travel. Google Translate allows you to input a word or phrase and it can then translate it into more than 50 languages. To use the speak translate function, say what you want to translate after pressing on the microphone icon. You can also listen to your translations spoken out loud in one of 23 different languages!
Compare flights, hotels and car rentals wherever you go with the Kayak app. Handily, the app also includes a flight tracker and My Trips – an itinerary management function. Kayak is available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
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