Last updated on July 13, 2020
Today you can use your smartphone to achieve almost anything, from recording ultra HD video and capturing surprisingly impressive photos to playing online games and even controlling your home security system while you’re away.
Travel fans can get more out of their mobiles than most people, thanks to the array of impressive applications designed to enhance their experiences, and over two thirds do so on a weekly basis.
Here are some of the best travel apps to install on your device before you head out on your next trip.
1. Skyscanner for Booking Cheap Flights
It may have been around for years, but the Skyscanner app is still one of the top travel apps for a very good reason. It is not just for checking the cheapest flights, but can be used to sort out a schedule for an entire jaunt overseas, whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure.
From booking hotel rooms to arranging car hire in various destinations, Skyscanner is well suited to the needs of the modern traveller. Sure, you might want to be a little spontaneous with your choices, but this app lets you create a framework around which you can build your adventure.
2. Omio for Booking Buses and Trains on the Move
The Omio app makes it a breeze to find the quickest and/or cheapest bus and train routes around Europe. A must for any adventure where you need to be able to quickly hop from place to place.
3. Google Lens for Translating Text
The biggest barrier that most travellers encounter is language; if you do not speak the lingo, let alone read it, you will have trouble when ordering in restaurants, scouring street signs and visiting major attractions.
You can always take a phrase book with you of course, but this will only get you so far and translating on the fly is a slow process. That is where Google Lens comes into its own, as it has the ability to translate text into the language of your choice in real time; all you need to do is point your phone at the thing you want to translate and it will do the rest.
It can also do lots more magical things as well, such as allowing you to identify flora and fauna on the fly. The only downside is that you will need a data connection to make it work, so it may not be ideal in every travel scenario.
4. Booking.com for Booking Hostels and Hotels on the Go
Back in the olden days, it was always a bit risky turning up to a new destination without having accommodation booked because you’d have to literally walk from hotel to hotel or guest house to guest house asking for a room. But now, thanks to Booking.com, you can literally scan through hundreds of local hotels and hostels while you’re on the bus/train/plane to your exciting new destination and find the perfect accommodation at the right price.
5. Airbnb for Booking Rooms and Entire Apartments with Ease
Sometimes it’s nice to have your own apartment while you’re travelling, so that you can cook your own food and relax as you would in your own home. What’s more, booking rooms or apartments with Airbnb can often work out cheaper than staying at hotels, especially if you’re travelling with other people.
6. Casumo for Playing Online Games
There’s no better way to pass a few hours at an airport on a long bus/train journey than by losing yourself in a thrilling game on your phone. With the Casumo you can play over 2,000 online games, from blackjack and roulette to live poker and dice games.
7. Uber for Booking Taxis on the Go
You only need to go back less than a decade to be reminded of a time when getting a taxi in a city that you were not familiar with was a bit of a lottery. You might get lucky and have a perfectly pleasant trip that cost just what you were expecting, or you could end up staring down the barrel of a steep fee charged by one of the less scrupulous cabbies aiming to scam tourists.
All of these issues have virtually disappeared thanks to the Uber app, the ride hailing app that has rolled out in hundreds of urban areas worldwide to make getting from A to B simple and cost-effective. It may not be as authentic as using other modes of transport, but clearing up so many other hassles and headaches of travelling is a perfectly acceptable trade-off.
8. GetYourGuide for Booking Local Tours and Experiences
Looking for a guided walking tour or tickets for a local theatre show? Want to book a home dining experience with a local chef or find discounts on museum entrance tickets? You can book it all on your phone with a few swipes using the GetYourGuide app.
9. WiFi Map for Finding WiFi Near You
Accessing an internet connection while travelling is not always easy, particularly if you are only reliant on wireless hotspots rather than cellular networks. Thankfully with WiFi Map on your side, you can home in on literally millions of publicly accessible hotspots in almost every corner of the globe.
Another benefit of this app is that it lets you make use of a VPN if you wish, which is a means of increasing your security when using an open network to which other users have access. You should still take plenty of precautions, of course, but it is nice to know that this feature is available if you want to make use of it.
10. Google Maps for Finding Your Way Around
Let’s face it, it’s not easy getting around a new city. But with the Google Maps app you can quickly navigate your way around and also get quick access to reviews on everything from shops and restaurants to hotels and museums.
11. Discover Cars for Renting Cars Quickly and Easily
There are destinations that simply can’t be accessed by public transport. And often these are exactly the places you and your partner or friends will want to visit most! This is the time to get on the Discover Cars app and rent some wheels!
What are your other favourite travel apps? Leave a comment below to share it with the community.