10 essential FREE or cheap apps for travelling

16 Sep 2016

How many of you would ever dream of leaving home without your smartphone? Not many of us, these days, and going on holiday is no exception. But which of the many thousands of travel apps on the iTunes and Google Play stores are really worth downloading?

Here’s our pick of the best ones (for iPhone and Android) for you to download before you go on your next travel adventure:

1. PackPoint (FREE)
If you tell this app about your trip – how long you’re away, who you’re travelling with, whether it’s a work trip or an activity holiday etc – and it will produce a handy packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything important. It even creates a website for the list so you can share it with your fellow travellers if you’re going away in a group.

2 duolingo
2. Duolingo (FREE)
This colourful, easy-to-use language learning game is somewhat addictive, and will teach you everything from the basics needed to order a meal to enough conversational vocab to make firm friends with the locals. There’s dozens of languages to choose from and you get incentives to practise every day, so even after your trip you can maintain your new skill.

3 app in the air
3. App in the Air (FREE)
Get up-to-the-minute information on your flights (super helpfully, this even updates when you’re offline), share tips on the best places to go in the airport, and keep a record of your boarding passes.

4 loungebuddy
4. LoungeBuddy (FREE)
We’ve mentioned LoungeBuddy before but it bears repeating – this app gives information on airport lounges at over 500 airports worldwide and lets you book one-off entry into certain first class lounges. Especially good to have handy if your flight gets delayed.

5 citymapper
5. Citymapper (FREE)
Once you’ve downloaded this city transport app you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it. Citymapper provides a journey planner which combines all transport modes to find the best route – from walking to trains, bus, ferry, taxi and cycle paths – and also includes real-time updates about public transport delays. It’s won nearly every award going – and with good reason.

6 HERE maps
6. HERE maps (FREE)
Perhaps the only Citymapper downside is it uses the internet  so you might get bitten with data roaming charges, however if you download HERE maps you get a lot of similar features and a lifesaving offline mode. The maps are really intricate, too, so it should help even those with the most hopeless sense of direction.

7 Google TRanslate
7. Google Translate (FREE)
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s especially useful thanks to its latest visual recognition feature: if you snap a photo of a street sign or menu it will translate it for you instantly. Time-saving, and clever enough to make you feel ever so slightly Bond-esque.

8 wolfram
8. Wolfram Sun Exposure (79p)

If you’re prone to sunburn (or trying to take better care of your skin) this app is well worth its 79p price tag. Get detailed advice about how long to stay in the sun depending on your skin type, the UV Index of your holiday destination, and the weather forecast. 

9 instabridge
9. Instabridge (FREE)
Popular Wifi-finding apps like Wifi Finder and Wifi Maps come with one downside-  you normally need at least a 3G signal to use them. If you arrive somewhere new and you’re completely signal-free, Instabridge will give you access to anyone nearby who has donated their Wifi password – and you’ll automatically be connected so you won’t need to use to internet to find them.

10 TimeOut
10. TimeOut (FREE)
One of the best apps out there to help you find the top restaurants, bars and attractions – but it also has an excellent Events feature that will help you find one-off experiences like markets, festivals and exhibitions taking place nearby.

What are your go-to travel apps? Tell us in the comments!


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