Apps can often prove unnecessary (how many to-do list apps does one person need?), but one area where they tend to excel is travel. With so many nuances to think about - planning flights, translating languages at a restaurant, trying to fit all the inflatable flamingo pool floats in your luggage, settling costs after the trip - having some help to hand is a must.
So, whether you're taking a road trip, going backpacking, or heading to a resort for some relaxation, we've rounded up our favourite travel apps that are designed to make each stage of your trip easier and more enjoyable. What's more, all of these apps are free and available on both iOS and Android. Bon voyage!
Hopper is often cited by travellers and industry experts as the go-to app for finding the cheapest flights. The app predicts when airfare prices will go up and lets you know when the best time to book is. But it's the app's latest update that really sets it apart: Hopper's little bunny mascot now tells you which flights are inconvenient (long stopovers, airport changes), so you won't accidentally book that Bangkok trip with a next-day arrival.
Like a pocket travel agent, TripIt pulls together travel information from your confirmation emails for flights, hotels, rental cars, event bookings and more, and converts it into a single itinerary. Simply forward your emails to the app, and it will do the rest. Travelling with others? No problem! The app lets you share the plans easily, making it highly useful for coordinating group trips.
You check into your hotel and want to go for a walk, but where should you walk to? Instead of carrying travel, maps & transport books, why not use Detour, an app with curated, GPS-based audio walks in cities around the world. You'll see sites you might have otherwise missed, and get a taste of the local culture that you wouldn't be able to get through tourist-geared walking programs. Plus, you can even listen to a preview of a tour to see if it's the right one for you.
A sure-fire classic in the world of smartphone apps, Google Translate has been helping the linguistically challenged (and the experts, from time to time!) for over a decade. However, that's not to say the app isn't updated regularly - their latest version allows you to hold your phone's camera over the piece of text you'd like to translate. This means that whether you're in Italy or Indonesia, reading in another language has never been easier.
Finding activities to do is one thing, but finding activities that deserve a spot on your bucket list is another. If you want to scout out the most bucket list-worthy adventures in the place you're headed, download BUCKiTDREAM. The app lets you search by location or activity to find adventures that others have on their lists. Want to contribute your own or add a place to your list? You can do that, too. Whether you are keen on playing some fun sports or want to explore the museums, this app will make your trip memorable.
The trip may be over, but keeping track of who owes what is still very much an issue. Splitwise makes managing your finances easier than ever. Just create a trip, invite your friends (the app connects with your phone contacts), pack some pool toys and games and then just add bills that need to be split amongst you. You can add pictures of receipts for your records, export the trip totals as a spreadsheet, and change currencies within the app. Phew!
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