The 10 Best Travel Apps You Need to Download

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If travelling is something that you love, but find just a teeny bit stressful, then there are plenty of useful apps that can make your experiences better on your next holiday.

There are so many apps on the market. In fact, we’ve covered the best outdoor ones here. With a new one launching every day, how do you choose which ones are the best use of your screen space?

If you need a guide to the best of what the app world has to offer, then take a peek at our recommendations below.

1. Skyscanner/Expedia

Who doesn’t want the best deal on flights, hotels and car hire? If you want to save some moolah when booking your trip, Skyscanner is a must. If you need a last minute hotel, you won’t have to pay through the nose as it’ll find you the best prices. You can also set it up to give you price change alerts. This app is completely free, so it’s definitely worth a download when planning your next holiday.

The Expedia is a similar app allows you to find deals on hotels, flights and activities. But the benefit of using the app over the web version is that you can get double the points when you book, there are mobile-exclusive deals, and it will alert you when your flight gets delayed.

Using the Skyscanner app at a desk

Who doesn’t love saving cash on flights and hotels?

2. Citymapper

This award-winning app is probably the most useful of the bunch, especially when exploring a new city by foot or via public transport.

On Citymapper you can find the quickest route to your destination out of all the transport modes available. This could include a combination of train, car share, taxi, bus, train or walking. It’ll also give you easy step by step directions, and will send you alerts if a line is disrupted.

The app covers cities in the US, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Europe, Asia and Australia, and you can check which ones are covered here.

Using the Citymapper app walking down the street.

Get the fastest route to your destination with Citymapper.

3. Duolingo

Duolingo is a handy little app which you can use in the lead up to your holiday to brush up on the local language.

You won’t have to mime and point when ordering your dinner as this app provides you with lessons that build your reading, speaking, listening and writing skills. The lessons are designed to feel like a game, making them fun, which will keep you motivated to learn.

An easy to use tool to help you make friends with the locals, or to use self-development if you want to pick up a new language. It’s also completely free so you only have to invest your time and dedication.

Looking at the Duolingo app while eating lunch.

Avoid any mishaps by learning the language with this app.

4. App in the Air

Are you the kind of person who sits down to have a cup of tea, and before you know it, 20 minutes have passed, you’re late for work, and you don’t know how it happened? If this is you, and time management isn’t your strong suit, then App in the Air is going to help your monitor and keep on top of your flight schedule.

App in the Air splits your flight schedule into a timeline with check-in, boarding, take off and landing. Each stage has a countdown telling you exactly how much time is left, which means you’ll never miscalculate how much time you have. It will also notify you if there is a delay or a change in your timetable.

You can also access this when you’re offline, so you won’t have to stress about keeping track of time when you’re on a tight schedule. App in the Air is also free to download.

Using App in the Air on the way to airport

If you need a little help getting to the airport on time, App in the Air will keep you on track.

5. TripIt

Nobody likes scrolling through 5 pages of mail trying to frantically copy and paste all of your confirmation emails it into a readable itinerary. If thinking about schedules turns your brain to soup, then TripIt is the simple (and free) solution.

All you have to do is forward all of your travel confirmation emails, and the app turns it into a master itinerary – totally genius! Meanwhile, you can access it on all your devices even when you don’t have Wi-Fi.

Using Tripit app while sitting at table

Get your entire itinerary in one easy to read format with Tripit.

6. XE Currency

You’re probably already familiar with XE Currency if you shop on overseas websites, or like to monitor the progress of the Aussie dollar. But you might not know that there’s also an app version.

XE Currency is especially handy if your holiday takes you across several different countries. With this app, you won’t unintentionally rip yourself off when buying souvenirs or deciding what to eat for lunch.

It provides live exchange rates and enables you to calculate the prices on your phone. You’ll always know the value of every $AUD you spend! You can get the free version which does come with ads, or the pro version (which is 3rd party ad-free) but comes at a small cost.

Checking the XECurrency app before purchasing a product

Know exactly how far your dollar will go with this currency calculator app. 

7. Prey

If you stress about your phone getting stolen, then the anti-theft app called Prey: Find My Phone & Security is going to give you peace of mind when you next go away.

This free app allows you to locate and protect your phone or tablet as you can get the location set up zones to alert you if your device moves out of a particular area, and you can alert the current user by displaying a message on the screen.

It’s also super handy to have when you’re not travelling, as you never know when you might run into a spot of bad luck.

Putting phone away with Prey app installed for safety

It always helps to be prepared if you gear gets stolen. 

8. Airbnb

If the thought of staying in an overpriced, overrated hotel, or dodgy hostel doesn’t tickle your fancy – there’s always the option to use Airbnb.

If you haven’t heard of Airbnb yet – it’s fast becoming one of the most recognised and used accommodation sites/apps of the last few years. Airbnb allows you to search for a house, apartment, loft or cottage or castle (yes, a castle) to stay in, and there’s something for all budgets.

You can also look for and book experiences, and get info on local-approved secret spots, bars and restaurants as well. If you’re the type of person who likes to immerse themselves in the culture of a city or country, staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel is going to be your cup of tea.

Checking in with arrival time on the Airbnb app

Who needs an overpriced hotel room, when there’s Airbnb? 

9. Google Translate

If languages aren’t your strong point, and there’s not a helpful English speaking stranger in sight – then there’s always the Google Translate app to the rescue. Just pop in the text, and you’ll be able to get access to 59 languages even when you’re offline.

If you’re not able to type in the characters, you can snap an image and it will translate it for you, as long as its one of the 37 languages included.

You can even hand draw the character, and the app will translate it for you from the 93 languages included in this feature.

Translating Japanese sign into English using the Google Translate App

Think you know what Tartare de Filet de Boeuf is? Double check with Google Translate. Just FYI, it’s not fillet steak with tartare sauce!

10. Netflix/other streaming services

You’re probably going to spend a lot of time in airports on your trip. If you’ve already got a streaming account with Netflix then definitely get the mobile version. You can now download episodes or movies and watch them later, which is perfect when you need to pass time while waiting for your next flight.

Netflix can be streamed in almost 200 countries and territories, which is why it’s a good option for entertaining yourself while travelling overseas. You can check out the full list of country availability here.

If you’re a member of another streaming service with similar features, you might be able to use that instead. Just check before you leave that you can use it internationally.

Downloading shows and movies using the Netflix app

If you’ve read all your books and mags, and you need a wi-fi free distraction – Netflix is a good choice. 

You don’t want to spend your entire holiday glued to a screen. You’re there to soak up the sights and sounds and have some new experiences.

But, if you want a little help organising, navigating or getting the best value for your money on your holiday – then these apps are hopefully going to hit the mark. Bon voyage!

What travel apps do you recommend for anyone about to go overseas? And, for more travel inspo, head here.

About the writer...

Emily Angwin

When she’s not managing or creating content for the Snowys Blog, you can find Emily drinking too much coffee, reading a good book, or checking out the produce at her local farmer’s market.

Joined back in December, 2016

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