I must admit, I live on my phone these days. I am not proud of it, but I really do depend on it to get me through my day to day. So, when it comes to travelling, I make sure I am armed with apps that will make the journey just that bit easier.
Convenience is key and having information at my fingertips saves on time and effort when overseas. I also find travel apps very useful in giving me information, tips and advice I sometimes never knew I needed.
Before you travel, here are some of the apps I suggest you check out, you won’t regret it.
Google Translate is one of my best companions! I like to talk to locals, a lot, and while I always make an effort to learn some of the local lingo and use it, more in depth conversations can be hard. It is arrogant to think your language will be spoken in countries around the world and let’s be honest, learning a new language takes time. Apart from being able to talk or type into the app in one language and have it translated to your choice of language, there is a brand new feature that allows you to snap a photo that features text, highlight it , and then translate it. This can be especially helpful when it comes to street signs, menus and store signs. With this app you turn into a multilingual traveller.
I love TripIt! It is like having your own personal travel manager in your pocket. I did fork out for the paid version and it is worth every penny. Any reservations or bookings, I email to the app and it sorts it into an easy to access and view full itinerary. Everything from flights, hotels and transfers to tours and car hire drops into the itinerary. You can then share your trips with family, friends or colleagues so they know your plans. Additional information provided also helps, like airport maps, nearby places of interest and more. I also like that I can see at the end of the year a little recap on my travel – how many flights I did, countries visited and more. There is a free version and a paid version.
Travelling normally requires flights, accommodation, tours, car hire and more. If you are anything like me, searching for the best deals is time consuming, confusing and well, even risky of fraud or scams. This is where Trip.com becomes your best go to app for planning your travel – prior to departure and while on the journey. What I love about this app over the other online travel agent apps is that not only can you discover and book the best hotels, flights and more with the free Trip.com App, but you get exclusive member deals when you sign up. And 24 hour support where you can actually call someone if you need help. I am also a sucker for frequent flyer/stay memberships and Trip.com app gives you Reward Coins every time you book that can be used for future travel. Winning! While you are travelling, you can get handy information from the app such as destination information and even book last minute tours if you have a free day to explore.
I hate waiting at airports and can’t justify paying over $30 for a simple meal! Which is why, lounge access is so worth it! Access to an elegant lounge, especially ahead of a long trip or during a long layover, can make all the difference in the world. Lounge Buddy loads up all the lounges near you, including photos and lists of amenities, and offers access to them via one app. Book ahead when you know you have a layover, or open it up when you arrive. When lounges are not accessible, the app will explain restrictions so you can avoid wasting your time. A one-off lounge pass in some cases starts from as little as $25.
Elk Currency Converter
Unless you are mega rich, chances are you will be watching those pennies while you travel. If I could count the number of times I have been jibbed at night markets because I got my currency conversions wrong, well let’s just say I would lose count. Until I discovered Elk Currency Converter. For me, it is essential that a currency app should be simple to use, but also easy to read. This app is one of the best-looking converters out there, and one whose design serves a distinct purpose: to thwart sticker shock when traveling abroad. Where Elk shines against the competition is its clean, no-clutter design. When you type in one conversion, you also get that value times ten, with numbers listed in big text on one screen, so you can quickly judge how much one croissant costs, or if you can splurge on two.
Now I don’t use this app as much as I want to, and I always keep saying I will use it more, but for those travellers who want to delve a little deeper into the country they are visiting (and prefer not to cheat with the previous Google Translate App) there is DuoLingo. This app allows you to learn a language before travelling, so you can be prepared on arrival to speak the local lingo. Depending on how quickly you pick up new languages, this is an app you need to spend time on prior to arrival. It is good to learn some of the basics at least and locals will approve it. Mental note – start learning my next language NOW!