Whilst smartphones and apps can sometimes get a bit of a bashing, it’s no secret that some apps have made our lives much easier over the years. From communication to banking to shopping, apps have allowed us to become more efficient and productive.
There has been a sharp rise in the production of travel apps in recent times and it’s no surprise. Having the ability to book a flight, a hotel and organise your itinerary at the click of a button is appealing to the masses.
With that being said not all the apps that pop up on your Appstore (or Google Play) are helpful. Read below for my comprehensive list of the travel apps that are worth the download.
Travel Apps for Flight Comparison
This might sound like an obvious choice but Skyscanner is one of the best flight comparison apps out there. You can search for one-way, return and multi-stop journeys and get your hands on the cheapest flights. If you are after a little holiday inspiration simply add in your departure airport and type “Everywhere” into the destination field, along with your dates. Skyscanner will then bring up a list of places you can go in flight price order.
Other very similar apps you can use are Momondo, Cheap Flights & Hopper. I tend to have a look on all 4 apps before booking just to ensure that I am getting the best deal.
One of the best apps to find cheap long haul flights and error fares. What is an error fare? Well, it’s when there is a glitch in the system and flights are published at a significantly lower price than they should be. I’ve seen return flights from London to Costa Rica published at just £350.
Travel Apps to boost your spontaneity
Lucky trip is a trip suggestion app. Simply set your budget, the type of trip you are after and the dates you want to go (if you have not set plans you can leave the date section blank). Lucky trip will then bring up a place to go (with flights) a hotel and an activity. If you don’t like the suggestion simply hit the “Lucky” button to bring up the next one. Keep going until you have found your perfect trip.
SPRS.ME is an app in which you book a holiday, but do not find out where you are going until the day. All you have to do is decide whether you want a road trip or a flight, how many people you want to go with, whether you want to go inside or outside Europe and the type of accommodation you would like to stay in.
There is a very similar app called Journee, this is fairly new to the market but reviews are positive and promising.
All the apps mentioned above are ATOL protected.
Travel Apps to get you around
Whilst this is very similar to Google Maps, Maps.ME can be helpful in more obscure destinations. The routes are downloadable so you can access the maps whilst you are offline. Users are also able to update the maps and add in new things they find along route that might help future travellers using this map.
What3Words is a fairly new app on the market. It associates every point in the world with a name consisting of 3 unique words. The app can be extremely helpful in locations where you are more “off-grid” and where street names and signposts aren’t commonly found.
Travel Apps to help you budget
TripCoin allows you to track your trip expenses. Input your expenses into the app to get a spending summary of your trip. It allows you to analyse what you are spending on each category of your trip and breaks it down by day. The app works offline and you can export your summary if you wish.
Other similar apps that will also link to your bank accounts are Wally and PocketGuard.
Splitwise is a cost -tracking app that allows you to split and track group expenses easily. All you need to do is ensure every member of your party has the app and set up a trip. Each time you spend money for the group put it into the app and it will automatically split the cost for you and let you know who owes what. The app will track over 100 currencies and is also available in 7 languages. You can also link it to your paypal.
Travel Apps to get Accommodation
When it comes to booking accommodation there are a few obvious choices I will go to such as Booking.com, Airbnb, Hotels.com & Agoda. Where some of these apps fail is booking last-minute accommodation, so here are my recommendations below:
This app allows you to book hotels for the day and up to 75% off the overnight stay price. This is a great tool to use if you have a long layover and want to freshen up before your next flight.
Hotel tonight (owned by Airbnb) lets you book last minute hotel rooms at discounted prices. Particularly useful if your plans have changed, or your flights have been delayed or cancelled. You can assess reviews from other travellers as well as have access to 24/7 customer support.
Travel Apps to help you plan
TripIt is a great app for your travel itineraries. It enables you to easily see all your upcoming plans in one place. Simply email your flight details, hotel reservations, tours you have booked and anything else you want to add in there to firstname.lastname@example.org. TripIt will then collate this information to create one comprehensive itinerary for you.
Pluto is an itinerary planner and a Pinterest style app all in one. All you need to do is add your plans/ideas into the different categories (stay, eat& drink, transport etc), this will then create an itinerary board for you. You can also invite friends to the app to create a joint board. If you are lacking in inspiration you are able to browse the pinboards of other travellers, or if you want to inspire others you can also share your own.
Wanderlog is another trip planning app that allows you to see your itinerary and map of where you are going all in one place. You can import guides from other sites such as Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet, import flight and hotel reservations, optimize your routes, export places to google maps and collaborate with friends in real-time.
TimeTree is a calendar sharing app that allows you to easily set up a shared calendar between friends and family who also have the app. It’s a great way to plan trips together and add in itineraries. You can set up as many different calendars as you like so if you want to have a separate one trips/daily life and work, you can!
Packpoint is great for all your packing needs. Create a list of what you need to pack and tick it off once it’s in your bag. You can also share your packing list with friends.
Travel Apps to help you at the airport
If you’ve got time to kill at the airport and don’t fancy spending hours hunched over in those uncomfortable airport seats, then Loungebuddy might be the thing for you. Loungebuddy will let you know if there are any free lounges in your chosen airport, and/or whether you can buy a day pass. If you do already pay for airport lounge access then Loungebuddy will also let you know which ones you are permitted to use.
Timeshifter is an amazing app that has been developed by scientists to help you beat jet lag. It creates a jet lag fighting schedule to follow before, during and after your trips and is also packed with handy tips and tricks. Timeshifter is used by elite athletes and even astronauts!
Flight aware is a live flight tracking app. You can search for a specific flight by entering your flight number or a route. This is particularly handy for someone who’s on airport pick-up duty!
Travel Apps to help you at with delays and cancellations
Colibra is a great app to have in your pocket if you have experienced flight delays or cancellations. Colibra pays out compensation within 24-hours of experiencing a flight delay over 1 hour or a cancellation for whatever reason.
Similarly to Colibra, Airhelp will help you process claims for flight delays and compensation. Air help will only cover delays if you arrive at your destination three hours later than planned. It is also important to note that if the claim is successful Airhelp will take 25%.