Top 5 Travel Apps
So after being away for a few weeks and having all sorts of apps recommended to me, I present my top 5 travel apps that are a must. All of the apps I will recommend are 100% free and do not cost to download, however some may require data in order to work.
So, what are the top 5 travel apps that I recommend?
I hadn’t heard of Maps.me until a week into my travels when I was in Bangkok. I met some people and they told me about places I should visit and recommended that I use maps.me.
The app is an offline version of Google Maps or Apple Maps and includes lots of POI. You can use a search or use the categories to narrow your desired type of place you wish to visit. When you download the app you will also download an offline map of the area you are which should be automatically detected. Then your phone just needs signal for the GPS so it can locate you and then you can map your way to any location. Don’t worry about using data (turn off mobile data anyway) or having to buy a SIM for the country you are in, as GPS is free and available worldwide.
You can find a place you wish to visit and then the app will create a route for you to take in order to get there the quickest. You can route to and from a place.
Maps.me is an essential travel app.
2. XE Currency
XE Currency is a travel app must. It allows you to convert between any currency there and then, data or no data. XE Currency will regularly update in-app the exchange rates so you will always get an up to date conversion. However, this will rarely have an impact on spending as most places will have a fixed rate that they use, or the amount of money being exchanged is so small, the slightest change in the rate will have no impact on the conversion.
Regardless this app is great for when the currency conversion is too complicated to do in your head. For example, while in Vietnam the exchange rate is currently £1 = 27,379 VND. You can round up or down but when the exchange rate is so high it becomes a bit of a headache to work out. Simply open the app, offline or not, and convert away to get an accurate conversion.
Visit XE Currency website for more information
AFAR is developed by America’s Best Travel Magazine ‘AFAR’. So the app is basically the website, back catalogue of their magazines and all guides in one easy to use and well designed app.
The app can be used to see what there is to do, see, and eat around you. Sometimes it can be overwhelming when you arrive in a new place and there are suggestions from locals, hostel/hotel workers, other travellers etc. So it’s worth having an app that will give you suggestions to choose from.
The app will allow you to view 90,000+ unique travel experiences, so plenty of things to see and do. You can plan a trip ahead of time or use the ‘near me’ function to see what is around you. Plan and save places of interest offline so you don’t use/need data. And if you discover something new and interesting you can upload your own tips and places to visit.
Visit AFAR website for more information
4. SkyScanner x Kayak
I have included two as number 4 purely because they do the same thing. Personally, I prefer SkyScanner and have always used them and their app. However, Kayak is the same, so it’s worth having both to compare and see who provides the cheapest fare.
I have a whole blog post on SkyScanner here. But the general gist is that SkyScanner and Kayak will search all the airlines for the cheapest flight.
I would add that this app seems rather obvious but it’s worth mentioning simply because it is so useful. I also use Booking.com’s app but they also have hotels in the results. Hostelworld, as the name suggests, only shows hostels.
The app is so easy to use and to book through. The simple and intuitive interface makes searching for available hostels where ever you are quick and easy. Another feature I like is the ability to add a booking to the Apple Wallet. Doing so you can pull up your booking reference number and any other information regarding your booking. This makes it easier to arrive and simply show the booking reference – although most places simply ask for your name and find your reservation that way.
Visit HostelWorld website for more information