Travelling nowadays is tons simpler than in the past. You have all the information you could ever need right at your fingertips – and not in the form of heavy maps and thick guidebooks, thankfully! The savvy traveller is prepared for all eventualities and uses all the new technology to make adventures as hassle-free as possible. That way, you spend more time enjoying your trip and less time arguing about which bus you had to take to reach the hotel.
Flight-search apps and websites are a dime a dozen, but Hopper is one of the standout performers in this field. Like many other providers, you enter your dates and route, and it will search multiple providers and platforms to show you the options that are available to you. But Hopper goes one step further, and after giving you an overview of your different options it uses past research and data analysis to tell you whether you should buy the flight now or wait until a better price comes up. If they suggest that you wait, the app will also send you an alert when the price drops to a ‘buy it now’ kind of price.
Writing a list is so old school. Packpoint collates a packing list for you by checking the weather at your destination(s), finding out how long you’re travelling for and asking you to select any activities you might be taking part in while you’re there, as well as any special requirements. For instance, you can select ‘fancy dinner’, ‘baby’ and ‘swimming.’ If it’s going to be 4 degrees and you have a cocktail party and an outdoor hike, it will help you remember everything you’ll need. You can remove any items that you don’t think will be necessary and you can also share the lists with your friends or family – especially that friend who always forgets something crucial and ends up borrowing yours for the entire three-week holiday.
If you don’t already have Google Maps on your phone we’re not really sure how you get anywhere without getting lost, to be honest. In this day and age it’s a necessity. As far as travel goes, Google Maps is one of the most useful apps around. The best feature is obviously the option to download area maps for offline use – so once you land at your destination without a data or WiFi connection, you’re all ready to navigate your way to wherever you’re going. Just make sure to download them before you leave your WiFi spot or connected area.
There are of course other navigational apps like Waze or Apple maps, but Google Maps is useful for travellers in that it works well for both walking and cycling directions as well as driving directions. Plus, some of the bigger points of interest have ‘inside maps.’ Ever got to a stadium, exhibition centre or mall with a GPS and walked around for ages trying to find a specific area? Inside maps help you navigate once you’re inside wherever you’re visiting, so (hopefully) you save time and effort getting to the right part.
Perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing app on the list, but definitely a handy one to have if you’re not great at converting money mentally, are travelling across multiple countries with different currencies or you want to keep up to date on the exact exchange rate. XE currency is updated regularly, offers pretty much every currency under the sun, and will also work offline.
Another app to help keep you organised and on the right track! It can be frustrating and difficult having to search through all your emails, downloads and screenshots to find your flight itinerary, hotel booking confirmation and various other bookings. TripIt solves that problem by basically working as your own little PA. It’s a trip planner that organises and stores all of your travel information in one place – it can even send you reminders to leave for the airport on time, update you on your seat reservation options and ping you with flight alerts. If you’re travelling in a large group, the master itinerary feature is invaluable!