Five Top Travel Apps That Help Make Holidays A Breeze
By now, you’ll have caught up with all the news on travel restrictions being eased in the UK, paving the way for easier travel from spring – and the assurance that further regulations are unlikely to be placed on returning UK travellers this year.
Life has been made even easier by the availability of apps for just about everything. Long gone are the days of struggling with maps in the wind, spending hours trawling the streets of a new city for a suitable restaurant or thumbing through a phrasebook to order a beer. Now, there are a plethora of travel apps available to download for free or at a small cost that can do everything from finding you the cheapest flights to translating your words into hundreds of languages.
Here are the top five apps we can’t holiday without.
An essential bit of kit for any traveller to download – even before they’ve booked a holiday. Kayak is a travel search engine that allows you to scour the internet for the best options on flights, hotels, rental cars and more. There are loads of useful features to help you tailor your search. For example, their data scientists advise on whether prices are likely to increase or drop, and Price Alerts allows you to track prices on hotels and flights so you don’t miss any killer deals. Plus you can organise all your travel information into an itinerary that you can keep adding to, so you can retain all your details in one handy place.
A personal favourite of ours, Citymapper is the ultimate app to have amongst your arsenal for getting from A to B in major cities. It’s free, easy to use, and gives you detailed ways to get to your destination of choice via several different modes of transport – from simply walking to ordering a cab. It gives you combinations, like taking the bus to a station, catching a train, and then walking to your destination. It also updates you with any transport issues – for example, a station being closed, there being a strike, or a line being particularly busy at a certain time. To help you feel extra safe at night, it’s just launched a ‘Main Roads’ feature to take you through the best lit and most populated areas, rather than leading you through dark and dingy back alleys to your hotel.
Like we said, endlessly trawling through a dog-eared copy of a phrasebook just to find the words to ask a simple question is a thing of the past. We have apps for that now, and Google Translate is our pick of the bunch. It can decipher between 108 different languages using a variety of methods – from copying text into its translation box, to using your phone camera to translate text in an image simply by pointing at it – perfect for reading menus. It can translate bilingual conversations for 70 languages on the fly – transcribing and translating someone speaking another language in near real time. No wonder it is used by 500 million people a day.
The last thing you want to be doing on holiday is worrying about money. Luckily – you guessed it – there’s now an app for that too. Trail Wallet is an easy-to-use travel expense tracker that takes the hassle out of budgeting. You can organise your holiday spending money by the month or by a specific trip, as well as setting a daily budget. When you’re given the bill, simply whip out your phone and incorporate the amount using the Quick Add button.
It was a real toss-up for fifth place – we also really love the PackPoint app that creates a packing checklist for you before you head off – but we’re big fans of saving money, so The Points Guy app had to come out on top. Use it to track how many travel points you’ve accrued from your credit cards, airlines and hotel points balances. You can find out just how many airmiles you need to book your ultimate holiday, and research which cards and schemes are best to use to boost your points. You can even filter your news feed so that it shows you the advice most relevant to your goals. And it does it all in one place – so no more fumbling around with different passwords, trying to work out what you’ve got to spend where.
Wherever you’re planning on heading to this year make sure to pack a Switched On Travel Insurance policy for total peace of mind. There’s automatic cover for COVID-19 related issues, a 24/7 emergency helpline and gadget cover is included too! Plus for added protection if you’re flying to Europe take a look at Switched On’s COVID-19 PROTECT add on. Find out more here.
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