We live in the golden era of smartphones where even a basic model can be picked up for cheap. And yet I feel we don’t truly take advantage of this in every day life such as using the best travel apps. People scorn at others who live on their phone and tell them to ‘live in the moment’. What if the person who is glued to their phone uses Instagram for financial support, Pinterest for organisational ideas and daily keeps on top of their banking and budget apps?
I’m not glued to my phone because I am scrolling through Facebook looking at my Aunt’s new shed or my friends reposted memes – I’m taking control in an otherwise chaotic environment by getting on top of my finances and staying on my goals. And there is no more of a chaotic environment than travelling – especially if you’re travelling to a place with a huge cultural difference to your own country.
To make your next vacation stress-free, I’ve written this post on how I use my smartphone to enhance my holiday experience.
To spend the least, stay safe and explore with ease, these are the 5 travel apps I always use:
– Live Trains
If you’re travelling within UK then you probably already have a few train apps however I implore you to get Live Trains also. Last time I checked, it was about £2.99 on the app store however even for the most budget-conscious of you I’ll stick to my guns and insist this app is worth it. The main thing it does that’s unique to this app is it reveals the platforms to you before the train station screens do. This means you can toddle on down to the platform way before everyone else and be first on the train – beating the rush and finding those seats with the plug sockets!
Skyscanner is a free to use site and app for searching for the best priced flights. The distinctive feature about Skyscanner – and the reason I love it so much – is the vague search options available. I can search flexible dates and flexible airports meaning I don’t have to conduct individual searches for each date or airport. If you live in London, for example, just select ‘London’ as the outgoing city, select the flexible dates option and ask it to show you the cheapest month. Now you’re looking at the cheapest airport and cheapest dates possible in one each search.
I know everyone’s got an opinion on Uber (including me) however what I will stand by is how user-friendly it is. It’s easy to set up, easy to order and easy to pay with. In instances where you don’t know the normal rate for local taxi’s or if you even have enough change, Uber will be there. I’ve used Uber in New York, India, Paris and UK – all the same app, all the same bank account. Set it up today – even if it’s just for future emergencies!
I should be paid by Citymapper the amount I talk about this amazing app. It’s a normal map but with every travel option available so you can weigh up your options and see which one is better for your circumstance – eg price or time it will take. You can see the walking route (complete with how many calories you’ll burn and time it takes to walk), you can see the bike option (again with calories and length of time), the public transport option (the metro/underground or buses including when the next ones are, price and time it will take) and the taxi / Uber options (again with price and length of time it will take). It also gives you the most ‘rain safe’ options and connects to Google maps so every museum, landmark or restaurant that’s on Google maps is on Citymapper with concise directions between all. For an urban explorer like myself, it’s one of the more perfect travel apps! There is currently 39 cities and they seem to add some every time I look.
– Translate by Google
This is one of them apps that makes me feel like we’re living in the future. Google’s translate app is exactly as you expect it to be – it translates stuff for you. However, the incredible, mind bending thing is that you can hold your phone up to foreign language text (e.g. a sign) and it will translate the text for you! I use this all the time for menus and it boggles my brain every time. One of the best travel apps out there.
I hope these apps have been useful to you and you’ll use them on your next holiday. I’m not affiliated with these companies in anyway, I just genuinely love their products and they make every time I travel so much easier. Technology is at an amazing peak right now and apps like these prove how much they can change your world – if you get the right ones!
This post was originally written as a guest post for popitha.com. Please check them out and give them a follow today.
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