Passport, plane tickets, visas, check. Towel, toiletries, adaptors, check. Travel apps…umm?
In this day and age, smartphones and travel apps are essential to the digital-savvy traveller. From city guides and maps, to booking flights, checking exchange rates, recording expenses and socialising, these travel apps condense what would have been 7kg of carry-on, onto your smartphone.
We’ve rounded up the best travel apps of 2016 so you can sit back, relax and get downloading:
With PackPoint, forgetting what to pack will become a thing of the past.
This handy travel app makes packing easier. Simply enter the duration of your trip, where you’re going, what you’ll do there and the app will check the weather for you and customise your packing essentials.
If you’re a business traveller, you’ll absolutely love this travel app. Expensify takes the time and headaches out of expense reporting with its SmartScan technology. You can take a picture of your receipt and the app will read it and generate the expense automatically for you. Simply choose which report the expense belongs to!
Not only that, Expensify allows you to track how many hours you’ve worked, how far you’ve travelled and includes worldwide currency support and tons of integrations to Excel, Salesforce and Xero just to name a few.
TripIt is a travel app that lets you see all your travel plans in one place. Once you receive a travel confirmation email, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org and the app will instantly create an itinerary for you, complete with flight times, hotel check-ins, maps and directions to your next destination.
You can also sync TripIt with your email so the app can auto-generate itineraries for you without lifting a finger or sync it with your calendar to have all your travel plans appear alongside your scheduled appointments. Accessible via smartphone, tablet, computer or wearable device, what more could you want from a travel app?
4. XE Currency
40,000 Vietnamese dong sounds like a lot of money doesn’t it? Not when you convert it to AUD, USD or GBP with XE Currency. As one of the easiest to use currency conversion travel apps on the market, it lets you monitor up to 10 currencies simultaneously, calculate prices with the currency converter and even stores the latest rates so you can use it offline.
This travel app is your virtual assistant when it comes to searching for and booking accommodation, flights, rental cars and even drivers. With Kayak, you can compare prices and even set price alerts to notify you when prices change so you can get the best deal. And when it comes to the day of your trip, you can use the flight tracker feature to see if your flight is on time and check your itinerary to make sure you have everything you need.
Skyscanner is similar to Kayak in the sense that it’s an all-in-one travel app, the only difference being the airlines that are compared. You can enter your destination and instantly compare and book flights, hotels and rental cars from hundreds of providers to find the ones that are right for you. And if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, type ‘everywhere’ into the flight destination field and the app will compile a list of flight prices to various destinations for you.
7. Google Translate
When travelling to a foreign country, this travel app is a must. Google Translate not only translates between 103 languages by typing but also has phrasebooks, conversation mode for instant speech translation, camera mode for pictures of text, offline translation and handwriting for characters.
The coolest feature is definitely the Instant Camera Translation function – simply hold up your smartphone camera to translate text!
8. Google Maps
Is it left or right?
I’m sure we’ve all asked ourselves that at one point while travelling. Fret no more! Never lose your bearings again with Google Maps.
Besides being a fantastic maps app with offline functionality, Google Maps also lets you plan your trip. Along with public transport schedules for over 15,000 cities, you can also discover places like a local by searching up restaurants and attractions, reading reviews and checking out photos and menus.
Airbnb is a marketplace travel app that lets users list, book and discover one of a kind accommodation around the world. Depending on your travel needs, you can rent a room, entire house/apartment or even find a long-term sublet in over 34,000 cities.
If you have a property of your own, you can also become a host and make some money from your extra space.
Uber is a great alternative to waiting in lines for a taxi or hailing minicabs, you can tap to set your pickup location and request a ride. Once you’ve done that, your driver’s information will pop up and you’ll be able to track their arrival on the map.
This travel app also features a rating system so you can provide anonymous feedback for each driver, a Fare Estimator to see an approximate fare amount and a Fare Splitter feature if you’re sharing your Uber ride.
11. Google Trips
It’s never fun fumbling around different pieces of paper to check your itinerary or running out of data when you desperately need that flight itinerary…that’s why Google Trips was created.
Similar to TripIt, Google Trips lets you see all your travel plans in one concise view, even when you’re offline! What’s even more impressive is that these travel plans are automatically pulled from your Gmail and organised into trips and categories.
Check your Reservations to see your flights, accommodation, rental cars and restaurant bookings or switch to Day Plans, Things To Do, Food & Drink or Nearby Attractions to do research and customise your itinerary.
TripAdvisor is a comprehensive, crowd-sourced travel app featuring millions of reviews, photos and videos by travellers, just like you. You can explore places to stay, restaurants to eat at, things to do and see and compare airfares to find great deals.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the Near Me Now feature which allows you to discover nearby establishments as well as writing your own reviews to add to the knowledge base.
As a frequent solo traveller, this is one of my personal favourites on this list. Couchsurfing isn’t just any old travel app, it’s a community of over 12 million travel enthusiasts. The tagline “You have friends all over the world, you just haven’t met them yet” is an apt way to describe the experience that comes with the app.
You can connect with likeminded individuals and groups, attend events, travel like a local and find hosts in over 230,000 cities instead of staying in hostels or hotels. This means you’ll not only save money on accommodation but you’ll never have to travel alone again!
When listing the best travel apps of 2016, we have to mention our product Cammy, a home security camera that lets you monitor your home from anywhere using your smartphone. It features a HD camera with night vision, live view and person detected alerts are sent via the Cammy app to notify you of guests and/or intruders. Peace of mind when you travel really is this easy!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best travel apps of 2016. Wherever you’re going, be sure to secure your home prior to going away with our holiday security checklist as preparation is the key to a relaxing, stress-free holiday. Happy and safe travels!
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the 7 reasons why you need security cameras in your holiday home and the top 10 security products for travellers.
Did we miss one of the best travel apps of 2016? Please leave it in the comments below