Our 18 favourite travel apps. Don't leave home without them!
TripIt – travel itinerary organiser
This handy little app is a winner when you want to gather your whole itinerary in one place – flights, hotels, tours, driving directions and transport can all be loaded. In fact, if you send your travel confirmation emails to the app, it will extract the relevant information without you even bothering to do anything. You can also share your itinerary with others, which is a nifty feature when travelling with friends or showing off. Free.
Pack Point – packing for travel checklist
Do you always pack for the weather at home, not your destination? And always forget one crucial thing? With Pack Point, you just enter where and when you are going, how long for, and any special activities or needs. Pack Point will check the weather at your destination and put together a packing list for you. It provides a pretty comprehensive checklist – particularly good for the slack or hopeless packer. Free.
Trail Wallet – keep track of your expenses and travel budget
Trail Wallet keeps track of how much you are spending when you travel. It's particularly useful for longer trips when you want to keep to a daily budget – plus you can see breakdowns of where your money is going (eg: 65% on accommodation, 25% on beer...). $4.99 for the full version.
Concur – manage business travel receipts and expenses
Concur is focussed on managing your business travel expenses. Photograph your receipts, enter expense details and the app will keep track of your outlays and create expense reports. It saves you loads of time scouring vague memories and rifling through scrappy paper receipts when you get home. Free.
Entrain – jetlag management
You know how you don't know you need something till you have it? This app is one of those things. Instead eating pasta at four in the morning and resting face-down on the table at lunch, manage your jetlag scientifically. The app will recommend what time to do what stuff, according to your circadian clock. Free.
FlightAware – real-time flight information
FlightAware provides real-time flight status information – so you wont have to run to the gate unless you actually NEED to run to the gate. It's handy for accurate arrival and departure info, flight delays, airport maps, gate change information. It's everything you need at the airport, particularly if you are a frequent flyer or a frequent running-later. Free.
Transport apps – city-specific maps and details
There's plenty of different city-specific transport apps out there, which can be indispensable for city explorations. You can download complicated tube maps, which can be super-useful somewhere like Japan where there are about 50 ways to get from one place to another on the metro. Also, they allow you to look cool, browsing on your phone, instead of craning your neck over people to check the tube map on the wall.
City Maps 2Go – offline maps and travel info
This pretty essential app has detailed maps available for thousands of cities, which you can use offline. Just download each city as you need it. The maps are awesome for countries like Cuba or North Korea which have zero internet. And, of course, for exploring any city without the data-roaming charges that an online map will attract. Free.
Uber – local taxi alternative
An alternative to taxi operators, Uber allows you to order a private car and driver to take you from A to B. The great advantage of Uber while travelling is you have an account linked to your phone which you can use in whatever country you are in – well, in over 50 countries anyway. No need to find a local taxi operator and no need for cash payments. Free.
Handy info on the road
Trip Advisor – offline city guides
When you're on the road and not online, the Trip Advisor Offline City Guides are just the thing. They're available for over one hundred different cities, so you can locate restaurants, attractions and hotels without wifi. There's GPS-enabled arrows to point you towards where you want to go, millions of user reviews and self-guided tour itineraries. Perfecto. And free.
XE Currency – currency translator
Can convert every world currency (plus a few precious metals, if fancy trading gold ingots for local handcrafts). It also works offline, using the last available rates. Free.
Yahoo Weather – weather reports for anywhere
There are plenty of weather apps out there, but this one is by far the prettiest, combining beautiful photos of your location with easy-to-read weather details. Free.
Translator with Speech – translates into other languages
Speak into your phone and have your words translated into another language – and for a lot of languages, your phone will even say the translation out loud. Just don't try to make your phone swear in Spanish, that would be mean. (Actually, there's other apps for that – like PottyMouth! and Profanity Pro.) Free.
Beanhunter – good coffee finder
OK, so there's a few issues with this app but if you're a coffee addict you'll overlook the flaws in your hunt for a decent caffeine hit. Free.
Find Near Me – find particular stuff nearby
Need an ATM, a service station, a quick vodka shot? Find Near Me will show you on a map whatever is near you in the category you are searching for. There's directions and photos to help you find it too. Free.
Spotify premium offline – music playlists
If you have a Spotify premium subscription you can access your playlists offline. Always good when you are at a hostel and there's no internet. (But at $14.99 a month, you need to be pretty committed to your toons.) $14.99 a month.
Travel pod – travel blog
A great way to record your trip as you travel. You can use it as a diary, share it with family and friends or publish it to the world. You can create content offline and then upload it when you have wifi access. Easy and free.
Instagram – photography and photo sharing
As well being a cool way to tweak pics and share them, Instagram offers first-class travel-gloating joy – casually upload your 'Sunrise on the Ganges' pics and watch the comments roll in. Free.
Don't forget to load up on a selection of offline games for those boring flights / bus trips / jetlagged nights.
Talk to us for more techno travel app advice and inspiration.