When I first went abroad, smartphones weren’t a thing. Paper maps were about as technological as it got, and any kind of travel involved finding the tourist information office to find out about the local area.
Thankfully, things have moved on since then, and it’s now easier than ever to use technology to plan trips. The days of sticking out like a sore thumb while wrestling with an map which just wouldn’t fold back up are long gone!
Here are the apps which I always use while travelling. It should go without saying that if you’re using airlines or train companies, then it’s best to download their specific apps as you can then keep track of any delays or changes to your journey.
All the apps I’ve listed are free.
This is a great travel itinerary app which is especially useful if you have several transport and hotel bookings to keep track of. It can pull information in from your emails and organised them in date and time order, and is much handier than having to refer to individual sources.
I’ve tried other mapping apps but Google Maps seems to be the most reliable in both urban and rural areas. Especially useful for directing you from one place to another, though it doesn’t always seem to show the most direct route. An alternative, which I’ve also used, is Citymapper.
Really handy if your knowledge of the local language is limited – and also for working out what menus say.
XE Currency Converter
Because there’s only so much maths you want to do on holiday.
Gives travel directions from one point to another by all available transport options, and includes the likely cost of transportation. I’ve found the timings this app gives for journeys to be very accurate. It’s so much easier to be a brave traveller when you can confidently use public transport rather than have to take taxis.
I often travel with my son, who is vegan, and finding somewhere where he can eat can be tricky in an unfamiliar place. This app is great for finding vegan-friendly restaurants, cafes and food stores.
All of these apps have helped me to be a brave traveller, and I hope you’ll find them useful too.