Gone are the days of going to a travel agent to book flights in person, then travelling across unknown territoes with a beaten up map, printed hotel reservations and a list of phone numbers.
Nowadays, we can book on our phones or laptops, download offline maps and check out the accommodation scene thoroughly before we even touch down. With all this at our fingertips, it was only going to be a matter of time before travel apps started becoming popular.
Here are some that you should definitely download before you hop on your next plane, train or bus.
10. WiFi Map
In some countries, WiFi hotspots are a dime a dozen and you’ll never struggle to get connected. In others, you have to try and find a hotel and guess their password just to check your Facebook. WiFi map gives you a list of hotspots that are near your current location and it even gives you the password!
Obviously, this is a crowdsourcing effort – so be wise when picking what hotspot you connect to and what sites and apps you access while you’re using it.
Sick of having to pull up 6 different apps or websites to get all your flight confirmations and hotel reservations?
TripIt basically works as a trip planner and organises all your information in one place, making it easy to access everything conveniently and quickly. It’s a great tool for group trips too, as you’ll get a master itinerary and find it far easier to organise everything.
It can also send you flight alerts, keep you updated on seat options, tell you when to leave for the airport and send reminders to your phone.
There are lots of flight searching apps available to the discerning traveller, but Hopper is one of the best. Much like Skyscanner and Kayak, it searches multiple providers for different prices and route options and provides you with a detailed overview of them.
The difference is that it also tells you whether to wait or buy now based on previous research and data, and if the best option is to wait, it will send you a notification when the price drops to the kind of level where you’re going to want to snap that flight up right away. Cool, right?
7. Google Maps
If you don’t already have this on your phone, we’re not sure you can be helped! However, instead of just using it to direct you to that new restaurant or to find an alternative route to work, Google Maps can be really useful when you’re travelling. Unlike Waze which only really supports driving navigation, it works well for walking or cycling directions.
The most useful feature is the ability to download maps offline for use when you’re there without any data connection. On top of that, some large points of interest (think stadiums, malls, museums or historical sites) have inside maps so that you can easily navigate when you’re inside rather than going to the wrong entrance and having to trek miles to reach where you want to go.
6. Hotel Tonight
Even if you’re the kind of organised traveller who books all their accommodation months in advance, things can still go wrong on short notice, so this app is worth having as an emergency backup.
Maybe your Airbnb host cancelled on you at the last minute, or maybe your room at the hotel got double booked. As the name would suggest, Hotel Tonight specialises in last minute hotel bookings.
They have a selection of approved partners and when these hotels have unsold rooms, they are offered at a discount via Hotel Tonight. You can book within ten seconds for tonight, but can also book a room up to a week in advance.
They also have a cool loyalty programme and offer some nice perks like upgrades or late check-outs.