It’s the age of the pocket traveller. Since smartphones burst onto the market, developers have created a wealth of ingenious inventions designed to make our trips easier. But in a world full of travel apps, it can be hard knowing where to begin. That’s why we’ve tried and tested the boundary-breaking and convention-shaking to bring you the best of the bunch.
With these 10 travel apps, you’ll never be overcharged, overstressed or crippled by jet lag again…
It’s no secret that the airport process can seem like one queue after another. Luckily, AirGrub’s founders have created an app to combat just that. Built for those who wish to take control of their travel dining, this free tool lets you order freshly packed food and drinks from your favourite airport restaurants. No waiting. No wallet required. Just order via your phone, go straight to VIP, grab and go. It’s first class perks without the price. While AirGrub may currently only be live in Boston, JFK and San Francisco, their revolutionary dining experience is coming to an airport near you very soon.
Jet lag is a cruel mistress. Whether you’re racking up the air miles or simply on an annual trip, there’s no outsmarting it. Or is there? Entrain, The University of Michigan’s free and increasingly popular app, is designed to help get your body clock to the right time zone quickly. In short, it uses the light you record to compute recommended schedules that will help move your circadian clock to the right time zone. Phew! The app and its schedules are continuously being looked at by researchers, so any information you choose to submit will be used to improve Entrain.
Filing expenses has always been a pretty painful and monotonous process… until now. Expensify makes photographing receipts, tracking time and mileage and creating expense reports faster than ever before. With a simple and super slick interface, it delivers what it promises: an almost too easy way to file expense reports. In fact, it’s even been hailed by the tech community as the world’s best business travel app. There’s no arguing with that.
Think of FlightView as a departures board in your pocket. Its creators are the world leaders in real-time flight information. You can track upcoming and in-air flights, receive status alerts via push notification, check gate assignments, delays and cancellations. Plus, it’s uncomplicated to use, has great visuals and makes information instantaneously available for on-the-go users. Even if you only fly a few times a year, FlightView is an essential.
Planning an all-American road trip? Don’t put pedal to the metal without iExit. We’ll all been there: driving on a freeway and in need of a break. Your GPS may tell you how to get there, but only iExit will tell you where to stop along the way. Do you have enough fuel to last until the next town? Is there a bathroom on the horizon? Are you in need of some impromptu fast food? For those inevitable cravings and essential pit stops, iExit’s got you covered.
Welcome to your first night in a brand new city. Where to next? Well, you could check Yelp. Or perhaps FourSquare. But for real local insights and recommendations, look no further than Localeur. Aiming to focus on where the natives hang out rather than top-rated tourist spots, this nifty app shares all things authentic recommended by people actually living in that city. Within this growing community you’ll uncover everything from the best bars for happy hour to the top spots to get guacamole. Insider tips and tricks? Sign me up.
Ditch the guidebook in favour of the award-winning Not For Tourists app. Described as the ultimate mobile city guide, this informative addition to your phone will feel like having a local friend in every neighbourhood. One of the perks is how each city entry has been created for mobile first – the app is surprisingly easy to navigate by fingertip. Currently focusing on all major US cities with plans to expand internationally, this is the perfect investment if you don’t want to scream tourist in the middle of Times Square and beyond.
Let’s be honest, your time on holiday is too short to waste looking for parking. That’s where Parking Panda comes into play. Their concept is so straightforward you’ll wonder why you didn’t create it yourself. Simply search where you’re heading to see all surrounding parking options and compare real-time prices, for savings of up to 70%. From there, you can reserve and pay for your space in a couple of taps. No cash or tickets required. And with over 1 million parking spaces in more than 40 US cities, planning your next road trip has never been so stress-free. Here’s hoping they expand to Europe soon.
While Google’s visual translation tool may be useful when translating words from the same alphabet, what about Asian characters? One word: Waygo. Perfect for travel in China, Japan and Korea, this instant camera translator allows you to hover your phone’s camera over signs, menus and any kind of printed text to instantly translate it into English. No data connection needed. With more languages on the way, you’ll never get lost in translation again.
Rumour has it that no two people on a plane pay the same price. But did you know that you can receive a refund from an airline if a flight price drops after you book? Enter, Yapta. This groundbreaking app tracks flight and hotel prices before and after you pay, then pushes real-time alerts to your phone when prices drop. Once you’ve bought your flight, the app will continue to monitor prices with the aim to get you a refund from the airline. Genius!