Some apps are completely pointless and are just for wasting time, procrastinating, or those ones that look great and you download them and never ever use them. Other apps are amazing, take the hassle out of your travels and you’ll swear by them to anyone who will listen.
The second category of app is what I’m going to talk about today!
I’m one of those people that has an app for everything. One of my friends will say, “oh I wish there was an app that did such-and-such” and I’m always the one to jump in and be all “there’s one for that!” and tell them what it’s called, how awesome it is, and how often I use it.
So here is a list of my favourite go-to apps for travel. I’m not listing any for finding flights as that will be a separate article altogether!
One of the hardest things about planning a trip can be planning your itinerary. I always find that I want to do a load of different things but then realise they’re actually super far from each other (like one pub I thought sounded great in Gothenburg… until I realised it was in Mölndal and not really in walking distance) and apps that let me choose the things I want to do and then calculate getting between them are amazing.
I first found this app when I was in FYR Macedonia as there aren’t a huge amount of apps for the country! I ended up then downloading it for Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania too – I then discovered they have an app where you can download different cities/regions/countries instead of needing a new app each time.
The app provides offline maps where attractions, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, banks, pharmacies and more have a different icon so you can easily see what’s close to you or close to each other! The app can also calculate a walking route to somewhere you want to go – no more attempting to find a museum and ending up walking in circles!
Available FREE on iOS and Android.
Tripomatic is an awesome itinerary planner that I’ve been using for ages! I can’t remember exactly when I first started using it, but I have used it for trips to Iceland, Honduras, Chicago and more. I currently only use the free version but you can pay for the premium upgrade if you need it!
What I love about Tripomatic is the way you can create an itinerary for your trip and simply add attractions (from a variety of categories, including “food”, “beach”, “family”, “free” and “museum”) to each day and the app calculates the quickest walking or driving route to go to all the different places you have added to one day.
It’s my favourite app to tell me whether I’m trying to do too much as it also adds an expected visit time to show how long your days will be!
Available FREE on iOS, Android, Blackberry and Amazon Apps.
The one thing I hate about booking travel is all the email confirmations you get – they get mixed in with all your other emails and mixed with emails about different trips, what a mess! But luckily – ta da! – there’s an app (or two) for that.
I don’t know what I’d do without this app. At first, I only used it to put all my flight confirmations in one place (which is pretty handy anyway) but then realised I can use it for ALL trip plans – including hotels, car rentals and buses. AMAZING.
It’s like a personal assistant for everything travel – filing all your plans in one place for easy retrieval, adding it all to your main calendar(s) and allowing you to add other people to trips so you can all share the information in a super-easy fashion! (I could go on all day about how awesome it is.)
TripIt Pro has all the features that the free version has and adds on a bunch more. Pro features include alerts about flights (delays, changes), airline point trackers and also the ability to find alternate flights in case of delay or cancellation.
Available FREE on iOS and Android. TripIt Pro is available at an annual cost of $49.
I feel this app’s name pretty much gives away what it does! It’s also weirdly addictive…
Flying is an app that tracks your flights and makes cool little graphics (maps, distance travelled, ‘time travel’) and is a great record of all the flights you’ve taken! I’m a little obsessed with watching my distance percentage to the moon increase with each flight I take… and watching new airports I’ve flown to turn up on the map!
The app lets you add flights manually or connects to TripIt and adds them automatically. You can also add friends on the app and see your flights in comparison with theirs!
Available FREE on iOS and coming soon on Android!
Transport, Accommodation & Money
Of course, there are certain things you need once you’ve arrived at a destination. One of these is transport – getting from A to B is a pretty important thing. The other two are accommodation (who doesn’t want an actual place to stay?) and money (I can’t find an app for giving you money, but there are some to manage the money you already have).
This app (and website) is awesome and one of my favourite tools to use every time I’m planning a trip, especially when it involves a lot of road and rail travel. Whether you’re doing a short trip from Warsaw to Kraków or a road trip all the way from Phuket to Hanoi (three buses, two trains and a taxi, £90 – £118 and takes 2 days 19 hours, if you were wondering) Rome2Rio will work out a variety of options for you.
The app and website also provide links for booking. Don’t forget to check the websites as you may find a cheaper price (although you may need to use a translation app or Google Chrome as not all the websites have an English translation). Some locations have better data than others, though, but Rome2Rio always gives you a good idea of what’s available!
Available FREE on iOS and online.
This is my favourite of all accommodation finding and booking apps (UPDATE: they now have a website in beta too!) that I’ve used. You can use it to search “here and now” or for a specific place with specific dates. Lodgeo rounds up prices from a host of booking sites (Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia and more) so you find the cheapest price!
The app lets you compare different websites and you can book through the app itself or through one of the booking websites (e.g. if you get cashback on their site). You can also shortlist different hostels to come back to later.
You can also filter by price range, the number of stars, hotel brand, distance from the centre, review score and also the type of hotel (beach, romantic, does it have a bar or wifi) as well as seeing the places in list or map view.
Available FREE on iOS and Android.
PS: If you sign up, please use the code NPBIE1. I get credit for each person who signs up with my promo code at no cost to you!
Spendee is a super cute money management app and I just love its look. It’s aesthetically pleasing in such a clean and simple way and makes it really easy to track your spending in whichever currency you are currently spending in.
You choose a base currency (e.g. your home currency) and then in whichever country you happen to be in you can add a transaction in the currency of that country and it converts it to your base currency. There are a few improvements that I think could be made to the app but it’s still undergoing updates and has a few exciting “coming soons” so I’m definitely going to keep using it.
It also provides really neat graphs of your expenses and income. You can add photos and locations to your transactions so you can even see your expenses by “place” – then you can really see how much you spend at your local Starbucks (or whatever your vice is)… The free version also lets you create custom categories (e.g. I made a “coffee” category, “mobile” category and “sightseeing” category as these are relevant to my spending and something I wanted to track).
Available FREE on iOS and Android. Spendee Pro is available for $1.99 monthly.
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