Thursday 3 January 2019

My must have travel apps

As the years pass by and technology advances, people are moving away from the traditional ways of travelling and relying more on the internet - both for booking holidays and trips, and for when they're actually there. I personally use apps a lot for travelling, so I thought I'd put together a list of my must have travel apps, what I use them for and why I like them!

Booking a trip

Both the Skyscanner and Airbnb apps are *always* on my phone - if I'm bored you'll probably find me looking at cheap flights from Liverpool or Manchester to obscure European cities, and then trying to work out if there's any nice apartments in the area and whether I should actually just book it and go. Both apps are easy to use, too, which helps! There are, of course, other companies who do similar things that also have apps - like Kayak for flights or Hotel Tonight for last minute hotel bookings, for Skyscanner and Airbnb are just the ones I personally use and love.

Airline apps are also really useful when it comes to travelling - I tend to mostly fly with Ryanair, and their app is pretty good. It allows you to book flights, see what you've got booked, check in, add your extras, access your boarding pass, see if there's any flight information you need to know and loads more. It's not the most aesthetically-pleasing app but it's genuinely just really handy to have around. So check if whoever you're flying with has an app, and if they do, download it!

Top tip: if you're downloading your boarding pass onto your phone to get you through the airport, make sure your phone has enough battery! Take a portable charger with you just in case.

I've recently got the WeSwap app, and I'm finding it great so far - I've ordered a card and I'm going to load my spending money onto it, then swap it to Polish Zloty (I'm heading to Warsaw in less than two weeks time!) and the whole thing seems really simple. I haven't even loaded any money onto it yet but I already have a fiver ready to swap, because my boyfriend signed up through my link ( and we both got some money. So if there's two of you travelling, it can be worth getting a card each and you're basically getting a free round of drinks. There are loads of different travel cards, but this one has an app and has really good reviews; the app itself is brilliant too, showing you the money you've got and what the live exchange rates are, letting you activate your card, read blogposts and most importantly make your currency swaps. I'll do a full post about WeSwap when I get back from Poland, but so far so good!

When you're there

First and foremost, the app that gets used THE MOST when I'm abroad is my iPhone Maps - I have basically zero sense of direction, and I find it useful to have a map that moves with me so I know I'm definitely going the right way. Although it can be fun to just wander round, if you're only on a short break it means you're less likely to waste time getting lost.

The Google Translate app is really handy, too, because you can actually scan signs and menus and have the words instantly translated into your native language - very helpful if you've not logged into Duolingo for 6 months and don't want to get mixed up between cod and squid, or something.

There are really helpful apps available if you search for the city you're going to - for example, I typed Warsaw into the search bar on the App Store and was able to download a city guide and a public transport planner for my upcoming trip. There were also plenty of offline city maps available too, so if you don't want to be using your data while you're out and about (and you do know how to read a map) you won't get completely lost.

Uber can be useful if you're in a rush to get somewhere, or if you really can't work out the public transport system wherever you are - there are also local taxi apps available in many cities too, though, so if you don't like Uber or want to support local businesses while abroad this could be a good option for you.

I like having XE Currency on my phone (though I can probably use WeSwap for this now) because I like to know how much whatever I'm buying is actually costing me - say if I'm in a restaurant in Poland and it's 100PLN for the meal, I tend to check on my phone how much that is in pounds. I think it's mostly a curiosity thing, but in souvenir shops it can be useful so you don't end up spending the equivalent of 15 quid on a fridge magnet.

I use KUNI Cam to edit my photos, and it takes minutes to get a really nice photo ready for Instagram which is really important to me as a travel blogger - you can make basic changes to the brightness and size, for example, as well as adding filters/light/effects. It has really changed my photography game, which is still rubbish but maybe a bit less rubbish, so I'd definitely recommend.

So they're the apps I use for booking holidays and when I'm actually there - if you have any app recommendations for making travel a bit easier, drop them in the comments! Happy 2019 travels, everybody.

Want to know the pros & cons of city breaks? CLICK HERE

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