Travelling a new country can be exciting but a little overwhelming, between trying to familiarise yourself with the language, public transport system and trying not to miss out on any of the fun activities a country has to offer. Luckily, there is a way to make that easier – Apps! There are hundreds of travel apps made specifically to help you plan everything from where to go to what to eat. You don’t want to waste your precious holiday time scrolling through the app store, so I have compiled a list of five free apps to help you get the most out of your travels.
Now hear me out, this may seem obvious, but I am listing it here to add a little trick that not everybody knows about. Depending on your mobile network your data roaming allowance may not be very high in the country that you are visiting, and this means you probably won’t want to waste it on Google Maps. What you need to do is to download the area map while you have Wi-Fi. Google Maps allows you to download an area of any size and then access it when you are offline with all the same features. Much easier than battling with the wind to read an upside-down paper map full of squiggly lines and placenames that you don’t know!
This app has saved me from many a disagreement with friends about how much money we owe to each other. In mainland Europe, many bars and restaurants will not let you split the bill and so if you are travelling in a group, one person must pay in full. With Splitwise, you can set up a group with the names of everyone involved and simply type how much the bill was and if it is to be split evenly or irregularly. The app then keeps track of who owes money and to who. Once it is paid you can click settle and it will start again at 0.
The old reliable! Although there are many translation apps around, this tops them all with its new features of voice and image translation. We have all been in that situation when a waiter translates a menu and after they walk away you have forgotten everything. Not anymore! Google Translate now allows you to open your camera, face it towards the words you need to translate, and they will pop up on your screen in the language you want. Alongside this, they also have a voice translation tool for quick and easy translation when you don’t want to type.
There are many apps to help you book cheap accommodation, but Hostelworld is my favourite. This is down to the feature on the app that allows you to connect with and message people staying in the hostel at the same time as you. For solo travelers especially this is half the fun of travelling, meeting people from different cultures and sharing a laugh or a drink. They also have threads for different activities: for example, a pub crawl happening that evening or people going to a museum, so that you can find people who have similar interests and go together! As well as this, they are a reliable hostel booking service, often with discounts on their site.
Like A Local
Like A Local is an app that is written by – you guessed it – locals! It features cities big and small all around the world and has guides written by locals on everything from where to go, what food to try, events in the town and much more. It also has a feature where you can message a local to ask any questions you may have. This app covers things that would be missed in the large tour guidebooks and instead focuses on the hidden gems to give you the authentic experience.
Hopefully with the help of these apps you can have an easy holiday experience, while making friends, finding cool places and overall having a good time!