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12 free travel apps to download before take off

12 free travel apps to download before take off
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Going on holiday is supposed to be all about chilling out and getting the most out of your trip. But what with packing, booking and finding your way around, sometimes trips overseas can even seem a bit more stress and then break.

That’s why it’s always good to have your phone on hand. We’ve picked out some of the best travel apps around that are designed to make every aspect of your holiday that much easier. From booking your flight to working out what’s on the menu, there’s an app for that…

Before you go…

Booking your flight

The good thing about booking online in that you can shop around for the cheapest flights. And Skyscanner makes that easy. Just put in your destination and the dates you want to travel and it’ll compare all available airlines. You can then filter by cheapest, fastest and even which flights have the lowest CO2 emissions.

Skyscanner: Android / iOS

 

Looking for accommodation

For houses, it’s hard to beat Airbnb. Enter where you want to stay and the dates you’re staying and you’ll get a map of all available Airbnb properties, with photos and reviews to help you choose. You can also filter by how many people are staying and whether you’re taking pets. The great thing about this app is that you can contact the relevant hosts with any questions you have – making for a very personal experience.

Airbnb: Android / iOS

For hotels, there’s a huge choice of apps, but Hotels.com is one of the best. Search by location, dates and budgets and you’ll find a decent range of hotels to suit every budget. You’ll also find regular deals on rooms – especially if you’re a last-minute booker. Use the app often enough and you can collect rewards like free stays.

Hotels.com: Android / iOS

 

Package holidays

Sometimes you just want an all-inclusive break with includes food, drinks, activities and pool access. It’s a great option when you’re taking the kids with you or if you just want to chill out and have it all done for you. This is where resorts really shine, and one of the leaders is Tui. They have resorts worldwide in loads of destinations which range from bucket and spade to luxury hotel.

Tui: Android / iOS

 

Packing

Not sure what you’re going to need but worried about taking everything with you? Packpoint can help you make sense of what you’ll actually need depending on the destination, length of stay and what activities you’ll likely to do. The packing list it generates will even take into account weather forecasts and local conditions. Then you can simply tick things off the app as you pack them. Simple.

Packpoint: Android / iOS

 

While you’re there…

Getting around

Getting lost in an unfamiliar city can be a worry, especially when you’re not sure how to read street signs or navigate public transport. Google maps will always point you in the right direction and, because it’s internationally used, it’s pretty reliable. You can also download maps to view offline when you’re worried about eating through data.

Google Maps: Android / iOS

If you’re hiring a car on holiday, you might find Waze as a better bet. Yes, Google Maps does driving routes but these often don’t take into account local conditions and topography. Waze has a community base behind it. So, if you’re in a country that uses Waze, you’ll likely get a lot more accurate routes with updated info on things like road works and speed cameras.

Waze: Android / iOS

 

What to do

Wherever you go, you’re bound to see restaurants and attractions proudly advertising their TripAdvisor score. And for good reason. TripAdvisor ratings are generated entirely by visitors like you dropping a rating. So, if a museum, coffee shop or theme park has got top marks, chances are you’re on to a winner. It’s got a very active community, so you can also hit its forums and get tips on just about anything – from food to try to where to catch the bus for that day trip. You can book most things directly through the app too.

TripAdvisor: Android / iOS

 

Being understood

Go to France and you may be able to bluff some terrible GCSE French, but head to Japan and you might struggle a whole lot more. Google Translate to the rescue! It used to be that you’d type in a word and it could give you the equivalent language, but now it’s had some serious upgrading. Take a photo of a menu and it’ll turn it into English on the screen. You can even record sentences into it and it’ll then repeat that sentence back in anything from Japanese to Arabic. Probably not one to take on a date, but great if you want to know the way to the beach!

Google Translate: Android / iOS

 

Currency check

Spending money on holiday is the easiest thing in the world to do because (in lots of destinations) you often feel like you’re getting a lot for your pound. But this can be deceptive. Xe Currency app is great to have on hand since you can easily check what that beer costs or how much that cab fare is really going to set you back. Not only can you check currency conversion in real time, but you can also send money to people all over the world. Super handy!

Xe Currency: Android /  iOS

 

Eating out

While you can find plenty of restaurants on TripAdvisor, The Fork is great for when you want to grab a bargain as well as a bite. Check out a destination or a restaurant and the app will show you when you can get a discount – up to 50% off your meal! There’s an active user community so you’ll get honest reviews from fellow travellers. Book regularly through the app and you get rewarded with Yums. You can spend these loyalty points at any restaurant signed up to the system. Dinner is on the house!

The Fork: Android / iOS

 

Splitting the bill

If you’ve ever been on holiday, you know the headache of dividing up costs. There’s nothing that can sink that holiday spirit faster than bickering over bills. That’s where Splitwise rides to the general. At the start of the holiday, everybody jumps on the app and then adds every expense – from plane tickets to that round of ice creams. At the end of the holiday, Splitwise will then state who owes what. All’s square.

Splitwise: Android / iOS

 

Giveaway Time: - Closed

There’s nothing worse than being out and about, taking pics on your phone, sharing with friends and family on social, and uh oh… the low battery notification pops up! Now you’re more worried about finding somewhere to charge your phone than enjoying the moment. 

We can help with that. Because this month we’re giving away a POWERTRAVELLER Merlin 75-Multi-Voltage portable power bank worth £95! 

With enough capacity to charge your phone up to 8 times, you don't need to worry about finding a plug socket ever again! Or not for a while, at least.

To enter simply tell us your dream holiday destination below, whether it’s somewhere you’ve already been or are hoping to go one day, Let the Community know, and feel free to post a pic to go with your reply.  

Entries end on 23:59 on 20th June, and we’ll then pick one random winning post. We'll announce the lucky iD Community winner shortly after. T&Cs apply.


90 replies

Userlevel 1

I would love to go to Africa and see all of the animals in their own environment where they belong.

Australia to see my family

Australia 

My dream holiday would be Brazil. I would love to see the Amazon rainforest before it disappears. And to visit Rio De Janeiro, the beaches and enjoy Brazilian Curasco!

Userlevel 1

The arctic would be my choice. Trying to spot Polar bears (from a safe distance) and watching the Northern lights.

Userlevel 1

My dream destination would be The Maldives, one of those overwater villas! They look so luxurious and relaxing 😎 

Exactly what I thought,them bungalows are fantastic they have decking outside with a swimming pool and a ladder that you use to swim in the lagoon and inside a big double bed and it retracts to let the sun in or stars watching before sleep ,costs a lot of money thousands per day ,so basically you’d have to be a multi millionaire or a billionaire,2 weeks would be just fine ,DREAM DREAM DREAM

Userlevel 1

The arctic would be my choice. Trying to spot Polar bears (from a safe distance) and watching the Northern lights.

UNUSUAL CHOICE  BUT A GOOD  CHOICE

 It’s a shame arctic that the arctic ice cap is melting and becoming like a sea with just icebergs here and there ,not that long ago the sea ice would completely freeze over ….the worst part is that this has happened over decades not thousands of years ,how much wildlife on the food chain will or have we lost ! Natural global warming helps by evolution kicking in and animals adapting to their environment.The  great plaines in Africa once had thousands of herds of different wildlife now you’ll be lucky to glance a magnificent giraffe 🦒 we need to try and help lower the speed of global warming,I mean how many people use their phones or use their pads to order food and clothing etc how does it get to you mostly by vans cars motorbikes all petrol driven ,so that’s not really a good thing is it ? But electric vehicles are coming into play.So maybe the future is briightb

Userlevel 1

I would love to go to Africa and see all of the animals in their own environment where they belong.

All the great herds have gone you would be lucky to see a few giraffes,I replied to someone about global warming i went on a bit long ,so this is short Africa was a beautiful country until we ruined it ,the amount of ivory that was took was unbelievable bull elephants probably 40yrs old had he biggest tusks ,we nearly  wiped them out ….the same thing in America the buffalos were nearly wiped out ,the native Indians would follow the buffaloes for food and fur ,there is a photograph of a man (circa 1890s) standing on a mountain of buffalo skulls ,they came very close to extinction.Thankfully scientists have reintroduced the  buffalo 🦬 on reservations and places where they are safe from US it will take hundreds of yrs for them to be one of the greatest herds that crossed the USA .

                                              VERY SAD 

 

Userlevel 1

My dream holiday destination is the Greek Island of  Santorini.  This amazing volcanic island has beautiful black sand beaches; stunning  villages with white-washed houses - some topped with cobalt-blue domes; wonderful sunsets to enjoy as the warm sun drops into the sea. 
My favourite view is of the caldera from the village of Oia.  Sun, sea, history, stunning views, beautiful villages clinging to the sides of cliffs and a relaxed atmosphere - a dream holiday indeed. 

My absolute dream would be to go to Japan.  I have a lifelong passion about trains of all kinds, and I have dreamed of riding the Bullet Train since I was a little girl exploring the National Railway Museum in York.  I want to see the bright lights and culture because it’s so different to what I know, living in the UK all my life.  One day...

The state of Maranhão in Brazil has some stunning places!

 

I really want to go again to Nepal. Such lovely people and such high mountains, a walker's paradise.

Userlevel 2

My dream holiday would be to visit Mexico to visit the many sites of historical interest and more importantly, to visit my brother and sister-in-law who emigrated in 2019, shortly before the world went in lockdown.

Userlevel 1

I am lucky enough to have been to quite a few countries in the last twenty years but I still want to go to Vietnam before I am to old. Next year maybe! 

Userlevel 1

My dream holiday would be a road trip across the USA.

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