Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the festive period can be a stressful time as we make travel plans to visit friends and family in the UK, overseas or even ditch the cold and have a warm Christmas on the beach.
But there’s no need to stress. If you’re taking a trip this festive season, let your phone do the work for you with our handy guide.
Book and plan your trip
If you hate leaving things to chance, this is the app for you. It’ll do everything from remind you when to check in to letting you know how long security lines are. Plus, you can even get interactive maps of the airport. As soon as you book a flight, hotel or car forward it to email@example.com and TripIt will instantly add it to your itinerary.
If you never know what to pack, PackPoint is like having a personal assistant on hand. It shows you what to bring based on the length of your trip, the weather and any activities you’re planning along the way. Just enter the city you are visiting and put in all your travel details. Plus, it’s totally free. Your days spent counting pairs of socks are over!
If you’re jumping in a car, Roadtrippers not only plans out your driving route but lets you book activities and hotels along the way. Letting you know about cool restaurants and landmarks on the way, it’s like having a tour guide with you. Plus, you have the option of offline maps, live traffic info and more.
And speaking of road trips…
The best apps for travelling by car
While a train or plane has a scheduled arrival time, travelling by road means you need to be up-to-date so you’re in the know about traffic jams and disruptions. Here’s our pick of some great apps:
RAC mobile traffic app – Get traffic news and a route planner at your fingertips. Because it doesn’t use GPS, this app means you won’t use phone data. Plus, its completely free!
Waze is a GPS navigation app that works on smartphones. Waze will find alternate routes around accidents and alert you when there are traffic jams ahead. Need to fill up? Waze will also include petrol stations in your route. Like some road tunes? You can also use Waze to listen to music and podcasts.
Google Maps is famous for its satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, real-time traffic conditions and route planning. You can send your friends live locations so they know when to put the kettle on!
Maps is Apple’s answer to journey planning, with detailed maps, 3D experiences and real time travel information. Like Waze and Google Maps, Maps has GPS and will use your data -so best to keep an eye on how much you’re using it.
How to stay in touch
Whether you need to get in contact with people on route or you just want to chat to family and friends over Christmas, there are plenty of great options.
But before you do go grabbing for your phone to give your friend in Australia a buzz, it’s worth checking out what time it is where they are with the timeanddate app. It’s available on iOS, Android and Microsoft – so there’s no excuse to wake them up at 4 in the morning!
If you’re both Apple users, FaceTime is a great way to stay in touch. You can even create a Memoji to match your personality and mood, then use the Memoji during a FaceTime video call.
One of the biggest video apps there is. The good news is that it’s free, is widely used and you’ll only need to pay when using premium features like voicemail, SMS texts or making calls to a landline, cell or outside of Skype. Plus, you can have a conversation with several family and friends at the same time. Virtual Christmas!
It great for family and friends that want to video call with up to 8 people and is available on Android, iOS and web. Can’t pick up or want to share something more personal than an SMS? Google Duo has videos messages too.
In a remote location or don’t want to use a video app? If you’re with iD already and have Wi-Fi access, you can use Wi-Fi calling. This service will kick in when you’re connected to a WiFi network, but your signal is weak. Find out more with What is Wi-Fi Calling and why should you use it?