Gone are the days of wandering the streets of a foreign city with a well-worn guidebook in hand. Today’s travellers are tech-savvy, using the latest smartphone technology to help them navigate and enjoy unfamiliar destinations. Here Ben Wosskow from Love Home Swap , a leading home exchange holiday site, tells us about his 10 favourite travel apps…
There are plenty of apps available, offering everything from flight information to restaurant guides. However, some are much better than others – there’s nothing more frustrating than landing in a new city to find that your handy new app is actually impossible to use. Here are some of the best apps which promise a seamless, stress-free trip.
PinPin ATM finder
It can be difficult to locate an ATM at the best of times. Throw in unfamiliar streets and a language barrier, and it can become very stressful. Download the PinPin ATM finder before your trip – it contains ATM locations for over 220 countries. Available on Windows Phone, the app allows you to search using your GPS, or by entering an address.
This is the best weather app available. Supplied with data from MeteoGroup, the largest independent weather association in Europe, it’s highly detailed, and unfailingly accurate. WeatherPro provides forecast information for over 2 million locations – you can either search for the name of a city, or for a famous landmark.
Trying to calculate split bills and tips in an unfamiliar currency can be a nightmare. Let Tipulator do the maths for you – it can effortlessly work out how much tip you should leave at a restaurant, and how much each individual diner should pay.
AA Parking provides detailed information for every free and paid car park in the UK and Ireland. Find out parking charges, CCTV availability and directions to the entrance. The app allows you to search around your current location, or enter a particular address, and also shows parking space availability for some car parks.
JetLag Genie – Health
Jetlag is a serious challenge for many travellers. Research has shown that the effects of jetlag can be reduced by taking certain steps before, during, and after your journey. The JetLag Genie app produces a personalised travel plan, based on your own sleep patterns and travel times. It will notify you of the best times to sleep, wake up, take melatonin supplements and more – helping your body clock adjust to a new time zone as quickly as possible.
Google Goggles is an image recognition app. Take a photo of a landmark, painting, barcode or something similar, and the app will provide you with information about it. This is the perfect companion for travellers exploring a new city – it’s much quicker and easier than flicking through a guidebook.
Uber is revolutionising the taxi industry. Rather than trying to flag one down on the street, Uber allows you to call a car to you, at the touch of a button. Enter your card details when you sign up for the service, and the app will automatically take payment for your journeys – no more fumbling around with foreign currency in the back of a taxi. The service works even if you don’t know where you are – the app uses GPS to work out your location, and then sends this information to the driver. Uber is currently available in almost 50 cities, with more being added on a regular basis.
Public transport can be confusing in your own language – in a foreign country, it’s often impossible to understand. HopStop takes the mystery out of public transport, providing door-to-door travel guides – including bus numbers, station locations and journey lengths – for over 300 cities.
This app is a personal travel assistant in your pocket. Forward your flight, hotel, car hire and restaurant confirmation emails to Tripit, and it will produce a detailed travel itinerary. Gmail and Google Apps users enjoy a seamless experience, as the app will automatically lift the relevant emails from your inbox, without the need for forwarding. It’s simple to pull in relevant weather and map information for your journey, making your trip as easy as possible.
Navigating an airport often proves to be the most stressful part of any trip. GateGuru removes the stress by showing gate information, delay announcements and estimated security wait times for your journey. In some airports, baggage carousel information is also provided on landing. The app can be synced with Tripit, or you can enter flight information manually.