Smartphones have made it so much easier to travel. We no longer need to weigh ourselves down with heavy guidebooks, sheet after sheet of booking information, and other crucial items to help you enjoy your trip and stay safe. Thanks to smartphones, we can carry most of the stuff we need inside our phones and fill out bags with just the clothes and other essentials that can’t be digitised.
If you’re planning a trip, whether it be here in the UK or elsewhere in the world, here are some handy apps worth installing on your smartphone.
People reading Lonely Planet guide books on an aeroplane was a common sight while travelling until recently. These books would (and still do) tell you the best attractions to visit while in a foreign land, but digital alternatives like Trip Advisor have helped people to get more tailored travel experiences filled with things that they enjoy.
Other apps include Minube, Gogobot, and Triposo all take their data from multiple sources like other users and crowdsourced travel sites. This gives you a much broader range of options, including ones from people that share similar interests to you.
Of course, you travel to see the sights, immerse yourself in another culture, and explore, but sometimes you need to spend a little time resting. If you’ve been out walking all day, you might want to have a quiet evening to recharge ahead of another day of adventure tomorrow.
That’s where entertainment apps come in. Instead of carrying a heavy book or two in your bag, your smartphone or tablet can serve as a book. Just download the Kindle, Google Play Books, or Apple Books app to get started.
Music and movie streaming apps like Spotify, Deezer, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video are also great for an evening in your hotel room or while you’re on a long journey.
Gaming apps are also great for entertainment while you travel. Classic travel games like draughts, chess, and Scrabble can all be played with your friends while in your hotel, at the beach, or at the airport.
While there are plenty of games you can play with your travel companions, there are also many you can enjoy on your own if you want to spend some time resting and recharging alone.
Classic casino games like roulette are popular as you don’t need to commit long periods of time to play them but can still be enjoyed over and over again. Because roulette has several variants, it’s also possible to switch between them for a slightly different playing experience.
Other casual and hyper-casual games like Candy Crush, Mini Metro, and Angry Birds are also great options for while you’re travelling.
Some people are naturally gifted with a great sense of direction, others need a map to find their own kitchen. Regardless of how good your internal compass is, you need a helping hand while travelling in an unfamiliar land.
Most people have used Google Maps or Apple Maps, but there are other great tools for certain scenarios.
If you’re driving, Waze is a great option as it can alert you to traffic, collisions and other hazards on the road using user-generated reports. Citymapper is great for when you’re in a big city and plan to use public transport to get around. It isn’t available everywhere, but the list of supported cities is expanding all the time.
Footpath Route Planner, Ordnance Survey, and Alltrails are more suited to when you’re planning to head out into the great outdoors for a bike ride or hike.
While it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself in trouble while on a trip, it makes sense to be prepared. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps that can help with this too. For example, what3words can help direct help to your exact location in an emergency, while First Aid by British Red Cross can help you treat certain injuries while you wait for help to arrive.
Meanwhile, Red Panic Button and Bsafe can help alert trusted contacts of your location either in an emergency or for a set time so your loved ones can keep an eye on you and help if you need it. For women travelling alone, this can be incredibly important as it’s always good practice to let people know where you’re going and keep in touch while you’re away.