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In this day and age, technology makes travelling that little bit easier. There are a number of top travel apps in both Android and Apple’s marketplaces which can help at any stage of a journey. Some of these apps are horrible to use and are all round pretty poor. If you have an upcoming trip, check out the best travel apps that I recommend in 2020. These range for before to during your trip to cover all aspects of your trip.
Best Travel App For Communication
As I am sure almost all of you will know, WhatsApp has become one of the World’s biggest communication platforms.
WhatsApp is mainly used as a messaging service However, it is also capable of voice or video calls. As all this is done using data (or WiFi), this makes its easy to communicate all over the world without worrying about the cost of making a phone call and avoiding those nasty SMS fees.
All you have to do is create an account, then add your existing phone contacts and it works the same as texting, calling or sending media. Simple!
Best Travel App For Booking Flights
Skyscanner is my go to when I am planning any trip involving flights. It is the easiest way to plan and search for cheap flights. Skyscanner searches through a huge number of providers for the cheapest flights for your required route. This can save you hours of planning.
The app is well laid out so you can see the cheapest days to travel, which is amazing if you are flexible with your dates. If you are simply looking for travel inspiration, set the destination to “everywhere” and the app will fetch all the destinations and flight prices for your chosen departure airport.
You can also get notified of price changes so you do not miss out on great offers!
Best Travel App To Learn A Language
This is my favourite way to learn a language. Duolingo works on the principle “practice makes perfect”. The app slowly drops in new words as you enhance your knowledge.
Over the past few months, I have been brushing up my Spanish and honestly feel this is the most fun way to learn a language. Lessons are split into subject (e.g. travel) so you can brush up on a particular topic easily.
Duolingo has over 30 languages to choose from… and even better… it’s free! There are more than 200 million users learning new languages with Duolingo, making it the largest community of language learners in the world.
The app comes with daily reminders and scheduled activities so you never miss a lesson. Duolingo is the perfect app to prepare you for your trip this summer.
Best Travel App For Language (On The Go)
Self explanatory, Google Translate is a must if you are travelling to a country with limited knowledge of the language. It allows you to type, speak and even use your phones camera to translate text into your chosen language.
The bonus is that Google Translate can also translate loads of language offline so no data is required.
It also offers camera translation in 37 languages, where you point your camera and snap for an instant translation. This can be an invaluable asset. I used this a bunch when I was travelling Japan. This made street signs and menus understandable or I would have been in serious trouble.
Best Travel App For Navigating Traffic
Waze is a great competitor of Google Maps. Both provide great GPS navigation, but Waze also knows the finer details, like the location of potholes. Waze also updates your Expected Time of Arrival based on live traffic data which is essential for modern sat navs.
The app is free and is popular among all types of driver. The app means you can spend less time sitting in traffic, and more time enjoying the trip you have spent time planning.
Best Travel App For Recommendations
Some people do not like prior knowledge before doing something, like how good a restaurant is. Others, like myself, do not want to risk the chance of ruining a limited number of dinner options by choosing the wrong restaurant when on holiday. This is where TripAdvisor is a must.
With a huge number of users, TripAdvisor makes it easy to view others experiences of a restaurant, hotel or excursion. Reviews include the TripAdvisor communities experiences and can include photos so you can see exactly what you should expect.
Usually, there are so many places to consider that it can be pretty overwhelming (like finding a tapas restaurant in Barcelona). So generally, I work off the rule “If it’s under 4 stars, don’t even bother considering it”.
Best Travel App For Hiking / Nature Trails
This app is my most newly discovered travel app on this list. And not strictly just a travel app either. I use this a lot in Scotland due to the insane amount of beutiful landscapes that Scotland has to offer.
AllTrails is an app that helps you find known walks, hikes and trails in a particular area. From this, you can view pictures and maps of a specific trail making planning a day out so much easier. The app comes with both a free and paid option. The paid option allows additional feature like downloading maps offline. This makes it a quicker job to become acquainted with the area around you if you are keen on walks and hiking.
This app is more aimed at nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts. This is not so useful in the centre of a large city for example.
Best Travel App For Home Comforts
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is always handy for security. If you don’t know what a VPN is used for then, in short, it allows you to connect your phone/tablet to a secure connection over the Internet.
VPNs can do a lot of things, such as letting you access region-restricted websites and keep your data secure.
It can therefore be essential for keeping you connected to all your favourite apps that may be blocked in certain countries, or maybe offer a different service (such as Netflix).
Nord VPN is the best and most consistent I have used.
Best Travel App For An Anxious Flyer
Calm can help anyone who struggles with any form of anxiety, such as in-flight. For some, flying can be quite a daunting experience, yet an essential form of travel for getting to your destination.
The Calm app can help you relax through meditation, help you sleep through calming sounds like rain falling, or just help create an overall peaceful environment during your flight. There are also some breathing exercise which may help reduce in-flight stress, making this one of the best travel apps for flying.
The app comes in a free or paid version. The paid version enhances the limited services of the free version. There is usually a 7 day trial period which you can see if this app is right for you.
Best Travel App For In-Flight Entertainment
So we all know Netflix is the top streaming service. However, many people forget there is downloadable content available to watch offline. This makes flights a lot more bearable when you can sit back and watch your favourite shows or movies, without worrying about in flight entertainment.
Simply open the app, login, and select the “Available to Download” option to browse the downloadable content.
I like to sit down the night before a flight getting a range of movies and episodes downloaded so I have an option no matter what mood I am in come the flight.
Best Travel App For Getting Around
Uber is my favourite way to book a ride. The Uber service is available all over the world.
Some cities just like to rip tourists off as much as possible. You can avoid this by using the Uber app to book rides. This way, you see the estimated cost up front and avoid any disputes with a taxi driver.
Another benefit is that there is little interaction with the driver (if that is what you want). This can help avoid the language barrier in certain countries.
You simply enter your destination, and set your pick up point (generally your phone’s current GPS location will be the default) and the price shall appear on screen if a driver is available. Pick the vehicle you would like and await collection. Once you arrive at your destination, no money changes hands as Uber works via card payments through the app.
You can review the driver and subsequently tip if appropriate following your departure. The review process means Uber can review their drivers to keep a top standard of service going.
Best Travel App For Budget Accomodation
Hostelworld is THE place to book a hostel if this is your chosen accommodation method. There is over 17,000 hostels and B&B’s and Hostelworld operates in over 179 countries so they no doubt fit your needs.
The Hostelworld app allows you to do all the regular booking apps; search, filter, book, manage bookings etc. The map display when searching for accommodation is useful for working out your potential surroundings.
Best Travel App For a Home Stay
The concept of Airbnb is pretty straight forward. Airbnb acts as the middle man between a host (someone with a property) and someone looking to rent it.
Airbnb allows you to rent an entire apartment/home or just a private room with a larger home. The app allows you to search for a particular destination and dates, then you can filter your search further to suit your needs. Once booked, you can also message back and forth to your host to enable a perfect stay without any hiccups.
The owner of the home is responsible for your check in and check out. However, you can actually do a self check-in option for some accommodations which means you don’t have to interact with anyone, which may be a bonus for you.
Personally, I love Airbnb for a cost effective way to stay in a particular destination, while also having some home comforts or facilities that are just not possible through a hotel. I used Airbnb for my trips to Madrid and Tallinn, and both accommodations were immaculate.
Best Travel App For Hotel Accomodation
For the past few years, I have not looked further than Booking.com for my accommodation. Generally, they are cheaper, the site is easier to manage, and I find they have more deals that suit my needs.
The apps makes a perfect extension of this, It is easy to search, book and manage accommodation bookings. A bonus to using the app is that there is sometimes “secret mobile only” deals which bring the price down say 10% from purchasing online.
Once you have booked a few trips through Booking.com, you’ll get access to “genius” benefits (effectively their loyalty scheme) such as discounts, late checkouts, and in-hotel benefits like free breakfast during your stay.
Best Travel App for Currency Conversion
My final recommendation of the best travel apps in 2020 is XE Currency Converter. Managing money can be one of the biggest pains when abroad, and in some cases before you even travel.
This app provides live currency rates (allow available to store offline) so you can track the exchange rate of the currency you wish. This helps you work out if the deal you are getting really is a good deal.
There are loads of ways to track the exchange rate, but I feel the XE Currency Converter app is the easiest currency converter available at the moment.
Have you got a favourite travel app that you use when planning / on your travels? Let me know in the comments!