There’s nothing worse than being lost in an unfamiliar area without any means of navigation. Fortunately, in today’s technologically-advanced age, there’s an app for practically everything. And when it comes to mobile travel apps, whether you’re travelling locally or abroad, we’re especially spoiled for choice. From mapping out routes to finding a last-minute sleepover spot, make your travels easy with one of these ultra-handy apps.
Often when travelling abroad, it helps to know a few sentences of words in the country’s native language. With the Google Translate app, you can translate text, handwriting, text from photos, and audio in over 100 languages. Offline? No problem! The app can still translate up to 59 languages without an internet connection. Cost? Free on Android and iOS/Apple.
TripIt is a travel agent in your pocket with a host of functions that will make travelling feel like a breeze. After booking your flights, TripIt will create an interactive itinerary for you to help monitor your flight schedule. The app can also help you find your way around a foreign airport, as well as point you toward nearby restaurants and ATMs. Cost? Free with in-app purchases.
If you choose to explore a new city by car then the Roadtrippers may just be the app for you. The app offers information on local diners, quirky roadside attractions, national parks, and scenic picnic spots near a location of your choice. It can also plot these must-see attractions for you on a route with up to seven points. If you upgrade to Roadtrippers Plus, you’ll be able to mark up to 150 trips per trip. Fun fact: there are pre-made trips on the app that you can follow if you’re feeling extra spontaneous. Cost? Free with in-app purchases on Android and iOS/Apple. Roadtrippers offers content specific to individuals who’ll be traveling in and around the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Working with different currency can be a tricky to master, especially if your country’s currency is weaker in comparison to the country you’re traveling to. But, luckily, there’s a helping hand in the form of the XE Currency app. With this app, you’ll be able to keep up to date with fluctuating foreign exchange rates, as well as calculate prices with the app’s built-in currency converter. Cost? Free with in-app purchases.
Stressing about your upcoming trip with several connecting flights? Lessen the stress by downloading FLIO and receive real-time updates about your flight status, boarding time, delays, gate changes, and baggage claim. Plus, there are interactive maps covering over 5000 airports within the app, too. Cost? Free.
There’s nothing like arriving at your destination only to be told that the hotel where you’ve made a reservation is “overbooked”. These cases often happen and that’s why an app like Airbnb, where you’re guaranteed a bed for the night, is so valuable. Through Airbnb, you’ll find an array of places where you can choose to rest your head. So put in your budget, location, and group count and scroll away! Cost? Free
This multi-purpose app brings all of the finer details of your journey together in one collective view. It’s an ideal app for frequent flyers, whether traveling for business or leisure, and will help you stay productive while also recommending unique local experiences. There’s even a built-in, five-day weather forecast to help you plan your outfits for the days ahead. Cost? Free
If you’re planning on trekking through a new city for over a month, then you may want to keep track of your finances and day-to-day expenses. With Trail Wallet, you’ll be able to manage your finances without scribbling things down on paper or holding on to loose receipts. Keep your financial anxiety at bay by keeping an effective money-tracker like Trail Wallet in your pocket. Cost? Free with in-app purchases.
Skyscanner is a brilliant app to help you score on travel deals. This app’s ultimate goal is to find cheaper flights, but it can also help you find cheaper hotels, train rides, and affordable car-hire companies. It constantly keeps an eye on flight prices, and will keep you updated if the flight prices for one of your favourite routes has changed. Cost? Free.
Everyone enjoy listening to music, and there’s no better way to enjoy music than when you’re out on the open road. Our pick of the best music streaming platform is Spotify. This app offers listening access to nearly every music artist or group imaginable across the globe, including artists that are no longer actively performing today. It also curates personalised playlists for you to listen to based on the music you’ve selected and the algorithm is near-perfect. Cost? Free; from R59,99 per month for Spotify Premium.
Compiled by Features Writer, Marike Watson
Features writer by trade, music lover and fine-line illustrator by nature. As an expert on the ’70s era, Marike will happily introduce you to her record collection. She’s passionate about African art and culture. And if she’s not off on an adventure, you’ll most likely find her making coffee.