My top 5 travel apps, it’s been done. Overdone you might say. But.., I work in digital and I am a bit of a UX geek so I feel that I should be allowed to throw in my tuppence worth. I do often wonder how I coped without a smart phone. Spoiler alert for the post ahead, I can’t seem to get myself anywhere these days without spinning around, and celebrating profusely when the blue dot finally reaches that red pin. Here are 5 useful travel apps that you need in your life. For those yawning already at my lack of creativity; don’t worry, I’ll keep it brief.
Maps, it’s an obvious one but I would be totally and utterly lost without maps in my life (pardon the pun). For the more navigationally challenged, like myself, you can turn on the sat nav functionality. Just make sure you pop in your head phones, otherwise you will probably be met with a few sniggers along the way.
Like a Local
I’m not going to lie, I was almost tempted not to share this particular app with the wider world. I’ve been using ‘Like a Local’ since 2014 and it hasn’t let me down yet. The app contains advice from real locals which really does help you avoid tourist traps and find the true hidden gems of city. The app now has more than 5000 cities available, although you will find that some places have more reviews than others. The best thing is that it works completely offline so there’s no need to eat into your data allowance.
I’m a reasonably confident traveller but having found myself in a few uncomfortable situations abroad I know too well how quickly the atmosphere of a city can change just by walking a few streets away. Geosure is a new app I have discovered which records the most accurate security and safety data. The app scores cities and neighbourhoods based on different safety categories such as women’s safety, theft and more recently LGBTQ safety. I am looking forward to seeing how this app develops over time. Anything which gives travellers more confidence and peace of mind is a winner with me.
I’m just about old enough to remember my parents going abroad with their trusty traveller’s cheque. I rarely even bother ordering currency before travelling anymore. All I need for a short European city break is my Revolut bank card and app. The re-loadable Mastercard has no foreign exchange fees and you have the option to convert your money via the app at the real exchange rate. Customer service is available 24 hours and the live chat within the app is very helpful.
I love languages. I always do what I can to learn the basics of a language before travelling. Rather than waste my time on candy crush (we’ve all been there), I use Duolingo to brush up on my vocabulary. It really is amazing that the app can be used free of charge and there are over 30 languages available. The lessons follow a very logical approach and help you build on your language skills through a combination of listening, reading, writing and speaking. There’s also a competition element as you can compete against friends and family. You have to use the app on consecutive days to keep your name at the top of the leader board. Game on!