BEST TRAVEL APPS FOR 2017
Tour guides? Travel agents? That's so 2005. Whether you are planning a holiday or already trekking mountains and soaking up the sun, there are plenty of travel apps that can make your experience a whole lot easier, smoother, and more fun. But how to choose the best ones? For the past two years, I've been on a mission to find the most functional, useful, and all-around great platforms. Scroll down to find this year's handpicked selection and check out my previous winners:
Detour offers audio walks around US cities (New York City, Chicago, LA, Austin) as well as London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, and Marrakech. These immersive walks might give you an eerie experience as the narrator uses your location to guide you along the way. You can also check out previews before purchasing any tour on offer.
SAS SURVIVAL GUIDE
SAS Survival Guide is a kind of app you hope you'll never need to use, yet should download on every device you own. What would you do if you were lost in the middle of the forest? Would you be able to start a fire without matches? How about building a shelter? This app will equip you with information on how to provide First Aid, what to do if you are kept in hostage, and how to survive any other emergency situation no matter where in the world you are.
This app is an old trustie that I can't recommend enough if you travel by bus in Europe and North America. CheckMyBus is a bus fare aggregator, so you only need to enter your departure and destination cities and the app will compare prices from available bus providers for the selected dates. I've successfully used this app multiple times to travel between the Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK.
Fancy a tour of the city with a twist? Then you might enjoy Questery. This app offers exciting offline quests and thematic routes around 18 cities in Europe, from London to Saint Petersburg. Once you have completed the quest, you will receive detailed statistics on distance travelled, completion time, and calories burned.
ASK A NOMAD
Only available on iPad (or as a website) as of now, Ask A Nomad is a Q&A app where travellers can get answers directly from locals. You can browse thousands of questions already answered or search information by destination, topic or app users. Didn't find what you need? Submit a country- or city-specific inquiry and someone in the community will help you out.
> Download: iOS (iPad only)
WHA (WORK HARD ANYWHERE)
For times when you need to work remotely while on the road, turn to WHA by Work Hard Anywhere. This app is a guide to laptop-friendly cafés and work-optimised spaces where you can charge your computer, use high-speed WiFi, and get things done. Now you don't need to dig through hundreds of reviews to find the right spot!
> Download: iOS
Being in a foreign country can pose many challenges, languages being one of them. How to pronounce weird-looking names of metro stations, streets or food? Let me introduce you to Forvo. It's a community-run pronunciation dictionary where you can listen to, learn, and record words and phrases in over 325 languages.
Designed by Trip Advisor, TheFork helps you find and book a table in one of 40,000+ restaurants across Europe and Brazil. With more than five million reviews to help you find the best place, you get a great meal and offers up to 50%. You can also earn discounts as you complete every booking.
Roaming fees are pretty expensive, so a free map of WiFi networks (including passwords!) in your destination can certainly come in handy sooner or later. Wiffinity is a platform that allows you to browse all available networks around your location even when you are offline - just be sure to download the right map beforehand. There is also an option of adding your own WiFi network to the map in case you are feeling generous.
GateGuru offers all information on services, shops, and restaurants in hundreds of airports worldwide as well as keeps your itinerary and flight details in one place. In addition to that, the app can also check you in on the flight and arrange last-minute rental car bookings.
With 216 maps of over 150 cities on 6 continents, this is the most comprehensive database of subway networks available today. No internet connection required to view maps.
> Download: iOS
Cool Cousin is a collection of curated city maps from residents whose lifestyles and hobbies you match with: be it an architect in Paris, an anime master in London or a vegan sailor in Tel Aviv. The app provides an opportunity to experience the life of a like-minded local and see your destination through the prism of their world!
> Download: iOS
LiveTrekker keeps a detailed record of your travels, including a map track and photos, videos and audio with geotags. Manage multiple trip logs and share your trip logs online with friends and family. Sure, it might be a bit draining on your battery life, but you will never forget where this or that picture was taken.
An all-around great financial assistant in a sleek app, Expensify helps you manually track expenses on the go. Smart Scan automatically processes receipts and adds them to your account. Along with receipt scanning, the app includes different input options for travel mileage, time- and rate-based expenses with as automatic currency conversion.
ONTHESNOW SKI & SNOW REPORT
Hitting the slopes? Make sure they've got enough snow! Ski & Snow Report contains rich statistics, precise weather reports, and even webcams on ski resorts around the world. Users also have an option of leaving comments so you know what's actually up.
Drink Advisor is the #1 guide to the nightlife in all corners of the world. It delivers suggestions based on what you're in the mood for and drinks preferences. Don't feel like leaving your house? No worries - the app also has a great many ideas for the cocktails to prepare at home sorted by style, flavour, alcohol strengths, base liquor, mixer, and a method of preparation you like the most. It will then talk you through cocktail making process and detailed recipes.
Got many apps to assist you in learning a new language but you still don't make any progress? Memrise is a language-learning app that will actually help you get there. Not only does it feel like playing a game as opposed to cramming textbooks, courses encompass a large variety of exercises to improve your learning process. Plus, there are a whole 14 languages (plus 2 variant dialects) to choose from!
An oldie but a goodie, this is a must-have app for all wine enthusiasts. Whether you are out for dinner or visiting a winery, Vivino can help you find what you are looking for. Scan a wine label or browse the platform's library with 10 million wines to see ratings, reviews, average price, tasting notes, and even food pairings! Feel free to add your own reviews and ratings to track of wines you like and receive customised recommendations.
TRAVEL GUIDES BY THE TELEGRAPH
The Telegraph's Guides are collections of insider tips on what to see and do in more than 40 destinations around the world - from Myanmar to St Kitts. Resident experts who know their destination inside out have personally reviewed hotels, bars and all attractions on offer to highlight the very best options. Each guide can be downloaded and navigated offline as it will rely on GPS to track movements.
> Download: iOS
If you need to kill time waiting for your plane, this fun game will improve your knowledge of the world. How much do you actually know about our planet and different countries? Could you find Togo on a map? What part of the world is Suriname in? What is Argentinian currency? Do you know the flag of Panama? Answer all these questions, and many more, and compete with your friends!
Moving to another city or country? Check out apps that will help make your move easier and smoother in this post.
What are your favourite travel apps? Share in the comments below!
Happy travels x