It’s the time of year where we’re all hoping to fly off to somewhere nice for a few weeks of the summer. Most people will have booked a long time ago, making sure everything was ready and prepared in advance. However, if, like me, you’re someone who tends to always leave it until the last minute to something booked, I’ve got some great apps that might make your holiday booking a lot less stressful!
The first thing (and perhaps most important thing), to get done when looking into your travels is to book flights. It doesn’t matter how close or far from home you’re planning on going, you need to get there. SkyScanner is an app absolutely perfect for finding flights, it takes all of the flight information from all of the different operators and puts them in one place. It’s simple, easy to use, and incredibly helpful!
I have a huge amount of love for this app, it’s my ultimate travel essential. I’ve never been overly keen on using hotels when I travel, they usually feel slightly impersonal and tend not to offer the local feeling. With AirBnB, however, you can choose the city you’re travelling to, and then browse through other users’ houses or apartments. You have the option to either rent out an entire place for you and your friends, or you can opt for just having a room in the house whilst the owners are still there. It’s not only a great way to get a more authentic local-style holiday, it’s also a great way to meet people and get the best advice on the area you’re visiting.
Whilst not exactly a fun app, having something on your side that can tell you what the exchange rate is can be crucial. There’s nothing worse than entering an exchange shop abroad with no idea of whether or not you’re getting yourself a fair deal, or being ripped off. It becomes even handier if you’re visiting more than one country on your trip, as you’ll be able to find out whether it’s a better deal to swap unspent currency from the last country you were in, or whether you should just swap your home currency.
Time Out is a great way to find out what is going on in a city. From the best cafés and restaurants down to the best nights out. If you’re looking to avoid running into tourist traps and seeking more refined ways to spend your time and money as locals would, then Time Out is a great source for finding out how. They operate in most major cities worldwide, so wherever you go they’ll be there to offer some assistance in your travels.
I’m a bit of an advocate for getting lost in new cities, I think it’s great. There’s no better way to find hidden gems in a city than by stumbling across something purely by accident. However, sometimes getting lost isn’t so fun, especially if you end up in a not-so-nice part of town, or it’s just really late at night and you’re begging for your bed. Google Maps can be an absolute saviour, especially as it has the capability of working offline, meaning you won’t get slumped with data fees!
Let’s face it, we’ve all been in the awkward position in which you’re in a conversation where both participants have no idea what the other is saying. When you’re abroad, unless you’re fluent in the language, you are most definitely going to stumble into this problem. Google Translate can be your ultimate pocket companion. You can translate what you want to say before you approach a situation, and learn how to say you don’t parlez the local. With the additional functionality to use the camera to translate text instantly before your eyes, I can’t recommend Google Translate enough for your foreign travels!
This choice isn’t as strange as it might seem. Sorting out your finances whilst abroad can be a huge pain. Most cash machines on the continent won’t tell you your balance, and if you use your regular card, you get hit with a currency fee. With many stores in cities now accepting Paypal as a payment method, this app can save you getting hit with those fees. Send money between your party, receive money from home and spend money, all without fees.