10 Free Travel Apps You Need!

It’s incredible just how much we can do with phones now, the days of just making calls and texts on phones are long gone and now you can do nearly as much on a phone as you can do on a full sized computer!

This comes in super handy not just at home but also away too! So in this post I am going to share my top 10 recommended apps that you should have installed on your phone before you go away and how you can use them whilst you are away!

Its also important to mention that I do not have an affiliation with any of these apps and/or the developers, they are just what I use and which ones I like to shout about!

1 – Maps

Be it Apple Maps or Google Maps they are both pretty much the same, no matter which one you go for you will find both to be a godsend! Its quite obvious what you use both of these apps for and depending on what country I am in with depend on which one I personally use.

If I am visiting either a EU country or a country that as part of my phone contract in which I can get inclusive data in that country (e.g. the USA, Canada, Australia and a couple more) I will use Apple Maps, which I can just use happily without any extra cost at the end of the month!

If I am visiting a non EU country and I am not there long enough to deem it necessary to buy a local SIM card (e.g. Ukraine, Belarus, Bosnia… where I was only in each country a couple of days max) either prior to travelling or once in the country and at a wifi point, I will download to my phone a selected area of map that I can use offline! This pretty much has the same effect as if I was to have data! The only difference is that the information is finite to that zone I have selected and if I was to move out of that selected zone I downloaded, then I would be without it again! Apple Maps comes preloaded on all iPhones, but you can download Google Maps here

img_5803.png
One little thing that I do like about Apple Maps which I don’t entirely know how it works, it how the app can locate your car! Can provide a bit of reassurance when you park your car near the airport and expect to see it where you left it! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019
img_5804.png

One great feature with Google Maps is the ability to download maps for offline use, so even if you are in an area where you don’t have data, with your map downloaded you can still see where you are! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

2 – FlightRadar24

The ultimate map for the sky! This app allows you to see every commercial flight in the world, in real time! Using your phones default map operator (i.e iPhone.. Apple Maps. Android… Google Maps) as the background, the app positions aircraft icons exactly where they are at present in the world!

If you were to tap on one of them icons you can loads of information on that flight including; the flight origin and destination, its take scheduled take off and landing times and its actual times, aircraft information and also its current altitude! If you purchase the premium version of this app you can find even more information out.

The app is of great use for a couple of reasons, prior to travelling it allows you to scope out flights and where they are going which is great for travel planning! If you are at the airport and awaiting for an inbound aircraft you can track it coming into land which can make the difference between that extra pint in the bar or not! Check out the app here and get it downloaded

img_5801.png

img_5802.png

Whats great about FlightRadar is that you can see exactly where any commercial flight is live! You can also tap on that flight and see loads of details about the aircraft and its position in the sky! – – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

3 – Uber

Most people have heard of UBER before but if you don’t know what it is, it is basically a ‘taxi’ hailing app, you select the number of people travelling, your starting point and your end point and what kind of vehicle you want (i.e. people carrier, basic car or even luxury car!)

The app will then send a notification out to all drivers nearby and whoever is free and can fit the requirements will come by and pick you up! The driver identification and car number plate will be displayed on your UBER app so you know what you are looking for. Once the car arrives the driver knows where he is to take you because you have told him via the app, you just get in and enjoy the ride! You don’t have to exchange any kind of cash payment because the ride was paid by the app!

The app is great when travelling because it eliminates any language barrier issues, the instructions are sent to the driver in his or her own language. It is also extremely safe because every driver is vetted through UBER itself. One other great pro with using UBER is that you don’t have to worry about cash which in some countries where they don’t use an easy to use currency such as Hungary or the Czech Republic it can get complicated trying to work the fare out, it is simply taken from your bank account!

Unfortunately UBER is not available everywhere in the world, that also includes my home town so I can’t show how the app works properly, however this video explains it really well! You can also download the app here

4 – Translate

Another app created by Google, Translate is really useful if you are in a location that uses a local scrip that isn’t necessarily latin based. In the past I have found myself using Translate quite a lot in places like Russia, Ukraine and Belarus where the Cyrillic alphabet is pretty much the only kind of writing used and where English is less commonly spoken.

The the smart thing with Translate is that you don’t even have to type what it is you are trying to translate, the app has a camera function where if you point it at something with writing on, it will try and translate the text actually on the image into English, or whatever language you are wanting it to be.

IMG_5560
In this example of the photographic recognition feature, I took a photo on my MacBook screen with a photo I took when I visited Ukraine. It had some Ukrainian Cyrillic writing on it and the app is able to scan for Ukrainian and then tell me what it means in my chosen language! – © Lewis Pickthall 2018

Another useful feature of the app is that you can use it offline without any data, however you need to download language packs in advance before going without data. 

You can download this app on the Apple App store or click here

5 – Revolut

Although I am going to be doing a full post on the Revolut app and the card in the future, Revolut is the perfect debit card for when you are abroad! The card works with the app, so to start you can top up the card via your phone with a set amount of cash and as you spend you will see your transactions appear through the app, it shows where you made the transaction, how much it was and in both your home currency and the local!

This app is not entirely free as you do need to pay about £5 to get a physical card delivered to your home address but it is free from that point on. There are upgrade options that you can pay monthly for which include things like a larger transaction fee free quota and even inclusive tech insurance. To read more about Revolut click here and download the app click here

In the mean time keep a look out for my full demonstration of the Revolut app!

6 – Wallet

A nifty little built in app for iPhone, Wallet allows you to store all your physical cards and reservations (including your boarding passes for flights!) on your actually iPhone.

Wallet comes in handy the most when you are travelling for your boarding passes. If you are just travelling hand luggage only then in most cases you don’t need to go up to the check in counter to get a boarding pass as you get it straight to your phone! Another perk of having your boarding pass on your phone is that you don’t have to faff around firstly finding a printer, printing it out and making sure you don’t lose that piece of paper!

To use Wallet on your iPhone you just had to press your power button twice quickly, do a face ID scan and then you have all your items ready to go! If you have a boarding pass on there it will have a QR code (as well as your seat details) on that is scanned at the gate to your flight! Wallet comes preloaded on all iPhones

img_5805.png
Wallet is good for everyday use, but an excellent tool when you are travelling, you can store you boarding passes, frequent flyer cards and reservations all in one place! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

7 – FlixBus

Flixbus is one of the biggest bus travel companies across Europe and the USA, they offer cheap long distance bus travel between many cities on continental Europe and western USA. One of the easiest ways to check times and book your seat on one of their coaches is to do it through their app!

When you launch the app you just choose your start and end point from the list, the date(s) you want to travel and how many passengers. Once you have put this info you will get a list of departure times you just simply select which one you want and pay for it! Your booking confirmation will come in form of a QR code that will be both emailed to you and also dropped into your iPhone Wallet!

To see where you can go with Flixbus click here

img_5807.png

img_5806.png
Flixbus allows you to plan your journey with them all from your phone, this even includes getting your actual ticket to ride which will come through to your phone as a QR code! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

8 – HostelWorld

HostelWorld.com is in my opinion the best site out there for choosing hostel accommodation! You can look at hundreds of thousands of properties from all over the world and make a reservation through the site! Luckily HostelWorld put their great site into an equally great App so now you can do all this through your phone!

HostelWorld works very much like a community, you can reviews from people who have stayed at the places in the past and by creating an account on the site you can also contribute your thoughts from your experience there!

Its so easy to book somewhere you just put in your dream destination, your planned dates for visiting and the number of people. Depending on the popularity and size of the destination their could be many places to choose from or only a couple! Tap on a result and see the reviews, if you are happy with the place and the price you can select what type of accommodation you want (i.e. dorm bed, private room etc.)

To download the HostelWorld.com app click here

IMG_5808

IMG_5809

img_5810.png

HostelWorld.com’s app allows you to do everything that you could do on the desktop site but with more convenience! You can look through countless properties all over the world straight from your phone! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

9 – ‘Airline Apps’

I haven’t really pin pointed on a specific airlines app in this as may airlines have an application now, however no matter how many times you fly with a particular airline I recommend downloading there app and booking your flight through it.

Using EasyJet’s app as a focus, you can choose book your flights through the app by choosing your origin and destination airports and the dates, then the number of passengers! You can also reserve a specific seat (at an additional cost) through the app by choosing a seat on the aircraft map. When the time comes to fly you will get your boarding pass sent via the app to your Apple Wallet so when you are at the gate the only things you need to fly are your Passport and your phone!

To download the EasyJet app click here, alternatively check on the app store yourself to see if your preferred airline has their own app!

IMG_5811

IMG_5812

img_5813.png

Airline apps such as the one that EasyJet has developed allow you to book and manage your travel to anywhere that the airline go all from your phone! – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

10 – PriorityPass

If you are a regular in the airport lounges, then this app is definitely for you! PriorityPass is a membership program that depending on your chosen membership can get you into thousands of airport lounges all around the world at no extra cost or at a discounted rate.

The usefulness of the membership and which type you choose really depends on how often your fly as the lowest annual fee is close to £200, if you are in an airport every week then you would greatly benefit from a membership, however if you are only in an airport once or twice a year then its not really worth it.

However the app itself is of some use as it can allow you to search for what lounges are out their across the world, even if you don’t have a priority pass membership. If you search for your departing airport and terminal, you can see what lounges are their and what services/amenities are located in there.

To download this app click here

IMG_5814

 

IMG_5815
You are almost guaranteed to find a lounge through the Priority Pass app, no matter which airport in the world you are flying from! Even if you are not a member the majority of these lounges will offer a pay per use rate – © Lewis Pickthall 2019

In conclusion…

I hope you find these apps useful for any future travel plans you may have, but what do you use to help you? let me know in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s