With millions and millions of Mobile applications in each of the Apple and Google app stores, listing out every decent travel app would be a full-time job by itself. Instead, here are the essential smartphone and tablet apps for travelers!
Tripit – it does one thing, and it does it well: organizing your travel. Tripit pulls data from your email confirmations for flights, accommodation, car rental and more, and provides it in a simple, offline itinerary. (iOS /Android, free)
Triposo – A comprehensive offline travel guide for much of the world. Slick and easy to use, it’s definitely worth a look. Just remember to download the guides on a decent Wi-fi connection, as they’re not small. (iOS /Android, free)
Duolingo – if you want to learn the language of the countries you’re visiting, we haven’t found a better option than Duolingo. It’s simple and fun to use covers several European languages and gives you basic language skills within a few hours. (iOS / Android, free)
Pocket Casts – sick of having nothing to listen to on long journeys? Get into the world of podcasts and never be bored again (as long as you’ve got battery life). Pocket Casts is easily the best podcast listening app we’ve used, with dozens of features that lift it above the rest. (iOS / Android, $4.99)
Sit or Squat – let’s talk about poo. Actually, let’s not — but when you’re traveling in some parts of the world, it’s not an unusual topic of conversation. Sit or Squat is like Yelp for public toilets, rating, and helping you find the nearest one. (iOS /Android, free)
LastPass – sick of coming up, and trying to remember, dozens of strong online passwords? LastPass works with the browsers on your desktop, tablet, and phone, and will securely generate and/or save your login information for any website. You only ever need to remember the password for the app itself. (iOS, Android and others, free on desktop, $12/year for mobile apps)
Trail Wallet – tracks travel expenses quickly and easily, and helps you stick to your budget. Plenty of graphs and general prettiness, and can export to a spreadsheet for use elsewhere. (iOS, free for limited version, $3.99 to unlock)
Snapseed – if you want to make your photos look better before you share them with friends and family, this is the app to do it with. Forget Instagram filters, Snapseed’s powerful tools give you a better, more natural result. (iOS / Android, free)
MAPS.ME – if you spend a lot of time walking around without an internet connection and need working maps, this app provides a better experience and more features than the competition. (iOS / Android, Free)
Pocket – saves any web page to read offline at a later date. Handy for both travel information and lengthy articles to provide entertainment on yet another ten-hour bus ride. (iOS, Android and others, free)
XE Currency – there are dozens of currency converters out there, but XE remains one of the best. It converts instantly from one currency to any others, and as long as it’s synced exchange rates at some point, will work offline. (iOS /Android, free)
Yelp – this business review app is as useful while traveling at home, especially in countries like the US where it’s very widely used. Restaurants, bars, gas stations, and more, at the tap of a screen. (iOS / Android, free)
Skyscanner – for looking up flights on-the-go, Skyscanner has the most flexible app. It’s easy to use, while still offering options like full-month searches and an ‘Everywhere’ destination for those with few plans. (iOS / Android, free)
Speedtest – need to know whether the Wi-Fi is usable before you order your meal or book a room for the night? Speedtest will quickly tell you whether it works or if you need to move on to somewhere else. (iOS, Android and web, free)
Google Voice – if you’re US-based, Google Voice lets you make and receive calls and texts to your existing number (or one you choose) via a data connection when you’re traveling, usually free of charge.
Authy – for extra security when logging into websites, this app provides an ever-changing code that needs to be entered as well as your password. It works offline and is supported by dozens of services. (iOS / Android, free)
Trip Advisor – the biggest crowd-sourced travel site on the web, Trip Advisor makes up in volume what it sometimes lacks incoherence. Addresses and descriptions of how to find a hotel or restaurant are particularly useful. (iOS and Android, free)
World Clock – while iOS devices have an inbuilt world clock, others don’t. World Clock provides an at-a-glance widget and app to track the time back home, or anywhere else in the world. (Android, free)
Airbnb – with so many accommodation booking apps out there, it’s hard to narrow them down. We’re a fan of the Airbnb app, however — it’s fast and comprehensive, with attractive photos and a useful availability summary. (iOS / Android, free.
Wifi Map – mentioned earlier, this app downloads a database of free Wi-fi hotspots around the world and helps you find the nearest ones when you’re offline. It includes any passwords you may need. (iOS / Android, free)
Skype – the grand-daddy of Voice over IP apps, Skype lets you make and receive calls from anywhere with a decent internet connection. Premium services let you call real phones as well, or provide a standard phone number for others to call you. (iOS, Android and others, free)
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