I’ve read a lot of articles on the best apps to travel with and they often leave me wondering who has time for all that downloading? I don’t know about you but my phone is mostly filled with photos and social media so I like to keep my apps to a minimum.
I’m also secretly scared that my phone will die one day and I’ll be left without a clue on how to travel – there are certain things I just like to commit to paper. But there are 7 apps (just 7) that I’d seriously struggle on my travels if I didn’t have them.
Obviously. Google Maps to me is the holy grail of travel. I use it on a regular basis to find out what public transport to catch, how long an Uber will take and where on earth I’ve ended up now.
Little trick people: if you don’t have data roaming, load up the map for the location you’re heading to before you leave the hotel. The app caches the results and can help you out even when you’re offline.
The Weather Channel
Another standard iPhone app that is my holy grail. Not only does this app dictate what I wear on a daily basis but I scroll down to the bottom to look up the sunrise and sunset times when I’m looking to shoot them on location.
I book the majority of my accommodation on booking.com as I like that you can amend or cancel the bookings when your plans change and it’s super easy and costs nothing. The app is great for managing and reviewing your current bookings as well as making new ones with a few clicks. It also has a number of free travel guides you can download before your trip with information on top attractions, cool neighbourhoods and things to do. Find more hotel booking apps on this list of by nimble.
I’ve mentioned before that I use a Flexiroam X microsim when I travel in order to data roam easily and cheaply in over 100 countries. The app is how I manage and top up my data on the go. You can see how much you’ve got left on the home page and top it up by unlocking free data (through referring friends or applying promo codes) or by buying an extra data pack ($29.99US for 1GB). I was initially sent this sim for a product review but I’ve been using it ever since. Having access to data roaming in Japan saved my bacon so many times!
Tourist Refund Scheme
This is a handy one for anyone who has been on a shopping spree in Australia! All overseas visitors and Australian residents can claim a tax refund on goods valued over $300 bought within 60 days of departing the country. The Tourist Refund Scheme app lets you load up all the purchase information in advance, shows you your estimated refund and means you can skip the queues at the Tourist Refund desk in departures. You can also save your payment details on the app so that any refund you claim goes straight back into your bank account. Just remember that you do have to have the goods on you (i.e. in your hand luggage) when you make your claim.
Qantas/Virgin Australia App
I mainly fly with either Qantas or Virgin so these are the only airline apps I use. I use them to keep track of my flight details as well as my frequent flyer points activity. The Qantas app is particularly good for telling you things like what gate you’ll be departing from and what carousel you’ll find your luggage at. You can also manage some parts of your booking like picking seats – Virgin annoyingly redirects you to the website for that.
Finally, to keep a check on all my overseas spending I turn to XE Currency. I like that it uses your geolocation to customize the currencies list and that you can save your base currency so there’s no need to keep typing it in.
What travel apps could you not survive without?