The best travel apps to download before your trip

Airbnb regulation won't fix the housing market, but are a positive move towards fixing supply issues.

Airbnb regulation won't fix the housing market, but are a positive move towards fixing supply issues. Photo: Getty

Beyond the happy snaps we share on social media, there’s a less picture-perfect side to travel that can diminish a holiday. Stress.

A 2017 survey of 8000 people by US lifestyle site Simplemost found the biggest source of stress for travellers was the cost.

Other things causing the cortisol to soar were safety concerns, trip preparation, getting to and from the destination and co-ordinating logistics while on the go.

On the upside, there’s an app for that!

These 10 nifty travel apps can make travel easier.

1. Skyscanner

One of the best apps for comparing flights quickly, Skyscanner searches offerings from more than 1200 travel companies worldwide to find the cheapest or fastest flight.

You can also sign up for price alerts, choose the ‘Greener choice’ label to fly low CO2, and use the calendar ‘chart’ option to find the cheapest time to travel.

Also check out the listings of hotels – searchable by price, star or guest rating and proximity to the city.

Get the app for Apple and android here

2. Rome2Rio

Working out how to get around is one of the hardest parts of travel.

Offering a huge list of rail, bus, flight and ferry options, Melbourne-based travel search engine Rome2Rio can help you plot your transport choices, including self-driving and ride sharing options, more quickly. Its motto is: “How to get anywhere by plane, train, bus, ferry and car”.

The app provides costs, journey durations, routes, schedules and booking screens.

Download it from the web, iOS, and Android

3. Citymapper

Citymapper offers transport planning for 40 medium to large cities. The app covers trams, ferries, buses, Uber and other ride-sharing choices, plus price details and journey times.

Additional features you’ll love include the “get off” alert – it alerts you when it’s time to jump off the bus, and the “telescope” option: a Google StreetView image shows you where to get on or off your mode of transport.

Get it on the web, for iOS, and Android

best travel apps

Transform your travel experience with carefully selected apps. Photo: Getty

4. HotelTonight

From basic to hip and luxe, HotelTonight helps travellers find a hotel room, including last-minute discounts on empty rooms, at short notice.

Check out reviews, amenities and other info. Each option comes with a location map and link to book.

Available online, for iOS and Android

5. Airbnb

Search accommodation options including spare bedrooms, houseboats and mansions, among the seven million listings.

A recent comparison by bus booking site Busbud of 220,000 Airbnb listings worldwide and average hotel rates on, found Airbnb is generally much cheaper than staying in a hotel.

However, this didn’t ring true for all cities and locations. For example, in Barcelona expect to pay more to stay in Airbnb.

Get the app for iOS and Android

6. Trail Wallet

Designed by travellers, this nifty app helps you track your travel expenses and avoid budget blowout.

Set up a daily, monthly or trip budget and add expenses as you spend. Tap the screen to see your data in the local currency, view the past five days history of spending, or what remains of your budget.

Trail Wallet is available for iOS only

7. Trip Advisor

Despite all the hype about newer travel apps, Trip Advisor – with it’s 760 million reviews from the public, and the world’s largest travel platform – is still a good bet when it comes to planning things to do.

Download the app for iOS or Android, here

8. Spotted By Locals

best travel apps

All the tips and tricks the big guides won’t tell you about. Photo: Spotted By Locals

If you’re wanting to experience your destination from a resident’s perspective, this intimate – though limited – guide to 71 cities by handpicked locals will help you avoid the tourist traps.

Specific city guides cost $5.99.

Get the app here

9. Wi-Fi Finder

Business travellers named poor internet connection one of their biggest stressors in a 2016 study by

Wi-Fi Finder helps you locate fast, free Wi-Fi connection, near you, or in advance at points along your journey. Search for Wi-Fi spots by venue type. Download the Wi-Fi map to use offline (at a small subscription cost).

Available for iOS or Android.

10. Google Translate

A quarter of the business travellers surveyed in the study experienced anxiety because of language barriers.

With Google Translate, you’ll never be ‘lost in translation’ again. The app translates 103 languages (59 without an internet connection) from text you type into your device. Another cool feature is the ability to have text translated from photographs.

Available for iOS or Android

best travel apps

You need be hungry no more, thanks to the wizardry of Google Translate. Photo: Getty

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