• Jen Williams

5 Awesome Apps to Download Before Your Next Trip

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

As a lover of travel and a self-confessed smartphone addict, I have tried and tested a LOT of travel apps over the years. Whether you're a backpacker, a thrill seeker, or lover of luxury, there's an app for you. Here are five apps I swear by while travelling.


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Rome2Rio


Seriously, when am I going to be sponsored by these guys?? Rome2Rio is now my go-to app for route planning abroad.


For any two (or more) places on earth, Rome2Rio will work out the best way to travel between them using all available modes of transport. The app will inform you of the fastest and cheapest routes, and give you a recommendation.


Rome2Rio frequently suggests routes that I may not have thought of myself, even at home. I find it really useful when travelling abroad, especially when I don't know which bus or train companies to search for.


After you've chosen a route, Rome2Rio will give you more details about the companies and networks it includes, the origin and final destination of the services included, as well as whether or not you need to book tickets in advance.


I haven't been able to fault this app since I first gave it a try, and I couldn't recommend it more!


πŸ‘ Route planning anywhere on earth

πŸ‘ Provides a variety of suggested routes and modes (fastest, cheapest etc)

πŸ‘ Detailed journey information (origin + destination of suggested services; information on booking tickets in advance etc)

πŸ‘ Really helpful for planning trips, especially if you don't know which companies serve the area you're travelling through


No negatives from me!


Download Rome2Rio for iOS here, and for Android here.

Revolut


Revolut has been another of my 2019 discoveries, and I've been loving it so far. Revolut is one of the newer banking apps, designed to meet the demands of millennials rather than conforming to a traditional banking service.


Once you have ordered a Revolut card, it's very straightforward to load money onto it from another bank account, and the card can then be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, including online.


There are loads of perks to using Revolut, such as its ability to store cryptocurrencies, straightforward transfer and splitting of payments, and a user-friendly breakdown of where and how you're spending your money.


The selling point for me, however, was how easy it is to use abroad. With a standard account, you can store money on your card in 25 different currencies. Revolut works with 130 global currencies, so it's ideal for weekend breaks as well as round-the-world trips!


Exchanging your money between currencies is super easy too. Revolut uses the current exchange rate to convert your money, without adding service fees or premiums like a lot of banks or exchange services.


There's loads more to learn about Revolut, including the benefits of their two premium accounts. Check out this really helpful article here which explains it all!


πŸ‘ Straightforward internet banking with an easy-to-use app

πŸ‘ Easy to transfer money to friends or family - even those without a Revolut account - and split payments

πŸ‘ User-friendly breakdown of how and where you're spending your money (divided by currency)

πŸ‘ Supports 130 global currencies, and allows you to carry 25 different currencies at any one time, which makes it great for travelling

πŸ‘ Uses up to date exchange rates to change currencies, without added service charges


πŸ‘Ž When markets are closed at the weekend, a standard fee of 1% is applied to all currency exchange rates

πŸ‘Ž Free cash withdrawals are limited to Β£200 per month


Download Revolut for iOS here, and for Android here.

Google Maps


I honestly don't know where I would be without Google Maps - quite literally! I don't need to explain the purpose of this app, but there are two tools in Google Maps I use all the time while travelling.


Adding place markers

Before every trip, I add all of my must-sees to a map, which then helps me visualise the area and plan my visit. (I also have an ongoing map of places I want to visit in the UK...as you can see there are quite a few!)


Using Google as a GPS

I always use this function while travelling solo and walking around a new city. In the same way you'd use the app to direct you while driving, I let Google direct me through my headphones, so I don't have to pull out my phone every few minutes to orientate myself. This is so useful, and it will help you walk with confidence - especially important for solo travellers!


πŸ‘ Up to date route planning based on current and forecasted traffic conditions

πŸ‘ Suggests driving, walking, cycling, and public transport routes

πŸ‘ User-created maps can be accessed from anywhere you log into your Google account

πŸ‘ You can download maps to use offline


No negatives from me!


Download Google Maps for iOS here, and for Android here.

Kindle App


This one might not be for everyone, but I use it all the time while travelling.


Kindles have changed the way we read, especially on the road. While a physical Kindle is far more convenient than carrying around books, I find the Kindle app is even better, especially on a phone or tablet with a decent sized screen.


Not only do I have one less device to lose or keep charged up, accessing the Kindle store is quicker and easier than doing so on my Kindle itself. The reading experience is just as good as on a Kindle, too.


The Kindle app is free - if you're at all intrigued, I highly recommend you give it a try.


πŸ‘ Carry an infinite number of books in the palm of your hand

πŸ‘ Download multiple books to your phone without occupying too much space

πŸ‘ One less device to charge

πŸ‘ No need to carry around physical books = lighter luggage and more space for the important stuff!


πŸ‘Ž Missing out on the feel of a real book (I know this is a dealbreaker for some!)

πŸ‘Ž Using a screen much smaller than a Kindle or a book might be uncomfortable


Download the Kindle app for iOS here, and for Android here.

Amazon Photos


I believe it has been a year since I first came across Amazon's photo service, and I have used it ever since! I recommend it to anyone looking for decent cloud storage for their photos, and am really surprised more people haven't heard of it.


With an Amazon Prime membership (Β£79/year or Β£7.99/month), you have access to unlimited cloud storage through Amazon photos. UNLIMITED. I currently have 25GB of photos stored in my account and have many more to come!


(By the way, even without a Prime membership, Amazon customers have access to 5GB of photo and video storage - trumps Dropbox's free 2GB!)


While photo storage is unlimited, Prime members are still limited to 5GB of video storage, which doesn't go a long way. I have to find ways around this, but if you don't record a lot of videos, it shouldn't be a problem.


If you're only interested in the unlimited storage, the service is a bit pricey, but there's a huge number of other benefits to Prime membership, including next day delivery, use of Prime music, and unlimited streaming through Amazon video (although the number of free shows/movies is limited). Considering everything Prime membership covers, I think it's pretty good value!


πŸ‘ UNLIMITED PHOTO STORAGE

πŸ‘ Numerous other benefits with Amazon Prime

πŸ‘ Photos are accessible from anywhere you sign into Amazon

πŸ‘ Easy to use app


πŸ‘Ž Expensive, especially if you're only interested in the storage

πŸ‘Ž Video storage limited to 5GB


Download the Amazon Photos app for iOS here, and for Android here.


Thanks for checking out my top 5 apps for travellers! I hope you found something useful among my suggestions - let me know which apps you're going to try!


I use these apps all the time while travelling solo - if you're a budding solo traveller, or considering it for the future, check out my 30 Tips for First-Time Solo Travellers post, which I absolutely loved writing!


As always, comments and shares are always appreciated! If you'd like to keep up to date with my posts, make sure you subscribe to my mailing list! <3


Cover photo credit: Bagus Hernawan @ Unsplash



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