Off on an adventure? Whether you have plans to escape the miserable British winter or you’re jetting off for an important business trip, there is some great tech out there that can help you stay organised and save money.
We’re big fans of anything that can ease the mundane parts of travel: with your phone packed full of helpful travel apps, you can focus on having a great time.
If you’re booking travel as you go: SkyScanner
SkyScanner’s concept is pretty simple. Find the cheapest flights and book them. The app lets you find flights while you’re on the go, making it perfect for those open-ended trips that involve booking your next trip when you’re already on the go. Backpackers who don’t want to commit to flights before leaving home can download the app and rest safe in the knowledge that the best prices are at hand.
You can also use SkyScanner to find cheap hotel rooms and car hire, making it really simple to keep your travels going. They’re transparent about costs and able to offer exclusive deals with certain providers, so your wallet will thank you too.
If you want to send or receive money securely: Western Union money transfer app
Western Union are a financial services company specifically dedicated to helping you send money from one place to another. The fees for international transfer are generally cheaper than going directly through your bank, and you can still send money directly to another person’s bank account. There are also options for cash pick up – if your wallet is stolen whilst abroad, you could use the service to pick up some emergency funds.
The app is clean and simple to use, and it also lets you check the exchange rate and associated fees instantly. You’ll need your debit or credit card with you to get set up for the first time after download, and then you should be good to go.
If you don’t have a head for directions: CityMapper
Currently available in 40 countries across the world, including Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo, CityMapper is a lot more than just a maps app. It provides an easy and seamless option for journey planning that has everything covered – including integrations with some of the most popular taxi booking apps. In London it will even tell you how busy the tube is likely to be and which carriage to sit in!
It will also tell you exactly what your journey is going to cost. This is really helpful when you’re in an unknown place handling a currency that you’re not too familiar with. We’d recommend using the app to check your route before you leave, so that it can download your journey options and help you on the go.
If you want to live like a local: Yelp
Use Yelp to explore the local area without worrying about ending up somewhere that boasts cockroaches or rude staff. You can think of it as your crowdsourced tour guide: hundreds of local places to go, reviewed by real people. It’s particularly handy if you’re travelling to the USA, since this is where it has the biggest community and best coverage.
Yelp means that you can head to some of the cheaper local bars and restaurants while still being assured of quality. We’ve long said that the most authentic travel experiences can be had on a shoestring budget, and Yelp will help you get there.
If you struggle with jetlag: TimeShifter
TimeShifter is not just designed to help people get over jetlag… it’s designed to help you get over jetlag, by taking your individual needs into account. Tell it about yourself, and it will come back with a personalised jetlag plan telling you when to sleep and also when to avoid light or try and get more of it. They recommend packing dark sunglasses, an eye mask and potentially some melatonin to ensure that you can follow their directions as closely as possible.
Finding a way to overcome jetlag is crucial for business trips, since you’ll want to be sharp and thinking clearly. It’s also important for those leisure trips too, since you don’t want your holiday ruined by lethargy or sleep-deprivation.