April 22, 2022 - 3 min read
How did we ever go anywhere without our smartphones and travel apps? Travel apps have totally transformed the holiday experience: you can now book and manage your trip logistics, score tables at foodie hotspots, meet like-minded locals, keep safe abroad, and cure your jet lag. They’ll even tell you how to pack a perfect suitcase! We’ve scouted the handiest free travel apps to level-up your next holiday – and the best tablets, mobile phones and other tech devices to load them on. Get ready to upgrade to a VIP vacay!
Out of practice at this travel lark? Too many decisions? Skyscanner will hunt down the cheapest flights and best routes, and compare hotels and car hire. Ripe to explore but don’t know where to start? Culture Trip is packed with insider guides to 450+ destinations and “take me there now!” videos to help inspire and plan your next jaunt. Roadtrippers helps make that dream road trip a reality by planning your route and bookmarking cool sights and off-grid bites along the way.
Top tech: The fast and user-friendly Apple iPad Mini is your 24/7 travel buddy: snap up discounted tickets in a flash, binge high-quality downloads, and take incredible photos with the Ultra-Wide front camera.
Like to run a tight ship? Seamless travel has never been easier. Travel apps such as TripIt and TripCase store all your itineraries, tickets and vital documents in one streamlined place, can manage your rental car reservations or request an Uber to get to your next destination without fuss. Left your packing ’til the eleventh hour? Tell PackPoint where you’re going and for how long and it will list exactly what to put in your suitcase!
Top tech: The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G smartphone ticks every box for travellers: long battery life, fast charging, dual-SIM support, a brilliant camera and hefty 256GB storage (for all those travel apps!).
Fly like a boss with Priority Pass by gaining access to around 1,300 airport lounges around the globe and meal vouchers at selected airport restaurants. Keep an eye on the sky with the FlightAware app: it tracks flights, delays, gate changes or cancellations and helps you make that tight connection! Timeshifter uses neuroscience to fight jet lag by mapping out a personalised sleep plan and dispensing advice before, during and after take-off.
Top tech: With a flat fold, lightweight design that’s simple to stash in your hand luggage, the JBL Live 650BTNC Noise Cancelling Headphones are perfect for when you want to tune out the world.
Google Maps is a traveller’s lifeline! Explore foreign ground without fear of getting lost, find the nearest subway, or book that must-try restaurant. Stay connected without chewing through your data with WiFi Map: it flags over 100 million free WiFi hotspots around the world (along with their passwords). Wondering if that gallery buy is a steal? The Xe Currency Converter will tell you in an instant with live, up-to-the-minute currency rates.
Top tech: Fit a travel library in your backpack with the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, and read everywhere from the bath to the beach with a built-in backlight and anti-glare screen.
Don’t just sit on the sidelines. Befriend locals who share your interests with Meetup. Duolingo will help you sound like a native when you do. Skip those tourist traps and find the best bites (often at reduced prices) with The Fork. GlobeTips will tell you how much of a tip to leave afterwards!
Top tech: Drop proof, dust proof and waterproof, the wearable DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo camera will capture every thrill and offers hands-free photography to keep you in the moment.
Travel safety has never been more front of mind. Be prepared for anything with TripWhistle, which can text your GPS coordinates in a crisis and has emergency service numbers for nearly 200 countries. Stay on top of the latest COVID-19 restrictions, testing, entry and quarantine rules in every country with the IATA Travel Pass (International Air Transport Association). Not yet an app, the Australian Government’s SmartTraveller site guides you step-by-step on how to safely plan your trip in the age of Covid, with essential advice on travel insurance and worldwide quarantine and destination updates.
Top tech: The Belkin 20,000 mAh BoostCharge Power Bank can charge multiple mobile devices on the go, so you’re never out of juice when you most need it.