The World’s Best Travel Apps
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Whether you’re heading off on business, going away with the family or traveling the globe on your own, download these essential apps before jetting off to ensure a hassle-free trip.
App In the Air
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If you’re that person who’s always running to the gate in a last-ditch bid to catch your flight, then App in the Air is made for you. Think of it as your personal assistant; just add your flight details before you go and it takes care of the rest, providing you with real-time alerts that notify you of any changes to your flight, as well as providing reminders of when to check-in and board the plane. Available on iPhone and Android.
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If simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, then Citymapper is the essential app for traversing the world’s busiest cities, for locals and tourists alike. In essence, Citymapper aims to get you from A to B as quickly and cheaply as possible, using the various transport methods available in any given city. Citymapper recently launched in Sydney and Melbourne and is available in 36 metropolitan cities worldwide, including London, Paris, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. Available on iPhone and Android.
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If you have the time (and the inclination), then Duolingo is a free way to learn a foreign language from the privacy of your own home. With 20 languages available for English speakers to learn, Duolingo gamifies the learning process, making it a fun and user-friendly method to brush up on your skills. Stick with it and you’ll be able to say more than just “où est la gare?” when in Paris. Available on iPhone and Android.
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Jump-start the fight against jet lag by getting your circadian rhythm on track before you leave with this clever app that educates users on how to shift their sleeping patterns, based on when and how far they are travelling. Available on iPhone and Android.
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Google Translate has your back if you lack the foreign tongue. Not only can you translate between 103 different languages just by typing, 52 of those can be accessed offline without a wifi connection. Niftier still, the app has a cool augmented camera mode, where you can hover your phone over a sign or menu and receive an automatic translation. Available on iPhone and Android.
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You may think that airport lounges are strictly out of bounds if you’re not part of a frequent-flyer program. But that’s not the case. Enter Lounge Buddy – the app that lets travellers search, book and access premium suites at airports all over the globe. It comes in handy if you have a long layover and need somewhere to freshen up and relax before your next leg. Available on iPhone and Android.
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If you’re visiting a destination with poor internet access and/or worried about overseas roaming charges then Maps.Me is the navigation solution for you. Simply download the map of where you are travelling to before you leave and Maps.Me will store it offline, meaning it can be accessed at any time without a data connection. Better still, Maps.Me provides offline search functionality for places of interest and directions for driving, walking and cycling. Available on iPhone and Android.
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The Smart Traveller app provides up-to-the-minute travel advice for more than 170 countries and allows users to register their travel details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in case you need to be reached in an emergency. It also has contact details for consular assistance and a travel checklist to help plan your trip. Available on iPhone.
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Snapseed is hands-down the best photo-editing app available. And best of all, it’s free. Whether you’re a basic or an advanced user, the app provides a wide array of pro-level tools to bring out the best of your pictures, while the filters add a subtle touch of flair. Available on iPhone and Android.
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It can be tricky to keep fit if you’re on holiday or travelling for work, and lugging your bike or surfboard around with you isn’t much fun either. That’s where Spinlister comes in. The app taps into the shared economy to make it easier for users to rent bikes, surfboards and ski equipment from fellow cyclists, surfers or skiiers at the destination they are travelling to. Available on iPhone and Android.
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Ditch the complex spreadsheets and unwieldy IOUs with this cool app that allows you to keep track of who spent what on your trip. Just start a group, add the expenses as they come up and members will be able receive notifications and timely payment reminders. Available on iPhone and Android.
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What Travel List lacks in functionality, it makes up in simplicity. The app has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to plan your itinerary, create a packing checklist and add auto reminders, which is particularly handy if you’re travelling across multiple time zones. Available on iPhone.
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With more than 1 million drivers across 500 cities in 77 countries, Uber is a great way to get around while you’re on holiday, particularly if you lack the local lingo or if the taxi companies have a reputation for taking passengers for a ride. Available on iPhone and Android.
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If you’re not already using WhatsApp as your default messaging service, you should be, especially if you’re travelling abroad. WhatsApp is a multimedia messaging service that uses data to send messages rather than charging you per SMS sent. You can also use WhatsApp to make calls, share your location and send audio messages; just remember to connect to wi-fi or buy a local sim to avoid excessive roaming charges. Available on iPhone and Android.
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With more than 40 million downloads worldwide, it’s fair to say that XE is the go-to app for keeping a tab on exchange rates when you’re overseas. You can track up to 10 currencies in real time at once, which is perfect if you’re visiting multiple destinations. Available on iPhone and Android.
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The improved Qantas app is a one-stop shop to book flights, hotels, car hire and activities, all on your smartphone. It also allows you to set fare alerts, manage your booking, view your boarding pass, receive personalised messages regarding your itinerary and download newspaper and magazines to read through Press Reader while onboard your flight. Available on iPhone and Android.
Up Next: The Best Airport Hotels in the World Revealed
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No more is the airport hotel a place of purgatory for those in transit – in fact, with hotels like these, you might want to extend your stay.