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20 Superstar Travel Apps

While we all love and use the clearly brilliant WeSwap app for managing our travel money, it’s not the only tool we have in our travel tech arsenal. From the very new to established stalwarts, here are 20 top travel apps we think make travelling genuinely easier, faster, cheaper or merrier in 2014.

Planning

Skyscanner
All platforms, free

For flight search the Skyscanner app is hard to beat. Features charts you can browse to compare pricing within a given period and an “everywhere” search option for destination inspiration. You can also pin searches to your start screen and keep an eye on price fluctuations. Handy. Tripit or Worldmate All platforms, free Forward your confirmation emails and these apps organise all your plans into a single itinerary, complete with gate information, flight tracking, contact details and even directions. Both are excellent, free, and we couldn’t come to an agreement on which was best, so we say just download them both and see which you prefer. Foursquare iOS and Android, free More than just a way to show off all the places you’ve been. The “To do” list feature is a great way to map places you want to visit and to pin locations as you get tips from people you talk to. It can also alert you if it detects that you’re near a place on your list.

Accommodation

AirBnb
iOS and Android, free

Superb design, imagery and sheer variety of interesting places to stay make browsing listings quite addictive. Once you’ve made a booking, the in-app messaging service also makes it very easy to keep in touch with your host.

Finding out about your destination

Triposo
iOS and Android, free

Wikitravel and Wikipedia combined – but offline. Download guides by city or country to brush up on your destination when internet isn’t an option.

Field Trip
iOS and Android, free

Field trip runs in the background of your phone and alerts you when you’re near something interesting. Content is pulled in from sites specialising in curating hidden gems, such as Thrillist, Great Little Place and Zagat. It’s a bit like having a knowledgeable city guide occasionally popping up with interesting snippets.

TripAdvisor
iOS and Android, free

The all-knowing travel site is worth having in app form for a quick way to find (or leave) reviews. The “Near me now” feature also comes in handy when looking for somewhere good to grab lunch.  

Transport & navigation

ForeverMap 2
iOS and Android, £1.99

While Google’s offline maps feature is great, it does carry limits on the size of the area you want to view. ForeverMap lets you download offline, searchable maps up to the size of whole countries before travelling to avoid data roaming costs. It also includes TripAdvisor content, so you can leave your phone in aeroplane mode and still find your way to your favourite bar or burger-van.

Citymapper
iOS and Android, free

Simply the best app for navigating public transport in London, New York and Paris.

Waze
iOS, Android, Windows, free

Free GPS with surprisingly accurate crowd-sourced traffic information. Automatically re-routes the journey if it sees traffic ahead.

Parkopedia
iOS and Android, free

Not the most exciting app to have in your tech arsenal but very handy nonetheless. Find parking spaces and prices almost anywhere in the world.

Food & drink

Foodspotting
iOS and Android, free “Foodie” generated restaurant recommendations for whichever city you touchdown in. Open it up, search for whatever dish you fancy at that moment and it shows all the best places to find it within a certain radius.

Untappd
All platforms, free

A social network and discovery tool for beer drinkers, it features user recommendations and can even tell you the nearest place to find your favourite brew. ‘Nuff said.  

Everything else

Evernote
iOS and Android, free

A bit of a wonder-tool for anything you need to remember, ever. Keep everything from travel confirmations, webpages, photos of receipts, scribbled packing lists and business cards all in one place and in-sync between devices. Everything is searchable, including handwritten text, which makes it very easy to find what you need.

Wififinder
iOS and Android, free

Upload the offline hotspot database before you go and the app will pinpoint the nearest Wi-Fi without using data, to save on roaming costs. Simple, easy and still the best of its kind.

Find my iPhone/Where’s my Droid
iOS and Android, free

The sort of app you might never need to use, but will be very happy you downloaded if you do.

Google translate (with offline dictionaries)
iOS and Android, free

What works well on the web works even better as an app. Plus, you can download dictionaries to browse offline, making it a genuine alternative to a phrasebook.

Sphere – 360 camera
iOS, free

This very cool app lets you browse and create “spheres” – immersive 360 degree panoramas of your destination. It’s as close to “being there” as you can get without actually getting on a flight, so great to show people what a place was really like on holiday. Sadly, the Android version doesn’t yet let you create spheres, only browse others, but developers promise that this is on the way. In the meantime, it’s still fun to see what others have uploaded.

WeSwap is the first ever person-to-person currency exchange for travellers. By matching people up who are travelling in different directions, we allow holidaymakers, expats and business travellers around the world to swap their different currencies without using banks or expensive retail outlets. It’s cheaper, more transparent and we’d like to think it makes people happier too. Sign up today to save on your travel money.

   

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