Stepping back in time 20 years, it’s amazing to compare what it was like and the hoops you needed to jump through in order to book a holiday or business trip. Most things were booked through travel agents as they had the best rates and the expertise of the local area. They also provided peace of mind because they usually had a man on the ground at the other end.
Now you can; plan, compare, book, change and monitor travel plans from your phone/tablet. There is a huge resource of travel information online, in the form of travel bloggers, magazines, review and comparison platforms. You may not have a man on the ground but you unlimited knowledge in your pocket. Search engines have made the world a smaller place, and in combination with some amazing apps you can find those unique restaurants, book them and enjoy in less than 60 seconds!
I’ve collated a list of the most useful apps i’ve used over the last 12 months to book my trips.
Top 10 Best Free Travel Apps
Uber – Free
If you’ve ever tried to get taxi in Paris after 12pm you’ll know it’s a lottery, cabbies are few and far between. Likewise in Rome it’s very common to be driven round and round and charged an obscene amount of money. With the click of a button all these cites now have a service which I believe to be safer, more efficient and accountable thanks to it’s GPS journey plan. No money is exchanged it’s all handled by Uber and after your ride you get a charge breakdown.
It’s revolutionised the way I travel around London, particularly at night and gives you so much freedom to explore the city you’re staying in. I highly recommend your download it if you ever visit any of these cities. If you sign up and enter this promo code;
You’ll get £10 free credit and it’ll give us a kickback and we’ll you for it.
Skyscanner – Free
Airfares vary from month to month, day to day and hour to hour. Skyscanner is very good at comparing almost every airline under the sun and then telling you when is the cheapest month to travel to each destination. It’s very useful to use this in conjunction with a destination wish list as the differences in prices between months can be vast. For example returning to the US in June is £400 more than in July for economy and £1000 for business, so I use Skyscanner to plan when my I take my holidays to get the best rates.
Expedia – Free
Expedia has access to the largest inventory of hotels and crowd sourced ratings. It’s easy to find somewhere to stay in almost any part of the globe. Personally I prefer it to paying on a hotels personal website and like the fact I’m able to book on a refundable rate. Things change all the time and I never put a price on freedom. Their app is very good at finding all the hotels within an area and you can filter by price, rating to ensure you find accommodation suitable for you.
Flight Tracker – Free
If you’re a frequent traveller it’s likely you’ll try and cut down on transit time and want to know exactly how to allocate your precious minutes so you’re not stuck in a queue. Flight Tracker is a great free app that lets you know the status of your flight, departure gates, terminals, route and arrival times. It also has maps of all the major airports to help you find your way. Nothing majorly fancy here just does what it does on the tin and gives you up to date flight information.
Wifi finder – Free
How else are you going to tweet/instagram your holiday pics! Mobile broadband abroad is a bit unreliable and costly so wifi is the only good option. This app lets you download maps of where you’re travelling to and then will point you in the right direction to get that wifi signal. It offers both free and paid wifi connection hotspots.
Collect – Free
Here at The Luxe Travel we’re certainly more focused on the adventure travel luxury experiences. That means lots of exploring and lots of taking pictures of things we find very unique. We both lead very busy lives and organising the 10’s of thousands of photos is impossible and it can take ages to pull out the very best one. Collect is a simple daily journal app that takes 1 photo and documents it as your daily memory. Iphontography is on the rise and the picture quality is so good you’re silly not to use smart phones for travel pictures as well as your trusty DSLR.
Google Translate – Free
I for one hate being a terrible linguist, putting on a makeshift accent and doing loads of flamboyant hand gestures can only get you so far! Google translate does a great job at translating speech to text and vice versa. You can also draw characters and the app will translate it. It allows you to save common phrases and eradicates the need for those awkward pocket phrase books anymore! I can now order, dairy free dishes in any language and not worry about my night being ruined.
Tripadvisor – Free
No mobile device is complete without the worlds largest review platform to hand. Tripadvisor’s app is great, easy to use and quick to show you whether or not Mario’s Pizza Kitchen is going to be the best pizza of your life or a pizza cooked from frozen. Great for comparing hotels, restaurants activities and finding things to do in the local area. You would be stupid not to have it.
JetSmarter – Free
The Uber of the skies, this app allows you to charter your own plane or pool in with some other customers to split the cost. It’s based on the uber model of undercutting the typical charter fee’s and passes those savings on to you. I have to say I haven’t used it and it’s a new app but worth keeping an eye on for those luxe trips to the Caribbean at short notice!
Accuweather – Free
Accuweather is the king of weather, knowing what to pack and when you can get your tanning time in is an essential on my watch. Accuweather have the most accurate long range forecast and hourly breakdown and usually will be very representative. It may be depressing seeing the holiday you’ve looked forward to for months about to be washed out but at least you can plan activities ahead of time rather than reacting when you get there.
If you think you’re app deserves to be on this list drop us an email and we’ll check it out this list will change and grow over time. So what may be the best today may not be tomorrow.