10 Travel Apps that are SO Worth Downloading

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Holidays always come with excitement as you anticipate all the activities and fun you’ll have, and the new places and people you will see.

But sometimes planning for a holiday and trying to make sure everything goes smoothly for a memorable break can be tricky and overwhelming. The good news is that if you have a smart phone, there are some awesome mobile apps that can help. Who needs a travel agent when you can download all the necessary tools to make your vacation a breeze?

Do you have an Android, Apple, or Windows phone? Either way, go into your App Store or Google play and start clicking on these top 10 travel apps.

  1. Booking.com

Booking.com is one of the most popular hotel booking sites in the world. Building on its already successful model, Booking.com has added its smartphone app that allows you to search over 1 million hotels and homes around the world for the best booking deals.

Still can’t make a decision or need more social proof from a shortlist? No problem. Just scan through some helpful user reviews on the app from over 107 million present and past customers of the specific hotels to help you make the best choice.

Once you’ve concluded your reservation, you’ll get an instant confirmation of your booking, in addition to a check-in code and an offline map of the surrounding area.

  1. Skyscanner

From your flight, to your hotel, and car, you can count on Skyscanner as your super smart guide. Simply type in your keyword and other specific preferences in the right fields and the app will pop up the best and most affordable results for you.

Skyscanner will give you a month view calendar showing the cheapest dates to fly, as well as alert you when prices change. There is also a “Top Deals” category that lets you know the lowest prices, discounts, and promos nearest to you, which you can explore if you’re not sure where exactly you want to go. There is also a curated list of destination at the best prices.

With dozens of places to buy flights online, Skyscanner simplifies and speeds up the process of deciding on the most affordable and convenient, by pulling information on the best prices and deals from millions of flights from hundreds of airlines in seconds. Fantastic? Yes, but the best thing about this app is that it gives you an instant alert immediately there’s a discount or price cut in the cost of tickets to your destination of choice.

  1. TripIt

After you’ve booked your flight, made a hotel reservation, and arranged your airport transfers, of course, you can give yourself a thumbs up or a pat in the back.

But there’s another minor thing; you need to keep all your reservation details in a safe place where you can retrieve them quickly anytime you need them. As simple as that sounds, sometimes people make a mess of it. That is except, of course, if they have the TripIt app on their smartphone.

Instead of tediously searching your inbox, you simply send your booking details to a special email address and TripIt will automatically set up your personalised itinerary. It will provide you constant notice about your travel schedules (place and time), in addition to your booking numbers. Piece of cake!

In a way, TripIt is something like your pocket travel agent as it helps pulls together all your important travel information in one place, from your confirmation email for flights to hotels, car hire, and events bookings.

All you have to do is forward all your confirmation emails to the app, and it will convert all your bookings into a single itinerary. If you have travelling companions, you can also share the plans with them, which lets everyone in the group enjoy a more coordinated trip.

  1. Hopper

Hopper is another very useful app to help you save time and energy on planning your flight and searching for great prices. The easy-to-use app analyses millions of flight prices and provides you with helpful information to notify you on the best time to buy a ticket for a particular route and the most likely period there will be a drop in price. It will also let you know the right time to book before the prices rise again.

If you want to take advantage of flight price reductions or if you are looking up multiple routes, you can save the routes and the app will let you know when the price dips. Besides searching, travellers can also shop for flights on this app. By the way, it’s ad-free. Bonus!

  1. XE Currency

When going on a trip overseas, the current currency exchange rate is always on the traveller’s mind. The XE currency app frees you from worries and uncertainties about exchange rates with live results for every currency you can think of, plus even the ones you can’t or never heard of previously!

XE Currency not only provides you with accurate conversion rates of every currency, you also receive updates which you can save offline and use if you lose internet connection (the app works offline too).

The XE Currency app currently has a total download of 55 million users, which makes it the most popular in its category.

  1. Google Translate

Google Translate is a golden oldie and still the most popular of any language service, notably because Google is constantly innovating with both its web platform and app on Android and iOS. The app currently supports 103 different languages in the world, with 52 of them able usable offline in case you lose network.

The most amazing feature of this app is its ever-expanding Word Lens, which is able to read a sign or piece of text when you simply point your phone in that direction. Using an AR text in the user’s preferred language; the Word Lens feature transforms the original image into readable text and translates it accordingly.

It’s like sci-fi; and can work in both offline and real-time modes. But first, you will need to download your preferred language, then aim the camera at the foreign sign or text and, boom, you have your translation!

  1. Duolingo

Duolingo is an exciting way to take a crash course in new language learning. This remarkably well-designed learning app already has over 70 million register users. While it cannot be a substitute for proper language classes, Duolingo is a fun way to learn the basics and keep yourself fresh and up-to-date on grammar and vocabulary, before you make that overseas trip.

The app works like a computer game, guiding you through different simple learning tasks and hurdles you need to solve or complete before going on to the next level. It also gives you experience points as you advance.

  1. Agoda

The Agoda app uses your present location to help you find a last-minute hotel, or get a good deal in any one of 925,000 hotels and vacation rentals. You can use the app’s search filters to fine-tune your results and options.

Whichever way you search, this app will show you a list and map of hotel options; and highlights if there’s a discount or promo you can quickly take advantage of within your selected area and dates.

Every hotel featured on Agoda is presented in visual descriptions with images, amenities plus reviews and other helpful bits of information to guide you in making the best decision.

  1. Foodspotting

Foodspotting is your meal searching companion, helping you find not just where to eat but also decide what to eat. It is like a visual menu for the food in the location you are in. On the review section, you can see the recommendations of other Foodspotters and read what they have to say about the meals they have had. Each dish you check up on Foodspotting also provides you information on where you can get it and a link that takes you to reviews on Yelp.

  1. Travel Guard

Travel Guard is a travel insurance app that provides you access to emergency information such as an emergency assistance centre, as well as a doctor, clinic, dentist or hospital, closest to you and your home embassy address. The app has a great user interface and can be used offline. The app can also help you find the closest services by country using your GPS location; and in addition offer you news updates on travel safety and tidbits.

These modern and highly effective apps are helping travellers make holidays trips easier and more affordable.

Mobile phones have certainly made it faster, smarter, and safer to be able to enjoy the best adventures and opportunities around the world. From getting instant alerts and taking advantages of the best travel and hotel booking deals, to effortlessly getting your way around a new country with an entirely different culture; these best travel apps have simplified the solutions into a finger tap on your phone. They prove that smartphones can make travelling a painless and more enjoyable venture. However, if you are really looking to ensure that you embark on your travel ‘worry-free’, check out www.state.co.nz/travel-insurance for a range of insurance options and policies that you can tailor to your particular travel plans.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.