Summer is finally here and we’re ready to welcome it with open, sunburnt arms. The flip flops are out, the ice lollies are in and work is on hold.
But where will you be heading to get your annual dose of sun, sea, sand or city break? Wherever you’re jet-setting this year, our very own Sam Mellor has compiled a list of free travel apps that you will not want to be without – all available on iPhone and Android. Happy holidays!
An ideal starting point when booking flights, Skyscanner aggregates fare information from hundreds of different airlines. With constant price updates and charts showing price changes over time, you can make sure you pounce at the right time to bag yourself a winning deal.
Airport parking rates can get astronomical during peak season – if you don’t pre-book, you’re guaranteed to get stung. JustPark lets you rent private parking spaces – at homes, schools, and businesses – at much friendlier prices. Park on someone’s driveway near Heathrow for a mere £20 a week and they’re likely to even give you a free lift to the terminal.
OK, so your partner or more responsible friend shudders at the thought of you not having accommodation booked at least 6 months in advance. Well, with Hotel Tonight they needn’t worry that your slackness could spell disaster – the app deals exclusively with last-minute bookings, 0-7 days in advance, with some real bargains on offer.
With over a million listings, ranging from cosy country homes to chic city apartments, lodging rental site Airbnb really does have something for everyone. Catering even for the more bizarre and quirky tastes – you can stay in a treehouse in France or an aeroplane in the Netherlands – no other accommodation booking platform can boast such a variety.
The king of public transport apps. Citymapper is a digital compass that you won’t want to be without when navigating your way around new cities. Giving you an array of travel options with prices for each journey, you’ll easily be able to work out the quickest and cheapest route to your destination. Check out the cities the app covers here.
Allowing you to summon a cab to your location and providing you with real-time updates on its whereabouts, Uber is the on-demand taxi experience and a firm favourite in our arsenal of free travel apps. The app manages all payments, so you’re safe in the knowledge you won’t be taken for a ride of the wrong type. Ideal for cities where public transport leaves a lot to be desired.
Now in handy app format, the ultimate reviews site TripAdvisor is an indispensable resource for any holidaymaker. You can explore nearby eateries by food type, price, location and star rating to make sure you find the perfect place for a mid-afternoon light bite or a sit-down meal after a hard day’s sightseeing.
Specialising in authentic cuisine, Foodspotting is the perfect companion for any travelling foodie. Taking you off the tourist trail to sniff out the tastiest local dishes, the app suggests unmissable gastronomic delights and recommends the best hangouts for sampling particular delicacies.
The world of currency conversion can be a confusing and cruel place, so if economics isn’t your strong point make sure you get your hands on this trusty app. Powered by live currency rates which automatically update, XE Currency will keep you abreast of the exchange rate for Euros to Yen and the number of Dirhams in a Dollar.
Perfect for the business traveller – although still a useful tool for holidaymakers – Expensify is the easiest way to keep track of your spending whilst away. Simply photograph a receipt and the app’s SmartScan feature will automatically generate an expense. You can also import purchase information from credit cards – all with automated currency conversion.