Appsolutely Essential: Travel Apps We Love
Now you’ve got the holiday booked (the easy bit), it’s time to get organising (the procrastinating bit) - and if you’re anything like us, you’ll have that trusty smartphone glued to hand for help. Here are our favourite app-world essentials to guarantee smooth sailing.
Before setting off
Thanks to this app, our days of battling bellicose bags are over. Just enter what you’ve got planned for your trip (dinner, hiking, beach), select how long you’re going for and Packing Pro creates a list of everything you need for your entire trip. It even comes with default lists and shareable options, so sorting the luggage out is a synch. If only the rest of the getaway was so easy to plan.
This one might surprise you. British Airways were one of the first airlines to get techy and jump into your smartphone. The result is a seamless, no-nonsense app that helps you book flights (obviously), check in, download maps for major airports and even find out the wi-fi passwords for airport lounges. Top work, BA.
During the flight
Do away with flight-boredom while getting the creative juices flowing. The Paper app is essentially Microsoft Paint for tablets, although we’re told it’s used by seriously artsy people too! The app gives you a whole set of drawing and brush tools to play around and as well the option of flowcharts (if you’re missing work that much!). Hours of amusement, and you might even end up with a family masterpiece by the time you land.
Ditch the guilt when giving the kids screen time with the BrainTrain app. Whilst your getting 50 winks, (more likely 20 if you’re lucky) the little ones can learn their shapes, colours, letters and improve memory, spelling and vocabulary. By the end of a long-haul flight to Sydney, they’ll even have written their first thesis - well, almost!
On the beach
Is there anything worse than missing the Wimbledon semi-final because you’re lounging on a beach somewhere? Of course there is, but that isn’t the point. TuneIn lets you stream anything from BBC 6 music, to a folk radio show based in Antartica, if that’s your thing. All you need is an internet connection.
World UV App
This smart (and free) little app shows the UV levels predicted for your location so you can prepare accordingly and protect your family from overexposure. It’s great for planning a day on the dunes and as it’s developed by the British Association of Dermatologists it can become a trusted part of the holiday routine.
Where to eat. Where’s the ATM? Guess what? There’s an app for that. Waze is brilliant for getting your bearings - highlighting the best routes to nearby restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, banks, beach shacks and everything in between. It’s never been easier to find the nearest place to buy an emergency bucket and spade!
Think Instagram is your go-to for envy-inducing holiday snaps, think again. VSCOcam has been pumping some serious iron, downing eggs for breakfast and even dabbled in steroids to perfect their app. Advanced camera controls, including manual focus, shutter speed and white balance allow any amateur to become the Mario Testino of holiday snaps!