Today’s sophisticated traveller needs more than a travel agent and a brochure. Life is so immediate and we need everything at our fingertips (on our phones or iPads) and available when we need it. Whether you need to steer your way through a busy unknown city on a business trip, get by in a foreign language or book a last minute hotel, we’ve got you covered for 2013.
No more lugging around heavy travel guidebooks! The mtrip is usable on the iPhone, iPod Touch and Android. The beauty is that this app is 100% offline apart from sharing and uploading, so just wait until you’re in a free WiFi area and do your sharing then. Using an intuitive algorithm it will even plan your trip schedule, just amend as you see fit! The Wall Street Journal said of the app, These next-gen[eration] travel guides can take care of stress-inducing itinerary planning. Each destination is sold separately, so you don’t have to pay for places that you’ve no intention of visiting.
£2.99 per destination
A community-based navigation and traffic app. Find out where the queues and road works are wherever you are in the world. Of course, this is highly dependent on other people updating what they have seen on the roads, so it works best in more built up areas (which is where you’re more likely to experience problems anyway). The app also allows people to upload hazards, police speed checks and cheapest fuel prices, and you are always working with real-time information. Winner of Global Mobile Awards 2013 Best Overall Mobile App. Available for iPhone, iPad and Android.
A rather uninspired name for an inspired app. As of 2013, it features 12 full language dictionaries. This app would be ideal for European students looking to really improve their language skills, especially those on gap years or working holidays within the EU. It is only on version 1.1 so more languages will no doubt be added, but the main ones are here. The great thing is, once it’s downloaded you can use it offline, so no huge data roaming charge surprises when you return from overseas! Plus, you get all the language pairs at once, so no need to download each one at an extra cost.
Perfect if you need more languages than the Languages app offers, and just need to translate simple sentences to get by abroad. This app from Sonico is impressive and simple to use. The text version (free) allows you to type in the phrase and will translate into 60 languages. You can get this as text or as speech. Just say what you want to translate into the iPhone/iPad/Android/Mac (coming soon) and it will change it into 36 languages. Great for travelling in a number of different countries and across continents.
Free, Voice recognition add-on £1.49, Premium (1 year £2.99, 3 months £1.49)
Launched in Spain in 2012, the Hot Hotels app recently expanded into Britain for 2013. Catering to the last minute travel bookers, it boasts booking in 10 seconds and up to 70% savings on rack prices. The app offers hotels in over a hundred cities, with more added on a weekly basis. Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android. More than 100,000 people have downloaded the app, mainly business travellers and thirty-somethings, and usually book the night before their hotel stay. As an added incentive, the app offers users who refer friends get 10 credit when they download the app and another 10 when they book a hotel.