Top 10 free travel apps

RACV RoyalAuto Magazine

There are 1.4 million apps available on Apple’s App Store and 1.5 million available for Android on the Google Play Store.

We’ve done the leg work and found the 10 best free apps to improve, enhance and simplify your travel experiences. All are available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

TripIt

Don’t drown in a sea of paperwork. TripIt is your personal travel agent, storing all your travel plans in the one handy app. Input your own plans or forward your confirmation emails and have a detailed daily itinerary created for you including flights, transport, accommodation, tours, and even directions and maps. Access your itinerary through the app, on the website or create a PDF to print or email to friends and family so they always know where you are.

The Weather Channel

Melbourne isn’t the only city that experiences rapid weather changes. Be prepared for the day, week or even the hour ahead with the help of this accurate weather forecaster. It can automatically detect your location, or input your next destination, and access current temperature, “feels like” temperature, forecast, sunrise and sunset, wind speed, humidity, UV index, pressure and more. Also contains weather news, photos and videos.

XE Currency

How many Czech korunas to one Australian dollar? You don’t need to know the answer because this handy app knows it for you. XE Currency converts every world currency simply and easily. It even stores the last updated rates so you can still convert while offline. It’s not the only currency converter on the market but with more than 20 million downloads worldwide it is the most popular foreign exchange app on the market.

Skyscanner

Planning, dreaming and comparing, Skyscanner does it all. Compare millions of flights and hundreds of airlines, filtering by price, cabin class, airlines, airports and departure and arrival times. Skyscanner isn’t just for those who know where they want to go and when. You can input a destination with no fixed date and look for the cheapest flights. Or conversely, input fixed dates and search the world for your next dream destination.

City Maps 2GO

Accessing maps online is one of the easiest ways to accrue roaming costs. Avoid unnecessary charges by downloading maps before you go with City Maps 2Go. These accurate street maps can be accessed when you’re offline, to be used when you need them, when roaming unfamiliar streets, looking for the train station or when you just need to get back to your lodgings.

Wi-Fi Finder

Free internet! Now that I have your attention, this app will help you quickly and easily find free (or paid) Wi-Fi when you’re travelling at more than 650,000 locations in 144 countries. The app uses the GPS function on your phone to find the closest Wi-Fi hotspot and then shows you how to get there. Data can be stored for offline use.

Tripadvisor

It’s had some bad press, yet TripAdvisor remains the world’s largest travel site. It was one of the first sites to feature user-generated content and reviews. The app has more than 225 million reviews of hotels, restaurants and things to see and do, and is the perfect place to start when researching your destination.

Google Translate

Leave the phrasebooks behind and leave it up to Google Translate. This app translates 90 languages with options of voice, handwriting, camera or keyboard. You can even store your favourite translations for easy access when you’re offline.

Duolingo

If you don’t want to rely exclusively on a translation app, download Duolingo and learn one of 10 languages before you go. Duolingo has an easy-to-use interface with interactive exercises. Learn as little or as much as you like. Language courses are broken into sections such as basics, phrases, food, clothing and sports.

Viber

Arguably the second most popular VoIP service provider (behind Skype) Viber was built for mobile, making it a better choice for travellers. You can text, phone or video call, and send photo and video messages worldwide for free, using Wi-Fi or phone data. You can only communicate through Viber with people who also have the app, so it’s handy for staying in touch with friends or family but not for calling hotels or taxis.

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Written by Amanda Willimott
September 02, 2015