10 apps every traveller needs to have on their phone

Travelling Well | Michael Gebicki | Posted on 18 August 2019

Forget language barriers. These apps have revolutionised the way we travel.

Apps have revolutionised the way we travel. With the right app you can make free phone and video calls, find your way through the souks of Marrakech and communicate in different languages. Here are 10 apps that no savvy traveller should leave home without, available for iOS and Android platforms. To find and install these apps, go to the App Store if you’re an iPhone or iPad user, or Google Play if yours is an Android device. Unless stated otherwise, all these apps are free. 

Couple looking at map on smart phone

10 essential travel apps

Google Translate

Say what you want in English and back it comes in Japanese, Spanish, Urdu or 100-plus other languages. The app requires a data connection for the speech function to operate but download your chosen language and anything you type is translated to text.

XE Currency

How much is that set of Vietnamese lacquerware bowls or that coffee and scrumptious almond pastry in St Mark’s Square in Venice really costing you in Australian currency? XE Currency tells you in an instant. 

Google Maps

This is the killer app for finding your way in the world, whether you’re behind the wheel, on two wheels or two feet. You need a data connection for turn-by-turn voice prompts, otherwise download an area to enable you to navigate offline. 


Download the app and say “sayonara” to guidebooks, maps and novels that were once trees – and anything on Kindle is weightless, cheap and instantly available. The Kindle Store features an ever-expanding array of travel works, plus all the novels and magazines you need for the longest air trips. 


Make free phone and video calls to any other WhatsApp user provided you have a data connection or wifi. No need to register, the app uses your standard phone number to identify you.

Weather Live

Do you need an umbrella or sunblock when you step outside today? Weather Live gives you the lowdown, plus forecasts for the next few days and plenty more including a handy UV index rating and a rain map, all with handsome graphics. 


Dark and slippery cobblestones, unlit stairways, the keyhole to your room and menus by candlelight are all instantly illuminated with this essential app.


Spice up your smartphone images with this comprehensive editing app that gives you plenty of different ‘looks’ with filters, brushes, toners and soft-focus effects you can control with sliders. Works just as well for black-and-white as colour and makes posting to social media sites a breeze. 


Snap a copy of your passport identification page, itinerary, travel insurance policy and all other must-have documents and they’re instantly available on this handy app. By default, all data is stored in the cloud, which means you can’t access it without an internet connection, but you can also choose to make essential files available for viewing offline.

Deep Sleep

Travel can mess with your sleep, but Andrew Johnson can help put things right. In a soft and soothing Scottish brogue, Johnson’s Deep Sleep app uses guided meditation to bring calm and comfort to the jet-lagged and insomniac, whether it’s a 30-minute nap or a full eight hours on the wishlist. About $7.10 (£4).


Want to use your phone while travelling without chewing through data? RACV members can take advantage of great discounts on United Networks' Global Sim Cards.  

Heading overseas? RACV Travel Insurance has you covered.