Top Travel Apps To Download in 2021
Dreaming of sharing gelato with your partner in Rome, cosying up alone in a cottage in Wales or backpacking across Vietnam? Get planning your next adventure with these 15 apps for every step along the way — from finding inspiration to managing jet lag, and crafting photos and videos to make your trips timeless.
Find your inspiration
If you’re looking for some ideas for a post-lockdown getaway, or even if you’re just planning to explore the world through words, pictures, and videos right now, we’ve got you covered with some à la carte apps for inspiration.
1. Lonely Planet Guides: Gone are the days of packing heavy guidebooks in your carry-on or forgetting to bring a map on a day trip. Your trip can be filled with unique experiences — like a day out to a great little seaside village on the outskirts of the city, or a coffee break at the outwardly unassuming cafe with the best homemade cinnamon buns you’ve ever had. This app is like having your own personal e-library of guides, right at your fingertips. You can use this app for free.
2. Localeur: There’s so much of the world to explore — it’s not just about the places we go to, but it’s about what we do there. Localeur is a list-lover’s dream, with themed “best of” style lists for restaurants, activities, and adventures around the world. Bookworms can uncover the top 10 independent bookstores around the globe. Self-taught “sommeliers” can plan a wine-tasting in Italy, endorsed by the list of the best wine spots around. There’s even a leaderboard with the top restaurants and landmarks in your area. It’s completely free, so definitely worth trying.
Set up your itinerary
The key to a successful trip is planning — if you’re travelling for a purpose like work, jam-packing your exploring into a short city break, or even just looking for some peace, relaxation and solitude, a solid itinerary never goes amiss.
1. Roadtrippers: Any seasoned roadtripper knows that there are some essentials when you hit the road 一 good company, tasty snacks (we recommend pistachios, cheese chunks and smoothies), an awesome playlist and, most importantly, some pit stops along the way. Stop by a dainty local pub, find a cosy hotel with a bubble bath for the evening, and never miss out on the delicious restaurants you pass by. Enter your departure and destination points, then search for all sorts of ‘waypoints’ by categories like hotels or food with reviews from travellers and parking tips. Free with a premium option available.
2. Sitata: This app is like having your own handheld travel PA — plan your journey no matter where you wish to book, manage your schedule, stay aware of any travel disruptions, and connect to help whenever you need it. It’s free with a premium option available.
Book your transport and accommodation
When you travel, there’s so much more to consider, and apps are like the new travel agents. Find help when it comes to choosing accommodation and transport to save on your money, time and energy.
1. Rome 2 Rio: Don’t let booked-out transport, fear of air travel or cancellations affect your travel plans and dreams — there are so many ways to get from A to B. Type in destinations A and B to get a whole list of land, water, and air routes for your specific journey. You’ll find a range of prices, distances, times, mileage as well as route numbers. This is a free service.
2. Bidroom: If you love to travel, and hate to spend hours glued to a screen in search of a great hotel at a decent price, then look no further. Bidroom is a club for travel lovers, where you can book your ideal hotel at a rate up to 25% lower than on other platforms, and then spend your time surfing great extras to add to your trip. You can even check out all the hotels in any given area with the in-app map view feature. Have the hotel experience you see in the movies — jump on the bed when you arrive and sip on a free bottle of wine. Shop til you drop since you get exclusive discounts on over 70 partner deals. Join for free.
Pack and prepare
Two of the most stressful things about travelling are packing and jet lag — but there are ways you can tackle those obstacles to feel calm, refreshed, and ready to enjoy your adventure.
1. Packpoint: Last minute packers, packing panickers, and “my partner does it for me” folk, this app is made for you. Packpoint has lists for every kind of packer, so you’ll never go on a work trip without your laptop charger or forget to pack your deodorant ever again. Answer some questions about your trip and rely on Packpoint for your list of essentials, complete with recommendations based on the weather and your lifestyle. Free with paid upgrades.
2. Timeshifter: There’s nothing worse than a bad bout of jet lag bookending your trip, whether it’s when you touchdown and want to explore, or when you’re back home, acclimatising once again. The best way to prepare for it is to plan for it, so you can manage your life both at home and abroad around it. Timeshifter combines up to date sleep and circadian neuroscience with your plans and preferences, so you can tackle your jet lag head on. Your first jet lag plan is free, then with paid additional plans.
Enjoy your trip
Often holidays are about being in the moment, waltzing down the shorefront and finding a gorgeous beachside restaurant, or happening upon a cool event or show. But having some go-to entertainment options in your back pocket is always a good idea.
1. Withlocals: The golden nuggets of wisdom passed on by locals on a trip is like no other — the waiter at the restaurant, that friendly person you get chatting to in a pub, or the taxi driver who takes you from the airport to your hotel. Withlocals finds those people with the unmatched recommendations for you and compiles them into videos, guides, reviews, tips and more. You can use the app for free.
2. TheFork: Here’s one for the picky eaters, the adventurous foodies, the casual or upper echelon diners, or the people who never know what kind of food they want. Get discounts on your big bowl of chicken alfredo, moules-frites or nourishing ramen, so you have more to spend on dessert. TheFork’s loyalty programme offers “yums” with every booking, which you can convert to money off your next meal, whether you graze over a Mezze platter or indulge with a juicy burger. And it’s free!
3. Flush Toilet Finder: It calls itself a “not-so-glamorous holiday app”, but it is so useful, and the truly unglamorous thing is hobbling around streets until you find a fast food restaurant with no bathroom passcode. There are over 200,000 bathroom locations on the app with guidance to the closest public toilets to you, their rating, fees and no fee options, and information on disabled access loos. The app is free.
4. AllTrails: As its name suggests, this app is all about finding the right path for you, whether you’re a biker, hiker or runner. If you’re all about taking in the scenery you can access photos of the route or if endurance and distance is your thing you can find all of the necessary information for various routes. It even makes sure you know the weather forecast and more, so you’re never accidentally caught off guard. It’s also free.
5. Bimble: The app for the romantic, anecdotal “great little places” you usually find after hunting laboriously down labyrinthine streets. Sift through other people’s favourite little treasures, and share some of your own. Heard about a great little brasserie, bookshop, beach, or restaurant? Add it to Bimble, for safekeeping, so that you never forget to visit. It’s free to sign up.
Turn your pictures and footage into memories
Share, save, enhance and treasure your media memories the right way.
1. 1 second every day: Take your day-to-day moments and create a meaningful video diary compiled of 1 second clips. It’s a home for all of your notable memories, not just the insta-worthy moments, where you can savour the most precious parts of your day, recall the goofy thing your friend did, or capture the world around you. This app is free of charge.
2. Unfold: Enhance your photos to give them more personality—add some moody lighting or brighten things up, make them more professional with fonts, filters and effects, and just play around with this easy to use editing tool. Free with a premium version available.
To download the Bidroom app, visit Google Play or the App Store.