Here are our picks for the best free travel apps of 2018
So you’re heading overseas. Or maybe you’re just starting to look at airfare deals; or perhaps you’re standing at the gate about to board your flight. Quick! Before you leave wifi territory, here are our seven free download recommendations that’ll make sure you catch all the best deals, stay safe, sleep and eat well, and see everything.
Let’s start at the beginning. The flight. Does it seem like there are always deals on except when you need them; and that every second day flight prices jump up and down by hundreds of dollars for no apparent reason? This could be the free app for you.
Basically, Hopper uses previous data and analytics to predict when airfares will increase, decrease and when deals will drop. Spoiler alert, it’s surprisingly accurate, and takes all the work out of hunting through flight deals and websites. You tell it where you want to go, and it’ll give you a colour coded calendar for that time period, giving you the best and worst times to buy. Also, when the ‘Buy now’ option jumps up, we suggest you take it seriously: it knows what it’s talking about.
This one is all about finding you the cheapest airfares, hotels and even car rental. Again, it’s free, which we all love, and really easy to use. It works well for flights planned both in advance and in a last-minute rush, showing cheaper options in the days surrounding your chosen dates. If money is a factor, it gives you all options to consider with ease.
Worried about your safety abroad? Unsure about the social or political climate, or the risk of weather events, and want to have essential information and tips and on how to stay safe? This one’s for you.
It’s always good to stay on top of risk factors when you’re abroad, but it’s easy to get caught up in being too damn relaxed to focus on the news! This app summarises information from sources such as the World Health Organization, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United Nations and even local authorities and accounts. Covering anything from putting yourself in personal danger, environmental hazards, theft and street crime, this app will let you know if you’re okay to walk home at night or if the whole city should be a miss.
4. Google Trips
Oh, sorry, you want everything in one location? Yes, I think we can do that.
Meet Google Trips. This one’s definitely a top recommendation of ours, and here’s why. If you’ve got a Gmail account, all your reservations, flights, hotels, transport and even where you’re having dinner that night, will be compiled in one place. If you have a different type of email account you can still use the app, it’s just slightly less fluid.
This app will give you recommendations on what’s nearby, where to go, what to see, and even what and where to eat, It can make you an itinerary for the day! All the essentials are here, where the nearest hospitals are, best transport to take, how to get around and even how much to tip.
Here’s the best bit: simply ‘download’ your destinations and you won’t need to worry about finding wifi or use any data (which can be so expensive while travelling), and all the information will be available to you offline.
Do you like to live recklessly? Do you rock up to a city and realise you never got around to booking accommodation? Or do you like to book rooms well in advance? Either way, HotelTonight accumulates all the unbooked hotel rooms in the city and divides them into categories based on price and style. While you can use it to book accommodation months before you arrive, it offers last minute deals from hotels just wanting to fill vacant rooms at the last minute. It’s simple and could save you some money.
Despite its name, Hostelworld does show available hotel rooms, Bed and Breakfasts as well as hostels, so the options are actually pretty broad. It’s really easy to use. Just set your price range and the city you’ll be staying in and let it list all the options for you, along with star ratings and reviews given by previous guests. Arguably, the best feature is its display of accommodation options along with their price on a map, so you can see exactly where you might be staying and what would be nearby. They might also be getting rid of booking deposits and offer free cancellations that year, which would make the process even simpler and relaxed.
Free city guides! Yes, you heard us right, from food, drink, sites and walks, it’s like having a local guide with you the whole way. Punch in your interests and it’ll let you know where all the must-go places are: even letting you know what’s in your area; then as you walk around, it will throw suggestions at you.
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