Travelling is challenging, especially if you don’t have the right tools. You’re new to a city, and you have absolutely no idea how much anything should cost, where to get the best coffee, or what there is beyond the obvious. We’ve all been in this situation. Well, fear not, we’ve got you covered. To help all the lost travellers out there, here’s our list of the 5 best trael apps we couldn’t live without.
First things first, you’ll need to get some foreign currency when you travel, and that’s where Monzo has got you covered. Monzo isn’t just an app – it’s a bank. I use it every day, not only when I travel. But abroad is where Monzo really shines. They offer 0% bank fees on currency exchange, meaning when you pay at a store you’ll pay Mastercard rates. Plus you can withdraw up to £200 a month in foreign currency free of charge. We can’t recommend Monzo enough. That said, it’s quite the exclusive club. Be ready to wait for a Monzo current account, or ask around for a friend with a golden ticket to let you skip the queue.
Now you’ve got your money out, how do you get into the city centre? This is where Moovit comes in. Covering over 1,800 cities across 79 countries, chances are that you’ll be able to use Moovit in your destination city. Moovit relies on crowdsourced data from its 100 million-plus users, which means that their information is updated in real-time and is often more reliable than Google Maps, especially for live public transport updates.
Uber is an obvious one, but nonetheless, a reliable app to use when travelling. If public transport is not your thing, or you just need to reach a destination quickly, Uber’s a safe bet. It’s great when you don’t have to rely on your long-forgotten GCSE Spanish to get somewhere. It also helps that pricing is centralised. Ask any traveller from the pre-Uber era if they’ve been ripped off, and chances are they have been. Uber makes transport quick, simple, and cheap.
HotelTonight makes it easy to be spontaneous in your travels, offering rooms for the same day at below-market or market rates. There’s also a chance you might be able to get a cheap(ish) room at an otherwise unaffordable hotel. Even if you like planning ahead, it might be fun to shake things up and try going somewhere with absolutely no idea of where you’re going to stay. Just make sure HotelTonight are active in the city to avoid unfortunate sleepovers at the park.
We’re a travel app company. We like our app. Therefore, yes, here’s a shameless plug. Once you’ve got the practical issues of where to get cash, where to stay, and how to get there sorted, you’re inevitably going to face the issue of where to go. Load up KOMPAS and start exploring the city in a meaningful and personalised way. KOMPAS helps you find a city’s hidden gems and avoids tourist traps so that you can make the most out of your holiday. We’re slowly but surely adding more cities to our roster, so even if we’re not in your dream destination yet, we will be in no-time. In the meantime, you can tell us where you’d like us to expand to next by emailing [email protected].
I know I said 5 best travel apps, but here’s a bonus honourable mention, just because I’m nice like that. It doesn’t make my top 5 because it’s quite specific: LoungeBuddy lets you buy access to most airport lounges around the world. Plus it helps you make an informed decision on which lounge to pay for, with information about facilities, traveller reviews and overall ratings from ‘basic’ to ‘luxe’. Even if splurging on a lounge isn’t usually your style, lounge access can be great value for money on a long layover, as there are usually complimentary food and drinks inside.
Hopefully, you’ve found this list to be helpful, and you’ll use some or all of these apps. Traveling shouldn’t be unaffordable or difficult, and we should all be doing it more often. The companies mentioned in this post are all working hard to make it easier and more relaxing to travel, for which we salute them.