Before we moved house, I told Gary that I wanted to start leaving my phone in the living room at night. The plan was to keep our bedroom a tech-free zone.
Well HAHAHAHA. That lasted all of 24 hours. Obviously.
Because hello, my name is Katy and I am an iPhone addict.
And you know what? I’m kiiiind of OK with that.
I have learned how to put my phone down when I have to. If I’m feeling anxious or low, I’ll tuck it away in a drawer and give myself an evening off.
But I also know how to make the most of my phone.
From navigating my way around London, to discovering new restaurants and keeping in touch with friends – I use it for everything!
So obviously when it comes to travelling, my phone is one of the most important items I pack in my hand luggage.
I’ve put together a quick list of some of my fave travel apps – a mix of ones I use abroad, as well as a couple I find really useful to help me plan before we leave!
1. Google Maps (FREE – iPhone & Android)
Gary’s usually in charge of this one, cos my sense of direction is laughable at best (and really bloody annoying at worst…), but it’s an essential for us.
Every time we go away, we download the city map to Google Map’s Offline Mode. This means we can then access it at all times, even if we have no wifi connection!
Tip: you can’t search for restaurants or anything whilst in offline mode, so we usually find these and star them before we leave the hotel, so it’s super easy to find later on.
2. Tripadvisor (FREE – iPhone & Android)
I use a couple of different restaurant apps in London (Yelp and Zomato for example), but when we’re abroad, we always go back to the classic: Tripadvisor.
This worked especially well in Prague and Budapest, where we found some AMAZING meals in places you wouldn’t normally look.
You have to take some of the reviews with a pinch of salt, but it can be really helpful for tips like whether you need to book and the what are the best dishes to order.
3. Pennies (£1.49 – iPhone)
I use Pennies to work out my monthly budget, but it’s also really great at helping us to keep to our holiday budget.
I actually first discovered this one through Zoe London’s blog, and it’s been a constant in my life since.
It’s so easy to use: just add in how much money you have to spend for the whole trip (say 30,000 Hungarian forints, for instance) and then it works out how much you can spend per day. Then every time you buy something, quickly tap it in, and it will keep you updated on how well you’re sticking to the budget.
It’s colour coded, so if you’re spending too much, it will go red; if it’s blue, then you’re breaking even; and if it’s green: go ahead and order another glass of wine!
4. TripList (FREE – iPhone & Android)
I’m awful at packing. Like really and truly awful.
This one time, I went to visit my grandparents for a few days. I was so super-focused on the fact that I had to remember my washbag, that I actually forgot to pack anything but my washbag. Nothing else. For a three day trip. Well done 19 year old me. Well done…
BUT NOT ANY MORE.
I always use TripList to plan my packing now. All I have to do is scroll through the extensive list of categorised items to make my packing list, then I just tick it all off, et voila!
No more having to buy emergency packs of pants in the supermarket down the road…
5. Instagram (FREE – iPhone & Android)
Before you go away, spend a little time scrolling through popular city hashtags, and see what you find.
When we were in Rome, I discovered this adorable little cobbled courtyard because of Instagram. It’s not listed in guidebooks, because why would it be? It’s nothing special. It’s not historical or important in any way. But a) it’s beautiful and b) it’s AUTHENTIC. I think Instagram is amazing for finding the best local hotspots, places that tourists may not be familiar with.
Tip: check out the #Visit hashtags – #VisitBudapest for instance – then follow through to the suggested hashtags featured at the top of the page.
And if you’re still looking for more, take a look at this Savvy Travel Apps list. Some of them sound really good, and there’s a great mix for all types of travellers. (I’ve already downloaded the Trover app to browse through before out trip to York next month!)
What are your favourite travel apps?
*This is post is sponsored by dealchecker
All words, photos and travel app-loving are my own!