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Trend: Transformative Travel Apps

If you’re travelling overseas over the December/January break, your smartphone and tablet devices could be almost as essential as your passport – especially if you load them with he right apps. Whether you’re looking for accommodation bargains, insider knowledge of the latest places to wine and dine, or need assistance to communicate essential information in a foreign tongue (like ensuring your martini is shaken, no stirred) here are our picks for the 10 best travel apps to download before you set off: TripIt It’s the mother of travel apps. You just forward any of your travel confirmation emails – be it from a hotel, airline, car rental service or restaurant – to [email protected] and the app automatically combines all your details into a seamless itinerary for you access in one handy place. Of course, you can also manually insert or edit your travel plans too. In addition, TripIt syncs trip plans with your Apple Calendar, Outlook or Google Calendar. XE Currency XE is the go-to site for 180+ currency conversions on the web. It has lots of business-oriented features such as rates for precious metals and historic currency charts, but for the traveller it is most useful for the simple fact that it’s able to convert every world currency. It also functions offline by saving the last updated rates which is great if you’re in a place with limited connectivity or trying to save on data. Bravolol Featuring a basic phrasebook in over 13 languages, Bravolol is a modern-day Rosetta stone. Although the vocabulary is fairly basic, the app pronounces phrases and offers phonetic spelling which is great for languages that might not be familiar or feature different alphabets. The best part is that once it is downloaded, no internet connection is required. LoungeBuddy If you land in a major transit airport and have hours to kill, you’ll wish you had this. For lengthy stopovers, or to simply get the inside scoop on where to eat, shop, or check emails in a quiet setting through to getting a cranial massage and freshening up, LoungeBuddy helps you navigate airport lounges across the globe like a regular jet-setter. HotelTonight So you’ve just landed and need a place to stay. Forget traipsing through hundreds of listings and skip to HotelTonight. It cuts the clutter with a selection of ‘Basic’ ‘Hip, ‘Solid’ and ‘Luxe’ properties in Europe, the Americas, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, and lets you book as late as 2.00 am on the night you’re checking in. It’s ideal for spontaneous layovers or getaways and is super competitive re pricing. Check out our interview with HotelTonight for more details. CityMaps2Go: Featuring downloadable maps and guides to over 7,000 destinations around the world, this application is great for travelers without an internet connection as maps can be pre-loaded onto a phone. The app also features articles and suggestions for destinations if you’re open to an explorative itinerary. Free Wi-Fi Finder Forget searching the streets for the nearest Starbucks and find a better spot to take advantage of free wi-fi overseas. With over 145,000 locations worldwide and the option to search by category (like ‘café’ or ‘library’) this app is a must if you’re not investing in any overseas data. Time Out With coverage from Amsterdam to Singapore, the app covers everything from bars, restaurants, attractions and events. The event finder is a particularly useful tool, meaning you’ll never struggle to find the most popular concerts, festivals or one-off happenings going on around you. You can also book restaurants and concert tickets through the app and create a customised travel guide for your holiday. WhatsApp Sayonara ridiculously high phone bills! Use your wi-fi connection (rather than data roaming) to send unlimited texts, images, audio messages, and videos to WhatsApp users worldwide. That’s the only hitch – all recipients must be added to your contact list and also have the app (easy to organise pre travel with family, work and close friends). BeanHunter BeanHunter is a saviour for coffee addicts after the good oil, particularly in countries where it’s hard to find a decent brew and you’re not a fan of Starbucks. Discover the best coffee near you and share your experiences with others if you’re impressed with the result to keep the app as up to date as possible.

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